Wellington, Fla. – March 15, 2020 – Despite the cancellation of sporting events across the country amid concerns of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series continued as planned on Sunday, welcoming spectators as athletes made their final attempt for a victory in the $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final CSI5*. Six horses qualified for the prestigious jump-off, but with an elimination of the fastest double clear duo, Ireland’s Billy Twomey on Lady Lou, the win went to Israel’s Dani G. Waldman and Queensland E.
After a qualifying course that saw 22 clear rounds on Friday, Ireland’s Alan Wade upped the ante for Sunday’s finale, testing athletes with a long 14-obstacle track that included an open water as well as an oxer-vertical double combination. At the end of the track under the hot sun, there was a vertical-oxer-oxer triple combination, as well as a wide triple bar in the last line. With a tight time allowed also playing a factor, only six combinations advanced to the tiebreaker which featured a tight rollback to a double combination that wreaked havoc for the majority of those that returned.
Israel’s Dani G. Waldman produced the first double clear effort aboard her 11-year-old Zangersheide stallion Queensland E, leaving out strides in several lines to set the time to beat at 38.01 seconds. Brian Moggre (USA) aboard Major Wajor LLC’s MTM Vivre le Reve and Jessica Springsteen (USA) riding Rushy Marsh Farm LLC’s RMF Zecilie each slipped through the timers in under 38 seconds, but also had 4 faults at the double combination to eventually finish second and third respectively.
Twomey was the final athlete to tackle the shortened track with his own and Sue Davis’ Lady Lou, cruising to a clear effort in 37.75 seconds that took over the top spot, but upon the final inspection he was found to “not be in compliance with the blood rule” and was thus eliminated from the jump-off to place sixth.
In an official FEI statement:
“Irish athlete Billy Twomey and the horse Lady Lou were eliminated from the Grand Prix at the CSI5* at Wellington (USA) on Sunday 15 March when blood was found on the left flank of the horse in the post-competition check after the jump-off. In accordance with Article 241.3.30 of the FEI Jumping Rules, this results in elimination. Elimination under this rule does not imply there was any intent to injure the horse, but the rules are in place to protect the welfare of all competing horses.”
Waldman was named the victor for the day, but due to impending travel restrictions with relation to the COVID-19, she left immediately upon completion of the jump-off, opting to not lead the lap of honor so she could fly home to The Netherlands.
In an official FEI statement:
“Israeli athlete Dani G Waldman had already informed FEI Officials that she was unable attend the prize giving and post competition press conference as she had a flight to catch. She will still be awarded the prize money following the result of the competition. As stated in the FEI Jumping rules, article 248.5 If a prize winner fails, without plausible excuse, to take part at the prize giving ceremony, the Ground Jury, at its discretion, may decide to allow the OC to withhold the Athlete’s prize.”
Queensland E is a new partner for Waldman, who only purchased the talented stallion in January. He was originally shown by The Netherland’s Frank Schuttert, but Waldman was looking for a new horse and her husband felt strongly that they would be a good match. This Sunday, they proved that they are beginning to gel and have a bright future together.
Sunday’s main event marked the conclusion of the Palm Beach Masters at Deeridge Farms, as well as the conclusion of the winter show season following the advisement of both the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in response to the growing risk of COVID-19.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Dani G. Waldman – $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final CSI5*
On her win:
“The horse jumped unbelievable. I actually thought he started a little plain during the warm-up for the first round, but he jumped incredible in the first round. I’ve been struggling to put it all together and I felt like I finally did. In the first round, I was really able to execute my plan and stick to it. In the jump-off, I had trouble getting through the turn so I think I was a little slower, but in the end it worked out.”
On the jump-off:
“I don’t know the horse all that well, so my strategy was to go as fast as I could where I still felt I could leave the jumps up – it wasn’t lightning fast but quick enough. Luckily the horse is so quick naturally.”
On Queensland E:
“My husband, Alan Waldman, and I had been looking for another horse to jump the big classes, and he’d had his eye on this horse for a while. We didn’t know if it was the best horse we’d ever seen, but Alan was sure it was my horse. He trusted I could ride him and I trusted Alan.”
On the coronavirus (COVID-19):
“In light of the world collapsing I have literally no plans other than to get home to my family as quickly as possible. In a time like this I just want to be around the people I love, and I trust my horses will be loved and cared for. Hopefully, one day soon, things will start to normalize and we can go back to doing the sport we all love.”
$300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Faults | Time
1. Queensland E / Dani G. Waldman / ISR / 0 | 38.01
2. MTM Vivre le Reve / Brian Moggre / USA / 4 | 37.52
3. RMF Zecilie / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 4 | 37.78 sec
4. Venue d’Fees des Hazalles / Eve Jobs / USA / 4 | 40.85
5. Dublin van Overis / Jorge Matte Capdevila / CHI / 4 | 41.48
6. Lady Lou / Billy Twomey / IRL / eliminated
7. Imerald van ‘t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / IRL / 1 | 84.08
8. Dinky Toy vd Kranenburg / Lorenzo De Luca / ITA / 1 | 84.23
9. Brego R’n B / Katherine A. Dinan / USA / 1 | 84.55
10. Cornetto K / Alexandra Thornton / GBR / 1 | 84.76
11. Farrel / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 1 | 85.30
12. Classic Dream / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 4 | 78.89