Wellington, Florida, USA – February 25, 2022 – The afternoon featured the $37,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix Qualifier CSI2* saw an impressive 76 horse-and-rider combinations set to contest the first phase. A total of 17 nations were represented in the International Arena’s final class. As the second and sixth on course, Kelly Arani (USA) and Jad Dana (LBN) were both successful over the obstacles which ensured a jump-off. By the halfway point, three more competitors consisting of Ashley Vogel, Sarah Segal, and Quentin Judge had added their names to the returning list.
In the end, a total of 12 combinations representing the USA, Ireland, Brazil, and Lebanon qualified for the short track. The class changed leaders several times before settling on Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) and Bonne Chance Farm LLC’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding Ilex (Baltic VDL x Chn Chin). They both gave it all they had and managed to leave all the rails in the cups with a blazing fast time of 41.78 seconds.
It is the pair’s first season competing at this level together and Da Costa was honestly surprised by the victory stating that “he probably would not have been the winner in this class before now because of his age. He is a big horse, but he is careful and has a ton of scope.”
The gelding was most recently fourth in the $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2* during the fifth week of WEF with Da Costa in the irons.
“I have owned him since he was a five-year-old, but we just started bringing him to compete when he was seven,” explained Da Costa. “He is now starting to get into the swing of competing in the two-star grands prix, and we hope to move forward into the three-star events following the end of this season.”
Ireland’s Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) put forth a solid effort with the HKC Collection LLC’s 11-year-old KWPN mare Ariana (Cantos x Tolan R) stopping the clock just a second slower than Da Costa with a time of 42.79 seconds to take second place. Callie Schott (USA) and Southern Arches, LLC’s 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding Charlie (Chacco-Blue x Charlie Z) rounded out the members of the victory gallop as they took third place with a time of 44.06 seconds.
Final Results – $37,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic CSI 2*
1) Fabio Leivas da Costa (BRA) & Ilex – 0 / 0 – 41.78
2) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Ariana – 0 / 0 – 42.79
3) Callie Schott (USA) & Charlie – 0 / 0 – 44.06
Source: Press Release ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival
Photos: © SportFot