Wellington, Fla. – March 16, 2019 – “Saturday Night Lights” during Week Ten of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the $134,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*. Luck was with the ladies as they produced the only four clear rounds of the evening. Ultimately, it was Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire that claimed first place honors aboard Roulette BH owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.
A total of 45 entries contested Michael Vaillancourt’s (CAN) 14-effort course. Riders were met with a challenging triple combination and many tight rollback turns during Saturday night’s first round, with rails coming down in various spots on course. After almost 20 horse and rider pairs unsuccessfully managed to leave all of the rails in tact, Amy Millar (CAN) emerged as the first clear of the night aboard Truman, a 10 year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Millar Brooke Farm LTD.
Millar’s clear round was immediately matched by the next pair in the ring, Laura Chapot (USA) and Chandon Blue, a 14 year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Mary Chapot, as they also navigated a fault-free finish. Just after the halfway point, Canada’s Vanessa Mannix and her own 10 year-old Selle Francais gelding Valentino D’Elte put down a clear round to join Millar and Chapot for the jump-off. Derbyshire and Roulette BH, a 10 year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, finished off the class with another clear round as the final pair to contest the first round.
Millar entered the International Arena as the pathfinder for the jump-off with the goal of finishing double clear. Millar and Truman put down a fault-free round in 45.65 seconds. Following Millar, Thursday’s $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round Ten CSI3* winner, Chapot, took to the jump-off on a mission to overtake the leading time. Though her time was quick enough, Chapot had an unfortunate rail in the double combination to finish in 43.07 seconds with four faults.
Mannix and Valentino D’Elte were also met with difficulty at the double combination and had an unfortunate rail as they rolled back to the second to last fence. The pair finished on eight faults with a time of 45.47 seconds, setting themselves up in third place. Derbyshire saved the best for last as she swiftly piloted Roulette BH to a clear finish in 44.12 seconds to take the win while Mannix would ultimately settle for the fourth place award. Millar and Chapot would take to the podium in second and third place, consecutively.
Luck was on Derbyshire’s side as Saturday evening’s grand prix marked her first WEF win under the lights. Following WEF, she and Roulette BH will travel to Europe with their sights set on qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Derbyshire added to her evening of awards as she was honored with the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Award for her efforts during Week Ten.
Week Ten will conclude Sunday, March 17 featuring the $36,000 CaptiveOne 1.50m Classic, with Week Eleven kicking off Wednesday, March 20.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Amanda Derbyshire – $134,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* winner
On Roulette BH:
“When I got him he had been ridden by a guy before, so he was very strong. For literally the last nine months we’ve been working rideability. In the jump-off I can actually let him go. We took it pretty slow last summer and we didn’t face him at all of the big stuff, and I think by doing that we’ve trusted each other. He’s jumped three grand prix classes here and he has been clear every time, he had a time fault once. We haven’t tried to over-show here and we’ve got big plans for the future.”
On her plan for the jump-off:
“I did actually plan nine strides from the second to the third fence and ended up doing eight. Then I just kept going, I was really lucky at the double on the end, I didn’t have much control by then. Luck was on my side. I had the advantage of watching all three go. I knew if Laura was clear it would be hard to beat her. We just stuck to our plan it worked out.”
On her win:
“It’s a first for me so I’m absolutely ecstatic. I don’t think there’s a better feeling than being able to canter around there!”
On her plans with Roulette BH:
“We’re going to go to Europe for a couple of months this summer. My plan is the Nations Cups at Dublin and Hickstead and hopefully everything goes to plan. I’m looking at if I can do my other horse in one of them, so [Roulette BH] will just have to do one. The Europeans are my big plan this summer, maybe not with him, maybe with the other horse, we’re just taking it slowly and the big aim is 2020 for him for sure.”
On tonight’s win after Thursday’s WEF Challenge Cup Round Ten:
“On Thursday it was my mistake at the last jump. I kind of got carried away and was a little bit too excited and it was way too long. Tonight there was seven strides in the last line and I was kind of looking at the clock at the same time I was coming down that line. I was saying, ‘Just be patient, there’s one more stride.’ I think I kind of learned my lesson from Thursday, sometimes it’s not always the best thing at the last jump.”
On earning the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award:
“It’s incredible, to win anything at WEF under the lights with such a big crowd is so special. I’ve been in America for nine years and I spent the first seven years watching all of these night classes. So to be able to jump them and be able to win is a dream come true.”
Amy Millar – second place
“It’s a pretty great story about this horse. I bought him from Eric Lamaze and Tiffany [Foster] helped me find him when were all in Europe getting ready for the Rio Olympics. They sold me the horse as a seven year-old and then last year I had a baby so my dad, Ian Millar, trained the horse for me all last year. He got him going around these 1.50m grand prix classes and I came back this season and have capitalized on everything that everyone has done to help me with the horse”
On going first in the jump off:
“I knew that, again, Laura is famous for being fast, and I knew everyone in the jump-off had the ability to go quickly. Essentially, I had to go as fast as I felt comfortable and leave the jumps up. I must say that I did think I was going to do one last stride in both of those lines when I made my plan, and then it just wasn’t working out that way. I just rode the plan and left the jumps up and I feel fortunate that I finished second. I must say the WEF Challenge Cup Round Ten on Thursday, he skipped around the first round beautifully. There were, I think, 86 riders in it, and it was three and a half hours later that I had to come back and his head was not in the game. I’m pleased with his performance today for sure.”
Laura Chapot – third place
On her jump off:
“That was a difficult combination in the first round, and I think coming off of a long gallop and then a short turn back to it we maybe just got over-steadied to it and he slowed down. He’s been jumping fantastic the entire time, he’s jumped an awful lot of clear rounds. He maybe jumped a little bit too high and just barely caught that back rail. I couldn’t be more pleased with him. He’s been fantastic and has way exceeded my expectations, so to get another top finish tonight is spectacular.”
$134,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSi3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Roulette BH / Amanda Derbyshire / Gochman Sport Horses LLC / GBR / 0 | 78.15 / 0 | 44.12
2. Truman / Amy Millar / Millar Brooke Farm LTD / CAN / 0 | 78.57 / 0 | 45.659
3. Chandon Blue / Laura Chapot / Mary Chapot / USA / 0 | 75.97 / 4 | 43.071
4. Valentino D’Elte / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 | 79.8 / 8 | 45.476
5. Keoki / David Blake / Pine Hollow Farm / IRL / 1 | 81.5
6. Fair Play / Aidan Killeen / Andrea Hippeau Vogel / IRL / 1 | 82.5
7. Charmeur / Sergio Alvarez Moya / Sergio Alvarez Moya / ESP / 4 | 75.05
8. Victor / Tiffany Foster / Artisan Farm LLC & Torrey Pines / CAN / 4 | 75.9
9. Catch Me Imperio Egipcio / Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa / Daniel Aguiar Morelli / BRA / 4 | 76.47
10. Dicas / Margie Engle / Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Show Horses, Garber & Gladewinds, IN / USA / 4 | 77.53
11. Davidoff De Lassus / Zoe Conter / Stephex Stables / BEL / 4 | 78.88
12. Quality FZ / Spencer Smith / Torrey Pines Gut Einhaus / USA / 4 | 79.27