Wellington, Florida, USA – January 16, 2022 – International competition during week one of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, concluded with the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic as part of the weekly CaptiveOne Advisors Jumper Classic series. Grace Debney (GBR) flew to the win with her trusty mare Boheme de la Roque. WEF 2 starts on Wednesday, January 19, and the circuit continues through April 3.
Stormy weather threatened to derail afternoon classes, but the clouds parted ways long enough for the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic to run as scheduled.
There were 20 combinations that competed over a course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen Jr. (ECU). Time allowed was a factor today with eight riders accumulating time faults. Only three riders ultimately advanced to the jump-off.
First to jump off was Brian Moggre (USA) riding Stevie Macken’s Dior P Z who set the time to beat at 36.95 seconds for an eventual third-place finish. Next to challenge was Grace Debney and her own Boheme de la Roque. They shaved almost two seconds off of Moggre’s time, finishing in 35.02 seconds.
Matthew Boddy (GBR) was last to go in both the first round and the jump-off, but he couldn’t quite catch Debney, crossing the timers in 36.20 seconds and finishing in second place.
Debney was competing in the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Griffis Residential, when it started torrentially downpouring, and management eventually had to put the show on hold.
“I was soaking wet and really cold, but I was honestly really happy I was getting on [Boheme de la Roque], because I know she’s always going to step right up to the plate,” said Debney.
Boheme de la Roque and Debney have been paired together for about a year. The 11-year-old Selle Français mare (Kannan x Quick Star) came from another junior rider in California, which Debney has used to her advantage.
“I think that actually has helped us a lot, because a small girl had her before, so it’s not like she came from someone big and strong,” she explained. “I think that really helped me be able to just get right on and ride her.”
Boheme de la Roque’s winning ways in the ring tie into her winning personality in the barn.
“Around the barn she’s so sweet. She’s my groom’s favorite horse to take care of,” she commented.
Debney had nothing but praise for her super star mare.
“She’s definitely been my rock for FEI and all of the stepping up in to the bigger classes. I can always count on her,” she said. “She’s always trying. She really wants to win just as much as I do, and she’s such a fighter.”
Debney put that competitive spirit to the test in the jump-off, which she felt really suited her mount because of the quick turns followed by long gallops. Particularly, there was a tight turn to a red vertical across the center of the ring Debney was especially confident about.
She recalled, “I was excited to really hammer down there and slice that vertical. [Boheme de la Roque] is really watching, and she’s always looking for the next jump, so that jump-off was really nice for her.”
Final Results – $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic
1) Grace Debney (GBR) & Boheme de La Roque – 0 / 0 – 35.027
2) Mathew Boddy (GBR) & Cliff Z – 0 / 0 – 36.20
3) Brian Moggre (USA) & Dior P Z – 0 / 0 – 36.95
Press Release Amanda Picciotto Feitosa / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot