Edited Press Release
Sydney Shulman Desiderio and Villamoura are no strangers to the Traverse City winner’s circle, and they began their season in Michigan on a high note, topping the $30,000 Bellwyn Farm National Grand Prix during week three of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
Only the second pair of 11 to jump clear over Manuel Esparza’s (MEX) first-round track, Shulman Desiderio, who has had the ride on Jill Shulman’s Villamoura for nearly seven years, sped to a lightning-fast time of 35.178 seconds, leaving the rest of the field to try to catch her.
“We’ve won a lot of classes together and she’s truly amazing, so I really trust her in the jump-offs,” Shulman Desiderio said of the 13-year-old Selle Français mare by Diamant De Semilly. “I feel like I can turn as neat as I want and have half of one eye on the jump and she’s going to try and give me her all.”
Just off the pace and finishing second was Michael Murphy and the Esperanza Imports, LLC entry Catoki’s Son Z in 35.485 seconds. Taking third was Natalie Dean and Dotcom D’Authuit, owned by Marigold Sporthorses LLC, in 35.516 seconds.
“Before her, I have never had a horse that wants to win more than I do,” said Shulman Desiderio, who hails from Greenwich, CT. “All she knows is get to the other side fast and clear. Since the day I got her she’s just tried her heart out for me. She’s all heart. She’s just incredible and we have a really good partnership. I trust her more than anything.”
Saturday’s victory was Villamoura’s first big class back after a two-month break from competition. Shulman Desiderio decided to breed her and is expecting a foal by Villmoura via a surrogate next year. Using Saturday’s class, the plan was to set the mare up for jumping CSI5* classes when the Major League Show Jumping tour returns to Traverse City in August and September.
Shulman Desiderio isn’t the only one who loves showing in Traverse City; her mare enjoys the scenery and the top competition as well. “She just thrives here,” she continued. “We were joking that her dapples came out because we’re in Michigan. The footing is fantastic here; she really flies off of it. They do a great job maintaining the ground. The weather is excellent, and she just feels super comfortable like she’s at home. She won four five-star classes here last summer, so we really look forward to coming here. Today she just proved again that she loves it here.”
Final Results: $30,000 Bellwyn Farm National Grand Prix
- Villamoura / Sydney Shulman Desiderio / Jill Shulman / 0/0/35.178
- Catoki’s Son Z / Michael Murphy / Esperanza Imports LLC / 0/0/35.485
- Dotcom D’Authuit / Natalie Dean / Marigold Sporthorses LLC / 0/0/35.516
- Onermie Van Het Weyenshof / Giavanna Rinaldi / Andrew Welles LLC / 0/0/37.491
- Castelissimo / Tiffany Sullivan Tiffany Sullivan / 0/0/40.090
- Tulara Colmine / Georgina Bloomberg / Gotham Enterprizes LLC / 0/0/40.152
- Castor D’Hem / Giavanna Rinaldi . Ilan Ferder / 0/0/40.618
- Gucci / Giavanna Rinaldi / Esperanza Imports LLC / 0/0/47.438
- Narcotique V/H Dingenshof / Sydney Shulman Desiderio / Ilan Ferder / 0/4/37.647
- A Toi De Prim / Layla Kurbanov / Andrew Bourns / 0/8/38.348
- Contonio / Mavis Spencer / Georgy Maskrey-Segesman / 0/WD
- Incento / Jacob Pope / Ash Atkinson / 1/76.456