Equestrian Sport Productions LLC wrapped up its first week of spring competition this weekend at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, with an exciting victory for Ireland's Darragh Kerins and S&L Farms' S&L Elite in the $25,000 ESP Spring 1 Grand Prix. The week's jumper courses in the International Arena were designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. In Sunday's grand prix, 28 entries contested the course with three qualifying for the jump-off. Sharn Wordley chose not to return for the jump-off with Filip Amram's Quick Blue Z and finished in third place.
In the two-horse jump-off, Kerins and S&L Elite cleared the short course in 43.897 seconds for the win. Amanda Derbyshire and David Gochman's Attack II had eight jumping and four time faults in 48.096 seconds to take reserve honors. S&L Elite, an eight-year-old Belgian warmblood gelding by Action-Breaker, was showing in his first grand prix on Sunday and Kerins noted that it was a great and unexpected win.
"He just did some 1.40m classes during WEF and he was really good at it, but for his age he is very advanced, so I did not want to show him an awful lot," Kerins stated. "He won a 1.40m and placed in a few and then had a few weeks off, so this was his first week back again. It's great to have these classes during the spring, especially for a horse like him that is only an eight-year-old, because it is impossible to move him up during the big circuit. It is nice to have these classes to move up in a little bit more of a relaxed atmosphere."
Going first in the jump-off, Kerins knew he had a fast combination to follow with Derbyshire and Attack II. He put his horse's skill to the test and it paid off. "Amanda is very fast and I knew that going in," Kerins admitted. "My horse is not the quickest; he is a big, powerful jumper, but I just tried to be as quick as I could and leave the jumps up and see what happens."
"It was a good class today," Kerins said. "It was a hard course. I am just delighted for the horse. I have had him since he was three years old and it is a long way before you can do grand prixs like that. The owners, Sam and Libby Edelman, have been very patient with him as well, so hopefully now he can keep going on from here."
Final Results: $25,000 ESP Spring 1 Grand Prix
1. S & L ELITE DARRAGH KERINS S & L FARMS: 0/0/43.897
2. ATTACK II AMANDA DERBYSHIRE DAVID GOCHMAN: 0/12/48.096
3. QUICK BLUE Z SHARN WORDLEY FILIP AMRAM: 0/WD
4. PRIMO DE REVEL PAUL O'SHEA MICHAEL HAYDEN: 4/87.529
5. WHISPER H.E. SAMUEL PAROT SAMUEL PAROT: 4/89.814
6. CHICAGO 88 FEDERICO SZTYRLE ROSIANO FARM: 4/91.791
7. LARGO RAMIRO QUINTANA MAVERICK VENTURES LLC: 4/92.461
8. WAOMI MEAGAN NUSZ AMALAYA INVESTMENTS: 4/92.486
9. VDL DOGAN CANDICE KING BELLISSIMO LLC: 4/92.978
10. WIZZ PAUL O'SHEA PAUL O'SHEA: 4/93.111
11. QUEL PACHA BRIANNE GOUTAL SANTIAGO DIAZ: 4/93.434
12. WALK ABOUT JIMMY TORANO THE TORANO'S AND PALM MEADOW FARM: 4/93.841
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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