Winter Equestrian Festival

Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z $391,000 Soar to Victory in Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5* at WEF

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z Sportfot

Wellington, Florida, USA – March 09, 2019 – Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ladriano Z won the $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5* last Saturday night during the ninth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the International Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Forty of the best combinations in the world set out to challenge Alan Wade‘s (IRL) 1.60m course, a first-round track that proved to be very challenging, yet still fair.One of the most consistent pairings competing so far this year, Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W (Chacco-Blue x Continue) were the first ones to clear all the obstacles without having any penalties attributed to them.

Besides the difficulty of being a double combination, the line from the eleventh obstacle  caused havoc, especially since obstacle 11 and 12 were placed close to the ingate and horses could get distracted by it, disrupting the flow before set up to the next jump, going into a curve. Moreover, the next obstacle was a triple consisting of an oxer, vertical and oxer alongside the VIP tent, with the distance between elements a and b being very tight. As a result, element 13b kept several competitors from advancing to the jump-off round while others were caught by element a while trying to make adjustments.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Karen Polle & Sari Sportfot 2

Karen Polle (JPN) & Sari

It would be a while until the next duo secured a jump-off. Karen Polle (JPN) and Sari (Ninio de Rox x Timorrak des Isles) did the honors, giving the crowd what they had hoped for.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Beezie Madden & Breitling LS 2

Beezie Madden (USA) & Breitling  LS

Only three other riders joined them in the tiebreaker, Beezie Madden (USA), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and the eventual winners, Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ladriano Z.

In the jump-off, Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W got things started, registering a fast time of 37.096 seconds. However, this came at the expense of one rail down, meaning that they would finish in fourth place.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Karen Polle & Sari Sportfot

Karen Polle (JPN) & Sari

The next combination was Karen Polle (JPN) and Sari, who not only lowered Granato’s time to 37.58 seconds, but also left all the poles up, a lead which would up until the last duo crossed the finish line.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Beezie Madden & Breitling LS Sportfot

Beezie Madden (USA) & Breitling  LS

Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Champions Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling  LS (Quintero x Acord II) gave all they had, finishing fourth with four penalty-points and a final time of 37.768 seconds.

Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) had the same fate and score as Beezie, knocking a pole down while riding Ensor de Litrange LXII (Nabab de Reve x Mr. Blue), coming within two-hundredths of a second of the winning time.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Daniel Bluman & Ladriano Z ESP

Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Ladriano Z

As the last ones to go in the jump-off, Daniel Bluman (ISR) and the 11-year-old bay Zangersheide gelding (Lawito x Baloubet du Rouet) were not only able to go clear in the jump-off, but also lowered the previous leading mark to 37.413 seconds for the win.

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Podium Sportfot

Ringmaster Steve Rector, President and COO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Scott Durkin, Karen Polle (JPN), Daniel Bluman (ISR), Beezie Madden (USA), CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Dottie Herman, and Managing Broker of Florida, Don Langdon.


Winner’s Circle

Daniel Bluman 

“Ladriano has started the season really strong. He jumped clear all week at the [Deeridge Farms]. He was very strong that weekend and then he won the WEF [Challenge CUp]. In the grand prix [week seven] I had one down — it was a rider mistake. He felt incredible. I wasn’t actually supposed to show him this week but I thought, ‘I’ll just jump one more CSI 5* week.’ He went incredible on Thursday. I had a really cheap rail very similar to the one I had in the grand prix before. Today he felt spectacular. In the first round, I think I gave him the best chance to leave the jumps up and he jumped flawless. The warm-up for the jump-off was as good as I could have a warm-up with him. I got to see Beezie , Karen and Lorenzo go and I sort of had a plan in my head. I knew if I gave the horse the right chance we could maybe win the class and it turned out so I’m very thrilled.”

“He’s been in great form. He feels fresh — actually a bit too fresh so I didn’t have to do much. I was just trying to be a better rider for him and get him more rideable. If I put him in the right spot, he is going to leave the jumps up. He’s a phenomenal horse — they don’t get any better than that.”

“For me, I was quite confident he was going to jump it well because the last two mistakes he had were at an oxer in a combination at the back rail, which is really unusual for him. He’s a really careful horse so I actually rode it completely opposite to Beezie. I came in strong and a little deep with a lot of power. I was trusting the horse was going to jump up and be careful…it pretty much rode like a gymnastic after that. The circumstances of what happened in the last couple of classes allowed me to ride this way.”

“I’ve been blessed to have had a horse like Sancha [LS] for the majority of my young career, and now the opportunity to have Ladriano is a blessing. I think it would be unfair to say which is better — they’re both fantastic horses at different times in my career. To have a horse like Ladriano in the barn — it’s just a matter of me becoming better so that he can go on and win any grand prix in the world. I have to keep raising my level and getting to the best of my game so that he can continue to achieve success.”

Karen Polle (JPN)

“I’m so thrilled with her. We’re a relatively new partnership. I got her a little over a year ago, but we only started doing grand prix [classes] this past September so I’ve just been working on figuring her out. She’s been so consistent. This is her fourth grand prix she’s been clear this season. I’m absolutely thrilled and so excited about her.”

“She was jumping really well tonight so I knew I could take a little bit of a shot at some of the verticals. I tried to be as neat as I could. I knew there were a lot of fast pairs behind me so I think I did the best I could with the stage we’re at in our partnership right now.”

“I actually had the same plan as Daniel. I was planning to come in pretty positive up to the [double combination] but I ended up coming in way too hot. I was very lucky that my horse cleared it — that wasn’t exactly my plan.”

Beezie Madden (USA)

“I really used this week as a prep for World Cup Finals. I do plan on taking him. The first day in the 1.45m, I went a little fast and then he went in the WEF [Challenge] and today. I’m really happy with that because I think he could’ve jumped another round or two tonight. I was really thrilled with his performance. I thought the first round he was excellent and in the jump-off I think I was right on it. When I flew across the middle and jumped that vertical so fast I thought, ‘I should take a little care to the double.’ I throttled down a little too much, but I couldn’t be happier with the way the night went. This is his last prep before World Cup so we’re good to go.”

“I think part of the difficulty was the distance between [13a] and 13b. It was quite short and b was a tall vertical. I think that spot in the ring particularly is difficult as well because the horses think they’re done — it’s the last line going away from the gate so they tend to get behind you and then you have to speed up again. My plan was to come in as together as I could at that oxer and I stuck with that plan because it looked like the ones that went in fast were not doing well with b.”

2019. WEF CSI 5 DE GP Celebration Sportfot.jpg

Podium: Champagne shower for Karen Polle (JPN), Daniel Bluman (COL) & Beezie Madden (USA) on the podium during the awards ceremony


Results – $391,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*

Place / Rider (Country) & Horse / R1 Faults – Time | R2 Faults – Time

1. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Ladriano Z / 0 – 79.17 | 0 – 37.413

2. Karen Polle (JPN) & Sari / 0 – 79.53 | 0 – 37.58

3. Beezie Madden (USA) & Breitling / 0 | 78.7 | 0 – 37.768

4. Alex Granato (USA) & Carlchen W / 0 – 79.68 | 4 – 37.096

5. Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) & Ensor De Litrange LXII / 0 – 79.26 | 4 – 37.415

6. Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) & Victer Finn DH Z / 1 – 82.61

7. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Alejandro / 4 – 77.38

8. Kent Farrignton (USA) & Emmerton / 4 – 78.75

9. Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Lucifer V / 4 – 78.89

10. Lucy Deslauriers (USA) & Hester / 4 – 79.1

11. Eduardo Menezes (BRA) & H5 Quintol / 4 – 79.16

12. Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) & H5 Sunshine / 4 – 79.2

For full results, please click here.

Text: Lo-Ami Souza

Photos: © Sportfot / ESP – WEF