Ocala, Florida, USA – July 02, 2023 – A sunny Florida day set the stage for the final feature class of the week, the $50,000 Florida Coast Equipment National Grand Prix. Twenty-five top-level horse-and-rider combinations competed over a challenging track set by Alan Wade (IRL), where only two found a clear first-round effort. Spain and the United States battled it out over the jump-off track where both had one unfortunate rail. Gonzalo Busca (ESP) prevailed on Liliane Stransky’s Classified (Je T’aime Flamenco x Larissa II) with the quickest time.
Pathfinders Busca and Classified were the first pair to attempt the jump-off track, “The plan was clear – I knew I had to go fast because Aaron Vale was behind me and he’s a very fast rider. I had to try and put a little bit of pressure.”
Busca spoke about the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, “He’s a very nice horse, very competitive, very fast and wants to do the job. I’ve been riding him for a year and half now and he’s been incredible. Next week he will jump the three-star. He hasn’t shown in a few weeks, so I thought it would be nicer to start him off a bit easier with just one small class then the national grand prix. Now, he feels ready for next week.”
Aaron Vale (USA) and Alise Carrico’s eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding Florida Man (Casallco x Loving Star) gave their best effort, but fell victim to an unlucky rail and galloped through the timers a touch off the pace in 38.215 seconds to slide into second place.
Third place honors and the $5,000 fastest four-faulter award went to Dorothy Douglas (USA) and MTM Farm’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Caepten 2 (Cayton x Rikkirou) after the pair stopped the first-round clock at 67.758 seconds with one rail down along the way.
Soehnke Theymann received the ‘Luck of the Draw’ award.
Final Results – $50,000 Florida Coast Equipment National Grand Prix
1) Gonzalo Busca (ESP) & Classified, Liliane Stransky – 0 | 4 – 37.254
2) Aaron Vale (USA) & Florida Man, Alise Carrico – 0 | 4 – 38.215
3) Dorothy Douglas (USA) & Caepten 2, MTM Farm – 0 | 4 – 67.758
4) Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA) & Iisabella Van De Zuuthoeve, Serenity Farm – 0 | 4 – 67.845
5) William Simpson (USA) & Quentin VA, Two Socks Farm LLC – 0 | 4 – 69.980
6) Tracy Fenney (USA) & MTM Mcintosh, Nina Koloseike – 0 | 4 – 70.348
7) Dominic Gibbs (USA) & Clip De La Haye Z, Peter Howard – 0 | 4 – 72.226
8) Benjamin Meredith (AUS) & Nichole HPF, Nick Edmunds – 0 | 4 – 72.961
9) Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) & Collin, Santa Cecelia Stables LLC – 0 | 4 – 73.294
10) Tracy Fenney (USA) & Cool Girl PS, MTM Farm – 0 | 4 – 74.675
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photo: © Andrew Ryback Photography