Wellington, Florida, USA – March 11, 2023 – Daytime competition in the International Ring on Saturday stoked the fires of excitement for ‘Saturday Night Lights’ as France delivered a one-two punch in the $50,000 Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix CSI 2*. Twenty-three-year-old Nina Mallevaey (FRA) cruised right to the lead position after overthrowing 14 other horse-and-rider combinations in the jump off with her small and speedy partner, Crack D’la Rousserie.
Alan Wade (IRL) produced a difficult but fair first round that 45 combinations representing an even dozen countries contested. Despite Wade’s challenge, an impressive 15 entries proved capable of advancing to the jump-off while only one pairing fell victim to a single time-fault penalty, and another nine had one downed rail. Returning to lead the pack, Callie Schott (USA) started the second round off fault-free on a time of 38.26 seconds to set the pace but would ultimately settle for fourth. By the class’s completion, Mallevaey had shaved three seconds from the starting best to put forth an unbeatable finish of 35.55 seconds.
Fellow countrywoman Marie Hecart (FRA) held the top time for a lengthy majority of the jump-off after crossing the timers with Edonna D’Udine in 35.77 seconds. She and the Old Station Equestrian LLC’s nine-year-old Selle Français mare (Vigo Cece x Major De La Cour) accepted second place as their score was bested by mere milliseconds.
Karen Polle (JPN) piloted her very own 13-year-old Mecklenburg mare Celine (Conthargos x Grandino 25) into the third and final spot in the victory gallop with another fault-free effort but a slightly slower time of 37.13 seconds.
“I didn’t see Marie in the jump-off, so I don’t know where she was faster or slower,” explained Mallevaey. “We did the seven strides from jump one to two and it was an easy seven for him, so I was able to make a nice turn to jump three. We were able to keep going nicely to the big vertical and to the last jump, and I think it was a good jump-off for him because he was able to use his big stride but also his nice turns.
The season is only Mallevaey’s second in Wellington, but she has already had a phenomenal outcome throughout the week snatching first in two classes at the national level with her mount Mademoiselle-A and second in the $10,000 Florida Coast Equipment CSI 2* 1.45m on her other international mount, Cartier SR.
“I’ve had him a little less than a year, but he has had a nice show break since he last competed in Prague,” she continued of the Rein Family, LLC’s 11-year-old Selle Français gelding (Quaprice Bois Margot x Apache D’Adriers). “This is his first show back so it’s a great start to his season. I give him a quiet warmup, and then when we go in the ring, I put a little pressure on, and he immediately knows it’s time to turn it on.”
Final Results – $50,000 Florida Coast Equipment Grand Prix CSI 2* 1.45m
1) Nina Mallevaey (IRL) & Crack d’La Rousserie – 0 / 0 – 35.55
2) Marie Hecart (FRA) & Edonna d’Udine – 0 / 0 – 35.77
3) Karen Polle (JPN) & Celine – 0 / 0 – 37.13
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot