Adam Prudent and Vasco.
Wellington, FL – March 25, 2015 – The final Wednesday of the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour was incredibly successful, with both rings staying busy throughout the day. Adam Prudent topped the first 1.30-1.35m class riding Vasco for Plain Bay Sales. Prudent brought the horse over in order to prepare for the Finale Grand Prix on Friday.
“It was a great course as usual at The Ridge. I love showing here because you always get to ride on the grass. I have won a couple classes here, and it’s always a pleasure to come. This is one of my speed horses; I brought him over this week to give him a bit of a break from WEF. He loves the grass, so he’s very easy to ride on this big open field.”
Prudent posted a very fast time of 46.192 seconds to beat the early class leader Oliver McCarthy’s time of 46.235 seconds on the course designed by Nick Granat and Eric Hasbrouck. McCarthy had the ride on Crossfire 10 for McLain Ward. Ansgar Holtgers finished in third on his own Wisconsin, and fifth on Quick Petite Folie. Darrin Dliin claimed the fourth place finish with Tennyson for Susan Grange. Rounding out the top six was Linda Sheridan, riding her own Vantina HPF.
In the second class, Lauren Hough rode Olivia Pirovano’s Spirit to the top prize with a time of 43.626 seconds. Christine McCrea, the first double clear of the day, stopping the clock at 45.861 seconds, finished in second aboard Ronaldo De La Pomme for Candy Tribble. Conor Swail clinched the third spot with Game Ready for Susan Grange. Eric Flameng saw a great deal of success with Balous Boy, who just moved up to the 1.30-1.35 class last week, with a fourth place finish. Cassandra Herman rode SCCA Ventures’ Casis to a fifth. Darrin Dliin rounded out the top six placings with another of Grange’s horses, Dillinger.
In addition to the resurgence of the traditional horse shows, a tradition of breeding and producing top caliber horses has been very evident with some of the competitors during the turf tour. One owner who has an incredible amount of time and knowledge invested into producing such top horses is Susan Grange.
Throughout the turf tour, there has been a set of names that are consistently on the top of the results chart. Grange and her team of riders of Brady Hayes, Darrin Dliin and Conor Swail have attended ten of the twelve weeks of competition during the Turf Tour, garnering significant ribbons along the way. Grange was eager to express her support for the Turf Tour.
“We love it here. It’s a great opportunity to show our young horses and get them out on a big field with nice jumps and good footing. It’s just much more inviting for the young horses. We bring a lot of them over for that reason. They can only handle so much at the other show; it’s nice to swap it out every now and then.”
Her unique custom shirts stand out, with half of the Canadian flags colors on one side and half of the Irish flags on the other, representing both her home country and that of her Irish rider’s, Swail’s. It’s quite clear that she is very proud of what her team is accomplishing through classical, correct training of very gifted young horses.
Grange produces her own horses and purchases promising young talent to bring up through the ranks with the help of her outstanding riders. She has been producing horses since she was 16.
“I do a lot of breeding; a lot of these are my homebreds. It’s the only way to go. It’s too expensive to go buying grand prix horses. Ultimately we want to get up to the grand prix with them, so we start with nice young ones, go with them, and if they look like they’ll make the very top we keep them and if not, we sell them as really nice amateur horses. I love the young horses. I love watching them and developing them, and training them at home.”
She elaborated, “To me, it’s not as much fun (to just buy a made horse). If you buy a horse, you expect it to go in the ring and be good. But the young ones, you remember them as babies and you think, ‘Wow, this horse is actually doing this now!’ and it’s a whole different level of fun for me. I like to work with them at home a lot, developing them. All of my riders don’t live anywhere near me. Darrin Dliin is from Calgary, Conor Swail of course is in Ireland, and Ian Millar lives in Perth. Between Brady Hayes and me, I set up the gymnastics and we train them all to have them ready for the riders. It makes both of us feel great when they go well for the riders.”
Dliin explained his role in the Lothlorien team. “I first started just doing the young ones and brought them along. We won several young horse finals with her horses, mostly homebred. Those are mostly grown up, so now I’ve got a whole new batch to bring along. We each them how to jump, teach them how to canter, and just how to do it on their own. That lets them develop the confidence so they know what to do without us, basically.”
The young horses have a bit of a break following the long Florida circuit. “After the winter here they have a big break, and then I go back in May to start them back up again for Spruce. They’re at Spruce for six weeks, then they have a break again. We do some local shows and get them organized for the Young Horse Finals in Toronto.”
Like Grange, Dliin was quite vocal about his praise for The Ridge. “I really want to say a big thank you to George and Nona for bringing this to Wellington. It’s such a welcome addition it’s so nice to get the horses out here, especially for us, because Spruce is such a big part of our summer. We get to get ready here so they’re ready to go when we get there. Spruce is so big and open, but after being here they’re ready for it. This is a great thing.”
Swail, The Turf Tour’s leading rider this year, has really enjoyed working with Grange and her program. “She has a great team that does a great job with the horses as young horses. I come in and ride the older ones when they’re ready to do a bit of a higher level. For me it’s great that Sue and Ariel and their family have a great interest; they’re very devoted to the sport. It’s great for me that they’re so involved.”
He has high hopes for the future, especially given the quality of the horses that are being produced. “She’s a great owner and I thought we’d be a good match and so far so good – we’re both trying to go in the same direction and we’re being quite successful in everything we’re doing. I think in the future we’ll be getting even more successful as time goes on.”
Brady Hayes is an integral part of the team with the horses at home, but he is quick to give credit where it is due. “The management of Lori Green and the grooms, and everyone involved – they really put a lot of hard work into what goes on every day at Lothlorien Farm.”
Hayes does much of the behind-the-scenes work, riding them at home and flatting the horses at shows. He flats the young ones just under saddle and spends a lot of time doing gymnastics with the horses, something Grange is a very firm believer in.
“I’m very fortunate to be in the position that I’m in; there’s a lot of great people around that I’ve learned, and am learning, a lot from. I think every day we work with the horses as individuals and try to accomplish what we can. It’s nothing but a great learning experience. I just can’t say enough about Sue and Ariel and her family. They’ve given me a very wonderful opportunity, and to work with some of these very top riders in the farm has been nothing but great for the past few years.”
Hayes was incredibly enthusiastic about his support for the Turf Tour.
“I can’t say enough about The Ridge. It’s a great atmosphere, especially for the younger horses. It’s so open. You can take all the time in the world to get ready. If you go in and have one or two fences down there’s always the second course up. You can go back in and make sure you get it done the right way, whereas other venues you can’t always do that; it’s kind of a one shot kind of deal. I think the footing is always fabulous; the fences are just enough, not overly impressive to the point of being scary, but not just poles on the ground.”
He continued, “They’ve done a super job; they let you have refreshments and food, and it’s a very nice atmosphere. The course designers and Nona and George who put it on are nothing but very generous and it’s a very well put together venue, for sure!”
Friday will be the last day of competition for the 2015 Turf Tour. IPC will be hosting a champagne brunch to celebrate the conclusion of the series. The highlight of the day will be the Grand Prix Finale, running from 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. with an award presentation at 4:30 p.m. The 1.40m Grand Prix will offer just under $25,000 in prize money, the largest purse offered by The Ridge at Wellington. With some of the top names during the Tour bringing their most competitive horses, Friday’s action is sure to be nail biting. The second ring will offer low and medium schooling jumpers. At the conclusion of competition on Friday, March 27th, the Turf Tour will name the Leading Rider for the twelve-week series. Current standings have Irish rider Conor Swail at the top of the rankings.
The winner of the Leading Rider Award will receive an incredible prize of an Equestrian International Polo Club Palm Beach membership. This exclusive membership is typically available through invitation only and is highly sought after. Valued at $6,000, the membership starts January 2016 and is good through mid-April, the duration of the winter circuit.
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
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Wellington, FL, 33414
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