CSI 4*

Paul O’Shea & Chancelloress Do What it Takes to Win $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Series Final CSI 4*

Wellington, Florida, USA – March 26, 2022 – Competition for “Saturday Night Lights” during week 11, sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was packed with action during the circuit’s penultimate week. While hunter riders had the opportunity to take center stage on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village over the weekend in both international and national derby events, show jumpers took to the Wellington International Arena to compete for the top prize in the $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final. In a mad dash across the finish line, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Chancelloress claimed the leading spot. 

The night culminated with both an overall series champion as well as the final class winner. Spectators in the night’s crowd were treated to extra excitement as the new name of the venue, Wellington International, was revealed prior to the first horse on course. Course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) raised an impressive challenge to the field of 48 starters representing 17 nations, and only five of the original entries managed to earn a slot for the short track. The jump-off came down to a battle between the U.S. and Ireland as Spencer Smith (USA), Laura Kraut (USA), and Alex Matz (USA) took on countrymen Mark McAuley (IRL) and O’Shea.

With three to follow, McAuley was the first to produce a double-clear effort in a tidy time of 36.97 seconds aboard LT Competition’s 10-year-old CH mare O’Hara ELS (Ogano Sitte x Liandero). However, the taste of victory didn’t last quite as long as hoped when O’Shea immediately followed and shaved over a second off of McAuley’s effort in 35.51 seconds. 

“I knew Alex would be fast, and that Laura was after me too,” explained O’Shea. “I didn’t get to see Mark go but he is always fast, so I just tried to do the best round that I could.”

O’Shea credited his mount with rising to the occasion for the class and has high hopes for the end of season with the Trelawny Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chacco-Blue x Balou du Rouet).

“Chancelloress felt in top form tonight, and everything was coming up easily,” he added. “She is going to do the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix next week, and I kept that in mind when I was riding tonight so I wouldn’t overdo it.” 

Mark McAuley (IRL) & O’Hara ELS

Second place was secured by Mark McAuley (IRL) as he proved to be the only fault-free competitor alongside O’Shea.

“My horse is quite inexperienced at this level, and I think this is the most important class she has ever jumped,” described McAuley. “I wasn’t really planning on being competitive tonight. I just wanted to give her a bit of experience, so I was already incredibly proud of how she coped. She has come out of this circuit with a lot of experience, and tonight I felt like she was on the same page with me and fighting with me to stay clear.”

Due to the mare’s experience level and the difficulty of the track, McAuley’s plan for the jump-off mainly consisted of riding each individual fence.

“There were a few elements of the jump-off that were quite difficult, so I just decided I would try to jump the jumps instead of worrying about being fast,” concluded McAuley. “The blue double-combination was already difficult in the first round so I knew turning tighter back to it would be hard, and the last oxer was very delicate. I knew no matter what I did, the riders that were behind me would most likely be faster, so I am just happy to have left the jumps up.”

Alex Matz (USA) & Cashew CR

Alex Matz (USA) flew through the jump-off as the last competitor in the jump-off to acquire the final spot in the victory gallop. Matz and Cashew CR, owned by Dorothy Matz, looked as if they would overthrow O’Shea in the final moments but did not quite manage to clear the last oxer on course to accrue a four-fault score with their time of 34.77 seconds. 

“He is an incredible horse, and he has been everything for me,” said Matz of the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Quinar). “He introduced me to doing the grand prix level, and he is an amazing fighter with a big heart. He doesn’t have all of the scope in the world, but he makes up for it with determination.”

For the 25-year-old, to be on the podium with the likes of McAuley and O’Shea is a special moment. 

“I look up to both of these riders tremendously, and it is an honor to be competing against them,” stated Matz. “I have a lot to learn from them, but it is helpful when I get to see them in action.”

Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Chancelloress standing with Olga Hartsock from CaptiveOne Advisors

Final Results – $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Series Final CSI 4*

1) Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Chancelloress – 0 / 0 – 35.51

2) Mark McAuley (IRL) & O’Hara ELS – 0 / 0 – 36.97

3) Alex Matz (USA) & Cashew CR – 0 / 0 –

Source: Press Release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival

Photos: © Sportfot