Lacy Gilbertson (USA) impressed in the CHF50,000 CSI4*Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 on Thursday afternoon during Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Wellington International. Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) welcomed 55 pairs to the International Ring and set the stage for a nine-horse jump-off.
Despite her conservative jump-off plan, Gilbertson and Karlin van’t Vennehof were deceivingly fast and accurate to stop the clock at 41.41 seconds over the short course. The 2010 Belgian Warmblood mare (Fantomas de Muze x Quasimodo van de Molendreef), owned by Seabrook LLC, bested Lillie Keenan (USA) and Argan De Beliard, coming in at 43.09 seconds for the runner-up position. Jacob Pope (USA) and Highway FBH, owned by The Highway Group, rounded out the podium positions in 44.78 seconds.
Gilbertson partnered with Karlin van’t Vennehof, the former mount of her trainer Shane Sweetnam, at the beginning of the 2022 WEF season. Since day one, the pair has been extremely consistent in the show ring.
“I think I have so much confidence in her that when I go in the ring, no matter what happens if I do it half right, we are going to be clear,” said Gilbertson. “She’s so scopey and she’s my type of ride so I’m very comfortable on her. I think that’s the main thing that’s helped us click and keep the consistency.”
Wellington, FL – April 1, 2022 – The third day of international competition on Friday, April 1, during the final Rolex-sponsored week of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), closed out with Grace Debney (GBR) winning her first-ever five-star class in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI5*.
Fourteen nations were represented in the 50-horse lineup of the five-star class. Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) built a track worthy of the day’s main event with a single-round speed challenge to be completed under an efficient time of 76 seconds. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and his top mount, Farona, took the early lead in the speed class as he stopped the clock in 55.30 seconds with Ariel Grange’s 12-year-old KWPN mare (Baltic VDL x Lux Z). The pair held the headline position until nearly the end, but Debney made it clear she did not come to take second.
Debney and her long-time partner Zarina De Vidau, a horse she has had since acquiring her to do the junior jumpers, put complete faith in one another and became the only combination to lower the time on the scoreboard below 55 seconds. By leaving several strides out across the course and relying on the trust they have built, Debney and the Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old CDE mare (Diamant De Semilly) shook up the competition with a final time of 54.97 seconds.
Gilbertson’s New Partnership Successful in $37,000 CabanaCoast 1.45m Qualifier CSI2*
Jorge’s course for the $37,000 CabanaCoast 1.45m Qualifier CSI2* left only 13 of the original 76 entries eligible for the class’s short course. The tight time allowed of 71 seconds played a factor for 10 riders, while five more fell victim to a downed rail. Riders from the U.S., Germany, Canada, Ireland, and Great Britain made up the jump-off.
Trailblazer Lacey Gilbertson (USA) was the front runner as the final adjustments were made and set the time to beat with a blazing fast double-clear performance of 38.58 seconds. Samuel Hutton (GBR) immediately followed with another clear round but settled into the temporary second place with a slightly slower time. The remainder of the competitors gave it their best shot with all but five going fault-free, but Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s 12-year-old BWP mare Karlin Van’t Vennehof (Fantomas De Muze x Quasimodo Van De Molendreef) held tight to the top position throughout the entirety of the second round.
Ireland’s Tom Wachman shot into the victory gallop with HH Fireball as the pair flew to a fast second place. He and Coolmore Show Jumping’s 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Number One D’Isp x Toulon) landed roughly half a second behind Gilbertson for the honors. Hutton slipped into the third-place position as his time of 39.67 seconds with Abdel Saïd’s 12-year-old BWP gelding H&M Kirlo van den Bosrand (Cardento 933 x Utrillo VD Heffinck) fell just below Wachman’s time of 39.10 seconds.
Wellington, FL – March 8, 2020 – While strong winds blew at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, an array of talented horse-and-rider combinations aimed for the top spot in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. The final event on Sunday, March 8, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded week nine.
With a highly competitive field of 44 starters, 16 competed in the jump-off round. In the second round, there were 11 competitors from the USA, three from Ireland, and one each from Israel, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Saving the best for last, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) piloted Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi to a fault-free round with a lightning fast time of 32.78 seconds, edging out Shawn Casady (USA) aboard Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, who had held the top spot for most of the jump-off round with a time of 33.27 seconds. Close behind was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars, owned by Hampton Farm and Skara Glen Stables, stopping the timers at 34.33 seconds.
“My horse is adjustable so that worked in our favor in the first round,” said 26-year-old Gilbertson. “In the jump-off, my initial plan was to add a stride in every line, but as the class progressed the numbers showed that wasn’t the right plan if you wanted to win.”
Turning to the second to the last jump, the crowd helped cheer her on to go faster. “It definitely helped keep me going,” added Gilbertson.
Foster and Brighton Return to Winning Ways in $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic
Forty-four entries contested Sunday’s $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic, and it was the first to go in the jump-off that set an unbeatable time. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, blazed to the win in 32.72 seconds.
“I know he’s super fast and where I can make up the strides,” said Foster. “He has a bit of a left drift so anything heading left I can usually drop the stride whereas anything heading right I usually can’t. But I know that, and I learned a long time ago not to panic if I haven’t done the number that I was hoping to because I know I’ll make it up somewhere else. I knew the last line, the seven strides, was going to be nice and forward for me so it was a fast way to finish. I love my horse; he’s just the best.”
Sterling Malnik and Prestige Claim Large Pony Hunter Championship
The Large Pony Hunter division came to a close on Sunday with Sterling Malnik riding Prestige to the tricolor ribbon. Malnik, of Ocean Ridge, FL, rode Prestige to three first place ribbons as well as a fourth and eighth place.
Malnik has only owned Prestige since late August, but the pair, trained by Bill Schaub, has already proven to be a successful match in the show ring. Malnik describes the nine-year-old Belgian Riding Pony gelding by Ive Van De Delthoeve as one of the kindest ponies, both on the ground and to ride.
Mill Spring, NC – June 1, 2019 – Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi produced a foot-perfect round to take the $132,000 Ingles Grand Prix CSI 3* win, clearing the jump-off course in 38.654 seconds in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). David Blake (IRL) and Keoki, a 2009 Holsteiner male (Catoki x Cassini I) owned by Pine Hollow Farm, sped to a 42.272-second finish to claim second, while Angel Karolyi (VEN) and April Moon, a 2008 Holsteiner mare (Quinar x Landwind II) owned by Carol Rosenstein, bagged a podium finish for their 42.21-second jump-off performance.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) saw 28 entries test his first-round course design, with five pairs welcomed back for the jump-off contest. One of the early challengers for the jump-off, Gilbertson explained that she was able to gain an advantage over her competitors with Baloppi, who is “very quick naturally, and the faster you go with her, honestly, the easier she is to ride. She’s naturally a winner. She’s amazing.
“The course was careful, and I don’t think it was overly big,” she detailed. “The course designer definitely got their number [of clears] right.” There were a few spots on course that rode a little differently than she originally planned,” Gilbertson continued. “In the first round, [the line] from the Liverpool to the triple bar rode a little bit differently than I thought. I thought it was going to be a bit more steady. I think everything came up very quickly in that ring with those verticals off all the short turns, so that was a bit expected, other than that I think it was pretty much what it walked.”
Gilbertson is preparing Baloppi for an upcoming trip to Europe, and has also been stepping her up to do 1.50m competitions. “She hasn’t done that many classes this height,” Gilbertson revealed. “She’s very careful, so we wanted to take our time stepping her up, and in the past few months she’s just gotten better and better. She feels like she’s more comfortable, she’s gotten a little scopier, and she’s had some night class experience, too.”
The pair had to call upon their experience to put in a competitive round early in the second round, putting the pressure on for those to follow, Gilbertson commented. “Going in the beginning of the jump-off, I had to take chances where I could and go fast, because I didn’t know how everybody else behind me was going to do, but luckily it all paid off!”
Mill Spring, NC – October 19, 2018 – Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi rode to victory in the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Resort Speed Stake CSI 5* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), blazing through the course in 62.31 seconds. Paige Johnson (USA) achieved second place with a time of 74.26 seconds aboard Innovation, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Skippy II x Lauriston) owned by Salamander Farm, while Kent Farrington completed the all-American podium guiding Baltic Star 2, a 2009 Hanoverian gelding (Bacardi x Chalan) owned by himself and Tanma Corporation, to a 74.47 second finish.
Twenty-seven pairs stepped up to try their talents on the course set by USA’s Anthony D’Ambrosio, flying around the U.S. Trust Arena. Gilbertson and the 2007 Danish Warmblood mare owned by Seabrook LLC put in a tight round early in the class that couldn’t be bested. Just late enough in the line-up to watch some options ride, GIlbertson explained that the course was suited to her mount’s strengths.
“I thought the course was a lot of fun. There were several areas where you could leave out strides and make tight turns, plus really gallop across the ground and Baloppi is really good at that. It definitely worked to my advantage because she is so nice to ride and always right there with you,” said Gilbertson. “I didn’t go too early, so I did get to see all the numbers ride, and I chose to stick to my original plan once I saw those numbers were there in the options for the leave-outs.”
Gilbertson has been in the irons with Baloppi, whom she describes as “a magical unicorn,” for more than a year and a half, and has piloted her to much success thus far. “I’ve definitely won the most on her than I have on anyone else. She’s brave, consistent, and no matter what ring she goes into she’s always the same, which makes my life really easy. She’s also a lot of fun.”
While Gilbertson will trade mounts for Saturday’s $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, Baloppi has a bright future in the Grand Prix ring and in speed classes, she concluded. “I think she’ll jump some two and three-start Grand Prixs in the future, but definitely also more speed classes because she’s so good at them. She can kind of do anything, which is nice.”
Liza Boyd Earns First Place in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
Liza Boyd of Camden, SC and Tradition gave two stunning performances to earn a total score of 371 in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Tryon Stadium to take the win, piloting the 2010 Westphalian gelding for owner Maggie Hill. Reserve honors were earned by Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Barbara Scott’s Catchphrase, a 2010 Zangersheide gelding, combining their first-round and handy scores for a total of 370, while Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL claimed third in the irons for Helen Brown aboard Tybee, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding, finishing on a two-round total of 369.25.
Eighteen entries toured the course set by designers Dean Rheinheimer and J. P. Godard, with the top twelve invited back to showcase their talents in the handy round. Boyd noted that the second round was tricky but gave credit to Tradition for pulling through. “That was a pretty hard handy,” she explained. “In 1-2 when I was cantering to it, I didn’t realize how tight I had turned. I think that’s what got me such high points; I think I sliced to it a little bit more, a bit on accident, actually. When I was cantering to it, I thought for a second, ‘Oh my, he could run out here,’ but he just stepped up for me.”
Planning for a well-executed handy round, Boyd elaborated on her plan moving through the trot jump. “I definitely did have to fudge (the trot jump) a little,” she commented. “I started trotting later than I had planned, which gave me some extra points. You take a little risk when you take that long to come back to the trot. I did a sitting trot to get him engaged from behind a little bit better and then the hand gallop I tried to do super early and get it done early. I was able to measure the distance and make sure he was back on his hind legs for the last jump.”
Boyd and the gelding have had a productive year and the pair will continue to compete through the indoor season and head to Florida for the winter. “The horse stepped up and was third at Derby Finals and then he went on and helped me win the World Champion Hunter Rider class at Capital Challenge,” noted Boyd. “He helped me gain a place in the top six. He’s done a lot for me this year and he’s really quickly stepped up to the plate to become a really top professional horse. He’s young, and super, super scopey. In Europe, I think he really jumped some really great tracks; he’s got a lot of ability. He’s done a lot.”
For full results from the $35,000 1.45m Tryon Resort Speed Stake CSI 5*, click here.
For full results from the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, click here.
Wellington, FL – March 25, 2018 – Week 11 of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, March 25, with competition for up-and-coming stars of show jumping. In the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final, 19-year-old Ransome Rombauer of St. Helena, CA sped to the win riding her own Emorkus RE. The series winner was 24-year-old Lacey Gilbertson riding Baloppi.
There were 30 entries in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final, and 11 found the ticket to a clear round and advanced to the jump-off. The fastest in the jump-off by nearly three-and-a-half seconds (43.73 seconds) was Rombauer and Emorkus RE, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Haarlem.
Second-place finisher Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT was especially pleased with her performance in the final after falling off in the semi-final. She and Huckleberry, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Hillside Farm LLC, finished double clear in 47.06 seconds.
Third place in the final went to Daisy Farish of Versailles, KY riding Great White, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cumano x Julio Mariner. They were clear in 49.86 seconds.
Leading from the very beginning of the series with a win in the first grand prix in week two was overall winner Lacey Gilbertson, 24, on Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi. The pair also won the semi-final in week 8. While they had four faults in the final jump-off, their consistency throughout all of the events easily landed them the series victory.
Aly Muir and Paparazzi Prevail in Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter Horse Older
The last day of week eleven at the Winter Equestrian Festival celebrated a championship win for Aly Muir and her entry, Paparazzi, in the Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter Horse Older division. Muir, of Allison Park, PA, piloted the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding to a first, second, and eighth over fences with a third-place finish on the flat.
Noa Diener secured reserve honors aboard Linden, an entry of Derby Lane, LLC. The pair finished sixth in the under saddle in addition to a first and second over fences.
Wellington, FL – March 2, 2018 – Twenty-four-year-old Lacey Gilbertson (USA) claimed a victory in the $35,000 Hermès Under 25 Semi-Final Grand Prix riding Baloppi under the lights in the International Arena on Friday, March 2, during week eight of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
In Friday night’s class, 47 starters jumped the first-round track set by Ken Krome (USA) with seven pairs advancing to the jump-off. The top three finishers all posted fault-free rounds, making foot speed the deciding factor for the final placings. Gilbertson and Baloppi, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Seabrook LLC, crossed the timers in a blistering 40.21 seconds for the win.
Second-place finisher, Ailish Cuniffe (USA), returned first in the jump-off to lay down an early pace in 41.70 seconds aboard Baloucento 2, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Baloubet du Rouet x Cento) owned by Whipstick Farm, Ltd. Third place went to Ransome Rombauer (USA) and her own Emorkus RE, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding (Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Haarlem).
Kenny and New Mount Babalou 41 Capture Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix
A new combination in the ring went to the winner’s circle in the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m National Grand Prix over 34 other competitors. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Babalou 41, owned by Jack Snyder, were the only double clear in the class, winning on a time of 39.945 seconds.
Second place went to Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) and Mario Onate’s Chapilot, who had four faults in 38.513 seconds. Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina 2, owned by Wishing Well Farm LLC, were third with four faults in 39.778 seconds.
Annabel Revers and Quax Awarded Blue Ribbon in Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3*
Friday’s competition began in the DeNemethy Ring with Annabel Revers and Quax, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, claiming the blue in the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 3* class. The pair aced the open water jump and challenging course of bending lines and returned as one of the top 12 competitors to impress the judges in the flat test. Ava Stearns was close behind with a second-place finish aboard her mount, Mac One III, owned by Lauren Hough, and Emma Kurtz took third aboard Carl, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
Opening the day was the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix, which had 44 entries. Six were clear to advance to the jump-off over International Arena tracks set by course designer Oscar Soberon of Mexico.
With the advantage of going last in the jump-off, Lacey Gilbertson, 24, watched and saw what she needed to do for the win. She and Baloppi, an 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Seabrook LLC, galloped through the timers in 31.756 seconds.
Second place went to Hunter Holloway (USA) and Eastern Jam, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Lexicon, owned by Hays Investment Group. Their jump-off time was 32.613 seconds.
Emily Moffitt (GBR) and Zagahorn, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding by Matterhorn owned by Poden Farms, finished third with a time of 32.793 seconds.
Marilyn Little and Clearwater Return to the Ring for Win in $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic
With 75 entries in the class, and 28 clear rounds, Sunday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic proved to be a formidable challenge for the riders in the class. Out of the 26 who chose to return for the jump-off, it was a race to see who could be fastest out of the 12 clear trips over the shortened course designed by Oscar Soberon (MEX).
Despite recently returning to riding after an injury, Marilyn Little of Frederick, MD rose to the challenge to pilot Clearwater to a blazing jump-off time of 36.23 seconds for victory.
Second place went to Wilton Porter (USA), who nearly caught Little as the last to go in the jump-off riding Delinquent JX, an 11-year-old gelding by Darco, to a time of 36.65 seconds. Emily Moffitt continued her successful start to WEF with a third-place finish on Galip and turned in a time of 37.09 seconds.
Stephanie Bulger and Mariano Crowned Wanderers Club Adult Amateur Younger Sec. B Champion
The E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring witnessed an exciting comeback made by Stephanie Bulger of New York, NY and her mount Mariano, a 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding, on Sunday as she took a first, second, and seventh over fences in the Wanderers Club Adult Amateur Younger Sec. B division to claim the championship title. The second week of the Winter Equestrian Festival marked the pair’s first time back in the show ring together after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus.
Mill Spring, NC – June 7, 2017 – Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Baloppi dominated in the $35,000 Suncast® Commercial Welcome Stake CSI 4* at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the jump-off timers in an impressive 35.029 seconds. Eric Navet (FRA) and Basimodo secured the second place position with a time of 35.480 seconds, and David Beisel (USA) and Call Me Hannes earned third place honors with a time of 35.867 seconds.
The first round of competition boasted 40 entries, with nine advancing to the jump-off set by Alan Wade (IRL). With the top three finishers completing the jump-off track within the exact same second of each other, Gilbertson, who went late in the order, knew she had to be quick to secure the win.
“It was nice getting to watch Eric go first in the jump-off because he is always a very fast rider and watching what he did, I knew what I had to do to go a little bit faster,” Gilbertson detailed about the technical jump-off.
Gilbertson continued to describe how she was able to trust Baloppi, a 2007 Danish Warmblood owned by Seabrook LLC, in the jump-off. The pair navigated the track efficiently and took the necessary risks to ultimately take the victory.
“It is nice because she is very careful, so I don’t have to worry about her getting too flat at the verticals. The first fence in the jump-off was a vertical, so I knew I could just gallop up to it. Then there was the long run down to fence two and she covered so much ground.”
“She is strong and hot but she’s not too strong, so I don’t have to start setting her up too far ahead of the jump. I keep getting there and then a stride or two away if we need to go more forward or slow down, she listens. She is very intuitive to what I tell her to do,” Gilbertson explained.
The pair has only been partnered together a few months, but Gilbertson is excited about their future. Smiling after their win, she said, “I have clicked with her faster than I have with any other horse. I haven’t had her that long, but everywhere we’ve gone she has won a class.
“She is so brave and very forgiving. I can take chances on her because I know it is not going to scare her if I make a mistake, which I believe has made me an even better rider. I don’t get scared of the mistake anymore,” Gilbertson added.
Gilbertson felt as though she had a little luck on her side, as a lucky charm in the warm-up ring potentially played in the pair’s favor. She explained, “Today in the schooling ring I found a horseshoe on the ground and gave it to one of the stewards. She swore it was good luck, so it must have been good luck!”
Samuel Parot Wins $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Speed; Kelli Cruciotti Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search
Wellington, FL – February 3, 2017 – Young U.S. riders Brett Burlington, Lacey Gilbertson, Kaely Tomeu, and Teddy Vlock emerged victorious in the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event, presented by Equiline, on Friday night during week four of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Also competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday, Chile’s Samuel Parot won the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class riding Dazzle White.
Friday’s team competition was the third event of the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series for the 2017 WEF circuit. The class was held in the Global Arena at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival show grounds at PBIEC, with 14 teams showing over the Richard Jeffery (GBR) designed course in round one. The best seven teams returned to jump a second round, but only six teams completed round two. When two teams finished with four faults overall, a tie-breaking jump-off was held, where one rider was chosen to represent each team.
Team Sweet Oak/Vlock came out victorious, as Brett Burlington jumped a clear round over the short course, representing her team aboard Alden Burlington’s Bluf. Team USA/Ireland finished second after Lucas Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco knocked a rail at the second fence in the jump-off and elected to retire.
Also riding for the winning team, Kaely Tomeu and Siboney Ranch’s Contenance 15 jumped double clear. Lacey Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi jumped clear in round one and earned the drop score of four in round two. Teddy Vlock and Vlock Show Stables’ Cristobar incurred four faults in round one and jumped clear in round two, while Burlington and Bluf scored four and zero, followed by their clear jump-off round to secure team victory.
Making up the second place team for USA/Ireland in addition to jump-off contenders Lucas Porter and Diamonte Darco, were Oliver McCarthy and Kevin Babington’s Double Deuce Retto, Ailish Cunniffe and Whipstick Farm’s Casper, and Wilton Porter aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot.
Burlington (17, Miami, FL) has ridden Bluf, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Ukato x Placido), for almost two years and was selected as the jump-off participant due to her experience with her horse.
“Coming into tonight, I was definitely pretty confident because I have done this with him before,” Burlington stated. “I have jumped him under the lights a bunch, and he has always been really good. I was definitely happy with the way he went. The first round was a bummer at the last jump, but he still jumped really well. Then obviously in the second round and the jump-off he was really good.”
Tomeu (21, Wellington, FL) was aboard a new mount since December in Contenance 15, an 11-year-old Westphalian mare (Cornet Obolensky x Darco).
“I am still figuring her out, but I think tonight proved that we are a pretty good match,” Tomeu noted. “I was pretty excited for tonight. We won this event two years ago, and last year we ended up third. Lacey, Brett, and I are normally on the same team with one extra person, which Teddy was lucky enough to be this year. We are always really excited for this. It is just neat that it is a team, and we are all in the same barn. We are all friends, which makes it fun.”
Gilbertson (23, Lake Forest, IL) was riding an even newer horse in the 10-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, Baloppi, which she just purchased two weeks ago.
“I wanted to go in tonight and have some pretty confident rounds; I’m still figuring her out,” Gilbertson stated. “She was amazing. She saved me in places where she needed to, so I am very grateful to her, and I am very excited for what is to come with her.”
Vlock (19, Branford, CT) was aboard Cristobar for Friday’s competition, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding (Cristallo x Lancer III) that he has ridden for almost two years. While Burlington, Tomeu, and Gilbertson have experience competing in the U25 team event, Vlock was showing in the class for the first time, and only his second U25 competition.
“This week was my first time showing him at WEF, so I was really happy with it,” Vlock detailed. “He jumped super. He is good at everything he does. He is kind of everything you could want in a horse, which I love.”
Vlock added, “Most of the time I don’t get very nervous, but I wanted to do well for my team tonight. This was the first time I ever had other people counting on me to do well, so I was really happy that I could contribute and jump a clear round.”
The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has been expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the 2017 season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress. The series concludes with a $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.
Samuel Parot Shows His Speed in 1.45m
Week four course designer Steve Stephens (USA) set the speed track for 34 entries in Friday’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m competition, with 15 clear rounds and a win for Chile’s Samuel Parot aboard Dazzle White.
Parot and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Calvino Z x Narcos II) edged out Kent Farrington (USA) and Sherkan d’Amaury to take the win in 53.65 seconds. Farrington and his mount, owned by the Olympic team silver medalist in partnership with Haity McNerney and Daniel Crown, stopped the clock in 56.28 seconds. Wednesday’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m winners, Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, finished third in a time of 56.49 seconds.
Parot purchased Dazzle White in early 2016 and quickly earned two grand prix victories, topping May’s $130,000 Split Rock Grand Prix CSI 3* in Lexington, KY, as well as July’s $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* in Tryon, NC. The gelding then injured his knee in September and was out of work for four months. He jumped again for the first time in December and showed in week two at WEF.
“This is his second show back, and he is perfect now,” Parot stated. “I think he is a top horse. He has a lot of scope, and for these speed courses where you need to turn very short, for him it is no problem.
“I think I won the class in the turn from one to two, and also from the skinny to the oxer,” Parot added. “I made those turns very close. He can make very short turns easily.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Chesney won the $6,000 Illustrated Properties FEI 1.40m. Hilary McNerney and Contact won the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Power and Speed, sponsored by Engel & Völkers. Sophia Studd and M&M Show Stables’ Corlanda topped the $1,500 High Junior Jumper Power and Speed, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. The $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge concluded the day with a win for David Blake (IRL) riding Pine Hollow Farm’s Bella Donna.
Kelli Cruciotti Tops Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search
Kelli Cruciotti of Elizabeth, CO won the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search riding Monterrey on Friday morning. Cruciotti trains with her mother, Cindy Cruciotti, and purchased Monterrey, a 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Calvados, from Lillie Keenan five years ago. Together, Cruciotti and Monterrey won the 2015 Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals.
“I was lucky enough to be able to keep him after I was no longer a junior,” Kelli Cruciotti said. “He just comes out sporadically, but he really likes to horse show and loves every minute of it. I did a 1.10m schooling class yesterday and then went in and did this. We’ll play it week by week going forward, but he’ll probably have a couple weeks off. He loves to do the [hunter] derbies too so we mix it up. He does it all and is fantastic.”
“He’s a creature of habit,” Cindy Cruciotti added. “He likes his morning rides and gallops. He comes out, knows the job and the routine, and is happy.”
After an over fences phase and a flat phase, Yasmin Rizi earned second place with Canny Windsor Z, while Maya Nayyar earned the third-place ribbon.
“I thought the course was very nice,” said Kelli Cruciotti of Anderson Lima’s design. “It was very even on both leads and challenging. The related distance from the oxer to the water to the vertical was the most challenging test. You had to ride the water a little bit and then come back for the vertical. The rest was just making it smooth and even off the left and right. I thought the course was really well designed.”
The fourth week of WEF continues on Saturday with the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic featured in the International Arena during the day. The fourth “Saturday Night Lights” event of the season, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, will be the highlight in the evening with competition starting at 6:30 p.m. The Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal will decide a winner in Ring 6. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.