Wellington, Florida, USA – November 14, 2021 – The feature event of the ESP November I show, the $25,000 Everglades Farm Equipment Grand Prix, took place Sunday in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Course designer Jasen Shelley (USA) crafted two rounds of jumps that tested the field of 19 entries, which was dwindled down to just three pairs going into the jump-off. Of the two double-clear pairs, Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) and Ilex were the fastest, earning the Brazilian rider the lion’s share of the prize money.
Da Costa noted that although Ilex is very young, he shows a lot of promise and has high hopes for him. “I’ve been working with him for two years now, and I’m hoping he’ll be an Olympic horse in the future.” He continued, “It feels incredible to win today because this horse is only eight years old. He won the class on Friday and then came back in the ring today to win again. This is also his first $25,000 Grand Prix win, so I’m really happy with him.”
Due to a challenging first round of competition, just three pairs were able to produce clear rounds and advance to the jump-off. “The course was very difficult, which is why there was only three clear in the first round,” Da Costa noted. “I didn’t go too fast in the jump-off, but he was double-clear, which put us at the top of the leaderboard.”
Giavanna Rinaldi (USA) and Anton Marano’s Cosmona were the first pair to test the jump-off and turned in a quick time of 44.554 seconds but dropped a rail to incur four faults. Eliza Lehrman (USA) rode Eluna CL Z to a clear jump-off time of 49.366 seconds, putting them in the lead until Da Costa and Bonne Chance Farm LLC’s Ilex, who were the last pair to go, flew through the timers at 46.69 seconds without knocking any rails down. Lehrman and Eluna CL Z, owned by Five Way Farm, LLC, earned the runner-up title, followed by third-place finishers, Rinaldi and Cosmona.
There is only one more week of the ESP Fall Series before the ESP Holiday Series begins. Competition will resume with the ESP Pre-Charity CSI3*, which begins on Wednesday, November 17, and concludes on Sunday, November 21.
Final Results – $25,000 Everglades Farm Equipment Grand Prix
1) Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) & Ilex – 0 / 0 – 46.69
2) Eliza Lehrman (USA) & Eluna CL Z – 0 / 0 – 49.366
3) Giavanna Rinaldi (USA) & Cosmona – 0 / 4 – 44.554
Source: Press Release PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Anne Gittins Photograhy / Carly Nasznic Photography