Written by Holly Johnson, Equinium Sports Marketing
Photos by Erin Gilmore Photography
Wellington, Florida (January 17, 2018) – Venezuela’s Luis Larrazabal and G&C Close Up put hoof to turf in Wednesday’s 1.30M Rising Star Classic, leading the class for most of the day with a blistering jump-off time of 28.841 seconds. No one could best the brilliant effort, and their ride highlighted a utopian day of show jumping during the fifth week of Turf Tour competition. With two rings of grass courses at Carben Farm, which included Low, Medium, and High Jumpers as well as 1.20-1.25M and the 1.30M Rising Star Classic, Wednesday’s event welcomed a diverse selection of riders from juniors and adult amateurs to internationally competitive professionals, all seeking the exceptional footing and spectacular venues of the Turf Tour.
Larrazabal and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding were one of the early combinations to test their skills over the 1.30M Rising Star Classic course designed by Eric Hasbrouck. With Larrazabal having the ride on G&C Close Up since the horse was a 5-year-old, the performance was demonstrative of their rapport and partnership. “I know him very well, and we were able to jump very fast today,” said Larrazabal. “I decided to leave out a few strides, do a few inside turns, and just give him a real chance to be very quick. We did only 7 strides to the combination, and as soon as he landed we galloped to the final fence. My goal with him was to give him a very competitive round and eventually move him back into the 1.40-1.45M, where he is a very competitive horse.”
With a string consisting of both young and seasoned jumpers, Larrazabal has used the Turf Tours as the stage for their development. “I love the Turf Tour’s atmosphere and especially the option to show at different venues,” he said. “It’s a super advantage for the riders to be able to get in experience at different venues and environments, especially for the young horses. Last week’s Turf Tour at Polo West was super cool, we had a fantastic time jumping on the giant grass fields there and getting a different feel at each location. Having a change to ride on the grass is also very important, and I plan to continue to take advantage of these events. They also treat you exceptionally well, with food and drinks as well as being very accommodating of riders schedules and training goals.”
The Turf Tour at Carben Farm (formerly Ashland Farm) continues through Friday, with the $15,000 1.40M Grand Prix and full jumper divisions from .80M-1.25M. Friday also ushers in another edition of Friday Night Lights at Polo West, presented by The Ridge at Wellington, which has been expanded to include a 1.10M Open Welcome class as well as the 1.10M Child/Adult Welcome and Classic.
Bring your friends and family to enjoy an evening class under the lights at the Polo Bar and Grill at Polo West! Presented by The Ridge at Wellington, the 1.10M classes have been expanded to include Open as well as Child/Adult riders, giving horse and rider combinations of all levels the opportunity to experience the excitement of a stadium atmosphere. Directly adjacent to the Polo Bar & Grill, the first Friday Night Lights drew a crowd of avid spectators and is sure to become a weekly favorite. Classes begin at 6pm and run on select Friday evenings through April!
Child/Adult riders will have the option of a 1.10M $1,000 M&S Qualifying Classic, and both Child/Adult and Open riders can also select a 1.10M speed round.
Entries are limited and will be taken on a first come, first serve basis, so be sure to get your entries in as the classes are sure to fill fast!
Enter online at www.HorseShowing.com or download the Prizelists, entry forms, and schedules from www.TheRidgeFarm.com and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.