Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 15, 2019 – Hosting the second of three weeks in the 2019 winter series, the CP Palm Beach Masters, presented by Suncast, welcomed back some of the world’s most decorated show jumping competitors Friday afternoon, each vying for the top prize in the $210,000 Longines Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Masters CSIO5* during Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA week. Following a hard-fought class with one-third of the entries qualifying for the jump-off, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Imerald Van’t Voorhof ultimately hoisted the title and earned the lion’s share of the prize money after besting the field of 44 horse-and-athlete partnerships.
For the first round of riding, course designer Alan Wade (IRL) presented competitors with a track fit for the occasion, complete with 16 efforts spread across the expansive grass field at Deeridge Farms to challenge entries representing 14 nations. Though the class commenced on a slow start with a series of unlucky rails down, the momentum eventually picked up across the board as 15 pairs earned a slot in the jump-off thanks to their clear rides. Before the halfway break, Wilton Porter (USA), Catherine Tyree (USA), Juan Manuel Gallego (COL), Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX), Andrew Welles (GBR) and Fernando Martinez Sommer (MEX) each navigated their respective mounts to fault-free first round trips within the time-allowed. The second half of the pack continued to add to the growing list, with Beezie Madden (USA), Ben Maher (GBR), Mario Deslauriers (CAN), Lorenzo De Luca (ITA), Shane Sweetnam (IRL), O’Shea, Danielle Goldstein (ISR), Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) turning in eligible rides.
Whittled down to eight countries represented in the jump-off, the United States posed the greatest threat of winning, with five entries claiming spots out of the 15 that were earned. A famed designer known for his expert courses, Wade’s technical pattern offered bold contenders a number of opportunities to cut time if they were willing to take chances. First to go over the nine-fence short course, Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Caletto Cabana served as the pace-setters, tripping the timers in 37.12 seconds with one rail down to set the standard for the remaining exhibitors. In the ring as the third to return, owner-rider Gallego and Coulash Van De Broy Z solidified themselves as the frontrunners with the first double-clear effort of the afternoon, leaving all of the obstacles intact in a conservative time of 39.36 seconds. Though a number of pairs gave the early leaders a run for their money with quick-footed rides, some even slicing up to five seconds off of the clock, a steady stream of clipped rails continued to plague the returning combinations.
Finally a match for Mallego and the 13-year-old gelding, as the 12th duo back in the ring, Irishman Paul O’Shea and Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Imerald Van’t Voorhof managed to capture the top spot on the leaderboard after navigating a foot-perfect round in a blazing 36.03 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of the Colombian partnership, even after O’Shea dropped his rein. Goldstein and Lizziemary, the horse she co-owns with The Golden Group, immediately followed and turned in a valiant effort with the quickest short course ride of the class in 34.43 seconds but, like many of their fellow competitors, could not keep all of the rails up. Saving a nail-biting gallop for last, Goldstein-Engle piloted her trusty partner Royce, owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC, over the nine fences in rapid fashion, ultimately laying down only the third double-clear effort of the day less than one second off the leader’s pace, confirming O’Shea and his 11-year-old gelding’s status as the champions of the prestigious $210,000 Longines Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Masters CSIO5*.
With a time of 36.78 seconds, Goldstein-Engle and Royce nabbed the reserve position, and Gallego and Coulash Van De Broy Z rounded out the podium in third place as the final pair to maneuver two successful trips. Goldstein and Lizziemary earned fourth place, while Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt claimed fifth in the final standings.
Friday’s victory for O’Shea and “Imerald” is the pair’s second in less than a week for the accomplished team, having won the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix CSI2* down the road during Week Five of the Winter Equestrian Festival on Sunday. O’Shea has had the ride on Imerald Van’t Voorhof for about two years, and the partnership has proven fruitful in that relatively short time, with other accolades including first prize in the $70,000 Grand Prix CSI2* at the Lexington International in spring 2018. No stranger to international competition, O’Shea represented his country last September at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ aboard Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu, another of his skilled mounts, and helped the Irish team to seventh place overall out of 23 teams.
Show jumping competition will return to Deeridge Farms throughout the weekend, with the $72,000 NetJets Classic CSIO5* taking center stage Saturday, in addition to the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Youth for Young Rider, Juniors and Children. On Sunday, the highlight event of the week, the $230,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA CSIO5*, will feature athletes from nations around the world battling over the course of two rounds to determine which flag will reign supreme.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Paul O’Shea (IRL) – $210,000 Longines Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Masters CSIO5* winner
On his jump-off round:
“There was only one clear but Margie was left behind me so I had to go as fast as I could. I actually lost my rein after jump three. It took me a second to get organized. I definitely did not get the best distance going in that I wanted. I had one stride more than I wanted to the double, but he jumped it great. I have to give full credit to Imerald there. I was thinking, ‘Keep going, Margie’s behind me, keep going!’ It wasn’t as wide as the first round so that was probably a good thing. Then, I heard that the second-to-last was jumping badly, but I didn’t want to think like that so I just really rode it as hard as I could.”
On Imerald Van’t Voorhof:
“I’ve been riding him for about two years. He’s owned by the Tisbo family, who sponsored the class, so that was very nice. I’m very grateful to them for trusting me with him. He’s a fantastic horse. He was extremely consistent all last year. He goes clear most of the time. He’s very scopey and the jumps always feel small, which is a nice feeling. When he jumps at home, he’s very laid back and easy going. Then, when he gets to the show, he gets fresh. Normally, the first day, he gets fresh and then he settles down as the week goes on, but he definitely saves himself for the competition.”
Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) – Second place
On her jump-off round:
“Paul is always really fast and my horse is naturally not the quickest because he spends a lot of time in the air. The harder I kick him at the jumps, the higher he gets. I knew he was quick but I just didn’t know [where we would finish].”
“Royce has been a friend and partner of mine for seven years now, probably going on eight. He’s always had all of the ability in the world, we just had to work on his rideability in between the jumps. He’s got a great personality, he’s really sweet and he gives it a shot every time. He might not be the quickest horse in the air but he does try to leave the jumps up. He’s got a great big heart and gives you everything he has.”
Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) – Third place
On his jump-off round:
“I jumped in the beginning of the jump-off, so I just tried to have a fast, clear round with my horse. He’s not the fastest horse but then the faster riders started to have rails down so they made my finish better. It’s an honor to be here with all of you. It’s my first time sitting here. I’m really, really happy to be here. In South America we have really good riders. I think I had a really good day today. For me, it’s one of the happiest days of my life.”
On his partnership with Coulash van de Broy Z:
“I got [Coulash van de Broy Z] almost four years ago. He’s 13 years old. He’s a good horse. Sometimes when the ring is too crowded, he’s not the easiest horse. Yesterday he was a little bit tense but today he jumped amazing. I think he’s a scopey horse.”
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Imerald Van ‘t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / IRL / Tequestrian Farms, LLC / 0 / 0 / 36.03
2. Royce / Margie Goldstein-Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners, LLC / 0 / 0 / 36.78
3. Coulash Van de Broy Z / Juan Manuel Gallego / COL / Juan Manuel Gallego / 0 / 0 / 39.36
4. Lizziemary / Danielle Goldstein / ISR / Danielle Goldstein, The Golden Group / 0 / 4 / 34.43
5. Chic Hin D Hyrencourt / Elizabeth Madden / USA / Abigail S Wexner / 0 / 4 / 34.88
6. Brindis Bogibo / Andrew Welles / USA / Itasca Group LLC / 0 / 4 / 35.81
7. Ladriano Z / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Alexa Schwitzer, Blue Star Investments / 0 / 4 / 36.42
8. Caletto Cabana / Wilton Porter / USA / Sleepy P Ranch LLC / 0 / 4 / 37.12
9. Bokai / Catherine Nicole Tyree / USA / Mary Tyree / 0 / 4 / 37.21
10. Ensor de Litrange LXII / Lorenzo De Luca / ITA / Stephex Stables / 0 / 4 / 37.45
11. Bardolina / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / Wishing Well Farm LLC / 0 / 4 / 37.49
12. Concona / Ben Maher / GBR / Poden Farms / 0 / 4 / 37.78
For full results, please click here.