Wellington, Florida, USA – December 12, 2021 – The ESP Year End Awards Show reached its pinnacle on Sunday as 32 competitors stepped into the International Arena at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to vie for the $25,000 #1 Education Place National Grand Prix title. The podium was ultimately conquered by all-American riders, with Taylor Land (USA) and Get Go taking home the lion’s share of the prize money after clearing the jump-off in the fastest time.
Course designer Anthony d’Ambrosio (USA) crafted two rounds of jumps that tested the field of international competitors. After the initial phase of competition, the field was reduced to just four riders who were able to successfully clear the first round. First to test the short track, Land set the bar high with a quick and clear time of 39.69 seconds, a time that none of her fellow competitors could match.
“I went third in the first round, so I just had to commit to my plan from walking the course,” Land explained. “Luckily I’ve had my horse for a really long time, so I feel pretty comfortable just making a plan and knew he could do the leave-outs in the first round since he has a big stride. I was also first to go in the jump-off, so my plan was to just ride it like the first round but to pick up the pace. Since there were only four in the jump-off I wanted to put the pressure on the people behind me but without going crazy and having a rail.”
Daisy Farish (USA) and the Ashland Farms-entry, Cruemmel 3, were the only other pair to place double-clear rounds and landed in second after stopping the clock at 45.39 seconds. Rounding out the podium was Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Diamants Aurora, owned by Jessica Mendoza (GBR), who were just behind Land with a time of 40.45 seconds but knocked a rail to incur four faults against them. In addition to winning the class, Land was also named the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider for the week, putting her name on the overall leaderboard that will run through the end of the ESP Holiday Series.
Land has been working with the nine-year-old gelding, owned by Pinetree Farms Inc, since he was five and shared that they just moved up to FEI classes this year. “Get Go is such an amazing horse and I feel so lucky to have him. He has come up through the young horse classes with me and just started stepping into FEI classes with me this year. I want to compete in some of the 2* classes here during WEF, so I wanted to show here since he hasn’t jumped here since he was seven. Now I feel like he’s ready!”
Land concluded, “I haven’t shown here in two years, so I’m really looking forward to coming back in February and March to compete in FEI classes. The footing in the Mogavero and Denemethy is totally different and the expansion of the Mogavero is awesome. Everything looks great and I’m really excited to be back.”
Final Results – $25,000 #1 Education Place National Grand Prix
1) Taylor Land (USA) & Get Go – 0 / 0 – 39.691
2) Daisy Farish (USA) & Cruemmel 3 – 0 / 0 – 45.392
3) Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) & Diamants Aurora – 0 / 0 – 40.445
Source: Press Release from Equestrian Sports Productions
Photo: © Anne Gittins Photography