Darragh Kenny is King, Extending Series Lead After Winning the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix

Mar 28, 2021 - 5:43 PM

For Immediate Release
Kate Pettersen, Kim Beaudoin, and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Wellington, FL – March 28, 2021 – On the final day of week eleven of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige De Galarzacs, owned by Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC, rose to the occasion, putting forth an impressive double-clear effort to capture the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix on Sunday, March 21, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige De Galarzacs with Olga Hartsock of CaptiveOne Advisors, in their winning presentation. © Sportfot

The twelfth week of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Agricultural Services, begins on Wednesday, March 31, with CSI5* competition along with a concurrent CSI2* running through Sunday, April 4, the final day of the 2021 WEF. The week opens with the $1,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m CSI4* and the $10,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI4* Qualifier on Wednesday. Thursday features the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 12.

A busy Friday is highlighted by the $37,000 1.45m CSI2* Qualifier and the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series Final. An exciting weekend of show jumping begins with the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4* on Saturday and concludes with the $50,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday. All feature classes can be watched for free both live and on-demand on the livestream.

Hunters will be featured on the grass during WEF 12 at the Derby Field at Equestrian Village. On Friday at 9:30 a.m. is the $15,000 International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go, followed by the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open, presented by Restylane and the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Junior/Amateur. The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round 1 is on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the top 12 returning for a handy round.

A total of 43 horse-and-rider combinations contested the opening round over a course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER), with just six pairs qualifying for the jump-off. The first to return was Canada’s Nicole Walker aboard Excellent B, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Berlin x Heartbreaker, executing the shortened track with ease to set the pace for the remainder of the field. Walker and the NW Stables LP entry finished fault-free in a time of 37.81 seconds, which would hold up for second place.

Next to challenge, David Oberkircher (USA) and Upper, owned by Southfields Farm, LLC, gave it their best effort but stopped the clock just off the mark as he and the 13-year-old Selle Français gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Nadir de San Patrignano crossed the finish line in 38.59 seconds for third place.

The next three riders would lower the fences in height, leaving the door open for one final rider to best the field, which he did. Kenny, the current overall leader of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series, proved once again why he’s at the top, picking up the win aboard the 12-year-old Selle Français gelding by Quaprice Bois Margot x Si Tu Viens, crossing the timers in 36.01 seconds.

“I didn’t jump him in any classes this week,” said Kenny of the winning gelding “Vince.” “I just went straight into the Grand Prix so he was a little bit more fresh. He jumped excellent and felt fantastic. He’s just a really, really nice horse. 

Watch the winning jump-off here!

“He was jumping really well so I didn’t have to worry about that so much,” continued Kenny. “He felt really good, I just wasn’t sure if the inside turn after the third last jump was going to be faster or not. It turned out to be faster so that was good.”

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige De Galarzacs capture the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix. © Sportfot

For Walker, the second-place finish marked a proud moment during a comeback of sorts after sustaining a knee injury over the summer that kept her out of the saddle. In August, the 27-year-old rider fractured her fibular head, tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and suffered minor tears in her other ligaments. Her injury, coupled with COVID-19 restrictions in Canada, left her with a lot of work to do to get back to this level.

“I came into this circuit having not jumped too much so it took a bit of time to get both myself and the horses fit again,” said Walker. “He [Excellent B] has really only jumped three classes down here and was champion in the High Amateur Owners one week. We just aimed for this class. He’s been my partner for about four years now, and he’s just the easiest, coolest dude around. He’s so simple, and it has been a while since I’ve jumped the big classes. I just had so much fun with him today.”

Navigating the tough task of being first to go in the jump-off, Walker leaned on the expertise of her trainer, an Olympic veteran and regular winner at the 2021 WEF, to make a solid plan.

“With the help of Cian O’Connor, he said I should aim for the six [strides] after the combination so we took a risk there,” said Walker. “He’s got a massive stride so that worked out well. Where I lost it was not doing the inside turn to the last line, so I could’ve been quicker there, but I’m very happy with my second-place result.”

Oberkircher, who rides as an amateur while balancing a full-time job, was back at work for the past two weeks, only arriving in Wellington on Friday night for the weekend’s competition. The pair rounded out the podium with a third-place finish.

“I’ve had my horse for about four years now, so I know him really well,” he said. “He’s very straightforward and easy. He’s such a good sport, tries so hard, and I’m so lucky to have him. I knew there were some fast riders after me, and he’s a bit of a slower mover, so I just wanted to have nice clear round and go as quickly as possible. We ended up with a great result in third so I’m really happy.”

Final Results: $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m National Grand Prix

1. VERTIGE DE GALARZACS: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Quaprice Bois Margot x Si Tu Viens
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC: 0/0/36.01

2. EXCELLENT B: 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Berlin x Heartbreaker
NICOLE WALKER (CAN), NW Stables LP: 0/0/37.81

3. UPPER: 2008 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Nadir de San Patrignano
DAVID OBERKIRCHER (USA), Southfields Farm LLC: 0/0/38.59

4. MADORADO DW: 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare by Breemeersen Adorado
ELLEN WHITAKER (GBR), Gerard O’Neil: 0/4/37.88

5. URIS DE LA ROQUE: 2008 Selle Français gelding by Capital x Quick Star
MARIO DELAURIERS (CAN), Aram Ampagoumian LLC & Mario Deslauriers: 0/4/38.07

6. ELDORADO V: 2009 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Z x Epilot
CAMILA MAZZA DE BENEDICTO (BRA), Yuri Mansur: 0/4/52.28

7. HARVESTER: 2012 KWPN gelding by Dakar VDL x Labor’s VDL Indorado
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 1/80.44

8. BETTINA DES CELTES: 2011 Selle Français mare by New Boy De Logerie x Cumano
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 1/80.45

9. DIARADO’S FLYING DUTCHMAN: 2010 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Elfenland
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura and Mary Chapot: 4/77.52

10. IRCOS IV: 2008 BWP gelding by Nabab De Reve x Echo De Thurin
KARK COOK (USA), Helen Signe Ostby: 4/77.56

11. MIDNIGHT BLUE ASK: 2010 KWPN mare Mr Blue x Jojo Des Fontaines
YURI MANSUR (BRA), Stutteri Ask A/S: 4/79.04

12. HILFIGER VAN DE OLMENHOEVE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Dulf van den Bisschop x Querlybet Hero
EMILY MOFFITT (GBR), Poden Farms: 5/80.01

Stephen Moore and Team De Coquerie Top $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*

Forty-five combinations took their final turn around the Global International Arena at Equestrian Village of the season on Sunday morning as they contested the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*. Last to go in the jump-off, it was Ireland’s Stephen Moore aboard Vlock Show Stables’ Team De Coquerie that took the lead in a time of 40.81 seconds over a course designed by Mauricio Garcia (PUR).

Stephen Moore (IRL) and Team De Coquerie with Claire Wren of CabanaCoast, in their winning presentation. © Sportfot

“We’ve been building up for a few weeks for this class,” explained Moore. “This is his second two-star grand prix of the season; we started slowly. He jumped good in the qualifier and had one down that kept us out of the jump-off. In the first round today, we got lucky in a few spots and had a few rubs, but he’s always so fast. In the jump-off we were last to go, and I knew the ones that were ahead of me were quite quick, but he’s so fast and turns well so I just had to let him do his thing and hope that his food speed would be fast enough.”

The 2007 Selle Français gelding by Heartbreaker x Girl De Coquerie has been a part of the Vlock Show Stables’ program for about four years, and Moore has had the ride on and off throughout that period of time.

Watch the winning jump-off round here!

“I rode him when we first got him, and then Darragh [Kenny] who is also a part of our program, rode him for a while,” said Moore. “I’ve been with him for the last year now. He won a grand prix at Deeridge last winter and then had a great summer, so it’s good to leave Wellington with another win under his belt.”

Moore concluded, “I thought the courses all week were very well done. It’s hard to build for the two-star classes because you’re limited with your height, so they have to be technical. That called a lot of people out in several places, even I was lucky myself to get through the first round without having one down.”

Stephen Moore (IRL) and Team De Coquerie win the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*. © Sportfot

Second place in the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2* went to Canada’s Jacqueline Steffens on Eye Candy Jumpers’ 2007 Selle Francais gelding by Heartbreaker x Girl De Coquerie, Cat Ninja, who crossed through the fast track timers in 41.42 seconds. Third was awarded to Samantha Wight (USA) riding Melissa Wight’s 2008 Zangersheide mare by Cap Kennedy x Ma Jolie D’Troteval, Crunch De Troteval Z, finishing their jump-off in 42.54 seconds.

Stephen Moore (IRL) and Team De Coquerie with Claire Wren of CabanaCoast and Laura Fetterman, who presented Team De Coquerie with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award. © Sportfot

Final Results: $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*

1. TEAM DE COQUERIE: 2007 Selle Francais gelding by Heartbreaker x Girl De Coquerie
STEPHEN MOORE (IRL), Vlock Show Stables: 0/0/40.81

2. CAT NINJA: 2008 KWPN mare by Zirocco Bleu x Wyrusa H
JACQUELINE STEFFENS (CAN), Eye Candy Jumpers: 0/0/41.42

3. CRUNCH DE TROTEVAL Z: 2008 Zangersheide mare by Cap Kennedy x Ma Jolie D’Troteval
SAMANTHA WIGHT (USA), Melissa Wight: 0/0/42.54

4. BALOU’S FLY HIGH: 2007 Oldenburg stallion by Balou Du Rouet x Alianz
ISABELLA RUSSEKOFF (USA), Suave Pony LLC: 0/1/45.39

5. FEMINKA: 2010 KWPN mare by Verdi TN x Vaminka
TANIMARA MACARI (MEX), Tanimara Macari: 0/4/40.35

6. IKAROS: 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Chelltago Z x Electra
MAX WACHMAN (IRL), Coolmore Show Jumping: 0/4/42.86

7. GOTCHA: 2011 Holsteiner mare by Stakkato x Zicchini
SIMON MCCARTHY (IRL), Rock Ridge Farms: 0/8/39.93

8. FIREFLY: 2010 KWPN gelding by VDL Wittinger x Urette VDL
SERGIO NIETO DEL RIO (MEX), Sergio Nieto Del Rio: 1/78.40

9. CASSINA 64: 2008 Oldenburg mare by Collado x Loise
RALEIGH HILER (USA), Kurt Hiler: 1/79.22

10. BALOTELLI 5: 2010 Gelding by Balou Du Rouet x Conny
MATTHEW BODDY (GBR), Purple Road LLC: 4/71.82

11. CHADON BLUE:2005 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Bluebell
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura and Mary Chapot: 4/72.16

12. BACCARAT DU TERTRE: 2011 Selle Francais mare by Putch Des Isles x Kassandre Erger
KAREN POLLE (JPN), Karen Polle: 4/72.63

Tracey Gorin-Byrne Rides Honor Hill’s Giovanni to the Win the Bruno Delgrange Palm Beach Adult Medal

Thirteen adult equitation riders entered the Bruno Delgrange Palm Beach Adult Medal on Sunday in the Rost Arena. The medal included a first round course and then a flat phase for the top 12 riders. In the end, Tracey Gorin-Byrne piloted Fiach Byrne Inc.’s Honor Hill’s Giovanni to the blue ribbon.

03/03/2021 ; Wellington FL ; Winter Equestrian Festival - Week 8
Tracey Gorin-Byrne and Honor Hill’s Giovanni win the Bruno Delgrange Palm Beach Adult Medal. © Sportfot

Gorin-Byrne, of Noank, CT, has been paired with Honor Hill’s Giovanni since last fall. The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Vigaro was originally a jumper and has just recently started his equitation career with Gorin-Byrne.

“He was actually a jumper before, and he was with Sweet Oak as a sales horse,” said Gorin-Byrne. “Then in Tryon in the fall, Ali [Sweetnam] said she had a horse I could try in the Ariat [Adult Medal] if I wanted to because she knows I like to do the adult equitation. I showed him there, and then my husband got him for me as a birthday present!”

“Jenna [Vanerstrom] helps me and obviously Ali and Danny [Arendt),” explained Gorin-Byrne. “Everybody always helps everybody! But Jenna is almost always at the ring with me, and she shows him in schooling classes and rides him a lot. She’s done a lot with him, and he’s come so far.”

After scoring an 85.5, Gorin-Byrne returned for the flat portion in second place. The pair showed off their technique and style in the second phase to move up and earn the top prize.

“I was really happy with him,” commented Gorin-Byrne. “Every week he’s getting better and better, and we are tweaking little things to make him do as well as he can. I think I was a little deep into the last line but he has gotten really good about helping me cover that up.”

Although Honor Hill’s Giovanni is currently for sale, Gorin-Byrne is still looking forward to continuing her success with the gelding until he sells.

“He is for sale whenever the right place for him shows up,” said Gorin-Byrne. “I’ll just keep having fun with him as long as I can and maybe we will do indoors, but if not, I’ll find something else to do it with! It’s been really fun. I don’t usually have my own horse, so it’s been really nice to have one that I get to love and give treats to and get attached to a little bit.”

The second place honor was awarded to Lindsey Tomeu, of Wellington, FL, and Sweet Oak Farm’s Sunman. The duo scored an 85 in the over fences portion of the medal. With a score of 86 in the first round, Millie Syroka, of Sylvania, OH, and her own Common Sense claimed third place.

Competition will begin again on Wednesday, March 31, and continue through Sunday, April 4, for the twelfth and final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

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