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A day of firsts for Cathleen Driscoll and Flotylla in CSI2* Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix

Monday, 29 January 2024
CSI4*/CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival (W3) 2024

Photo © Sportfot. Cathleen Driscoll & Flotylla, winners of the $62,500 CSI2* Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International 



WEF 3 came to a close on Sunday with the $62,500 CSI2* Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix. Forty-four riders took to the Jasen Shelley (USA) designed course, with eleven returning for the short course.  

Of the returning riders, it was USA’s Cathleen Driscoll and Donald Stewart’s Flotylla (Alvaro 121 x Bajou Du Rouet) that took the top prize. The pair sped to the top of the leaderboard with a clear 37.75 seconds, after the runner-ups, Karime Perez Nunez (MEX) and her own Felicie De Coquerie (Malito De Reve x Quiniou), set the pace at a competitive 38.04 seconds. 

This was Driscoll’s first grand prix win in Wellington, as well as the 13-year-old mare’s first FEI grand prix win. “I've been partnered with Flotylla for a couple years now. She's owned by Don Stewart and is an absolutely incredible horse. She's taken me to a lot of places and through lots of different classes,” said Driscoll. 

This was quite the way for the pair to kick off their season, but Driscoll has her eye on bigger classes for the mare. “She’s had a bit of a break since her last competition at the end of the year, so this is her first show back,” said Driscoll. “We used this two-star to give her a leg-up for the four and five stars coming up later in the season.” 

Photo © Sportfot. Cathleen Driscoll & Flotylla presented as winners of the $62,500 CSI2* Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.

The Shelley designed jump-off allowed riders to play to their horses’ strengths, and for Driscoll that strength was Flotylla’s ability to turn. “I walked the nine from two to fifteen and then the ten coming home. That's what I saw early on and I stuck with it,” said Driscoll. “I didn't get to see Karime go, I heard she was very fast, so I stuck with those numbers but tried to find the right spots off the turns and be very neat. Flotylla is a fantastic turner so I knew I could call on her there.”

The 2* podium was closed out by USA’s Alex Matz and Cashew CR (Cassini II x Quinar Z), owned by Dorothy Matz. The pair jumped double-clear with a jump-off time of 39.84 seconds. 

Driscoll has frequented winner’s circles over the past year and only hopes to grow over this next season. “Last year, I would say was a bit of a breakout year for me,” said Driscoll. “I started winning in some classes and finding some consistency in three and four star grand prixs. I have a nice string of horses coming into WEF and these shows you know are very competitive here, the classes are big but I'm really looking to build on that consistency in the bigger grand prixs and maybe some team classes come the summer.”


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