World of Showjumping
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Paul O'Shea and Hellcat back in winning form in $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m

Friday, 19 January 2024
CSI3* Winter Equestrian Festival 2024 (W2)

Photo © Sportfot Paul O’Shea & Hellcat, presented as winners of the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m by Mark Dodd, CEO of Dodd Technologies, Inc. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



Down to the wire, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Hellcat picked up the win in the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m on Thursday during the second week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Show jumping competition returned to the derby field at Equestrian Village for WEF 2, presented by Keyflow Feeds USA, with 44 combinations lined up to contest Olaf Petersen Jr’s (GER) speed track. 

Speed-class superstars McLain Ward (USA) and Catoki put the pressure on early in the game after taking the lead with a blazing time of 68.48 seconds from fifth draw. The pair looked to have the class in the bag until O’Shea entered aboard Team Eye Candy’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Cassander van het Bremhof x Conan) as the fifth from the bottom of the order. Utilizing the mare’s natural knack for speed and her love of the grass surface, O’Shea took over top call clocking in a time of 68.18 seconds.

“I didn’t get to watch McLain [Ward] go,” explained O’Shea. “But his horse has a shorter stride than mine, so I stuck to the plan that was comfortable for my horse. The main thing with Hellcat is to slow down at the end because she builds a lot throughout the course. I take my time to the final few fences and it leaves us wherever it leaves us, but today it was plenty.”

O’Shea reacquired the ride on the mare in December from Jacqueline Steffens-Daly (CAN) and has already been back in the victory gallop several times since their reunion. 

“I’m very glad to have her back in my string,” he agreed. “She’s a very cool mare and she has been going great; we came back together in Thermal where she was first in the grand prix and third in the ranking class. 

“She can have a lot of energy at home, but she is always super when competing,” he continued. “We keep it super simple training at home and save her for the show ring.”

Photo © Sportfot Paul O’Shea & Hellcat, winners of the $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI3* 1.45m. Photo © Sportfot.

For O’Shea, this winter season is about building the confidence and experience of many of his young horses as he brings up his next string of top competitors. 

“I have a few young horses that I am building up this season so our plan is just to give them good experiences in the ring and not overjump them,” described O’Shea. “Once they are educated and ready we will make more particular goals for them, but for now I just want to teach them as much as possible.”  

Ward and Catoki, a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding (Catoki x Caretello B), co-owned by Ward, Bob Russell and Marilla Van Beuren, held onto the second-place ribbon, while Shane Sweetnam rounded out the lap of honor for Ireland in third aboard Seabrook, LLC’s 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare by Vivaldi du Seigneur, Irandole du Flot.  

Earlier in the day on the derby field, Brazil’s Gabriel de Matos Machado topped the Bainbridge CSI3* 1.40m riding Legaland Sandro, owned by Kristen Kopp Real Estate, LLC & Bay Winds Equestrian.

In the International Arena, the $10,000 Dodd Technologies 1.45m served as a qualifier for the ‘Saturday Night Lights' featured $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic National Grand Prix. The class welcomed nearly 100 entries and results were shared in a California split between Brazil’s Joao Carvalho aboard And Action, owned by Evergreen Stables, LLC, and Alison Robitaille (USA) riding her own Dagny. 

International competitions returns to the derby field with the Adequan® CSI3* WEF Challenge Cup Round 2, the qualifier for Sunday’s $140,000 Keyflow Feeds USA CSI3* Grand Prix.


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