Wellington, Florida (March 15, 2017) – Wrapping up its tenth week of competition, the 2017 Palm Beach Series has become a haven for developing horses and riders to hone their skills and synergy in the competition arena. In the third and final Hunter Derby Day of the 2017 winter season, an exceptional course welcomed riders for a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, where gorgeous jumps in shade of the covered arena set the stage for a utopian derby showcase on Friday, March 10th. Full jumper divisions hosted riders Wednesday and Thursday, with Saturday’s competition including the week’s headline class, a $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix designed to offer a technical but obtainable challenge for emerging Grand Prix mounts and riders. On the brink of its 11th week of competition, which will run March 15-19, Palm Beach Series is hosted by The Ridge at Wellington and features full jumper divisions from Teeny-Tiny through the Grand Prix, USEF Equitation Tuesdays, Hunter Derby Days, and the spectacular venues and all natural footing of the Turf Tour.
James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel Lead from Wire to Wire in Palm Beach Series X 1.40m Grand Prix
World class jumps, course designs, and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere drew riders to the in-gate of Jumper Rings 1 & 2 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center during Week 10’s competition, and Saturday’s 1.40m Grand Prix presented an interesting combination of challenges for the field of competitors. The headline class, which featured a course by FEI designer Mark McGowan, granted a number of double clears but no one could best James Chawke and GK Coco Chanel’s effort, which secured them victory.
As one of the first riders to go, Chawke’s early jump-off time of 40.612 couldn’t be touched throughout the class. As all of the Palm Beach Series’ jumper classes feature an open in-gate policy, allowing riders to arrive, school, and show at their own pace and as per their own schedule, the majority of the field was still chomping at the bit following Chawke’s early double clear, but in the end none would best the elegant bay mare’s athletic display of speed and power.