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Spencer Smith and Princeton Z soar to first international win

Monday, 24 February 2020
CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival 2020

Photo © Sportfot Spencer Smith and Princeton Z. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. written by Lindsay Brock and Sabrina Brashares



Spencer Smith (USA), 23, guided a new and promising mount in Princeton Z to a win in the $50,000 Dutta Corp/Guido Klatte Grand Prix CSI2* to close week seven of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL, on Sunday, February 23.

WEF continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The eighth week of competition, sponsored by Premier Equestrian, runs February 25 through March 1 and is recognized as a CSIO4* Nations Cup by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) welcomed 44 horses to the final event of the week with 15 advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Smith and Princeton Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide stallion (President x Indoctro) owned by Torrey Pines Stable, rose to the top while promising a bright future for the young horse and a blooming partnership.

Their time of 39.52 seconds bested Madison Goetzmann (USA) and her own Prestigious (Con Cento x Corofino), who pocketed a time of 40.14 seconds to finish as the runner-up. Ireland’s David Blake and Don’t Touch du Bois (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro), owned by Pine Hollow Farm, rounded out the top three in 41.04 seconds.

“Princeton came to us in the beginning of January, and I got along well with him right away,” said Smith, who has worked with Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze at his Torrey Pines Stables for several years. “He jumped really well in the [Hermès] Under 25 team event earlier in the season, so we thought we’d step him up to this. He’s a nice horse. And I think he’ll do everything; he’ll jump all the big tracks.”

Smith candidly described Princeton Z, the former mount of French rider Mathieu Laveau, as “a little monster!”

“He just wants to win and wants to go faster,” said Smith. “He’s got a lot of fight.”

Of Varela’s jump-off track, Smith noted, “At this show, with this top level of riders, it has to be difficult, so it wouldn’t just become a total runner. It was a nice track, and I love having the two-star running along with the five-star. It’s an awesome division; it brings everyone into the FEI ranking system you’re able to step up.”

Just off the podium, Bliss Heers (USA) took fourth aboard Christos (Cristo 5 x Linaro) in 41.23 seconds for owner Bridgeside Farms LLC, while Spain’s Miguel Torres capped the top five in 41.84 seconds riding his own Chacendra (Chacco Blue x Cento). 

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