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Grace Debney delivers in Premier Equestrian CSI5* winning round

Monday, 19 September 2022
CSI5* MLSJ Traverse 2022

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Grace Debney and Zarina de Vidau. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from Traverse City Horse Shows



Grace Debney (GBR) never lets age or experience level discourage her from besting top professionals in international action. Sunday was no exception as she topped the $37,000 Premier Equestrian CSI5* Winning Round with her steady partner Zarina de Vidau.

Out of 30 entries, Debney was one of 13 to jump clear. All 13 returned for the jump-off and jumped in reverse order of first-round time taken. Debney was late in the order to jump off, with a speedy first-round time of 67.78 seconds, so she had the advantage of seeing several top pairs jump before her.

Speeding around the short course, she clocked in with Temple Equestrian LLC’s Spanish-bred mare (Diamant de Semilly) at 31.89 seconds, beating out Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Ashley Vogel’s Birdy du Thot to take over the lead. Sweetnam’s time of 33.13 seconds ultimately landed him in second place. The only other pair to come close to the leading time was Beat Mändli (SUI) and Chartraine Pre Noir, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, with a double-clear time of 33.39 seconds, taking third.

“I bought her as an 8-year-old,” Debney remarked of Zarina de Vidau. “She was meant to be my High Junior jumper and she just kept stepping up, especially over this past year. She’s had a few international wins. She’s always been my rock. I owe a lot of my career to her for sure. This show last year she was doing the High Juniors and now she’s doing the five-star.”

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Shane Sweetnam and Birdy du Thot. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Debney admits that Zarina de Vidau is always serious, and that’s part of her winning edge. “She’s all game face,” she said. “She has no time for anyone, she just wants to go in the ring and win. She’s everyone’s favorite; she’s so easy to deal with.”

She bought the mare from Reed Kessler (USA), who developed her as a young horse. With a similar riding style to Kessler, Debney knew their partnership would come together strong and they would be a successful pair.

“It took about a year for me to truly understand her,” Debney continued. “My first real high junior classic was the moment it clicked. She gives me so much confidence. I never walk into a class and think it’s too big. There’s nothing she can’t do.”

Final Results: $37,000 Premier Equestrian CSI5* Winning Round

1. ZARINA DE VIDAU: 2011 CDE mare by Diamant de Semilly
GRACE DEBNEY (GBR), Temple Equestrian LLC: 0/0/31.89

2. BIRDY DU THOT: 2011 SF mare by Magic D’Elle x Le Tot De Semilly
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Ashley Vogel: 0/0/33.13

3. CHARTRAINE PRE NOIR: 2012 SF mare by Kannan
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/33.39

4. GREYA: 2014 OS mare by Colestus x Contender
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington LLC: 0/0/34.070

5. DAMZELLE STE HERMELLE: 2013 SF mare by Uppercut Kervec x Paladin Des Ifs
LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook LLC: 0/0/34.12

6. CASSINA 64: 2009 OLDBG mare by Collado x Locantus
RALEIGH HILER (USA), Kurt Hiler: 0/0/34.43

7. BULL RUN’S JIREH: 2014 HOLST gelding by Uriko x Colman
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Inc.: 0/0/34.95

JUAN ORTIZ (VEN), Blue Trim LLC: 0/0/35.65

9. CASEY: 2012 HANN mare by Cartani x Grannus
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (BRA), Mario Onate: 0/4/32.45

10. QUINN 33: 2012 HOLST gelding by Quidam De Revel x Contender
TANNER KOROTKIN (USA), Zascha Nygaard Andreasen: 0/4/33.31

11. FOR GOLD: 2011 HOLST gelding by For Fashion x Heraldik
ALEC LAWLER (USA), Lawler Show Jumping LLC: 0/5/46.00

12. COQUELICOT VH HEUVELLAND Z: 2012 ZANG stallion by Catoki x Cassini II
SEAN JOBIN (CAN), Foxridge Farms Stables: 0/8/47.00

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