Wellington, Florida, USA — Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020— Sydney Shulman (ISR) came into Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week CSIO 5*/CSI 2* at the Palm Beach Masters Series® thinking that she’d already won.
The appearance marked Shulman’s first CSIO 5* competition at the venue, and she arrived hoping only for a positive experience. Saturday afternoon, the 25-year-old recorded a memorable victory, riding longtime mount Villamoura to the top of the $36,600 Palm Beach Masters Classic CSIO 5*.
The duo topped an eight-horse jump-off, crossing the timers of Alan Wade‘s (IRL) shortened 1.50m track in 36.61 seconds.
Lucas Porter (USA) and Hope Street (Casall x Quick Nick I) took runner-up honors with a 37.18-second time, while Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Venice Beach (Voltaire x Escudo I) were third on 37.91 seconds.
“To be even invited for Israel here at this show is a big deal,” Shulman said. “I’ve never gotten into a five-star here before, so that was the first exciting part, and to finish it off with a win is so cool.”
Natural speed, sharp turns, and a strong partnership carried the pair to the top of the leaderboard. Shulman and Villamoura, an 11-year-old Selle Français bay mare (Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I) known for her small-but-mighty mentality, have been partnered for more than four years. The pair’s confidence in each other shined through as they made risk-taking look easy with their immediate turning and acceleration on course.
“Her normal canter is faster than any horse going full-out. Just naturally, she’s a speed demon,” Shulman said. “I think to the wall [toward the end of the jump-off]—I didn’t count the amount of strides I did over there, but I just felt like I got there on a really sharp angle, enough that it had to be fast enough. She [has a tendency to drift] left, so I was thinking to give myself a little bit of space to the last jump [set on a left-hand turn], but the second she landed [off the fence before], she was looking for the next jump. I just went with her, and it worked out.”
What’s more, a bit of bad luck early in the pair’s day ended up working in their favor.
“I actually pulled a shoe in the schooling ring before the first round, so I had to move down to the end of the class. We were waiting, and she’s not really a horse that wants to wait around, so I was [thinking], ‘I hope she doesn’t get too antsy!’” Shulman exclaimed. “She kept it together, but then I was just thinking to give her the best ride [I could], because she was a little stressed out. I just [wanted to] make it easy and make it nice for her, which, honestly, she did for me more than I did for her! She’s amazing!”
Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Week CSIO 5* / CSI 2* at the Palm Beach Masters Series® concludes Sunday, Feb. 16, with the featured $230,000 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA CSIO 5* at 1:30pm ET.
For full class results, please click here.
For all the event’s classes & results, please click here.
For the event’s show schedule, please click here.
To watch the action live online, please click here.
For all information about the the circuit, please visit their PB Masters website here.
Source: Press release from the Palm Beach Masters Series®
Photo: © Kathy Russell Photography
Categories: CSI 5*