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Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi breeze to victory in $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*

Monday, 09 March 2020
CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival 2020

Photo © Sportfot. Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. written by Juliana Chapman, Jennifer Wood, and Sabrina Brashares



While strong winds blew at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, an array of talented horse-and-rider combinations aimed for the top spot in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. The final event on Sunday, March 8, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded week nine. WEF runs through March 29 featuring 12 weeks of competition and more than $13 million in prize money.

With a highly competitive field of 44 starters, 16 competed in the jump-off round. In the second round, there were 11 competitors from the USA, three from Ireland, and one each from Israel, Mexico, and Sri Lanka. Saving the best for last, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) piloted Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi to a fault-free round with a lightning fast time of 32.78 seconds, edging out Shawn Casady (USA) aboard Gotcha (Stakkato x Zicchini), owned by Rock Ridge Farms, who had held the top spot for most of the jump-off round with a time of 33.27 seconds. Close behind was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars (Spartacus x Whisky), owned by Hampton Farm and Skara Glen Stables, stopping the timers at 34.33 seconds.

“My horse is adjustable so that worked in our favor in the first round,” said 26-year-old Gilbertson. “In the jump-off, my initial plan was to add a stride in every line, but as the class progressed the numbers showed that wasn’t the right plan if you wanted to win.”

Turning to the second to the last jump, the crowd helped cheer her on to go faster. “It definitely helped keep me going,” added Gilbertson.

Having ridden the 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare for three years, Gilbertson has moved up the ranks from the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers to the Under 25 division, to the international jumpers.

Photo © Sportfot. Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi in their winning presentation with Haley, Ian, and Georgia Griffis, along with ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo © Sportfot.

“She’s my soulmate,” affirmed Gilbertson. “Whatever you ask of her, she tries one hundred and fifty percent to do her best and she is very forgiving and very good at the job.”

Gilbertson has been competing at WEF since she was 16 and now calls Wellington home base, which makes it easy to show throughout the winter circuit. “It’s always exciting to win at WEF.

Everyone is so competitive, and nothing is a given. You have to go full-tilt to win and it’s very satisfying,” she said.

In second place, Shawn Casady (USA) and Gotcha were tough to beat and led the field for a majority of the jump-off. “I rode my horse as a four-year-old in Europe for Alan Waldman,” revealed Casady. “Hardin Towell had a broken foot in the fall, so I started riding her this January and showing at WEF. She has a great personality and knows when she is in the ring. This has been a super win for us and building up to this has been a great experience.” Casady currently rides with Hardin Towell and Darragh Kenny at Oakland Stables.

Photo © Sportfot. Shawn Casady and Gotcha. Photo © Sportfot.

Third place finisher Paul O’Shea (IRL) shared his thoughts on his mount, the talented Skara Glen’s 7 Pillars. “This horse has always been good and won at a young age, winning the young horse final at the Hamptons as a seven-year-old,” said O’Shea.

Over the last two years the gelding has been consistent in the 1.40m and 1.50m classes. “He became a gelding last year and that was a good thing. He’s happier and has better concentration,” said O’Shea.

Bringing him back slowly in the ring has been paying off, showing that he is a careful jumper with a great attitude. O’Shea’s plan in the jump-off was not to go too wild and even if he had shaved a couple strides, he felt he still wouldn’t have beaten Gilbertson.

With a double-clear and a time of 35.10 seconds, Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Limbridge (Limbus x Cambridge) secured the fourth place ribbon with Rebecca Conway (USA) and Con Coleur (Contendro I x Couleur Rubin), close behind with a double-clear and a time of 35.262 seconds, in fifth place.


Final Results: $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*

1 BALOPPI: 2007 Danish Warmblood mare
LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook LLC: 0/0/32.784

2 GOTCHA: 2011 Holsteiner mare by Stakkato x Zicchini
SHAWN CASADY (USA), Rock Ridge Farms: 0/0/33.276

3 SKARA GLEN’S 7 PILLARS: 2010 KWN gelding by Spartacus x Whisky
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Skara Glen Stables, LLC: 0/0/34.333

4 LIMBRIDGE: 2009 Holsteiner stallion by Limbus x Cambridge
DARRAGH KERINS (USA), Eve Jobs: 0/0/35.107

5 CON COLEUR: 2009 Hanoverian gelding by Contendro I x Couleur Rubin
REBECCA CONWAY (USA), Blue Hill Farm, LLC: 0/0/35.262

6 VERVEINE: 2009 SF mare by Olala De Buissy x Fleur De Glanville
NATALY LEIBOVITZ (ISR), Nataly Leibovitz: 0/0/35.773

7 BALOUCENTO 2: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Cento
AILISH CUNNIFFE (USA), Whipstick Farm Ltd: 0/0/37.361

8 CERA VA: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Clarimo x Gera II
MATHILDA KARLSSON (SRI), Mathilda Karlsson: 0/0/38.638

9 DALIDA: 2007 Brand mare by Calido x Dawina
SLOAN HOPSON (USA), Sloan Hopson: 0/0/40.31

10 SHANGRI-LA: 2011 KWPN mare by Cardento x Lugano
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm, LLC: 0/4/35.677

11 DAVIDSON: 2008 KWPN gelding by Harley VDL x Chin Chin
CALLAN SOLEM (USA), Five Star Partners: 0/4/36.989

12 GIGI’S GIRL BH: 2008 KWPN mare by Vingino x Zaline
MIMI GOCHMAN (USA), Gochman Sport Horses LLC: 0/4/37.564

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