Darragh Kerins and Decia Van Het Molenhof. Photos by: Kendall Bierer/Phelps Media Group.
Wellington, FL – January 29, 2013 – Although the clouds hung dauntingly overhead, a field of 38 competitors warmed up for the fourth week of the Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour. Held at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, the 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers saw top international riders contend for the top spot in today’s two classes. Ireland’s Darragh Kerins rode to the pinnacle of the ranks during the first class, while Ali Wolff took the victory in the second class of the day.
Jeffery Welles claimed the early lead as the first rider of the day. He navigated Pierre Jolicouer’s course with finesse aboard Bilion, riding to a double clear effort in 40.870 seconds. Ireland’s Kevin Babington and Baloucat soon bested the pair with a faultless jump off in 39.051 seconds. The speed only continued as each consecutive rider outdid the next.
Kerins entered the ring and set a time that none could catch.
Decia Van Het Molenhof is a new mare for Kerins, but that did not put a hinge in his plans. He took the inside turn between fences 1 and 2 to shave the seconds, and then used her quick pace across the ground slide into the lead in a time of 34.267 seconds. The 11-year-old mare kept her focus inside the arena, and tackled the track with ease.
“We have only had her for about three weeks, so I am just trying to get to know her,” Kerins explained. “I competed last year at The Ridge events, and I know it is difficult to make a plan when you haven’t necessarily seen the other people go, but I was just trying to get to know her, so I gave it a good shot. I think from 1 to 2 in the jump off was where I shaved the most time. I gave that inside turn a go, and it went great.”
Last week’s winner, Samuel Parot, took the second place position, but was still three seconds shy of Kerins speedy round. Jeffery Welles and Antaris S captured the third place in 38.132 seconds.
Kerins continued, “I heard about IPC from the last time it was held there, and it got great reviews, so I wanted to put her into a new environment and know what she was like. She is quite sensitive, and that is another reason why I wanted to see what she was like on the grass. She can sometimes be spooky, but she handled the venue well. Nona [Garson], George [D’Ambrosio] and The Ridge do a great job, and I hope to see it grow.”
Molly Ashe Cawley and Cocq A Doodle were the first to tackle the second track of the day. They took an early lead in the class with a double clear effort in 37.134 seconds. Parot returned to the ring aboard Option D’auge to set the pace at 36.041 seconds to take over the lead. Speed was the name of the game as riders traversed the turf, with seven of the 11 horse and rider combinations going quick and fast. Babington and Baloucat took over the lead in 33.536 seconds, but Ali Wolff had her sights set on the win.
Wolff piloted Brianda, her most recent mount, to the top of the leader board with an untouchable time of 32.949 seconds. The 9-year-old mare was able to turn with nimbleness as they navigated the serpentine of the jump off.
“Brianda is the newest member of our family, and funny enough, I sat on her about a year and a half ago, but she was too much horse for me at that time,” Wolff laughed. “This time around she was a great match, and this was our third or fourth class with her so far. She bruised her foot a little bit early on, so this is her first real class; everything else has been schooling classes.”
Wolff continued, “She is fast in terms of her strides and turning, and she has so much scope that I know I can turn back and she will make it over, no matter how much striding or pace I have behind me. I tried to go for a fast clear with tight turns, but not racing. I also wanted to test out her rideability, and how we will fare in the future. I think we are really going to get along. She has such natural ability.”
Babington and Baloucat were awarded the second place, while he also guided Cord 11 to the third place finish. Jonathan McCrea and Brugal VDL rode to the fourth place, and Sarah Wayda and Spargel captured fifth. Parot and Option D’auge rounded out the top six.
“I came out last year for the Friday classes,” Wolff concluded. “The venues are always so nice, and the atmosphere is so pleasant – everyone is happy. It gets so repetitive for 12 weeks in a row at the horse show. It is a great change for both the horses and the riders. I love having the opportunity to go on the grass. We just changed our schedule, so we will be returning on Friday, as well. We love the series so much that we are definitely going to return.”
The stakes are increasing each week as top riders, amateur and professional, vie for their invitation to the $24,750 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix Series Finale on Saturday, March 22, 2014, as well as the coveted Leading Rider Bonus. The Wellington Turf Tour will return to the Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables next week for the Wednesday and Friday events, but will return to the International Polo Club Palm Beach on a date to be announced soon.
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 Friday event will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Riders are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible for the approaching classes. Turning in entries early will ensure that they get the time that they desire. Show Net will provide the live scoring for the Ridge Winter Tour II, as well as video all rounds. All recorded rounds and results are available at: www.shownet.biz.
The Ridge still has available sponsorships for the Invitational Series. For more information, call (908) 500-0996 or download information at http://www.theridgefarm.com.
Sponsorships are available for the $25,000 Finale, $15,000 Weekly Grand Prix, $2,000 Weekly Hospitality Text, $3,500 Show Jump Sponsor for series, $750 Ring Banner for the series and $500 Weekly Class Presenter.
All checks should be made payable to the Ridge Farm LLC.
The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Series
C/O Eda Tordiff
110 Edwards Rd.
Parsippany, NJ, 07054
For more information about the Ridge at Wellington, please go to http://www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information, please follow the Ridge at Wellington on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ridge-at-Wellington/219358376264.
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 second 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 22, 2014.
The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 8, 2014 and running until March 19, 2014.
Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour.
The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January – March 2013. 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 7, 2014 and March 21, 2014.
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/Senior Classics, and two hunter derbies.
3655 Middleburg Dr,
Wellington, FL 33414
Barn & Show Phone 561-791-1471 | Barn Fax 561-791-1543
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, January 10, 2014 – 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
8:30am – 5pm daily
From the Florida Turnpike: Take the exit for LakeWorth Road West. Continue on Lake Worth Road approximately 6 miles to South Shore Blvd. Make a left on South Shore Blvd. Continue to the stop sign at 50th Street. Make a Right on 50th Street. Continue to Stables Way and make a right. Continue to the end of Stables Way and make a right on Palm Beach Point Blvd. Driveway to farm is 50 feet on the left.
From Route 95: Take the exit for Forest Hill Blvd West. Continue on Forest Hill Blvd to South Shore Blvd. Make a left on South Shore Blvd. Once on South Shore Blvd, continue straight at light at Pierson Road and again straight through the intersection at Lake Worth Road, to the stop sign at 50th Street. Make a Right on 50th Street. Continue to Stables Way and make a right. Continue to the end of Stables Way and make a right on Palm Beach Point Blvd. Driveway to farm is 50 feet on the left.
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)