Wellington, Florida, USA – March 28, 2021 – On the final day of week eleven of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Vertige de Galarzacs, owned by Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC, rose to the occasion, putting forth an impressive double-clear effort to capture the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Grand Prix on Sunday, March 21, in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
A total of 43 horse-and-rider combinations contested the opening round over a course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER), with just six pairs qualifying for the jump-off.
The first to return was Canada’s Nicole Walker (CAN) aboard Excellent B, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Berlin x Heartbreaker), executing the shortened track with ease to set the pace for the remainder of the field. Walker and the NW Stables LP entry finished fault-free in a time of 37.81 seconds, which would hold up for second place.
Next to challenge, David Oberkircher (USA) and Upper, owned by Southfields Farm, LLC, gave it their best effort but stopped the clock just off the mark as he and the 13-year-old Selle Français gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Nadir de San Patrignano) crossed the finish line in 38.59 seconds for third place.
The next three riders would lower the fences in height, leaving the door open for one final rider to best the field, which he did. Kenny, the current overall leader of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series, proved once again why he’s at the top, picking up the win aboard the 12-year-old Selle Français gelding (Quaprice Bois Margot x Si Tu Viens), crossing the timers in 36.01 seconds.
“I didn’t jump him in any classes this week,” said Kenny of the winning gelding “Vince.” “I just went straight into the Grand Prix so he was a little bit more fresh. He jumped excellent and felt fantastic. He’s just a really, really nice horse.
The twelfth week of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Agricultural Services, begins on Wednesday, March 31, with CSI5* competition along with a concurrent CSI 2* running through Sunday, April 4, the final day of the 2021 WEF. The week opens with the $1,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m CSI 4* and the $10,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI 4* Qualifier on Wednesday. Thursday features the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 12.
A busy Friday is highlighted by the $37,000 1.45m CSI 2* Qualifier and the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series Final. An exciting weekend of show jumping begins with the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday and concludes with the $50,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday. All feature classes can be watched for free both live and on-demand on the livestream.
Final Results – $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix
1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Vertige De Galarzacs – 0 / 0 – 36.013
2) Nicole Walker (CAN) & Excellent B – 0 / 0 – 37.812
3) David Oberkircher (USA) & Upper – 0 / 0 – 38.591
Source: Press release by Kate Pettersen, Kim Beaudoin & Sabrina Bashares / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot