Wellington, Florida, USA – February 11, 2022 – International competition continued to roll right along with the $37,000 Griffis Residential CSI 2* Qualifier debuting as the largest and last class to take place in the International Arena on Friday. An impressive 78 horse-and-rider duos took their turns over the first round track as they hoped to earn a returning spot in the jump-off to qualify for Sunday’s $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2*. As the light faded, 16 entries chose to return for their chance at the winning honor.
A total of 19 pairings had qualified but Enrique Gonzalez (MEX), Eliza Lehrman (USA), and T.J. O’Mara (USA) chose to save their jumps for another day. The jump-off track appeared to give each returning competitor a more difficult time as each exhibitor landed with at least one downed fence until Lacey Gilbertson (USA) managed to find the path to a clear round. Several more rounds followed until the USA’s Rebecca Conway found her way around an even faster track aboard Con Coleur.
As the battle concluded, Ireland’s Stephen Moore (IRL) gave it his all, and his all was good enough to steal the win aboard Albert K. Moore and the Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 13-year-old DWB gelding Albert K (Heartbeat x Quidam de Revel). They turned on the turbo and stopped the clock at 42.04 seconds to finish over a full second ahead of the closest challengers.
“He is an amazing horse, and I just got the ride on him at the beginning of last summer,” said Moore. “He was great all of the summer season and has had a few months off. This is our first week back competing in FEI classes for the winter so to start off with a win feels fantastic.”
“There weren’t very many clear at the beginning of the jump-off, so I had some belief we could get it done,” he continued. “He has a huge stride so I knew I could leave out a stride from the first to second fence, and I knew I could get the long six [strides] done as well. Everywhere else he was just incredibly good to me, and it all worked out.”
Rebecca Conway’s ride secured second place with Blue Hill Farm’s 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Contendro I x Couleur Rubin) by punching the clock at 43.58 seconds.
Lacey Gilbertson’s (USA) smooth piloting of Seabrook LLC’s 12-year-old BWP mare Karlin Van’t Vennehof in 43.98 seconds earned her a spot in the victory gallop as the third-place recipient.
Final Results – $37,000 Griffis Residential Qualifier CSI 2*
1) Stephen Moore (IRL) & Albert K – 0 / 0 – 42.04
2) Rebecca Conway (USA) & Con Coleur – 0 / 0 – 43.58
3) Lacey Gilbertson (USA) & Karlin Van’t Vennehof – 0 / 0 – 43.98
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sport Production / PBIEC – Palm Beach Internationa Equestrian Center
Photo: © Sportfot