Wellington, Florida, USA – April 16, 2021 – As the 2021 ESP Spring Series continues on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, it was a day for Brazil to shine as Eduardo Menezes (BRA) guided H5 Elvaro, owned by H5 Sport Horses, LLC, to a spectacular winning finish in the $37,000 JTWG Qualifier CSI 3*.
Friday morning’s feature class represented a qualifier for Sunday’s $137,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix CSI 3* over a track designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX) and Andy Christiansen (ECU). With 75 entries listed in the starting order, a total of 12 pairs qualified to return for the jump-off with eight combinations electing to do so.
First to return, Menezes and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Calvaro F.C. x Heartbreaker) produced a fault-free round in a time of 38.65 seconds. While the execution of the second-round course was quite technical, Menezes credits his success to having a very simple plan.
“Going first, you need to go as fast as you can and try to leave the jumps up,” he said. “We had a couple of lines where I could use his big stride and leave one [stride] out. I started with that in the first line and once it worked, I just stayed on that rhythm.”
Margie Engle (USA) gave the shortened course her best shot aboard Dicas for Storm Ridge Capital, LLC, Show Horses, Garber, and Gladewinds, Inc. The 68-year-old Olympic veteran galloped the 12-year-old Rheinlander gelding (Diarado x Cassini I) to a double-clear round, finishing to land in second place in 40.17 seconds.
The third nation represented on the podium would be Columbia as Camilo Rueda Giraldo (COL) and her own Chaccornet, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Cornet Obolensky), also produced a clear jump-off round, stopping the clock in 41.51 seconds.
While the winning plan was inherently simple, Menezes couldn’t say enough good things about the quality of his partner and his talents in the show ring.
“He’s lovely,” he said. “I like everything about him. He’s a horse that combines so many good qualities and advantages. He’s careful, unbelievably brave and he’s the sweetest horse in the barn. He’s a stallion and just went on Tuesday to collect before he came to the show and he’s just fine now. He’s a lovely horse and I’m so glad that H5 Stables has given me the opportunity to ride such an unbelievable horse.”
The winning horse, H5 Elvaro, will get a chance to rest for the rest of the week with the plan to jump him in the Spring III grand prix next week. In the meantime, the win secures a spot for Menezes in Sunday’s feature class as he plans to challenge aboard another talented mount, H5 Quintol.
“Wellington is home for me,” said Menezes with a smile. “It’s unbelievable to have these extra FEI weeks to show. I’m still hoping they add some more.”
ESP Spring II continues with jumpers competing at Equestrian Village and hunters taking center stage at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Highlighting the schedule on Saturday is the $37,000 HorseLin 1.50m Classic CSI 3* and the week concludes with the $137,000 Bainbridge Companies Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday, April 18. The 2021 ESP Spring Series continues with a total of five weeks of competition until Sunday, May 15. Feature classes will be available live and on-demand for free on the livestream.
Final Results – $37,000 JTWG Qualifier CSI 3* – 1.50m
1) Eduardo Menezes (BRA) & H5 Elvaro – 0 / 0 – 38.656
2) Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) & Dicas – 0 / 0 – 40.171
3) Camilo Rueda Giraldo (COL) & Chaccornet – 0 / 0 – 41.513
Source: Press Release by Kate Pettersen for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot