Wellington, Florida (January 16, 2018) – The first of 13 $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix classes of the 2018 season was captured by Andrew Ramsay and the spectacular mare Cocq a Doodle, who put in a quick and efficient double clear effort to finish with a jump off time of 37.921 seconds over a course designed by Christopher Jones. Held on the springy, all natural turf footing at Polo West, just off South Shore Boulevard, Friday’s Grand Prix and jumper classes of all levels wrapped up the fourth week of competition hosted by The Ridge at Wellington. Chasing Ramsay and Cocq a Doodle’s time was a field of 22 horse and rider combinations, with Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Jessica Mendoza’s Horst Van de Mispeleare securing second with a jump of time of 38.021. Wednesday’s 1.30M Rising Star Classic winners, Sam Walker and Acardi Du Houssoit Z, gave the leading pair a run for their money with a double clear and a jump off time of 37.150, but a rail at the final fence cost them a placing.
The ten-year-old KWPN bay mare Cocq A Doodle (Tolan R x Niagara) has been a successful Grand Prix horse for Ramsay, who rides and trains out of his own Shalanno Farms. Fresh off an October 2017 victory in the $130,000 Split Rock Farm CSI3* Grand Prix, Ramsay, Cocq a Doodle, and his other rides spent Wednesday and Friday of this past week sharpening up over the spacious warm-up and beautiful jumper rings of the Turf Tour. Ramsay called his rides at Polo West and his victory in the Grand Prix “a great start to 2018.”
Friday Night Lights Showcases Child Adult Jumpers at Polo West!
With the brilliant stadium lights, beautiful jumps, and an eager audience of diners at the Polo Bar & Grill, Friday’s Child Adult Jumper class had the feel of a Grand Prix and proved to be an exciting event for both riders and spectators alike. Despite a torrential downpour just a few hours before the 6pm start, Polo West’s sand arena held its own, providing exceptional footing for the 1.10M course. Riders had the option of a M&S/NAL/WIHS Qualifying Classic, or a speed round over two separate courses. Kate Taylor and the 11-year-old Chacco Blue topped the Classic.
“The footing was fantastic despite the conditions and this was such a fun class,” said Taylor. “I loved showing under the lights, and the energy was incredibly fun. Everyone was having a great time and I’m already excited to come next week!”
Due to popular demand, The Ridge’s Friday Night Lights show series will be adding a 1.10M Open Welcome Class to the roster, so that any rider looking to experience this unique atmosphere can be included. However, because of time restraints and to keep the class to the standards of the Turf Tour, entries for Friday will be limited to a first come, first serve basis! Enter online at www.HorseShowing.com or download the Prizelists, entry forms, and schedules from www.TheRidgeFarm.com and send them to [email protected].
George D’Ambrosio, who co-founded The Ridge and the Palm Beach Series with US Olympian Nona Garson, presented Taylor with her ribbon, and stated that the idea behind both the Turf Tour and all of their shows was to create an ideal atmosphere and experience for both horse and rider. “We want to give riders the option of showing on the grass or under the lights, in new venues and on very good footing,” said D’Ambrosio. “This class was just one way to give our child and adult amateur riders a way to experience what its like to ride at night in a stadium, and make them feel like they’re at the Olympics. We strive to create a learning experience for horses and riders in all of our events, from the Turf Tour, to our USEF Equitation Tuesdays, to our USHJA National, International, and Pony Hunter Derbies.”
About the 2018 Palm Beach Series and Wellington Turf Tour
The 2018 Palm Beach Series includes 16-weeks of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, including a diverse offering of divisions and classes, USHJA National, International, and Pony Hunter Derbies, monthly outreach and schooling shows at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, weekly $15,000 1.40-1.45M Grand Prix classes, weekly $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classics, and the exceptional venues and all natural surfaces of the Turf Tour. New this year, the Polo West Turf Tours will also host Child/Adult and Open Jumpers under the lights on Friday nights!
The series is a unique addition to Wellington’s winter circuit, offering riders top-tier competition, generous prize money, and an unparalleled atmosphere. Young horses and advancing riders are able to test their mettle in classes ranging from junior and amateur jumpers to the Grand Prix, and at a variety of venues reminiscent of the large European tours. Organized by US Olympic show jumper Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the vision that inspired the tour’s conception was bringing back old world flair to over fences classes, staging competitions on springy, natural turf surfaces away from the intensity of other show grounds. But the laid back atmosphere, which includes open ended show times and concurrently running divisions, doesn’t fail to attract some of the sport’s biggest names, keeping the competition up to par.