Wellington, Florida, USA – November 13, 2022 – A field of Grand Prix riders took center stage in the International Arena to vie for the lion’s share of the prize money in the $25,000 Arthramid®Vet Grand Prix on Sunday at Wellington International. Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Gazelle ES galloped to the win after being the only competitor to register two clear rounds in the class.
“I had a really good feeling this morning,” McCrea commented. “I showed her in the 1.35m earlier this week, and she was super relaxed on course. Today, I was lucky enough to go early in the first round, and I saw that there weren’t that many clear, so I went for it in the jump-off, and it worked out.”
Twenty-nine riders tested a challenging first round, designed by Héctor Loyola (PUR), that consisted of sixteen obstacles. The opening field was represented by riders from the USA, France, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Venezuela, Ireland, and Sweden. Two riders managed to clear the first round without any time faults to qualify for the jump-off. First to test the track, McCrea dashed through the course in a speedy fashion with Windsor Show Stables’ Gazelle ES, a ten-year-old Royal Dutch Sport Horse stopping the clock at 50.165 seconds and leaving all the rails in the cups.
Wilton Porter (USA) followed him in the ring and made a bid for the top spot but knocked a rail at the second fence, incurring four faults and solidifying McCrea as the winner with Porter and his own Vigakata in second place.
Brazil’s João Carvalho rounded out the podium with Emotion de Riverland, owned by Kent Farrington LLC, with a first-round time of 82.855 seconds and one time fault.
McCrea shared that the partnership between him and Gazelle ES happened by chance. “She [Gazelle ES] is a ten-year-old mare that I’ve had for about a year now that I just came upon by accident. A friend of mine in Europe sent her to me, and I ended up buying her. We’re going to compete together in the 3* next week, but I use her basically as my second horse. I’m going to keep building her up week-by-week and try to keep her happy.”
“I think everything looks great,” McCrea commented on the new facility updates. “The stabling is amazing and the place by the International Arena’s warm-up where they put the two new vendor tents is very nice. Everything is going in the right direction!”
Final Results – $25,000 Arthramid®Vet Grand Prix
1) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Gazelle ES – 0 / 0 – 50.165
2) Wilton Porter (USA) & Vigakata – 0 / 4 – 52.263
3) João Carvalho (BRA) & Emotion de Riverland – 1 – 82.855
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Anne Gittins Photography