Wellington, Florida, USA – October 17, 2021 – ESP Fall I wrapped up on Sunday with the $25,000 Equiline Grand Prix as 21 entries stepped onto the Derby Field for their chance to win the lion’s share of the prize money in the week’s featured class. Ultimately, it was Brazil’s Gabriel de Matos Machado (BRA) and Clearwater who secured the win after clearing the short course, designed by Andy Christiansen (ECU), in the fastest time without faults.
“He’s really an amazing horse and is so consistent,” shared Machado of his mount, owned by Karen O’Connor. “We’ve had many clear rounds in the past six months and he’s always in the top five of every grand prix he jumps. This is the second grand prix I’ve won with him. I’m really excited about him!”
Nine pairs advanced to the jump-off following the first round of competition. Aaron Vale (USA) and Michel Connors’ Boreale de Talma set the pace early on with a clear time of 39.90 seconds but were no match for Machado (BRA) and Clearwater, who stopped the clock at 37.96 seconds with no faults, putting them at the top of the leaderboard with just a few pairs left to challenge them.
Early frontrunners Vale (USA) and Boreale de Talma finished in second place, followed by Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Elvis, owned by Blythe Masters. The third-place pair finished with a fault-free jump-off time of 40.70 seconds.
“Aaron is really fast, and he took all the inside turns, so I planned to take one stride out to the oxer, jump seven, which was the only spot left for me to take a tighter turn than he did,” Machado explained. “Clearwater also turns really fast, which helps a lot.”
Machado, who is based in Wellington, continued to share his plan for the rest of the year as he gears up for the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). “We’re going to jump again next week, and then he’ll have a week off. He’s definitely a 1.60m horse, and we plan to jump him in some big classes during WEF. For now, though, we want to keep him fit and in good shape.”
There are five more events in the ESP Fall Series. With ESP Fall I completed, the next horse show on the calendar is ESP Fall II, which will begin on October 21 and conclude on October 24. Subsequent shows will include ESP Fall III, ESP Fall Finale, ESP November I, and ESP Pre-Charity CSI3*. To view the ESP Fall Series Prize List, please click HERE.
Final Results – $25,000 Equiline Grand Prix
1) Gabriel de Matos Machado (BRA) & Clearwater – 0 / 0 – 37.962
2) Aaron Vale (USA) & Boreale de Talma – 0 / 0 – 39.903
3) Ronan McGuigan (IRL) & Elvis – 0 / 0 – 40.709
Source: Press Release from PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Anne Gittins Photography