Wellington, Florida, USA – November 18, 2022 – The ESP Pre-Charity CSI 3* show continued with FEI competition on Friday with the $37,000 Freejump Grand Prix Qualifier CSI 3*. A field of 44 horse-and-rider combinations faced Andy Christiansen’s (ECU) opening track to compete for a spot in Sunday’s $137,000 Noltrex®Vet Grand Prix CSI 3*. Ultimately, the USA’s Alison Robitaille (USA) topped the class with Oakingham Lira, owned by Alison Firestone LLC.
“My goal early last year was to be jumping the three-stars by the end of this year, so this is really great. I’m just so happy with how my horse feels; we’ve been building our partnership all year long. After walking in today, we really feel like a team,” said Robitaille of her partnership with the nine-year-old Anglo European mare.
Following Robitaille’s winning time of 41.66 seconds, David O’Brien (IRL) took home second place aboard Chansonette Farm LLC’s El Balou Old. Sponsored by Freejump, O’Brien and his mount cleared the jump-off just two tenths of a second behind the winners, stopping the clock at 41.80 seconds.
Fellow Irish rider Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Lissino, owned by Eve Jobs, claimed third place with a jump-off time of 42.91 seconds.
Freejump CEO, Yann Dubourg, was also present at the class. “For a French company, or any European company to be here is a great pleasure. To have our name in this arena is exceptional, and we are very proud to have this partnership. To be here at the beginning of the season allows the riders to see how dedicated we are to this sport. Today was extra special because one of our sponsored riders, David O’Brien (IRL), rode a fantastic horse in our stirrups and it was great to see him place second in the class.”
Robitaille and Oakingham Lira will return to the International Arena on Sunday to compete in the competition’s featured event, the $137,000 Noltrex®Vet Grand Prix CSI 3*. In additional to today’s winning duo, the top 29 riders from the class will also return to the ring on Sunday to vie for the lion’s share of the prize money.
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot
Categories: CSI 3*, English, Jumper News USA