Wellington, Florida, USA – February 04, 2021 – As FEI competition opened for the Marshall & Sterling/Great American Insurance Group CSI 4* week at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) rode Glamour Girl, owned by Portfolio Horses, LLC, to victory in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Jumpers CSI 4* on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Thursday, February 4.
In the second class of the day, Henrik von Eckermann and Glamour Girl posted the fastest time for the win. A field of 32 horse and rider combinations set out over the course designed by Anderson Lima (BRA) consisting of nine efforts in the first phase and five obstacles in the second phase. Von Eckermann piloted the talented 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (VDL Zirocco Blue x Moonlight II), to a double-clear effort in 26.56 seconds.
Three different nationalities were represented in podium position as Ireland’s Jordan Coyle (IRL) finished as runner up aboard Picador, owned by Elan Farm, stopping the clock in 28.36 seconds.
Rounding out the top three was Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Lazy for Stephex Stables and Aurora Farms, LLC in 28.53 seconds.
It was a lovely welcome for the Swedish rider who is competing at WEF for the first time in his career, cruising to the win with nearly two seconds to spare over the second place finisher.
Fresh off his first round on the Derby Field, the World Equestrian Games team silver medalist had only good things to say about his debut in Wellington, Florida.
“It’s a fantastic arena to ride in,” said von Eckermann. “It was a nice class for my horse to start with and it’s my first time here. The facilities are fantastic; it was really nice.
“The course was very straight, and my horse has a really big stride, so I don’t need to chase her and she’s still fast,” he continued. “I can just leave her running and she’s quick anyway. She’s a bit funny, a bit of a special one, but she’s very careful and competitive. I like the quirky mares. When you have them on your side, I think they give you a little bit more than the geldings or the stallions.”
Von Eckermann brought three horses with him from Europe to compete with for the duration of the winter circuit.
“I’ll start with this weekend in the CSI4*,” he said. “Then I’ll do the CSI5* next week and hopefully I win something more.”
Highlighting an exciting Friday still to come is the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Round 4 on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, the $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix Series Team Event in the Global Stadium Arena, and in the International Arena at PBIEC is the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go at 1 p.m.
Coming up on Saturday is the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on the Derby Field followed by the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® taking place in the International Arena on Saturday night. The week wraps up with the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* followed by the $214,000 Marshall & Sterling/Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix CSI4*, both set to go on the Derby Field. All feature classes will be available to watch for free on the livestream.
Source: Press release by Kate Pettersen / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot