August 17, 2020 – Wellington, FL – Competition returned to the Equestrian Village grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center last week, with USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* classes taking place Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16. Arguably having the best weekend of all the competitors was Antonio Martinez Jr. of Loxahatchee, FL who claimed victory in the $20,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix on Sunday. Martinez piloted Forman De Virton, owned by Tack Up Stable Corp., clear through the first round and returned to complete the jump-off in just 37.763 seconds. Ben Maher of the United Kingdom and Gakhir, owned by Ben Maher and Vivien Thompson, finished in second place with a jump-off time of 39.927 seconds, while Luiz Francisco De Azevedo of Wellington, FL rode Santa Cecilia Stables’ My Way to third in 42.893 seconds.
The class challenged a total of 25 pairs on the Derby Field course designed by Andy Christiansen, with only five combinations returning for the second round. “It was a tough course,” commented Martinez after his win. “It had some good questions in there, but also good competitors. It for sure wasn’t a piece of cake.” Of the five that returned for the jump-off, only the top three were able to go double-clear.
Martinez was especially happy to win aboard Forman De Virton, a nine-year-old Belgium warmblood. “We actually acquired this horse from McLain Ward and Juan Ortiz. He just started doing these bigger national Grand Prixes and a couple FEI classes this year. He’s the sweetest horse ever and I couldn’t ask for a better horse.”
Like many competitors in the area, Martinez explained that his team decided to stay in Florida this Spring and Summer, rather than travel to shows due to the pandemic. “We’ve been here all year, and we did compete in the Spring Series here as well. I couldn’t ask for a better horse show. It’s so well put together; the venue is great and this [Derby] field rides amazing. We might go to Tryon to do some of the FEI classes in October, but that’s still yet to be determined so in the meantime, we’ll be here and it’s perfect.”
The week opened up with the $5,000 JTWG, Inc. 1.35m Open Stake on Thursday morning and awarded Michael Kearins of Wellington, FL the blue ribbon with his entry Sligo Balou Boy after they finished the jump-off course in 34.826 seconds. Rebecca Conway of Wellington, FL jumped Hilington Farm’s Clearblue Z to a second-place finish in 37.505 seconds, while Juan Andres Rodriguez Silva of Wellington, FL stopped the timers in 38.721 seconds with Di Vadine, owned by Diego Loria, for third.
On Friday, Antonio Martinez Jr. and Forman De Virton also captured top honors in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies Open Stake, besting the field of 29 competitors in 31.481 seconds. Ronan McGuigan of Wellington, FL rode Blythe Masters’ Elvis to second place in 31.963 seconds, while Joao Eduardo Ferreira De Carvalho of Delray Beach, FL claimed the yellow rosette aboard Lamina VH Gelutt Z, owned by Karina Rocha Mello, after completing the course in 33.086 seconds.
Sunday’s competition continued on the Derby Field with the $2,500 Equiline Medium Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic which was championed by Sheer Levitin of Delray Beach, FL and her Quantico 946 after their 38.868-second jump-off. Finishing the second round in 38.908 seconds to claim second place was Rodrigo Cunha of Miami, FL aboard his entry VDL Hedrick. Mireya Godoy of Wellington, FL piloted her mount Cecedille De L’ortier to third in 39.895 seconds.
Trinity Beitler of Coconut Creek, FL topped the leaderboard in the $2,500 Equiline Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon aboard Nikki Greenburg’s Coconut with a 35.169-second round. Natalie Pedley of Guaynabo, PR and her Dulce De Leche SCF completed the jump-off in 36.222 seconds to secure second place, while Stephanie Motter Hansen of Royal Palm Beach, FL took home the yellow ribbon with her mount Magnum Van ‘Theike in 40.298 seconds.
Over in the Van Kampen Covered Arena, the $250 CCTV Agent .85m Classic named Abby Eidelman of Wellington, FL and Coriano Van Het Hermitage, owned by Ansley Wright, champion after they completed the second round in 38.167 seconds. Nancy Brown of North Miami Beach, FL rode Luis Cardenas’ Cassandra to a second-place victory after a 38.177-second jump-off. Amber Hopper of Ft. Lauderdale, FL piloted her entry Alias Z through the timers in 38.392 seconds to finish in third.
Abigail Princz of Weston, FL was awarded the blue ribbon after her 35.401-second round aboard her mount Florentina HF in the $1,500 Low Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic presented by French Horse Exports. Jesus Alejandro Rigu of Wellington, FL and Kascaya Z stopped the timers at 38.15 seconds to claim second place, while Victoria Azahares of Plantation, FL rounded out the top three with her entry Jeldorado after a 43.178-second jump-off.
On Saturday, Emma Sartor of Vero Beach, FL bested the competition in the $500 M&S Child/Adult Amateur Hunter Classic presented by Joe DiMaggio Children’s Health Specialty Center aboard her entry AJ after receiving a final score of 163. Emma Arnhols of Coral Gables, FL and Lightning, owned by Katie Brown, collected a final score of 150 to receive the red ribbon, while Samantha Karp of Wellington, FL piloted her Zentina B to a combined score of 147 for a third-place finish.
The $1,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Hunter Classic took place on Sunday and saw Cecelia Perry of Boynton Beach, FL take home the top honors riding Icadello, owned by Castlewood Farm, LLC, after receiving a final score of 163. Ashley Briggs of Loxahatchee, FL captured second place aboard her entry Albano B with a combined score of 159. Close behind with a score of 152 was Emily Ablin of Palm Beach, FL and Leeann Ablin’s Jasper to clinch the yellow ribbon.
The Child/Adult Amateur Hunter division presented by Resilient Fitness was bested by Samantha Karp of Wellington, FL and her Zentina B, while Emma Sartor of Vero Beach, FL and AJ clinched the reserve champion position.
Chase Spranklin of Weston, FL took home the champion ribbon aboard Skip Day in the Children’s Pony Hunter division presented by The Wanderers Club. Carsyn Korotkin of Wellington, FL rode Castlewood Farm Inc’s Fortnite for the reserve champion position.
The Junior Hunter 3’6” division presented by #1 Education Place was championed by Cecelia Perry of Boynton Beach, FL and Icadello, while reserve went to Alexandra Mikhail of Wellington, FL aboard her mount M Monroe.
Molly Sewell of Wellington, FL swept the Performance Hunter 3’3” division, taking home the tricolor ribbon with Inverness, owned by Leslie Campbell, and wearing the reserve ribbon aboard Hamilton, owned by Sara Hogan.
Taylor Cawley of Wellington, FL captured the champion honors of the Small Pony Hunter division presented by Dover Saddlery riding Bella Katz’s Bumble Bee. Carsyn Korotkin of Wellington piloted Grand Slam, owned by Castlewood Farm Inc, to a reserve finish.
The Medium/Large Pony Hunter division presented by Dover Saddlery awarded the champion title to Addison Buetel of Delray Beach, FL and All Yours, owned by Silver Horse Farms LLC, while Demsi Cason of Jupiter, FL captured the reserve champion position aboard her entry Just Because.
The ESP Summer Series, hosted at Equestrian Village, continues this week with USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition from Thursday, August 20 through Sunday, August 23.
The first $2,500 National Hunter Derby presented by Score At The Top will take place Friday afternoon on the Derby Annex.
To view the full results of the $20,000 Wellington Agricultural Serivices Grand Prix, please click HERE.
To learn more about the new safety protocols and procedures at the horse show, please click HERE.
Photo credit ©Anne Gittins Photography. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit.