Winter Equestrian Festival

Samantha Cohen & Carmen Cruise in $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI 2* at WEF

2019. WEF CSI 2 GP Samantha Cohen & Carmen Sportfot

Wellington, Florida, USA – March 10, 2019 – Samantha Cohen (USA) and Carmen won the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI 2* last Sunday to conclude the ninth week of international FEI-level competitions during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

The young American and her very owen 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Whitesnake x Corland) were the first among 10 combinations out of a field of forty-five challengers that qualified for the jump-off. Carly Anthony (USA) and Clochard followed,  in the end, an order they would repeat at the top of the podium.

The decisive phase of the contest featured rising young stars of the sport going up against experienced riders, including two superstars. The list of finalists who took part in it included the likes of Katherine Strauss (USA), Madison Goetzman (USA), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Paul O’Shea (IRL), Lauren Tisbo (USA), Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), Lucy Davis (USA) and Fabio Leivas da Costa (BRA).

As the first ones to go in the jump-off, Cohen (USA) was very smooth in her lines aboard Carmen, going fast and clean to win the 1.45m challenge in 37.561 seconds.

2019. WEF CSI 2 GP Carly Anthony & Clochard Sportfot

Carly Anthony (USA) & Clochard

Carly Anthony (USA) and Clochard (Kasmir van Schuttershof x Cascadeur) did their utmost to overcome the mark set by the eighteen-year-old teenager, falling just short after registering no penalties and being timed in 38.731 seconds.

2019. WEF CSI 2 GP Rodrigo Pessoa & Farrero Sportfot

Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) & Farrero

Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Farrero claimed the third spot on the podium backed by a penalty-free jump-off effort in 38.922 seconds.

Winner’s Circle

Samantha Cohen 

“I was first to go and I think there were nine were after me, so many fast riders. I just wanted to go in and give it my best shot. “She’s really quick around the turns, and she’s deceptively fast. She doesn’t ever look like she’s really running. So, I knew I gave my best shot, I was definitely not sure it would hold up.”

“This is my first grand prix win, so I am really excited. I was definitely confident going in and I knew I could do it. For me, I definitely wanted to set up up the double, the vertical oxer because she can get a little bit low at a, so I knew I wanted to gallop away and take my time getting her on her hind end for that, so didn’t want her to kindf of dive into a, that was definitely for me, the trickiest part. She’s just a genius on the turns, she’s right there with me. For the rest of the season, I will hopefully jump more FEI classes and then after WEF, we will head on to Europe.”

Carly Anthony

“Clochard is naturally fast, so starting with a good pace, and usually sticking to it, and just keepting the tight turns as tight as possible, I usually end up top three. I had a bit of luck today coming into the double; he rubbed that quite hard coming into ‘a’ and luck was on my side. I  just didn’t have the tight enough turns that Sam did today. She definitely outrode me; she rode incredibly. I was quite pleased with Clochard, how he jumped, how he was responding. In the end, for me to be second, that was on me. He’ll win every day.”

To place second today is a good markpoint for where I want to be going forward into the summer season. I’ve been working quite hard this season building fitness, rideability, connection, for all those things to come together and I think today it did. So, that was exciting for me, a lot of emotion coming for that second today, for all the work from the team, it was a great result for today.”

“He is competitive, he  goes into the ring and you instantly feel his energy change, he wants to win,” told Anthony about Clochard. “He has a lot of energy, I like to say it’s like driving a very fast sports car, a Ferrari, top quality, and you can go in any class and feel that you have a chance of winning, even if you don’t ride that well. He’s quite an incredible horse, totally game, he gives a feeling of confidence. He can definitely jump bigger, but it’s also nice to jump a two-star every now and again and have the result I had today.”

Rodrigo Pessoa

“He’s been improving, he’s very, very careful and he’s a very generous horse,” fairly easy to ride. He’s been great and jumping a lot of clears. I started showing him here in the meter thirties in January, commented the Brazilian legend about Farrero. “He’s progressed, really really well. He’s extremely careful, which makes it so much easier, ’cause you really don’t have to worry about the jumps because he takes care of the jumps and you don’t have to worry about that. You just have to steer and keep him in good gear, and that’s it.”

“I thought that Samantha, who was first in, all her strides were really spot on,” . “Every time out of the turn she was really smooth, and she was really tight. I thought she had laid it out pretty nicely. And now, in in retrospect, I think I was a little bit wide from one to two, because I wanted to jump number two straight to get on to the double. That’s where I left the door open a little bit, and maybe the rollback to the liverpool, maybe it was not as tight as I should have done.”

The horse is progressing well, we’ve come a long way since the 1.30m. He’s very consistent, he’s been placed in every single class basically and never had more than four faults. I’m really happy with him, with where he’s going.

Here, he’ll do, probably  one more week, week eleven or twelve, he did a couple of meter fifties, so we’ll probably do one more here. Afterwards, Old Salem, Devon, Upperville and we will Europe. By then, he’ll be able to jump the main class, I am really happy with how he has been progressing.”

Results – $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI 2*

Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Sire x Dam Sire / R1 Penalties / Jump-off Penalties / Time

1) Samantha Cohen (USA) & Carmen (Whitesnake x Corland) – 0 / 0 – 37.561

2) Carly Anthony (USA) & Clochard  (Kasmir van Schuttershof x Cascadeur) – 0 / 0 – 38.731

3) Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) & Farrero (Boss x Indorado) – 0 / 0 – 38.922

4) Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Skara Glen’s Para Bellum (Singulord Joter x Indorado) – 0 / 0 – 40.398

5) Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) & Daisy (Excenel V x Timeless) – 0 / 0 – 40.797

6) Lucy Davis (USA) & Caracho 14 (Dobel’s Cento x Acodetto) – 0 / 0 – 44.097

7) Fabio Leivas da Costa (BRA) & Randon Pleasure (For Pleasure x Quidam de Revel) – 0 / 4 – 40.362

8) Lauren Tisbo (USA) & Casco 11 (Caspar x Colman) – 0 / 4 – 40.370

9) Madison Goetzmann (USA) & Prestigious (Con Cento x Corofino – 0 / 8 – 35.850

10) Katherine Strauss (USA) & All In (Aachen x Indoctro) – 0 / 8 – 42.989

11) Bliss Heers (USA) & Prado K (Prado x Dynast) – 1 – 80.29

12) Anna Dryden (USA) & Van Schijndel’s Double Bee (Lord Z x Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve) – 1 – 80.43

For full results, please click here.

Text: Lo-Ami Souza

Photos: © Sportfot