Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Great-Tikila J © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 21, 2021 – On the final day of the tenth week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Darragh Kenny (IRL) picked up his second win of the week, riding Great-Tikila J, owned by Whiterock Farm and HKC Collection, to capture the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* as competition wrapped up on Sunday, March 21, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Of the 45 entries in the starting order, a total of 10 pairs mastered the handiwork of Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) to punch their ticket into the second round. Of those 10, Mimi Gochman (USA) was the first to put in a double-clear round aboard Gigi’s Girl BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to move into the lead.
“I went super early [in the order], so I just really wanted to have a nice round,” explained Gochman in reference to her plan for the jump-off. “I was trying to go for it a little bit, but I didn’t want to make any big mistakes or make her unconfident in me because it was my first three-star grand prix, and I really just wanted to go double clear.”
Gochman, who picked up a win earlier in the day in the Hermès U25 Series Final, guided the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Vingino x Celano across the track in a time of 41.38 seconds.
Mimi Gochman and Celina BH Best the Field in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Series Final; Vogel Wins Overall Title
In the culmination of a season-long series, it was Mimi Gochman (USA) and Celina BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, who prevailed in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Final CSI3* on Sunday afternoon in the International Arena.
Riders were faced with a technical track built by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) with 29 competitors in the starting order. A total of eight horse-and-rider combinations qualified to return for the jump-off representing four different countries: Belgium, Greece, Great Britain, and the United States.
The standard was set for the rest of the field as the first two pairs to return, Zoe Conter (BEL) and Caitlyn Connors (USA), both posted double clear efforts and jumped into a tie for the early lead in a time of 38.69 seconds. Third to return in the subsequent round, Natalie Dean (USA) and Dotcom D’Authuit, owned by Marigold Sporthorses, LLC, followed up with their own double-clear effort. Dean and the eight-year-old mare by Diamant De Semilly x Quidam De Revel solidified what would ultimately be a third-place finish in a time of 37.67 seconds.
Just two riders after that, series leader Ashley Vogel (USA) and her own Bellissimo Z, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare by Bamako de Muze x Chin Chin, found a way to shave time off the clock, with their own double-clear effort in 36.60 seconds to take over top spot.
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.