Wellington, Florida (March 28, 2017) – The second to last week of competition on the 2017 Palm Beach Series invited riders to the beautiful grass field and sand arena at Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables, as well as the pristine all-weather arenas of Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, where divisions from Teeny Tiny and Low Schooling Jumpers to the Grand Prix offered exhibitors the chance to show in a relaxed, utopian atmosphere. Organized by Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio, the Ridge Palm Beach Series combines their vision of a laid-back, exhibitor focused event with the flair of the old world European tours where Garson’s career as an international and Olympic show jumper flourished. An expansion of their popular Turf Tour dates, which feature show jumping for all levels on springy turf courses at spectacular venues around Wellington, 2017’s line-up included 3 Hunter Derby Day events, weekly USEF Equitation Tuesdays, full jumper divisions running Wednesday-Sunday, and Palm Beach Series Schooling Dressage, which incorporates the same principles for developing dressage horses and riders.
Lisa Goldman and Sovereign Reign in $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix
The highlight of each weekly competition on the Palm Beach Series is the Turf Tour Grand Prix, which was hosted most recently on March 24 at Schuyler Riley’s Wolfstone Stables. The elegant turf field, lined by active polo matches and Wolfstone’s sand arena, which doubled as Jumper Ring 2, took on the designs of Pierre Jolicoeur for the 1.25m-1.30m divisions in the morning and the 1.40m Grand Prix in the afternoon.
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny set an early standard in the Grand Prix that held through the majority of the day. Jumping off immediately after his first round clear with Oakland Ventures’ Billie Onslow, they were the first double clear on 38.644. Despite impressive efforts from some of the sport’s top names, including Kenny’s countryman Daniel Coyle, England’s Peter Jordan, Canada’s Kevin Crosby, and USA’s Molly Ashe, Kenny maintained his lead until the very end of the class. A group of late in the day entries from Lisa Goldman of Red Coat Farm in Chicago, Illinois were the final horses to go, and a fast and clear effort from Goldman and Sovereign, owned by Barbara Disko, stopped the timers at 36.614 to put them at the top of the class. Canada’s Kevin Crosby and Concelo, owned by Sher-Al Farm, rounded out the top three with the third fastest double clear effort, finishing on 38.768 seconds.
Goldman, who has numerous Grand Prix victories to her name including a 2016 Turf Tour Grand Prix with her other mount, Morocco, commented on her ride, saying, “This was Sovereign’s first time ever showing on the grass, and it obviously was too his liking. I started him off pretty slow but he placed well in the 1.40m FEI class this year and now won here on the Turf Tour, so he’s definitely an up and comer of mine. There was at least one tricky line, and I chose to leave out a stride to one of the oxers and was trying to be very quick after which paid off. I love showing on the Turf Tour, its something different to do and a great environment for the horses. Nona and George make it super easy and convenient to come and jump, and make it easy to fit into our winter schedule. This farm was just stunning, as all of their venues are, and I’m really happy we decided to make a last minute choice to come show!”
Kenny, who was victorious with Diamond D a few weeks ago on the Turf Tour, stated, “I really like the show and the concept, especially for horses getting going again. It’s not a huge pressure situation for them and a nice, different environment especially for younger horses that are being developed for the bigger, more intense classes. It’s also a nice change to show on the grass. Their [the organizers’] idea is super and its a great concept for the horses and riders.” Following in the same vein, Crosby, who has topped The Ridge Palm Beach Series $5,000 1.30 Open Stake and utilizes the Turf Tour’s atmosphere to continue to
develop his horses, also reflected on the importance of a relaxed environment and change of scenery for his mounts: “I’ve become more and more familiar with The Ridge and its organizers, and they do a great job creating a relaxing environment and providing an opportunity to develop horses.”
More shots from the March 24th Turf Tour at Wolfstone Stables!
All photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing, LLC