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Zarina de Vidau returns to win $62,500 CSI2* Griffis Residential Grand Prix with Grace Debney

Monday, 05 February 2024
CSI4*/CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival (W4) 2024

Photo © Sportfot. Grace Debney and Zarina de Vidau, winners of the $62,500 Griffis Residential CSI2* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



Competition during week 4 of the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday with back-to-back international events on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village. Sunday’s featured events saw Grace Debney (GBR) take the first win of the day aboard Zarina de Vidau in the morning’s $62,500 Griffis Residential CSI2* Grand Prix. 

Forty-three combinations geared up to contest Anderson Lima’s (BRA) first round which ultimately advanced 11 pairings onward to the jump-off. The start list for the short track featured a truly international field with representatives from Great Britain, Ireland, United States, and more. Debney appeared midway through the returning order with her longtime partner and quickly threw down the gauntlet with a blazing fast jump-off time of 37.69 seconds.

Photo © Sportfot. Tom Wachman and Lazzaro Delle Schiave finished second. Photo © Sportfot.

“My horse is naturally super fast,” began the 20-year-old. “I walked a plan and talked about it with a few people but felt like I should stick with it. A couple of people had different ideas but I know my horse really well because I’ve had her for five years.”

With the challengers she still had behind her, Debney knew it would be a hard but doable challenge to guide Temple Equestrian LLC’s 13-year-old CDE mare (Diamant de Semilly x Coeur de Nuit) to another grand prix win. 

“I was definitely worried about Tom [Wachman] and Mark Bluman,” Debney added. “Mark had my time so I was definitely sweating a little. She's so quick though, I never have to wear spurs on her because she's always just going and you can't really beat that footspeed. She actually won this grand prix two years ago and then she was out last WEF, so it's just really nice to have her back.”

Tom Wachman (IRL) closed in as the closest challenger but still fell almost two seconds shy of Debney’s time as he piloted Coolmore Show Jumping’s 15-year-old Italian Sport Horse gelding Lazzaro Delle Schiave (Acodetto 2 x Glueckgriff) across the finish line in 39.36 seconds. USA’s Jacqueline Ruyle rounded out the international lap of honor after securing the third place aboard her own 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding San Chano (Sandro Boy x Chacco Blue). 


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