Conor Swail and Ariana.
Week 5 at Wanderer’s Club on Wednesday and Saturday
Wellington, FL – January 30, 2015 – The competition was fierce Friday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) as The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour completed its fourth week of competition. Conor Swail and Ariana were the trailblazers, leading the class from start to finish with their phenomenal double clear effort completed 31.860 seconds. Alexander Zetterman and Avon finished in second place with a time of 34.072 seconds, while Andrew Bourns and Tzargazer rounded out the top three with their time of 34.372 seconds.
Over 50 horse and rider combinations gathered on the polo field at IPC, vying for the $15,000 offered in prize money for the fourth of 12 Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour 1.40m Grand Prix. Nick Granat designed the course for the day, setting a technical track that proved for a heart thumping jump-off.
Brianne Goutal was the first horse to post a double clear effort and continue onto the shortened track. She rode Ballade Van Het Indihof to the time of 34.960 seconds. The 2014 Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour Leading Rider Jeffery Welles aboard Callais followed her to the second clean round of the day, but his time of 36.350 seconds would only prove good enough for the tenth place, while Goutal would finish fifth.
Goutal said, “All of us riders are really grateful to have The Ridge as an option to come and jump away from the show grounds – it is a nice change of pace and atmosphere. It is always really fun to jump on grass. The weather and everything couldn’t have been better here today. Nona [Garson] and George [D’Ambrosio] do an amazing job maintaining everything. The management really shows.”
Current leading rider Conor Swail aboard Ariana cleared the first course with ease and moved into the jump-off. They were smoking as they covered the ground and completed all the possible options to shave the seconds, with Swail never touching the reins. As only the twelfth rider of the day, Swail admitted that he was riding fast with the hopes of staying in the top three by the end of the competition.
“The jump-off today was short, so it meant that I had to be very fast,” Swail said. “I left out a stride from one to two, then I did a good rollback. It was important to cover the ground efficiently. She was very good to jump the double today and we left out a stride to the final fence. I didn’t leave too much room out there, but I knew I was going to have to run quite hard; there are some great riders here.”
Swail continued, “Ariana is about 14 years old, and this is her first show since Toronto. The facilities are so great here to start your horses back. It is a great environment and good ground. It is a beautiful arena. She is well qualified to do this. She was my top horse over the winter, and she won some top classes over there. She jumped great today, as she always does. I always like to say that it is good enough for top three. I had a good day, so I am very pleased.”
Zetterman attempted to catch Swail’s speed with Avon later in the day, but he broke the beam two seconds behind Swail’s blazing time, surpassing Andrew Bourns with Tzargazer who finished in 34.372. Juan Andres Rodriguez completed the jump-off just behind Bourns in 34.372 seconds aboard Bugatti for the fourth place.
It seemed as though nobody would catch Swail’s time, but Sharn Worldey and Popstar Lozonais flew around the shortened course, racing to trip the timers. They nearly took over the lead with their time of 31.351 seconds, but four faults in the penultimate obstacle, a technical double combination, would put them out of the rankings.
Beth Underhill and Viggo finished sixth behind Goutal in 35.203 seconds, while Charley, with Juan Ortiz in the irons, captured the seventh place in 35.342 seconds. Angela Covert and Utan completed the day in eighth.
“We are getting set up for the rest of the season, and it is great to come and show over here. I try to bring a couple of horses every week. It is great to start with your better horses and bring your younger horses here and improve them,” Swail concluded.
Running concurrently in the second ring were the long-awaited schooling jumpers and classics. It was Sierra Ucci Peddie who rode to the win in the $2,000 M&S/NAL WIHS Child/Adult Jumper Classic with Big Easy. Paul Yanke and Carle captured the $3,000 NAL Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic victory.
“I think that this is a great opportunity for people that want to come and compete while having a good time,” Peddie said. “I think that it is definitely worth the trip out here, and I think everyone, horse and rider, will have a good experience. The courses were great, and it really was a good time showing.”
The Wanderer’s Club will host the fifth week of The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour, at their private facility boasting a pristine polo field that will showcase the best show jumping has to offer. Both Wednesday and Saturday’s events promise to be exciting, with the 1.30m-1.35m classes and the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix running from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The turf will see low and medium schooling jumpers with two classes running concurrently offered at each height on both days. The schooling jumper classes will continue to be offered on Friday throughout the remainder of the Turf Tour.
For week five of the Wellington Turf Tour, Meadowbrook Horse Transport will provide a complimentary shuttle to and from the Wanderer’s Club in Wellington, FL, on Wednesday and Saturday. Parking and space is limited, so please arrange to make plans to jump on one of Wellington’s most prestigious turfs. The Ridge would like to thank their most recent sponsor, Dover Saddlery, for their support of the 12-week series as the cooler and banner sponsor.
Meadowbrook Horse Transport will provide transportation to and from the horse show and other locations throughout Wellington for both the Wednesday and Friday events. The transportation is a nominal fee of $50 per horse, and will be calculated into the final show fees. To make a reservation for one of the three pickup times, 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m., please call Peter Tufano of Meadowbrook Horse Transport at (954) 415-7217, or call Nona Garson at (908) 500-0996.
The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts
The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its third year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 27, 2015.
The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 7, 2015 and running until March 18, 2015.
Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour, running concurrently with the 1.30-1.35m and 1.40m Jumpers.
The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January 6 – March 23, 2015. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.
Two USHJA International Hunter Derbies will take place February 6, 2015 and March 20, 2015.
The Ridge at Wellington series includes several weeks of competition throughout the Winter Season with USEF Rated Equitation Shows. This winter will also feature five two-day schooling shows. The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will offer 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix, Young Jumpers, Children’s/Adult Classics, Masters Jumpers, Junior/Amateur Classics, two hunter derbies and the Pre-Green Incentive Stake.
Before Show – (561) 791-1471, Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
During Show – Telephone: (561) 791-1471, Fax: (561) 791-1543
Text: (908) 500-0996
14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd. East
Wellington, FL, 33414
(561) 791-1471 (show office)
(908) 839-3859 (show cell)
(561) 791-1543 (show fax)