World of Showjumping
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Cathleen Driscoll and Flotylla win the CSI5* $62,500 Bainbridge 1.50m at Wellington International

Saturday, 24 February 2024
CSI5*/CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival 2024 (W7)

Photo © Sportfot. Cathleen Driscoll and Flotylla, winners of the $62,500 Bainbridge CSI5* 1.50m. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



International showjumping competition at Wellington International commenced on Friday morning with the $62,500 Bainbridge CSI5* 1.50m speed where Cathleen Driscoll (USA) piloted Flotylla to another fast victory. The pair have been a force to reckon with since the beginning of their partnership, and this instance was no different as Driscoll guided Don Stewart’s 13-year-old Polish Sporthorse mare (Alvaro 121 x Bajou Du Rouet) across the finish line in 57.72 seconds.

In addition to the win, Flotylla was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award by Laura Fetterman for WEF 7.

Of the original 61 entries, Richard Vogel (GER) and Coolridge Equestrian LLC’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Cydello (Cascadello x Forsyth FRH), found a fast way across the track to take second place with their time of 57.77 seconds. No stranger to the winner’s circle, Kent Farrington (USA) capped off the top three just slightly off the pace in 58.24 seconds with Haity McNerney’s nine-year-old Holsteiner mare, Myla (Crunch 3 x Quadros). 

Simon McCarthy and Gotcha get back to winning form in $32,000 Ethel M Chocolates CSI2* Qualifier

Photo © Sportfot. Simon McCarthy and Gotcha are presented as winners of the $32,000 Ethel M Chocolates CSI2* Qualifier by Pamela Mars. Photo © Sportfot.

The $32,000 Ethel M Chocolates CSI2* Qualifier closed out competition in the International Arena on Friday during the seventh week of the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival as Simon McCarthy (IRL) topped a 17-horse jump off with longtime partner Gotcha.

Anthony D’Ambrosio’s (USA) first-round track welcomed 75 entries to vie for a spot in Sunday’s Ethel M Chocolates CSI2* Grand Prix event. Nineteen riders represented a truly international jump-off lineup, while several entries elected to save their mounts for the weekend. 

The lead changed hands several times early in the short course before Heather Caristo-Williams (USA) took over the top placing aboard Celtic Hero BZ midway through the order. With several incredibly fast riders still to come, Caristo-Williams and Holly and Ralph Caristo’s 12-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Calikot Hero x Nissan Caretano Z) ultimately settled for third place as the likes of McCarthy and Lacey Gilbertson (USA) blazed ahead towards the jump-off finale. 

Photo © Sportfot Simon McCarthy and Gotcha, winners of the $32,000 Ethel M Chocolates CSI2* Qualifier. Photo © Sportfot.

Gilbertson gave it her best shot but posted a time of 34.06 seconds which left her and the Seabrook LLC’s nine-year-old Zangersheide mare (Lord Pezi Junior x Semper Fi), Loulou MPSZ, still half a second slower than McCarthy. Always a fast team across a jump-off track, McCarthy and Rock Ridge Farms’ 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Stakkato x Cassini I) jumped right to the top with a lightning fast time of 33.31 seconds. 

“Luckily enough, I went quite close to the end, so I got to see a couple go,” he explained. “At the start, the fastest was thirty-six or thirty-seven seconds, and then Lacey went in and some others and it was more like thirty-four or thirty-five seconds. I knew that all the leave outs were an option had to be done if you wanted to win, but Gotcha picked up on all of them and she fought all the way.”

The win was a warm welcome back for the mare, who has been on a break for the beginning of the year after brilliant performances at the end of last year. 

“I’ve had her for three years and I’ve always given her a break at the beginning of the year,” McCarthy added. “She's just such a useful horse and it’s very easy to get carried away so I think I've learned how to keep them a bit more fresh. “For her to have a win in her first week back, I’m very happy and it’s a massive testament to my team,” he continued. “I’m the one that gets to take all the glory but our team at Rock Ridge works so hard and I owe so much to them.”  


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