Wellington, Florida, EUA – March 19, 2021 – Competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center kicked off Friday morning with the final competition for young five-, six-, and seven-year-old horses in the Developing Jumper Series (DJS) sponsored by Spy Coast Farm. The seven-year-old horses were the first to debut in the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper Series 7-Year-Old Classic where Alex Matz (USA) took the victory aboard the Vintage Sales entry, Jillz. Jillz was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award presented by Laura Fetterman.
Matz and Jillz navigated both the first round and jump-off track fault-free and ultimately cleared the shortened effort the fastest by clocking in at 33.63 seconds. Matz has been partnered with the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Denzel VT Meulenhof x Cartina) since she was purchased at the VDL auction in Wellington, FL, last season and has big plans for the bright young horse.
The second place honors went to Ashlee Bond (ISR) aboard Ionesco Sitte, a Belgian Warmblood gelding (Hunters Scendro x Adora Sitte). Bond piloted the Aurora Farms, LLC-owned entry to one of five clear jump-off rounds with a runner-up time of 33.68 seconds.
Rounding out the top three was young professional Wilton Porter (USA) aboard Whisker EB, owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC. Porter piloted the Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Alpha Z x Tamina I) into third with a time of 36.77 seconds.
“This mare has quite a lot of scope when I ride her the right way,” Matz detailed. “I think she has a good future ahead of her so I have been careful not to push her too fast, but she has a big personality and is a lot of fun to work with. She has won probably at least 10 classes since we purchased her last year.”
He added that the Developing Jumper Series gives young horses a great chance to get immersed in a more competitive environment.
“Today’s course was nice,” Matz said. “It was a bigger track than the previous seven-year-old courses have been, which was appropriate as it was the final. It is really great to have a championship event to introduce these young horses to, and I am very thankful to Spy Coast for sponsoring.”
Final Results – $20,000 Spy Coast Developing Jumper Series 7-Year-Old Classic
1) Alex Matz (USA) & Jillz – 0 / 0 – 33.638
2) Ashlee Bond (ISR) & Ionesco Sitte – 0 / 0 -33.68
3) Wilton Porter (USA) & Whisker Eb Z – 0 / 0 – 36.779
Source: Press release by Kate Pettersen / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot