Wellington, Florida, USA – November 06, 2022 – The International Arena at Wellington International welcomed horse-and-rider combinations back for jumper competition during the ESP Fall Finale, the third-to-last week of the ESP Fall Series. Held on Sunday as the showcase of the week, the $25,000 Wellington National Golf Club Grand Prix featured 23 entries representing an international field of 11 nations. Finishing with two horses in the top six, Scott Keach (AUS) was the big winner of the day, leading the class aboard Noble de La Chapelle, owned by Southern Cross Equestrian LLC.
“We bought him as a six-year-old. He is by For Passion D’Ive Z so his grandfather is For Pleasure. He is very true to the [Belgian Warmblood] breed, and as a nine-year-old now he is really laying a lot this year,” remarked Keach of his winning mount. “I was hoping that he would turn out to have a lot of scope, and I think it is starting to happen. If it keeps going this way then hopefully next year he will be a great horse. Maybe FEI next year.”
Course designer Andy Christiansen (ECU) put together a 16-effort track for the occasion, which saw eight pairs clear all the fences within the time-allowed during the first round to qualify for the jump-off. As the second-to-last to jump the course in the jump-off, Scott Keach (AUS) and Noble de La Chapelle were up against a leading time of 36.77 seconds, laid down by Gemma Paternoster (GBR) on Sher-al Farm Inc’s Ibalius SMH. Wasting no time around the pattern, the Australian duo managed to slice off over a second from the frontrunners’ time, crossing the finish line without faults in 35.40 seconds to jump to first place. When a rail came down for the final entry, the win was secured for Keach and Noble De La Chapelle.
“I think the courses were spot-on, and the results were good. We got the right number of clean rounds in the jump-off. The course was fair to the horses yet still had to be ridden. For my young horse, it was very good on my other eight-year-old; it was tough enough but also he finished well. I think the course was just right,” said Keach.
In response to the new stables at Wellington International, Keach stated, “The new barns are already awesome. I think everyone is excited about the improvements! It’s a win for everyone.”
Gemma Paternoster (GBR) and Ibalius SMH finished in the runner-up position, and Angela Covert (CAN) claimed third place overall with her own Hollywood de Rase Z in a penalty-free time of 37 seconds flat. Keach also finished in sixth place with Cencorinue PS, owned by Kandor Farm LLC, as the final double-clear pair of the class.
Final Results – $25,000 Wellington National Golf Club Grand Prix
1) Scott Keach (AUS) & Noble De La Chapelle – 0 / 0 – 35.403
2) Gemma Paternoster (GBR) and Ibalius SMH – 0 / 0 –36.775
3) Angela Covert (CAN) & Hollywood de Rase Z – 0 / 0 – 37.000
Source: Press Release from Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Anne Gittins Photography