The International Polo Club Palm Beach was alive with thrilling jumper action today as riders gathered on the polo field to compete for the $15,000 at stake for the Week 6 Wellington Turf Tour 1.40m Grand Prix Series. Although Jeffery Welles and Broken Heart, owned by Herbert Sambol, were today's pathfinders, it would be Canada's Amy Millar and Heros who stole his thunder to take the win with a speedy double clear in 35.135 seconds. Placing second was Hot Topic with Nina Fagerstrom in the irons, breaking the beam at 35.138 seconds.
Welles was the first to attempt Nick Granat's course this morning, posting the first clear round of only 16 to make it onto the short track. His time of 35.404 seconds set the pace with what looked to be an unbeatable time with Broken Heart. Welles is no stranger to the Wellington Turf Tour, earning the coveted Leading Rider Award during the 2014 series for his brilliant and consistent winning rounds.
Each consecutive rider attempted to catch his pace; however, faults fell throughout the course. It wasn't until 20 rounds later that Millar would prove that she could handle both the speed and accuracy Welles had demanded of his fellow contenders. She crossed the timers in 35.135 seconds to ride to the top of the ranks with Heros, owned by AMMO Investments.
"I think today's course was challenging without being over facing," Millar said. "I love this horse! I am developing a fantastic partnership with him. He loves to jump clean and he loves to win; there is nothing better than to be partnered with an animal like that. It makes my job easy. I am just working to develop him into the best horse he can possibly be."
Millar continued, "This Turf Tour Series is a great way to do that. It gives us different experiences on great footing. It was perfect out there today. I kept it really tight, and I guess that was enough."
Millar continued, "We are still getting to know each other, but The Ridge is the perfect opportunity to provide a place for the younger horses. They offer classes at a reasonable cost with great prize money. It is worth it to come here and get the experience without breaking the bank."
Fagerstrom and Hot Topic, owned by Finca Horses, Inc., were only three one-thousandths of a second off of Millar's pace for a heated jump off that would eventually earn them the second place.
As the day was coming to an end, the final exhibitors attempted to catch Millar's time, but none would avail today. Speed demon Lisa Goldman left Ocala for the week to show in Wellington, and it would prove beneficial as she secured the fourth place with Aslan, owned by Charity Judge. They finished with a time of 35.757 seconds. Anne Kursinksi and Diva, owned by Market Street, Inc., finished fifth, while Ben Meredith and Anabelle 28 rounded out the top six for the day.
Millar concluded, "This is really helping to set him up for international competition. It is nice to have the option for both, and to not always be in the same ring. Nona and George are doing a fantastic job. It is such a lovely environment. Everyone is so friendly, the hospitality is unparalleled and you get here and don't want to leave."
The Ridge at Wellington's schooling show series continues this weekend, with hunters and equitation on Saturday and jumpers on Sunday. These shows offer a wide range of classes from mini stirrup through open hunters on Saturday, and Itty Bitty through the Open Jumpers divisions on Sunday. The prize list and entry blank is available on the website.
Week Seven of the Ridge at Wellington's Turf Tour will take place at The International Polo Club, located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL 33414. The show entrance will be off 120th Street between Lake Worth Road and Pierson Road. The Ridge would like to thank Dover Saddlery for their support of the 12-week series as the cooler and banner sponsor. Show Net will be onsite for both Wednesday and Friday events posting live results, as well as videoing rounds in both rings. For results and videos please visit www.shownet.biz.
Place Entry Horse Owner Rider
1st 991 Heros AMMO Investments Amy Millar
2nd 713 Hot Topic Finca Horses Inc. Nina Fagerstrom
3rd 610 Broken Heart Herbert Sambol Jeffery Welles
4th 996 Aslan Charity Judge Lisa Goldman
5th 931 Diva Market Street, Inc. Anne Kursinski
6th 969 Anabelle 28 Shader Sporthorses LLC Ben Meredith 750.00
7th 609 Calais Triton Ventures Farms Inc4120750 Jeffery Welles
8th 981 Deko de Landetta Z Adena Springs Nicole Walker
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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