Edited Press Release
Spectators packed the stands at World Equestrian Center – Ocala Saturday night to watch the highlight event of the week, the $100,000 UF Health Grand Prix. Thirty-two athletes representing 12 different nations put forth their best effort over a technical first round track designed by FEI Level III course designer Kenny Krome (USA). Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR) dominated the class taking home first and third place after an exciting 12 horse jump-off.
Nine of the 12 jump-off competitors yielded a double-clean effort, with multiple placings separated by just one tenth of a second.
Luis Sabino Goncalves led the charge in the jump-off aboard Sigma Stables LLC’s 14-year-old Selle Francais mare Vick Du Croisy (Lord Carthago x Merveille Ducroisy) with a quick time of 38.517 seconds to set the pace.
Last week’s grand prix winner, Hunter Holloway (USA) followed aboard Hays Investment Corp.’s Eastern Jam. The pair found an efficient track in 40.556 seconds with one rail down.
Sharn Worldey (NZL) entered the arena next aboard fan favorite Gatsby. The pair navigated a swift track, but fell short with a time of 42.557 seconds.
Rowan Willis (AUS) and his own Wellington Grey Goose (Corlensky x Grandira) followed. Willis and the 12-year-old Warmblood mare put forth a stellar performance just shy of the leading time by one tenth of a second in 38.680 seconds.
Armando Hassey (MEX) entered the WEC Grand Arena next with his own Lomax (Lord Pezi x Queen). Hassey and the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding navigated a blistering fast jump-off in 38.445 seconds to take over the lead.
Vicente Guillen (VEN), Devin Ryan (USA), Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Tom Foley (IRL) all gave a good effort, but couldn’t find Hassey’s quick time.
Goncalves returned for his second try at the course aboard his new mount Bemol Des Champs (Chef Rouge x Ornella Des Champs). Goncalves was determined to take back the leading spot in the class. “I have been second and third in the past during the Saturday night Grands Prix, but I have never won one, so I made that my goal tonight,” laughed Goncalves.
“Normally, the mare [Vick Du Croisy] is faster, because Bemol Des Champs is just starting to do the bigger classes,” he added. “I just tried to leave out strides wherever I could, turn short and let him show his quality. He jumped so well tonight, and was a real fighter in the arena.”
Goncalves and the talented 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding flew around the jump-off track, finding an incredibly tight turn back to the UF Health vertical to fly around the remainder of the course. The pair soared through the timers stopping the clock at an unimaginable 37.424 seconds, more than a second faster than Hassey’s time.
“I have just had him for a few months. He came over from France where he was competing with an amateur in the 1.45m and a few 1.55m. I flew him into LAX in California, and we did a few national shows over there,” Goncalves explained. “Then we did the World Cup™ in Fort Worth, TX where he was 11th in the CSI4* Grand Prix. I am so proud of him for jumping so well tonight, and I am looking forward to our partnership together.”
$100,000 UF Health Grand Prix Results:
1 Bemol Des Champs, Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR), Sigma Stables LLC: 0 | 0 | 37.424
2 Lomax, Armando Hassey (MEX), Armando Hassey: 0 | 0 | 38.445
3 Vick Du Croisy, Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR), Sigma Stables LLC: 0 | 0 | 38.517
4 Wellington Grey Goose, Rowan Willis (AUS), Rowan Wills: 0 | 0 | 38.680
5 Eddie Blue, Devin Ryan (USA), LL Show Jumpers, LLC: 0 | 0 | 38.884
6 Valentine Car, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Fernando Cardenas Jr.: 0 | 0 | 39.595
7 Rustica LS La Silla, Vicente Guillen (VEN), Tranquility Farm: 0 | 0 | 40.762
8 Gatsby, Sharn Wordley (NZL), Della Wordley: 0 | 0 | 42.557
9 Skara Glen’s Para Bellum, Tom Foley (IRL), NRG Farm LLC: 0 | 0 | 50.208
10 Eastern Jam, Hunter Holloway (USA), Hays Investment Corp.: 0 | 4 | 40.556
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.
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