Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 23, 2018 – The second of four CSI5*-designated weeks during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) brought 40 qualified competitors and a packed crowd of fans to the International Arena on Saturday evening for the capstone event of Week Seven, the $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5*. Up against an elite field, challengers couldn’t risk a mistake if they hoped to earn a stake of the purse, and ultimately Danielle Goldstein (ISR) and Lizziemary came out on top as the most perfect of the night under the lights to capture the victory and the lead spot in the lap of honor, the second time in two years the partnership has championed the Week Seven CSI5* Grand Prix at WEF.
Having already created a series of beautiful and technical courses throughout the week, designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) continued displaying his expertise Saturday night with a 17-obstacle pattern at the 1.60m height that effectively separated the elite from the rest of the pack. The fifth to go in the order, Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Evergate Stable LLC’s Lucifer V were the first to successfully tackle the formidable course, and their efforts were soon matched by Emil Hallundbaek (DEN) aboard Chalisco to force a jump-off. Alex Granato (USA) and Page Tredennick’s Carlchen W immediately added their names to the list as the next to take their turns, and the streak later continued much further into the class thanks to Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina 2, the 25th duo to navigate the track.
Rounding out the first round of riding as some of the last partnerships to demonstrate their skills, Goldstein and Lizziemary, the horse she co-owns with The Golden Group, and Kent Farrington (USA) in the irons aboard Creedance proved to be the final pairs to master the initial course. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Karen Polle (JPN) each faced heartbreak aboard their respective mounts after earning a single time fault to keep them out of contention.
Whittled down to the best of the evening, six horse-and-athlete combinations representing five nations returned for the abridged 8-fence jump-off. The USA statistically had the best chance of claiming gold with two teams turning in penalty-free first trips, and the men outweighed the women contenders by five to one. Serving as the pathfinders, Nassar and Lucifer V set a high bar for subsequent pairs, turing in a fault-free trip in 39.917 seconds, which Hallundbaek and Chalisco almost exactly matched with their clear time of 40.029, just a hair off the pace. Managing to barely edge out the early front-runners, Granato and Carlchen W added a third successful ride, stopping the clock in 39.512 to sneak into the head spot on the leaderboard, and they were followed by Deslauriers and Bardolina 2, who also kept all the fences upright and maneuvered to a quick time, but tripped the timers slightly too slow in 40.756 seconds.
Going for broke with a bold ride that included quick foot speed and an impressive inside turn from fence one to two, the first pair to try the dicey option, Goldstein took advantage of the 13-year-old chestnut mare’s huge stride and galloped into a league all her own in a clear 37.765 seconds, eclipsing the leading pair to take over the top spot with only one challenger left to go. Always a threat thanks to their proven talent together, Farrington and Creedance posed the only risk to Goldstein and Lizziemary, also attempting the tight rollback to fence two and keeping on pace until the second-to-last oxer fell, securing the duo from Israel as the top finishers in the $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5*. Granato and Carlchen W earned the reserve position, while Nassar and Lucifer V rounded out the podium spots in third place overall.
In February 2018 during the same week of WEF, Goldstein and Lizziemary outrode the field to emerge victorious in the $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, and since then the skilled partners have been a staple for the squad from Israel. Goldstein and Lizziemary’s win Saturday was the second premiere victory of the week for an Israeli pair, as Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ladriano Z earned the top spot in the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup VII CSI5* on Thursday. Less than one week ago in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America CSIO5* during the Palm Beach Master Series, Goldstein and her fiery red mare helped lead Team Israel to an impressive second place finish. The pair have a busy schedule ahead of them across multiple continents and are playing the long game, hoping to perform well in upcoming Olympic qualifiers to earn a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The seventh week of WEF will continue for one final day, with jumper riders offered more chances at the prize money in the FEI $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Classic, followed by the $50,000 1.45m Dutta Corp./Guido Klatte Grand Prix CSI2* later in the afternoon. Another week of CSI5* competition will return to the International Ring in two weeks, with the highlight Saturday night class taking the form of the $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI5*.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Danielle Goldstein – $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5* winner
On her win:
“It’s amazing to win two years in a row. It was a hard feat to win one year, let alone two years in a row, so I’m shocked, amazed and happy. I was really thrilled. Going into the jump-off I knew I had Kent [Farrington] behind me and I had some friends looking out for me. I saw the guys [before me] go. I had walked inside of the wall and I knew it looked sort of dicey, but my horse is good about those weird angles. She didn’t quite see it today and I got a little bit lucky I thought, but I did see it when I walked it so I thought I had to go out there and try. If you don’t try to win, you never win so you might as well try.”
“She’s been an amazing horse since I got her. She started out amazing and she’s still amazing. If she just stays the same, I’m happy – she doesn’t need to get any better. I think last year might have been the last time I won a 5* with her, so it felt like a long time coming. I jumped the last couple big grand prix [classes] clear and I’ve had one down in the jump-off or I’ve had one unlucky fault and it felt like I was at the edge and we were really close. This is not ideal weather, but she managed to pull it all together. She just went in there and tried her heart out – it was amazing. I was impressed with her.”
On her opinion of the jump-off course:
“It played to our advantage. My horse has a huge stride, it is abnormally large. For me, I walked the course and thought it would be a good jump-off. There were some good places I could run, and I thought I could do seven [strides] across the middle where a lot of people did eight [strides.] For Lizziemary, it worked out. The jumps were set in a good place, and I was able to get that first slice done, which I trusted her to do. I was able to leave strides out, and it worked out.”
On her upcoming schedule:
“Lizziemary has the next week off, and then she is supposed to do the next CSI5* here in two weeks. Then we go back to Europe for the [Longines] Global Champions Tour. We have our Olympic qualifier for Israel, so that is a big thing for us, and then we also have the European Championships coming at the end of summer.”
Alex Granato – $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5* second place
On Carlchen W:
“I’ve had this horse for a long time now. I got to bring him along from a 5-year-old and in the last year and a half he’s just really exceeded my expectations. He’s come very far and done a lot for me and with me now. He just feels really great. He’s on form. He had a great fall [season] and had a light period leading into the winter. Now he just jumps everything for me and I’m thrilled with how he’s doing.”
On his jump-off:
“I was happy with [Carlchen W] everywhere. I had walked the same turn that Danielle mentioned before the first round and I really didn’t think that it was there for my horse or me tonight. Even though I went around, I got a little hung up and I got one or two extra strides to the wall than I wanted. That was the only place I wasn’t thrilled with in the jump-off. Everywhere else I thought he was really on the pace and did exactly what I wanted and stuck to the plan. I was happy with how it ended. [Danielle] was the clear winner with the way she laid it on the table.”
Nayel Nassar – $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5* third place
On Lucifer V:
“It’s always a tough spot to go first in the jump-off, but he is a fast horse. I didn’t think that inside turn was there for me today as he is a little funny with walls and I don’t quite know him well enough to do that. He feels so good. He jumped at Deeridge Farms and that was his first show of the year. It took him a round or two to get going, but now he has been in the top three of his last three big classes, so we are starting to find some consistency. He is really a great horse and is a ton of fun to ride. He is a little quirky in his own ways, but he really tries hard for you and once you get going to the first jump he is game for anything. I’m really proud of how he is going right now.”
On placing in the top three in the CSI5*:
“It means a ton. This is my first grand prix under lights in a long time here in Wellington. Lucifer is a bit of a newer ride to me, so I’m just really excited that it’s going so well at this level. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season, and I’m pleased with how he jumped today.”
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Lizziemary / Danielle Goldstein / ISR / 0 / 0 | 37.765
2. Carlchen W / Alex Granato / USA / 0 / 0 | 39.512
3. Lucifer V / Nayel Nassar / EGY / 0 / 0 | 39.917
4. Chalisco / Emil Hallundbaek / DEN / 0 / 0 | 40.029
5. Bardolina 2 / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / 0 / 0 | 40.756
6. Creedance / Kent Farrington / USA / 0 / 4 | 39.652
7. Chameur 137 / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / 1 / 84.03
8. RMF Zecilie / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 1 / 84.99
9. Sari / Karen Polle / JPN / 1 / 85.20
10. Blue Movie / Rowan Willis / AUS / 4 / 78.52
11. Clooney 51 / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 4 / 80.06
12. Ladriano Z / Daniel Bluman / ISR / 4 / 80.11
For full results, please click here.