Maria Costa Captures Home Team Win in $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI2* at WEF 7

Maria Costa jumps to the win with Valentino V Z. Photo by Sportfot

By Summer Grace for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

The International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) closed out Week 7 of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI2*. Forty-four horse-and-rider contenders competed for the opportunity to jump-off but only 12 managed to put forth a fault-free round one effort. Late in the order, Twenty-nine-year-old Maria Costa (USA) put on the gas pedal and piloted her long-time partner Valentino V Z to win the class with a top time of 37.85. 

“This might sound crazy but I was on him for all of 30 seconds when I tried him, and I just knew I had to have him,” described Costa of her 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Verdi TN x Converter). “Our relationship is really special to me. I have had him since he was a seven-year-old, and it was certainly a rocky road in the beginning. We stayed super consistent with him. He is the type of horse that really appreciates consistency so about two years in he just kind of decided he liked it. Our bond has gotten to the point where I would comfortably ride into war on him. I always know he has my back and I have his, so I would have to say it is the most special connection I have ever had with a horse. I can’t imagine it ever getting better.”

“I really wanted to take a little bit of a risk today,” added Costa. “I jumped clear in the qualifier on Friday but I was not happy with my performance in the jump-off. My goal was to do better today, and that goal was really my main motivation in my ride. He is naturally fast, and if you let him go forward a bit he thrives on the energy. He is not a big horse but he makes himself big when he is out there in the ring.”

Friday’s qualifying class winners, Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) and Bonne Chance Farm LLC’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding Ilex (Baltic VDL x Chn Chin), had another impressive finish as they stepped into the second-place position with a time of 38.29 seconds. Charlotte Jacobs (USA) bookended the victory gallop aboard North Star’s nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Rincoola Milsean. The combination came just one-tenth of a second short of Da Costa and finished in 38.41 seconds.

Dr. John Cooley of Palm Beach Equine Clinic stands with Maria Costa. © Sportfot

Final Results: $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI2* 

1. VALENTINO V Z: 2009 Zangersheide stallion by Verdi TN x Converter
MARIA COSTA (USA), Maria Costa: 0/0/37.85

2. ILEX: 2013 KWPN gelding by Baltic VDL x Chn Chin
FABIO LEIVAS DA COSTA (BRA), Bonne Chance Farm LLC: 0/0/38.29

3. RINCOOLA MILSEAN: 2013 ISH gelding by Aldatus Z x Cruising
CHARLOTTE JACOBS (USA), North Star: 0/0/38.41

4. GIGI-CARMEN: 2011 KWPN mare by Bacardi VDL x Oklund
JOHN PEREZ (COL), John Perez: 0/0/39.41

5. MA POMME DE TAMERVILLE: 2012 BWP mare Deauville Van T L x Contendro II
ANNA WILKS (CAN), In Show Jumpers: 0/0/40.78

6. URVOSO DU ROCH: 2008 Selle Francais gelding by Nervoso x Grand D’Escala
TOM WACHMAN (IRL), Coolmore Show Jumping: 0/4/38.51

7. CON COLEUR: 2009 Hannoverian gelding by Contendro I x Couleur Rubin
REBECCA CONWAY (USA), Blue Hill Farm, LLC: 0/4/38.67

8. SUPER CHILLED: 2008 ISH gelding by Gelvin Clover
JONATHAN CORRIGAN (IRL), Debra Wycoff: 0/4/38.79

9. CONDOR DU VALDECIE: 2012 Selle Francais gelding by Quite Easy x Quito De Baussy
CHRIS EWANOUSKI (USA), Polo Jump LLC: 0/8/40.27

10. ELUNA CL Z: 2012 Zangersheide mare by Emerald x Nabab De Reve
ELIZA LEHRMAN (USA), Five Way Farm LLC: 0/8/42.91

11. CLASSIC PENNY: 2012 NWB mare
SYDNEY SHULMAN-DESIDERIO (ISR), Ilan Ferder: 0/12/37.82

12. CALLE QUINN: 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Calmando 3 x Quintero