Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 10, 2019 – Week 5 of the 12-week 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit concluded on Sunday, February 10, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Out of the 45 entries in the $50,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI 2*, 11 went clear to contest the jump-off. As the final competitor to enter the jump-off, 25-year-old Catherine Tyree (USA) rode Mary Tyree’s BEC Lorenzo to the top time of 40.05 seconds.
She was chasing a time of 40.24 seconds set by Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi, who would settle for second place. Third place went to Ali Wolff (USA) riding Double H Farm’s HH Venice Beach, who were clear in 40.35 seconds.
“I saw Ali’s jump-off,” Tyree recalled. “I didn’t get to see Lacey’s, but she wins so much with that horse and she’s very fast. I actually didn’t quite like the jump-off for my horse. We have a little bit of a hard time turning, but he was really great with that today, and I was able to use that to my advantage one to two. I did seven strides there, and I think everybody else did eight. He was really game and answered all the questions that I asked.”
This was the first FEI-level grand prix for BEC Lorenzo, a nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Livello x Guidam. Tyree is excited for his future and pleased with the progress they have made in the past year. “It’s really gratifying to know that the hard work has paid off,” she said. “We’ve all put a lot of effort into him, and I have to give a big thank you to John Brennan, Missy Clark, and his groom Ally Bradley.”
Fellow 25-year-old rider Gilbertson relied on her longstanding relationship with Baloppi, her 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare. They had great success in the Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series in 2018, which Gilbertson believes helped prepare them both for bigger competition.
“I loved the Under 25 [Series],” she stated. “It’s such a good transition between the highs and these bigger classes. It teaches you how to go fast and be competitive. I started jumpers a bit late when I was 19 so I never had all those years of running around in the [Low Jumpers]. It’s nice to have that.”
Gilbertson terms Baloppi as “magical” and continued, “She’s amazing. She’s so consistent; it doesn’t matter what ring it is, whether it’s a small indoor or a stadium or on the grass. Every single time she walks into the ring she is always game, she always tries her hardest, and she’s very forgiving when I make a mistake.”
Wolff (29) just got the ride on HH Venice Beach in December 2018 when Double H Farm rider/trainer Quentin Judge asked her to take over the ride as the horse is for sale. “He thought it was more of a girl’s ride,” said Wolff. “She’s like a wind-up toy. She loves her job and wants to win all the time. If I don’t get in the way she most likely will. I pulled and that’s probably why I was third instead of first. She has the biggest heart and such a great attitude.”
WEF continues on Wednesday, February 13, through February 17 with week 6 competition featuring the $134,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI 3* in the Global International Arena at Equestrian Village on Friday, February 15, at 7 p.m. and the $100,000 USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m. as part of the “Saturday Night Lights” series.
$50,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI2*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. BEC Lorenzo / Catherine Tyree / USA / 0 / 0 | 40.05
2. Baloppi / Lacey Gilbertson / USA / 0 / 0 | 40.24
3. HH Venice Beach / Ali Wolff / USA / 0 / 0 | 40.35
4. California 19 / Rodrigo Pessoa / BRA / 0 / 0 | 40.98
5. All In / Katherine Strauss / USA / 0 / 0 | 41.07
6. Fair Play / Aidan Killeen / IRL / 0 / 0 | 41.33
7. Luis P / Chloe Reid / USA / 0 / 0 | 43.75
8. Le Vio / Pablo Barrios / VEN / 0 / 4 | 40.65
9. Extra Minkus / John Perez / COL / 0 / 4 | 41.67
10. Iluna / Ramiro Quintana / ARG / 0 / 4 | 43.26
11. Valentino D’elte / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 / 8 | 44.64
12. Captain Cooper / Hilary Mcnerney / USA / 1 | 71.14