Wellington, Fla. – Jan 12, 2020 – Week One of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded competition with the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix Sunday, January 12th. The International Arena saw a field of 48 horse and rider combinations attempt the well-built course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA). Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and his mount Lazzaro Delle Schiave, owned by Ronnoco Jump LTD., took home the win in the first grand prix of the WEF 2020 season.
Out of the 48 rides, 17 were able to jump clear and secure themselves a spot in the jump-off. Taylor Land set the pace with a time of 38.213 seconds with 4 jumping faults. It was Argentina’s Tomas Yofre who gave the crowd the first double clear round, with a swift time of 39.019. Following Yofre’s new lead, O’Connor bested his time by 4 seconds, finishing with a 35.956 second jump-off to put him in the top spot.
O’Connor’s speedy time held him the lead against the next 12 horse and rider pairs. Last to go in the jump-off, Molly Ashe Cawley and her mount Balous Day Date, owned by Louisburg Farm, put up a good fight with a time of 36.455 seconds. Though the pair was quick, it was not fast enough to take over the top spot, ultimately earning them the second place finish. Brianne Goutal-Marteau and her mount Zernike K, owned by Rose Hill Farm, were able to secure a third place finish with a clear round and a time of 37.708 seconds.
Lazzaro Dell Schiave is a new mount for O’Connor as he has only had him for two months. O’Connor has two other mounts with him during this WEF season, PSG Final and Valdocco Des Caps. He plans to juggle all three horses in a number of classes as to not put too much pressure on any one. While competing at WEF, O’Connor will also be busy coaching three clients he has with him. One of his clients, Max Wachman is a junior from Ireland that he will be coaching during the season. Wachman was Pony at [FEI European Pony Championships] last year. This will be Wachman’s first time at WEF and during the first week of showing, he was Junior Champion and was third in the High Junior Jumper Classic.
Rounding out the week of awards, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award was presented to Lillie Keenan for her efforts in this week’s competition. Keenan finished 9th on her mount Fasther, owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, with a time of 36.909 in the jump-off.
Week Two of WEF will kick-off Wednesday, January 15. Show jumping highlights for the week include the $73,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2*, set to take place Saturday, January 18, and the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic taking place Sunday, January 19.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Cian O’Connor – $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix winner
On his win:
“It’s fantastic. We come here to Wellington because we like it and personally, 2020 hopefully is a big year for me and for Team Ireland. I wanted to come here tory to be in shape physically and also for the horses. It’s a great time for us because we have three months with intense enough riding and working. I have my family with me, I have two young kids and my wife is here. So, it’s a really nice time and we can juggle everything. A lot of the time during the year we’re travelling in different directions, so we really love coming to Wellington. Everyone is in good form and the weather is good. We came here to try to win this class today and it was great that it happened.”
On Lazzaro Delle Schiave:
“Lazzaro is one of my top three horses, and I’ve had the ride for about two months, so he’s a new horse to me. I only did a couple of little shows back in Europe. He’s a big jumper, he’s jumped a really big class with his previous rider from Italy, [Massimo Grossato]. In fact, he was clear in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Barcelona with Lazzaro on the Italian team. He’s a pretty special horse. I’m just figuring out the buttons and he seems to love the international arena I’ll give him next week off and use him sparingly to try to keep him for some of the bigger events as the circuit goes on.”
On the course:
“The course was nice. It’s Week One of 12 so [Eric Hasbrouck] doesn’t want to over-do it, and he got plenty of clears. I went early, there were some fast ones and good ones, and that’s why I took out a few strides. I tried to make sure, particularly to the last fence, to really use my horse’s strength which was that he could go seven strides. I thought the course was good, it was fair, and it’s a nice test for where you’re at for the rest of circuit.”
On his plans for the 2020 WEF season:
“I’m lucky enough that I’ve got three good horses. I have another French horse called [Valdocco Des Caps] that jumped the [$35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup] with just 1 time fault. And my best horse, PSG Final, has been very good the last year. So, between those three I will juggle them around and see how they are. I’d like to do the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ in Deeridge during the Palm Beach Masters. I’d like to jump a couple of 5* grand prix classes here towards the end, maybe Week Seven or Week Nine It’s a good position to be in, to not have to put pressure on any of them. The main goal is to try to and be up and running coming out of WEF, and take what we can on the way, but not to over-do any of the horses here. It’s only the build up of the season towards the rest of the year. And obviously, the high point, the goal all year in the back of my mind, is Tokyo.”
$75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
- Lazzaro Delle Schiave / Cian O’Connor / IRL / 0 | 70.728 / 0 | 35.956
- Balous Day Date / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / 0 | 68.923 / 0 | 36.455
- Zernike K / Brianne Goutal-Marteua / USA / 0 | 69.308 / 0 | 37.708
- Iceman De Muze / Schuyler Riley / USA / 0 | 68.784 / 0 | 38.516
- Kavalli Di Magico / Tomas Yofre / ARG / 0 | 71.802 / 0 | 39.019
- Jasmijn / Jonathan Mccrea / USA / 0 | 70.922 / 0 | 41.555
- Conto / Marcelo Ciavaglia / BRA / 0 | 71.894 / 4 | 35.159
- Scarlett Du Sart Z / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 70.437 / 4 | 36.123
- Fasther / Lillie Keenan / USA / 0 | 70.023 / 4 | 36.909
- Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 69.117 / 4 | 37.414
- Casco 11 / Lauren Tisbo / USA / 0 | 68.369 / 4 | 38.213
- Falco V / Taylor Land / USA / 0 | 70.265 / 4 | 38.394