Wellington, Florida, USA – November 17, 2022 – The ESP Pre-Charity CSI 3* week at Wellington International showcased a field of 48 horse and rider combinations in Thursday morning’s $37,000 Schneider’s Saddlery CSI 3*. Kicking off the week in top form, Gonzalo Busca Roca (ESP) aboard Stransky’s Mission Farm, Inc.’s Classified edged out their competitors to earn a place in the winner’s circle and the lion’s share of the prize money.
Andy Christiansen (ECU) crafted a two-phase track of 12 efforts to test the international horse-and-rider combinations. Twenty-one pairs finished foot-perfect without any faults, but Roca and the 9-year-old bay Irish Sport Horse gelding (Je T’Aime Flamenco) were in a league all their own, stopping the clock in an unbeatable 33.09 seconds. “It is the best feeling to start your week off with a win,” remarked Roca. “It was a good course to start the week. In the second phase, every fence came up a good distance, and I had a good time out there.”
With a clear time of 33.51 seconds, Michael Hughes (USA) and Stephex Stables’, Calisto Blue (Chacco-Blue x Con Air), sped to second place, followed by Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Naomi Van Het Keizershof (Cardento x For Pleasure), owned by Stone Hill Farm, in third position with a fault-free time of 33.76 seconds.
Roca continued, “He is a young horse, only nine years old, but he has already produced top results. Over the summer, he won the derby at Dinard, and at the beginning of the year, he finished fourth in the three-star class here on the grass. He’s very talented, nice to ride, and tries very hard,” he commented of his winning mount.
On Classified’s upcoming show schedule, Roca shared, “We will see how it goes. He will jump the Grand Prix on Sunday and then have a couple of weeks off. After that, we will make a good plan for next year.”
Final Results – $37,000 Schneider’s Saddlery Two-Phase Challenge CSI 3*
1) Gonzalo Busca Roca (ESP) & Classified – 0 / 0 – 33.09
2) Michael Hughes (USA) & Calisto Blue – 0 / 0 – 33.51
3) Jessica Springsteen (USA) & Naomi van het Keizershof – 0 / 0 – 33.76
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Anne Gittins Photography / Sportfot