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Samuel Parot and Atlantis find the key to win Grand Prix at 2019 WEF

Monday, 04 March 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 8

Photo © Sportfot. Samuel Parot and Atlantis. Photo © Sportfot.

 

Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions by Jennifer Wood and Summer Grace for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.


 

The final day of week 8 at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival featured the $209,000 Grand Prix CSIO4*, presented by Lugano Diamonds. With just two in the jump-off, it was Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis who found the key to victory at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

WEF continues with its ninth week of competition, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, on March 6-10. Highlights of the CSI 5*/2* week include the $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5* (Saturday, March 9) and the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI 2* (Sunday, March 10) in the WEF International Arena. Featured hunter classes include the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby, presented by NickerDoodles (Friday, March 8), and the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby (Saturday, March 9) on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village.

The $209,000 Grand Prix CSIO4*, presented by Lugano Diamonds was the culmination of a week of international competition. Forty-three entries contested a course set by Steve Stephens (USA), but only two were clear to advance to the jump-off.

The first clear of the class and first into the jump-off were 20-year-old Eve Jobs and her own Venue d’Fees des Hazalles. While aiming for a clear round, they unfortunately had the final oxer down on the shortened course and finished on four jumping and three time faults in 48.84 seconds. They would finish in second place.

“He’s always extremely fast,” said Jobs of Parot. “You can always count on him to try his hardest and go as fast as he can. So I knew there was almost no way I was going to beat him on foot speed, so I was trying to leave all the jumps up. Unfortunately, I had the last rail. I pushed a little bit too hard. But, as always, he was very fast and very deserving of this win. I’m lucky to be in this company.”

Jobs has ridden Venue d’Fees des Hazalles for two years and said the mare has helped bring her to the top level of the sport. “She’s just a really phenomenal animal,” she said of her 14-year-old SBS mare by President x Alcatraz. “She’s so sweet, and she tries. She really fights for you. She really has helped me in my career, especially being a young rider with not that much experience – not like these guys who are always wonderful! I make a lot of mistakes, and she’s very forgiving. She’s taught me an immense amount about the top level of the sport. I’m really lucky to have her.”

This was the first top three finish in a four-star grand prix for Jobs. “This is the best finish I’ve had,” she confirmed. “That’s really exciting for me and my whole team. My family actually was here today which was really fun. It was the first time in a while, so I was really happy that they got to see the horses going so well.”

Parot and Atlantis were next in the jump-off, and while they had an early rail they were able to cross the finish line on four faults in 43.37 seconds for the win.

Regarding today’s challenging course, Parot said, “You had many options. All the lines were very tricky in regard to determining the number of strides. [There were] a lot of half strides. It was big, wide, and high.”

Parot has been riding Atlantis, a 16-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Andiamo Z x Royal Bravour L, for four years, and they had success earlier in WEF, winning the 1.45m in week 6.

“It’s a horse that has won a lot,” said Parot. “He makes me very happy.”

Third place went to the fastest four-faulter in the first round, Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) and Coulash van de Broy Z. They had a time of 77.46 seconds.

Gallego has ridden his 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Cadence VT Gelutt x Lys De Darmen for three years, but the horse had six months off in 2018. “He’s coming better and better,” said Gallego.

With a rail down early in the first course, Gallego made the decision to go for speed in order to have a higher placing in the class. “I made my plan to be clear, but the rail came really, really fast, so I started to go forward,” he said. “I did one less [stride] everywhere, so I think that helped me a lot to go in the time.”

Spencer Smith was presented with the Kate Nash Boone Award, presented to honor the memory of Kate’s support and love of “all things equestrian” and given to the international equestrian who exemplifies best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure while competing in the CSIO at WEF.

The Niall Grimes “Cheers” Perpetual Trophy was given to Shane Sweetnam, the third time he has won this award in the nine-year history of the trophy. Niall Grimes was an accomplished equestrian whose lifelong dream was to represent Ireland in a Nations Cup class, which he realized at WEF. The trophy is presented to the top Irish rider during the CSIO week.

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