Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – February 28, 2021 – Harrie Smolders (NED) and Monaco, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC, hit the ground running with a blistering jump-off effort to take the title in the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* on Sunday, February 28, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to close out the seventh week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
A total of 46 combinations challenged the opening round with 11 pairs qualifying to return for the jump-off. Smolders, ranked 20th in the world, piloted Monaco, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Contender, to a double-clear effort over the 1.50m track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU). The Flying Dutchman gave credit to his nickname as he edged the competition by just over a tenth of a second, in 38.40 seconds.
“I thought I didn’t have the best start to the jump-off but my roll back to the liverpool [fence seven] was very good,” said Smolders on where he gained the edge to win. “I thought it was a very serious track. There were a lot of faults in the first round. [It was a] very good course but your horse needed to be in top shape.”
Bourns Is Best with Darquito, Topping the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*
A total of 44 competitors gave it their best shot over the handywork of Andy Christiansen (ECU) and Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2* as just eight combinations left all the fences up for a ticket to the jump-off. In the second round, Andrew Bourns (IRL) and his own Darquito proved to be the best over the shortened course, finishing double clear in a time of 38.58 seconds.
Bourns knows his 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding by D’inzeo 6 x Contefino 2 quite well, having bought him with his parents Richard and Deirdre Bourns in Germany as a seven-year-old.
“My plan was to win it and I knew with the girls coming behind me, I had to really move it,” said Bourns of his winning round. “Emily Moffitt, Abigail McArdle, and a few of those other riders, I knew they weren’t going to give it to me easy. Chris Kappler helps me a lot. He’s my full-time trainer and Michael Blake, the Irish Chef d’Equipe, helped me with the jump-off as well. It takes a whole team to come together. I was so happy with my horse today.”
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.