Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Holiday Finale horse show on January 1-5 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with a full schedule of great competition. The show hosted a $10,000 Open Jumper Stake as well as the $25,000 Holiday Finale Grand Prix, featured under the lights on Saturday night. Anthony D'Ambrosio, of Red Hook, NY, was the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC this week. He set the track for 44 entries in Saturday night's $25,000 Holiday Finale Grand Prix for an exciting win for Frances Land (USA) aboard the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Vieanne (Andiamo x Voltaire).
The pair had the fastest of three double clear rounds in the jump-off in 39.556 seconds. They beat out Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Mimosa, owned by Sweek Oak and Spy Coast Farms in their time of 41.195 seconds. Gabriela Mershad (USA) and Mershad Stables LLC's Skara Glen's Basel also cleared the short course and finished third with their time of 43.162 seconds. Roberto Teran (COL) and ARK Partners LLC's Tam Tam Hero had the fastest round of the night in 39.521 seconds, but had one rail down to finish fourth.Frances Land was beaming after her victory gallop and praised her horse on a great win. "She is the best. She has been so amazing," Land smiled. "This whole year she has been the 1.45m queen. She loves it."
The pair had an amazing 2013 season with wins in the $33,000 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m at Spruce Meadows this summer, the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series Championship Grand Prix in Kentucky in October, and the $45,000 EMO Grand Prix in Georgia as well as the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic at ESP's Holiday and Horses competition in November. Land noted that Vieanne really enjoyed showing under the lights at PBIEC this weekend and thrived off of the crowd cheering her on.
"It's definitely different," Land stated. "She is so careful that under the lights maybe she gets a little bit too careful, so I have to use a lot of leg, but now she loves it. She really likes the pressure and the atmosphere. It helps gets her pumped up, and I have been riding her for long enough now that people know the horse and they are all rooting for her."
Commenting on Saturday's course, Land noted, "It was hard, but Anthony is one of my favorite course designers. I liked it. He always gives you options, and he never does anything too stupid for the horses. He is never trying to trick or scare the horses, so if you have a good horse and you ride it well, then you have a chance. I really like that with him as a course designer. I think the course really suited my horse because the lines were a little bit forward, and she is always better like that.""Going into the jump-off, I knew Shane had been really fast, and him going first, he is always one that you have to chase," Land said of her plan for the second round. "I went last, and my dad told me exactly what I had to do. She is so adjustable, she is so careful, she is so scopey, and she just does exactly what I ask. She is with me every step of the way, so it is pretty much all you can hope for."
Land is currently in school at Emory University and rides on the weekends at her family's farm in Georgia. She plans to return to Wellington during week two of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs January 15-19.
ESP's Holiday Finale hosted a $10,000 Open Jumper Stake class on Thursday afternoon with a win for Danielle Goldstein and Israeli Equestrian Partners' Carisma. Thirty-one entries showed with 14 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Just five of those were able to jump double clear, and Goldstein had the fastest round of 37.618 seconds for the win.
Lorenzo De Luca and Neil Jones Equestrian's Utopias finished second in 38.172 seconds. Lauren Tisbo was third and fourth, stopping the clock in 38.573 seconds aboard Roundthorn Madios and 39.131 seconds with Darcon Scheefkasteel Z, both horses owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC.
Final Results: $25,000 Holiday Finale Grand Prix
1. VIEANNE FRANCES LAND FRANCES LAND: 0/0/39.556
2. MIMOSA SHANE SWEETNAM SWEET OAK & SPY COAST FARMS: 0/0/41.195
3. SKARA GLEN'S BASEL GABRIELA MERSHAD MERSHAD STABLES LLC: 0/0/43.162
4. TAM TAM HERO ROBERTO TERAN ARK PARTNERS LLC: 0/4/39.521
5. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS LLC: 0/4/42.531
6. S & L SLINGBACK ADRIENNE STERNLICHT ADRIENNE STERNLICHT: 3/88.764
7. GANGSTA ALEX GRANATO ALEX GRANATO: 4/81.928
8. CAFINO ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN: 4/83.373
9. ATTACK II AMANDA DERBYSHIRE DAVID GOCHMAN: 4/83.431
10. VDL TORLANDO CALLAN SOLEM TORLANDO GROUP: 4/84.886
11. UNEX OMEGA STAR TIM GREDLEY UNEX COMPETITION YARD: 5/86.214
12. HAPPY Z WILHELM GENN WILHELM GENN: 5/86.828
Source: Press realease from Equestrian Sport Productions
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