Wellington, FL (March 12, 2018) – Another week of jumping on the grass and under the lights wrapped up with Debbie Stephens and Claudia Citrin topping the week’s headline classes, along with all levels of show jumping competition at both The Ridge at Wellington’s home farm and the Polo Bar & Grill at Polo West. St. Patrick’s Day week brings a change of pace, as the Palm Beach Series Level 2 Jumpers begin at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center March 14-18, while the spectacular Hunter Derby Days feature USHJA National, International, and Pony Hunter Derbies March 16-17, 2018, also at Jim Brandon. The popular Friday Night Lights for Child/Adult and Open riders at Polo West will have a week off, to resume March 23, and instead the $5,000 1.30M Rising Star Classic riders will be able to ride under the stadium lights Friday evening at Jim Brandon!
As the season has progressed, so have the questions asked of horse and rider in each of the Turf Tour’s Grand Prix classes. This week proved to be a particularly challenging course, with no double clear efforts and only four first round clears, despite some very accomplished riders setting hoof to turf. Hardin Towell, Denis Lynch, Clementine Goutal, Adam Cramer, and Jordan Coyle were just a few, but ultimately Debbie Stephens and Centennial Farms’ Cairo B proved exceptional. Friday’s Grand Prix course, set by Mark McGowan, was designed with Turf Tour ideals in mind: “We strived to create a course that offers just enough options to make it challenging,” said McGowan. “The bending lines make it easy for a rider to want to quicken their pace and ride directly to the jumps, which in the end can cost rails. Rollbacks to one or two stride combinations also make sure the horse and rider are accurate. I enjoy designing on the grass as its a natural surface and you have to ride with a bit more synergy.”
The day’s Grand Prix marked a milestone for Mexico’s Pablo Trevena and his mare Currabawn Daisy, as their first 1.40M effort together and her first ever Grand Prix start. Trevena, recently returned from Europe and after 3 years spent with 2016 Individual Olympic Bronze Medalist Cian O’Connor, purchased the now 8-year-old Irish bred mare as a very green 5-year-old and decided the relaxed atmosphere of the Turf Tour would be ideal for them to make their Grand Prix debut. “I’ve spent the last three years working and showing in Europe, and I think this [the Turf Tour] is just as good and fantastic for the horses,” said Trevena. “I’m so thrilled with Daisy for having come this far; she tries so hard and always gives 110%. I was a bit concerned with how she would handle the grass footing, but I really think she jumped even better on the turf. I ride and train for myself now, and having a more economical and easy going horse show to bring new or progressing horses is such a benefit for their long term careers.”
While the Turf Tour has always hosted top tier competition, its true purpose is based in providing a variety of venues, footing, and show experiences to competitors during the Florida circuit. With 12-16 weeks of showing each winter, the Turf Tour offers a breath of fresh air for both horses and riders, as well as a dynamic stepping stone for developing future success.
“We designed the Turf Tour with the horses, the riders, and their experience in mind,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-founder of the Wellington Turf Tour with Olympian Nona Garson. “Low pressure, beautiful venues, exceptional footing, generous hospitality: these are the hallmarks of the Turf Tour and Palm Beach Series events. Whether you’re an Olympian looking for a change of pace or a rider showing a level for the first time, the beauty of the Turf Tour is that it’s true potential is whatever the riders choose to make it.”
Source: Press Release by Holly Johnson for Equinium Sports Marketing
Photos: © Palm Beach Series – The Ridge at Wellington / Equinium