The fourth week of Turf Tour competition crowned Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Cazador Ls as the winners of Friday’s $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix at Polo West, while riders of all levels enjoyed a weekend of Hunter Derbies held at The Ridge’s home farm. The Turf Tour’s weekly venue cycle begins again February 3-5 at The Ridge at Wellington followed by To-Kalon Farm (February 10-12), Black Watch Farm (February 17-19), and Polo West (February 24-26). The $5,000 1.30M Rising Star Classic takes place February 3rd, while the $3,000 1.30M Speed Stake and $15,000 1.40M Turf Tour Grand Prix on Friday the 5th. All divisions will run all day on both sand and grass at The Ridge at Wellington (14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd).
The second and final Hunter Derby Days will take place March 20-21, with a show & go schedule (both rounds completed back to back) and more than $17,500 in prize money.
Darragh Kenny, who is a decorated Turf Tour and international competitor, rode Cazalor Ls, a stallion owned by Shl Farms, to the win in Friday’s $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix over a course designed by Oscar Soberon and set on the beautiful grass fields of Polo West. Kenny and Cazalor Ls successfully navigated a number of challenges, including a triple bar to a skinny, roll backs, long gallops, a closed-faced liverpool, and tight turn options to dominate the class, which had a total of seven first round clears. The pair finished their jump-off in 36.323, beating out the second place ride by Hyde Moffitt and Grafton by less than one second (37.084). The third place finisher, Kevin Mealiff and Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z, flew through the timers just tenths of second after Moffitt, in 37.775 seconds.
Hunter Derby Days have long been an exciting addition to the Turf Tour circuit, and in 2021 The Ridge expanded their Derby offerings to include a 2′ Mini Derby with options to 2’3″, a $2,500 Low Hunter Derby with options to 2’9″, a $5000 3′ Hunter Derby with options to 3’5″, and a $5,000 3’6″ Open Hunter Derby. Sunday’s competition, and the two higher Derbies, were held on The Ridge’s gorgeous grass Grand Prix field, making for a gorgeous and unique show experience for hunter riders. The 2021 Hunter Derby Days are sponsored by Jeremy Greene of the Corcoran Group, HorseFlight, and Tribute Equine Nutrition.
The Mini Derby was won by The Ridge’s own Landego 35 and Courtney Tom, and the $2,500 Low Hunter Derby was won by Candy Crush and Dyanne Rucco. Jennifer Bliss won both the 3′ Hunter Derby and the Open Derby aboard Sugar Man and Poker Face. Many of the riders used the Hunter Derby Days classes to prepare for bigger classes this season, including MDM Equestrian Group’s Kilkenny, who placed 3rd in the Open Hunter Derby with Keri Kampsen in the irons. Hunter Derby Days marked Kilkenny’s first Hunter Derby and his first class in the US, as he perfects his technique for future International Hunter Derby competition.
“Nona Garson and I and all of our staff at The Ridge at Wellington would like to thank all of the exhibitors that found time in their day to come and enjoy our Hunter Derbies hosted on our grass field this past weekend,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-founder of the Turf Tour and The Ridge at Wellington. “We hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed hosting it for you. Looking forward to the rest of the Turf Tour season and March’s Hunter Derby Days!”
About the 2021 Wellington Turf Tour, USEF Equitation Tuesdays, Hunter Derbies, and The Ridge Schooling Shows
The 2021 Wellington Turf Tour features 13-weeks of jumper competition at all heights and prize money classes including weekly $15,000 1.40M Grand Prix and $5,000 1.30M Rising Star Classics, all held at beautiful venues in Wellington.
USEF Equitation Tuesday runs each Tuesday afternoon at The Ridge’s home farm (14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd) featuring pony equitation, adult equitation, junior equitation, Medal Maclay, and unrecognized hunter divisions.
The Turf Tour and its hunter/jumper/equitation events are 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 to stage competitions on turf and natural surfaces away from the intensity of other show grounds.