Mark Bluman (COL) and Gustavo Mirabal's G&C Blue earned an exciting victory in Friday's $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic at Equestrian Sport Production's Holiday and Horses competition. With their first win in a ROLEX FEI World Ranking Class, the pair beat out Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala with a lightning fast round. G&C Sacramento, owned by Anabel Simon and ridden by Luis Larrazabal (VEN), finished third.
Held in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic featured 34 horse and rider combinations jumping a speed course set by Anthony D'Ambrosio, of Red Hook NY. Bluman had the fastest of eight clear rounds with G&C Blue in a time of 63.13 seconds.
Lauren Hough and Ohlala were the leaders for much of the class with their time of 64.23 seconds, but eventually finished in second. Luis Larrazabal and G&C Sacramento finished third with their time of 67.14 seconds.
Twenty-one-year-old Mark Bluman earned the biggest victory of his career in Friday's class and was extremely excited to win for his sponsor, G&C Farm and Gustavo Mirabal, who also sponsored the class. Following the winning presentation, Bluman shared his reaction to the achievement.
"This is my first FEI win in my whole life," he beamed. "This was a very important class. Gustavo was the sponsor of the class and this is the first time that he was the sponsor of the class and his rider won it, so it is a very exciting moment. I am thrilled; I am completely shocked. It is just a very exciting day for G&C Farm today."
Bluman's mount, G&C Blue, is a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Mr. Blue. Bluman began riding the horse this year and the pair won a $10,000 Welcome Stake in Vermont over the summer. This was Blue's biggest win as well.
"This week has been kind of a surprise because Gustavo was riding Blue and he gave me the horse for this week so that I could have two horses in the FEI classes," Bluman explained. "We didn't know that he could go fast, and now it turns out he can. I think he is going to be my next speed horse."
Describing his round, Bluman stated, "He was so fast; I just let him go. With him, he has a huge stride, so it is better to leave strides out. Actually, I left two strides out in the line to the wall. It helped a lot. I kept the pace and the horse jumped super."
"He is usually really careful; he wants to be careful," Bluman added. "We worked a lot with him at home to make this week the best and to try to win this class. This was our goal."
The significance of the win was even greater for Bluman for winning in the G&C Farm class. He became a full-time rider for G&C Farm's owners Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal this year along with third place finisher Luis Fernando Larrazabal. Both riders have been training with Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa and Rodrigo's uncle, Helio.
Bluman acknowledged, "Gustavo has been great. This is my first FEI win and it is his horse. I am just very excited. To win his class is the best thing that could have happened to me. I would like to say thank you to Gustavo and Luis Miguel Martinez and Luis Fernando and Rodrigo and Helio and the whole team; the grooms, everyone. Everything was perfect."
Mirabal shared his reaction after the class as well. He stated, "I want to congratulate Marky on his first FEI win. He has been amazing. I am looking forward to his future in the grand prix classes with G&C Farm horses. I am happy that everybody jumped well. Luis Fernando did amazing in the class too, especially because neither of those horses are speed horses. It was a great result. We didn't expect it and we are very happy."
Other top finishers with clear rounds included Samuel Parot (CHI) and Al Calypso, who placed fourth in 67.89 seconds. Alonso Valdez Prado (PER) and Quick Du Pottier were fifth in 69.73 seconds. Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) and M/M Ralph Caristo's Evening Star placed sixth in 69.93 seconds. Seventh place was awarded to Liza Finsness (USA) and Ormsby Hill in 71.76 seconds, and Cara Raether (USA) and Trelawny Farm LLC's Valdato placed eighth in 72.86 seconds.
1 G & C BLUE: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Mr. Blue
MARK BLUMAN (COL), GUSTAVO MIRABAL: 0/63.13
2 OHLALA: 2004 SWB mare by Orlando
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), LAUREN HOUGH: 0/64.23
3 G&C SACRAMENTO: 1999 KWPN gelding by No Limit
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), ANABEL SIMON: 0/67.14
4 AL CALYPSO: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Askari
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), SAMUEL PAROT: 0/67.89
5 QUICK DU POTTIER: 2006 Selle Francais gelding by Hurlevent de Breka
ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO (PER), ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO: 0/69.73
6 EVENING STAR: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Coriano
HEATHER CARISTO WILLIAMS (USA), MR. & MRS. RALPH CARISTO: 0/69.93
7 ORMSBY HILL: 1997 BWP gelding
LIZA FINSNESS (USA), LIZA FINSNESS: 0/71.76
8 VALDATO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Emillion
CARA RAETHER (USA), TRELAWNY FARM, LLC: 0/72.86
9 SOLERINA: 1999 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), SWEET OAK FARM: 4/64.57
10 JULIA DES BRUMES: 1997 Selle Francais mare by Libero H
AUDREY COULTER (USA), COPERNICUS STABLES LLC: 4/67.98
11 ROUNDTHORN MADIOUS: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Condios
LAUREN TISBO (USA), TEQUESTRIAN FARM LLC: 4/68.51
12 UNEX VALENTE: 2002 KWPN gelding by Gentleman
TIM GREDLEY (GBR), UNEX COMPETITION YARD: 4/68.94
Press release: Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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