Alberto Michan Maintains Winning Streak With Victory In $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals Grand Prix Aboard Zambia Mystic Rose During ESP November Competition

Alberto Michan and Zambia Mystic Rose claim the $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals Grand Prix. ©ESP.

Wellington, FL – November 12, 2019 – The ESP Fall Series continued this past weekend with the ESP November show, taking place at the main grounds of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Alberto Michan of Israel maintained his winning streak, claiming top honors in Sunday’s $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals Grand Prix, this time aboard Nilson Da Silva’s Zambia Mystic Rose. The pair flew through the timers in just 37.368 seconds after returning for the second round with only two other horse-and-rider combinations. Heather Caristo-Williams of Saugerties, NY was very close behind, finishing the jump-off track in 37.245 seconds with four faults, aboard Qui Vive Des Songes Z, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Caristo. Finishing in third place was Kyle Dewar of Ocala, FL and F Gunsmoke RHF, owned by Joan Burke, after a 39.719-second jump-off with four faults added to their score. 

Course designer, Andrew Christiansen, set the track for a total of 20 competitors on Sunday afternoon. Only three pairs returned for the second round. Michan commented that he felt lucky [to win] because it was a very technical course: “Especially that triple combination line, it rode a little forward then always an oxer-vertical-vertical combo makes it very short and very careful. So I think there the horses had to do a lot for themselves and take care of those rails, so very tricky for sure.” This is Michan’s third victory in a row, twice on the newly engineered footing surface. ” It rides very nice and the horses feel soft in the landing and still have a very good push off the ground. Even for the first weekend, it had great grip and the horses felt secure,” stated Michan. “In the jump-off, I actually lost a shoe and my mare still kept jumping very well for the rest of the course!”

Speaking of horses’ shoes, Heather Caristo-Williams’ mount, Qui Vive Des Songes Z, completed the entire feature class without shoes this past Sunday. “He’s had a lot of problems with quarter cracks in the past, so we took the summer to condition his feet to withstand jumping bigger tracks without shoes,” said Caristo-Williams. “I felt confident enough in the new footing to ride him barefoot and the surface felt incredible this weekend. My horse seemed very comfortable, even when we were speeding around some of those jump-off turns. It had enough bounce and give on the landing side of the jumps and I’m looking forward to competing on it this winter.”

Heather Caristo-Williams jumped to second place aboard Qui Vive Des Songes Z, who was barefoot in Sunday’s class in the International Arena. ©ESP

Alberto Michan also rode Zambia Mystic Rose to victory in Friday’s $10,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals 1.40m Open Stake after completing the jump-off in 44.122 seconds. When asked about the recent wins, Michan commented, “It’s been three great weeks, with three different horses!” This particular pair has not been competing together long: “They gave me this mare a couple of months ago. Nilson [Da Silva] has a big breeding farm in Brazil that produces a lot of top horses, some that recently have been to the Pan American Games, so I’m lucky to have her. She’s a very cool horse.”

Claiming second place was Juan Manuel Bolanos Barrios of El Salvador with his entry, After Eight following a 45.988-second round. Karina Rocha Mello’s Lamina Van’t Gelutt Z was piloted by Joao Eduardo Ferreira De Carvalho of Brazil to a third-place finish once they crossed through the timers in 47.051 seconds.

Michan also captured Friday’s $10,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals 1.40m Open Stake with Zambia Mystic Rose. ©ESP

Jumper Highlights

The $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic, presented by Score At The Top was bested by Phoebe Backman of Avon, CT, claiming first place aboard Zarate 2 with a jump-off time of 40.661 seconds and four faults as well as second place aboard Kira Telford’s Garcia in 77.219 seconds with four faults. Barbara Center of Ocala, FL piloted P.M. Jackpot, owned by Katherine Dewar, to third in 81.333 seconds with four faults. 

Maggie Alexander presents the blue ribbon award to Phoebe Backman and Karate 2 after their success in the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic, presented by Score At The Top. ©ESP

Christie Rugh-Bileddo of Woodstock, IL and her mount, Beotie De Ravel clinched the blue ribbon in the $1,950 Equiline Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic after completing the jump off in 40.434 seconds. TrinityBeitler of Coconut Creek, FL galloped into second place aboard Eagle Valley Partners, LLC’s entry, Coconut with a jump-off time of 39.43 seconds and four faults, while Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, OH took home third with Mega Jackpot, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian, LLC, in 40.803 seconds and with our faults.

Christie Rugh-Bileddo and her mount, Beotie De Ravel clinched the blue ribbon in the $1,950 Equiline Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. ©ESP

The $2,500 Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic named Allyson Blais of Boynton Beach, FL the winner after a jump-off of 40.15 seconds with her mount Escudo. Bugatti, owned by Abrahamson Equestrian, LLC, was piloted through the timers by Kady Abrahamson of Loveland, OH after completing the track in 37.526 seconds with four faults. Rodrigo Cunha of Miami, FL and his mount, Carpet claimed third after a jump-off round of 37.578 seconds and four faults.

The blue ribbon for the $2,500 Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic was presented to Allyson Blais and her mount Escudo. ©ESP

Over in the Mogavero ring, Gemma L. Paternoster of Loxahatchee, FL rode Lady Like, owned by Nicole Berman, to victory in the Semican 1.20m Jumper class after completing round one in 77.682 seconds without fault. Isabella Harding of Loxahatchee, FL took home the red ribbon aboard her Clayton after an 86.866-second round and two faults, while Miguel Sarmiento of Weston, FL and Cressida, owned by Izabella Fandrey, stopped the timers at 79.816 seconds with four faults.  

This week’s $250 CCTV Agent .85m Classic took place in Ring 6 and was championed by Port St. Lucie, FL’s Lindsay Ghete and Darren Chiacchia’s entry, Esmeralda DMC after they finished the jump-off in 46.123 seconds. Close behind stood Sophia Demir of Miami, FL with Latina RDH, owned by Tanimara Macari, with a 50.713-second round and one fault. Gabby Plonsky of Boca Raton, FL piloted Christine Trapani-Plonsky’s High Definition around the track in 65.692 seconds with four faults.  

After 14 entries completed the round, Cameron Morris of Wellington, FL returned to complete the jump-off track in 37.79 seconds aboard Empire Equestrian LLC’s Sun Cat to claim first place honors in the $1,500 Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic presented by French Horse Exports. Christie Rugh-Bileddo of Woodstock, IL and her mount, Aiko Z crossed through the timers at 38.048 seconds to take home second place, while Kelley Levine of Coral Springs, FL finished third with Quick Prince Z, owned by Samantha Senft, after completing the jump-off in 37.488 seconds and with four faults. 

Hunter Highlights

The champion ribbon in the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center Children’s Hunter division was awarded to Sterling Malnik of Ocean Ridge, FL and her Rockette, while Phoebe Monahan of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL rode Nigel to a reserve finish. 

Twinkle Toes was piloted by owner/rider Hannah Randolph of Wellington, FL to the champion position in The Wanderers Club Children’s Pony Hunter division, while Scarlett Donn of Davie, FL and Malin Delia Backman’s Tully Lark took home the reserve ribbon. 

Morgan Van Nortwick of Leesburg, VA and Winterfell, owned by Katherine Dewar, bested the competition in the Vita Flex Junior Hunter/Amateur Owner 3’3” division last weekend, while Margie Sugarman of Smithtown, NY took reserve aboard her mount, Mr. Fox. 

The Pure Wellness Adult Amateur Hunter division named Suzanne Duncan of East Greenwich, RI and her Bellevue champion, while Elena Horowitz of Wellington, FL claimed reserve aboard her entry, Sazerac. 

Suzanne Duncan of East Greenwich, RI championed the Pure Wellness Adult Amateur Hunter division with her entry Bellevue. ©ESP

The Pilates Rocks Low Adult Hunter division crowned Cherie Shanley of Palenville, NY champion after her performance with High Limit, owned by Christina Plichta, while Emily Thibault of Jacksonville, FL and Clarie Lee’s Woodfired followed with a reserve champion finish.  

Katie Brown of Wellington, FL and Big Hoss, owned by Spring Creek Ranch, took home the champion ribbon in the Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3” division, while Sterling Malnik returned to the winner’s circle with Rockette to claim reserve. 

Riley McKesson of Wellington, FL swept the Dover Saddlery Medium/Large Pony Hunter division last weekend, clinching champion honors aboard her mount Minted and reserve honors with her Hopscotch. 

The USHJA Hunter 2’6” & 2’3” division saw Brady Brennan of Green Cove Springs, FL ride Laney Brennan’s Soldier Field to a champion victory, while Ashlin Arnett of Boca Raton, FL captured reserve with Champagne Problems, owned by Allison George.  

Danica Pryce of Davie, FL and her mount, Barlin Z took home the championship ribbon in the Platinum Performance USHJA Hunter 2’9” division, while Jamie Reinheimer of Saint Augustine, FL took reserve aboard Chloe Tanner’s Qurack. 

The final show of the ESP Fall Series will take place this weekend, November 15 – 17 with the ESP Pre-Charity competition at the main grounds of PBIEC. The SFHJA Charity Show will follow on November 20, before the ESP Holiday Series begins on November 27. Click here to view the 2019 ESP Holiday Series Prize List. 

To view full results of the $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals Grand Prix, please click here.

To view full results of the $10,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals 1.40m Open Stake, please click here.

To learn more about the ESP Fall Series and PBIEC, please visit 

Photo Credit ©ESP. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.