By Catie Staszak/Catie Staszak Media for CSI Greenwich
Adrienne Sternlicht has been diligently planning Bennys Legacy’s schedule, with her eye on giving the 14-year-old gelding the best opportunity to make an upcoming championship team. With those goals in mind, she entered the expansive grass arena at the Greenwich Polo Club to perform an experiment—picking up the pace. She and the the scopey bay got the results they were looking for, jumping right to the top of the CSI3* Speed 1.55m at the second annual CSI Greenwich.
Sternlicht crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s (IRL) track in 68.53 seconds—just one-hundredth of a second faster than Paul O’Shea (IRL ) and Imerald van’t Voorhof (68.54 seconds). Alex Matz (USA) and Erdento van de Leeuwerk finished third (70.48).
“I didn’t have a great gauge to how fast I was approximate to Paul. My horse spends a lot of time in the air and so I knew there were certain places I could dare him a little bit,” Sternlicht said. “I just wanted to ride a smooth, consistent round, and I knew I could leave out strides pretty handily, because he is so careful, so competitive, and covers the ground really well.”
Sternlicht and Bennys Legacy have been paired for the last three years, winning on both coasts of the country as well as in Europe. The scopey bay has become a most reliable mount, and as the current leader of her string, is a contender for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago (CHI).
“I don’t normally go fast on the first day, but I wanted to experiment a bit, especially because next year is the Pan Ams, and that’s something I’d like to aim him for,” Sternlicht said. “But it’s not until next [fall], so we have a ways to go. My plans with him and my other horses are to build a string again so I can be really competitive and consistent at the top level and do the best I can to serve [Bennys Legacy], because he’s unbelievable.”
Basing her Starlight Farms locally in Greenwich, Sternlicht enjoyed seeing the Greenwich Polo Club transform into an elite horse show facility.
“It’s the most beautiful day here in Greenwich. My farm is less than 10 minutes from here,” she said. “I think Greenwich is very equine-friendly and deserves to have a show of this caliber.”
Results: CSI3* Speed 1.55m
Position / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Score
1. Bennys Legacy / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms 1 LLC / 0 68.53
2. Imerald van’t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / IRL / Imerald Partners, LLC, Paul O’Shea, Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 68.54
3. Erdento van de Leeuwerk / Alex Matz / USA / Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC / 0 70.48
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