For the second time in 24 hours we have the pleasure of watching another major grand prix that will also be held on the grass. The walk today will be the Palm Beach Masters CSI4*-W. The prize money is $208,200 and this class is also a World Cup Qualifier. Our course designer for the week has been Alan Wade (IRL) and needs no introduction but Alan is considered by most as the leading course designer in the world today. You will also recognize him as the CD of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon last summer who created amazing show jumping competition. The weather has created some problems but for the most part the competitions this week at Deeridge Farms have proceeded without a hitch. The ring is far more personal in size than the derby field at WEF but the footing has been fantastic and has held up to perfection as was the case at the Derby field. As this class is a World Cup qualifier the water jump is not involved.
There are 40 entries qualified and 38 will cross the start line. The course will include a triple combination and a double. We will see 2 liverpools, 1 closed vertical and 1 oxer liverpool. There is 1 short pole vertical and a triple bar. (THE most important jump on the course)There will be 1 plank vertical 10ft. The time allowed is set at 84 seconds and will not be changed. The TA was very fair. The course will have 14 numbered obstacles and 17 efforts. The speed is set at 375m/m. It is now time to walk the $208,200 Palm Beach Masters CSI4*-World Cup Qualifier.
#1 vertical 1.52m or 5ft and was 1 of only 3 fences not faulted in the first round.
#2 oxer 1.48/1.60m or 4.11/5.3ft comes from #1 on the right bending rein with no given distance and caused and early exit for 1 rider.
#3 short pole vertical 1.57m or 5.2ft comes on a full turn right and tumbled to the turf 3 times.
#4 triple bar 1.52/1.90m or 5/6.3ft and comes from #3 on the left rein with no given distance and was the 2nd fence not to be faulted today. For me this was the most important fence on the course today. The triple bar is a set up fence. On its own this is a rather simple fence to jump clean but the line after and the distance to the next jump and the construction of the next jump is the TEST. Please follow me.
#5 vertical thin all black 10ft plank 1.60m or 5.3ft comes from #4 in a straight line with a distance of 18.30m or 60ft and with the triple bar first, this short 4 strides met mother earth 12 times.
#6 oxer 1.50/1.70m or 5/5.6ft comes from #5 on the bending left rein towards the in-gate and fell on the floor 5 times.
#7 oxer 1.51/1.65m or 5/5.4ft comes on the left rein at the in-gate and away and kissed the turf 1 time.
#8a vertical 1.54or 5.1ft comes from #7 in a straight line with a distance of 30m or 98.3ft and was the 3rd and last fence to remain in the yellow cups during the first round.
#8b vertical 1.57m or 5.2ft comes from #8a with a distance of 11.20m or 36.5ft and disappointed 4 competitors.
#8c oxer 1.52/1.60 or 5/5.3ft comes from #8b with a distance of 7.90m or 25.9ft and touched the turf 4 times.
#9 vertical 1.61m or 5.3ft. The viaduct filler has always jumped a little like a wall and has been a factor in all the classes held here. It is a favorite of mine. This vertical comes from #8c on a long gallop on the right rein and was torn down 7 times.
#10 oxer 1.50/1.70m or 5/5.6ft comes from #9 in a straight line with a distance of 28.50m or 77ft and was faulted on 1 occasion.
#11a oxer 1.49/1.70m or 5/5.6ft comes from #10 on the right bending rein with no given distance and the spread was shortened 1 time.
#11b vertical 1.57m or 5.2ft comes from #11a with a distance of 8m or 26.3ft and the height was lowered on 4 occasions.
#12 vertical 1.63m or 5.4ft comes toward the in-gate on the left rein with no given distance and fell from grace 6 times.
#13 narrow oxer 1.58/1.25m or 5.2/4.2ft comes past the in-gate on the left bending rein and tumbled to the turf 2 times.
#14 oxer 1.52/1.75m or 5/7ft comes from #13 in a straight line with a distance of 22m or 72ft and as the last fence in the first round was the last fence of the day for 4 competitors.
The final tally will show that 9 will proceed to the jump off. There was 1 ride with 1 time fault and there were 12 with 4 faults. We have 1 with 5 faults and 4 with 8 faults. There were no eliminations and no VW’s. We did not have a fall. There were only 3 obstacles that remained in the cups for the first round. The weather was a little humid but a really nice day. There was a good crowd on hand and all in all a very good grand prix. As we had 2 CSI4* within 24 hours I encourage readers to compare the specifications of the 2 classes to see the similarities and differences and results of these two grand prix’s on course discourse. I will point out that a couple of my thoughts would point out the use of the triple bar and in a test to the triple combination or after the triple combination. In our courses this week we show cased the course design of the present world leader with the work of Alan Wade (IRL) and a rising star Anderson Lima (BRA). The results of both 4* events were terrific. The weather and the footing being grass, with so much rain prior to the events, could have made the job of the CD more difficult but fortunately with great ground crews and better weather the footing could not have been better. Next week we are back to WEF and Saturday night lights for the work of Kelvin Bywater (GBR) and the CSI5* $391,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix. We are back in 10 days at Deeridge for the Longines FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO5* competition. Until next week I am Dave Ballard.