Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 14, 2019 – CSIO5* week at the 2019 Palm Beach Masters Series commenced on Wednesday, with the first big feature event of the week kicking off on Thursday in the Grass Arena with the $50,000 Suncast® Grand Prix Qualifier. Twenty-five-year-old Catherine Tyree from the United States bested the field of veterans aboard Mary Tyree’s Bokai with a double-clear performance to secure the win.
Thirty-five athlete-and-horse combinations navigated Irish course designer Alan Wade’s 13-obstacle track around the expansive grass field, which saw four produce faultless efforts, while seven jumped clear with just 1 time fault.
With Ireland’s Cormac Hanley electing not to return for the jump-off aboard Heathman Farm, LLC’s VDL Cartello, a victory for the home country was guaranteed, with the remaining challengers being Tyree, Beezie Madden and Todd Minikus.
Tyree set the standard to beat in the jump-off with a quick, clear round in 40.60 seconds, while reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final champions, Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS, followed, crossing the finish line with a total of 8 penalties in a conservative 51.49 seconds.
Minikus and Legacy Stables, LLC’s Chaventyno wrapped up Thursday afternoon’s class with another double-clear ride in 41.74 seconds, garnering him second place honors, Madden third place and Tyree the win.
Competition continues at Deeridge Farms on Friday with the highlight event, the $210,000 Longines Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Masters CSI5*, kicking off at 2 p.m. in the Grass Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Catherine Tyree – $50,000 Suncast® Grand Prix Qualifier winner
On her plan in the jump-off:
“Going first, I knew I had Beezie [Madden] and Todd [Minikus] behind me, who are both very fast, so I thought I would give it a good shot. There were only three [in the jump-off] so I was guaranteed a top three finish no matter the outcome and I really wanted to use that to my advantage. I was really happy with my horse and how everything played out. He was really great in the jump-off. He fought for me and I really appreciated that.”
“He’s 13 now. I’ve had him for two and a half years and we’ve done a lot together. I jumped my first Nations Cup with him, won speed classes, indoors, small sand rings, grass rings, etc. He’s super competitive no matter what the class is. He always fights when he’s in the ring. He really loves what he does and I think that shows. He’s a little bit of a handful outside of the ring but he goes in and he’s always very focused. I couldn’t ask for any more from him. He tries his heart out every time and I feel very lucky to have him.”
On Thursday’s course:
“I think the line to the double verticals, for me as a rider, was the hardest part. I wanted to make sure I gave him a good enough ride to the triple bar but wanted to recover and put the six [strides] in for him to jump the combination. He gave a really great effort. I could’ve done a little bit better. I think the time-allowed for everyone was tight today so going early and seeing the first three all have time faults — I really had to stay on it. I know he’s a naturally quick horse, but I really didn’t want to let my guard down with that. I felt he was jumping amazing and I didn’t want to have a time fault so I really stayed on it, and he jumps great out of the gallop.”
Todd Minikus – Second place
On his jump-off:
“I wasn’t really trying to save [my horse], he just didn’t turn very well after the blue oxer so I got carried wide to the vertical and he kind of started bulging on me. That was probably where I lost to Catherine.”
Beezie Madden – Third place
On the tight time-allowed:
“Every now and then [you’ll see a high percentage of time faults], but it’s not that common. With the course today being a qualifier, I think some people might have sacrificed the time a little bit to make sure they qualified for the grand prix.”
On her plan for Breitling LS:
“Right now, my plan is to use Breitling LS in the Nations Cup on Sunday so I didn’t want to put the pedal to the metal too much today. I just wanted to give him a nice round. I felt like his first round was good. He hasn’t shown a lot lately so I just wanted to give him one more lap around and make sure he was confident and paying attention. I was happy with the way my jump-off went so hopefully it will be a good result on Sunday.”
$50,000 Suncast® Grand Prix Qualifier:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Bokai / Catherine Tyree / USA / Mary Tyree / 0 / 0 | 40.60
2. Chaventyno / Todd Minikus / USA / Legacy Stables, LLC / 0 / 0 | 41.74
3. Breitling LS / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail S. Wexner / 0 / 8 | 51.49
4. VDL Cartello / Cormac Hanley / IRL / Heathman Farm, LLC / 0 / WD
5. Limbridge / Eve Jobs / USA / Eve Jobs / 1 | 76.05
6. Chacna / Enrique Gonzalez / MEX / Alice Lawaetz and Enrique Gonzalez / 1 | 76.10
7. C Hunter / Lucas Porter / USA / Sleepy P Ranch LLC / 1 | 76.62
8. Skyhorse / Lillie Keenan / USA / Chansonette Farm LLC / 1 | 76.64
9. Concona / Ben Maher / GBR / Poden Farms / 1 | 78.24
10. Chichester / Alonso Valdez Prado / PER / Alonso Valdez Prado / 1 | 78.96
11. Creedance / Kent Farrington / USA / Kent Farrington and R.C.G. Farm / 1 | 79.23
12. Kirschwasser SCF / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 3 | 87.64