Wellington, Fla. — Feb. 18, 2018 — Saturday’s $10,000 Hermes U25 Welcome winner, 17-year-old Madison Goetzmann, had a repeat performance of her previous day’s success and emerged victorious once again, this time in the $25,000 Hermes U25 Grand Prix. The U25 circuit riders took to yet another new location this Sunday as the weekly event moved to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) Derby Field. As Hunter Week took over the typical Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) International Ring venue for a final day, the athletes competing in the Week 6 event had the opportunity to test their skills out on the grass.
A starting line up of close to 50 riders was narrowed down to a returning field of only ten as many athletes suffered an unfortunate rail or time fault. Goetzmann and her own 11-year-old Westphalian gelding, Prestigious (Con Cento x Induna VI) showcased their skill on the terrain track by returning to the venue for a second day in a row to capture the win.
Time played a major factor for multiple riders as the original time allowed of 83 seconds was adjusted to 85 following time faults from the first four riders to tackle the course. U.S. athletes Ali Boone and Nicole Bellissimo were two of only the twelve riders to keep all fences up but suffered at the hand of the clock which kept them out of the jump-off. The change in venue was also a major factor for several riders as faults and eliminations were picked up by at least three riders due to refusals on the unfamiliar territory.
Twenty-four-year-old Lacey Gilbertson and her 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare Baloppi, owned by Seabrook LLC, were the first to return for the jump-off and set a pace that seemed uncatchable at a blazing 41.973 seconds. Gilbertson and Baloppi have proven they are no strangers to success in the U25 series and were the recent winners of the $25,000 Hermes U25 Grand Prix during Week 2 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Ailish Cunniffe, a 20-year-old student at Southern Methodist University, captured third place in the jump-off with Whipstick Farm Ltd’s Baloucento 2, narrowly beating out Lucas Porter with a time of 42.165 seconds. Porter and Rogelio Pellerano were the only two remaining to lay down no fault rounds, but Gilbertson’s time held first until Goetzmann. Goetzmann was also the winner of the 2017 ASPCA Maclay National Championship and her ability to produce a flawless round was showcased once again as she narrowly overtook Gilbertson by less than half a second with a final time of 41.534 seconds.
The U25 competition will return to the International Ring at the PBIEC show grounds during Week 7 of WEF.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Madison Goetzmann— FEI $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Winner
On how her win yesterday affected her ride today:
“ I think yesterday’s round actually really set me up for today. I got my horse’s rideability really nice yesterday and got him patting off the ground with the tight turns on the track. Coming in today I knew he was going to be all set for the long strides and galloping around the jump-off. Going into the jump-off I knew that I could trust him to gallop up in the first line and maybe do one less stride than the others and he would come right back after that.”
He was really perfect, I couldn’t be happier with him. He didn’t feel tired, especially to the last fence when I really made him work over that and he just breezed right over it. I’ve been competing in the U25’s for a few months with him now and we won silver at the U25 Championship in October. I think he’s a horse I want to move up to the bigger levels eventually but for now I’m happy in the U25 with him.
On the U25 division:
“ For me I feel like it’s been such a growing experience competing in this division. It definitely bridges the gap between the Junior/Amateur divisions and the International level. It’s so amazing to be able to compete against all different levels of riders.”
Lacey Gilbertson — FEI $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Second Place
“ She’s pretty simple and she’s great in all different environments. She was great out on the grass, and under the lights here at the AGDF International Ring as well as in the big ring at PBIEC. I think it’s definitely an advantage for us that she is able to stay consistent throughout the series when we have to ride in so many different arenas.”
On the U25 division:
“It’s nice because it teaches you how to be competitive without having to compete against the top riders in the world. It’s a step up from the High Amateurs without being thrown in over your head.”
On showing in multiple venues:
“I think it’s really cool, it makes it more exciting and it doesn’t get boring. The horses aren’t jumping the same jumps week after week and it’s a change of scenery. I think it keeps them sharper and more excited to be ready for what’s coming next.”
Ailsish Cunniffe— FEI $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Third Place
On Baloucento 2:
“ I’m really happy with him. I’ve had him for a while so I’m comfortable with him. He’s an energizer bunny so he was not tired today at all. I think that actually really helped all three of us that all of our horses are on the hotter side. It’s really hot out today and each of our horses had to work hard today without a day of rest in between so it was definitely to our advantage that our horses are on the hotter side.”
On the U25 division:
“I love it, I think it’s a great step up for us because we don’t have to go in and immediately compete against the top riders in the world because that’s what we have here. It can make you feel like you’re kind of failing when in reality you’re not but we are just against so many amazing riders. I think it’s a great division to get our confidence up. It’s great getting to show in so many different venues both for our experience and our horse’s experience level too.
FEI $25,000 Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Prestigious / Madison Goetzmann / USA / 0 | 80.10 / 0 | 41.53
2. Baloppi / Lacey Gilbertson / USA / 0 | 79.72 / 0 | 41.97
3. Baloucento 2 / Ailish Cunniffe / USA / 0 | 81.85 / 0 | 42.16
4. B Once Z / Lucas Porter / USA / 0 | 82.06 / 0 | 42.64
5. Irco Van Klapsch / Rogelio Pellerano / DOM / 0 | 83.47 / 0 | 43.37
6. Durosa W / Mckayla Langmeier / USA / 0 | 82.17 / 4 | 39.33
7. Mae / Noel Fauntleroy / USA / 0 | 82.55 / 4 | 42.37
8. Concardo / Summer Hill / USA / 0 | 82.29 / 4 | 42.40
9. Gasper Van Den D / Teddy Vlock / USA / 0 | 84.24 / 4 | 44.63
10. Great White / Daisy Farish / USA / 0 | 83.93 / 19 | 64.36
11. Jersey V.D. Hunt / Nicole Bellissimo / USA / 1 | 85.54
12. Like A Dream / Ali Boone / USA / 1 | 86.97
For a full list of results, click here.