Wellington, Fla. — Feb. 15th, 2020 — Competition got underway beneath cloudy skies for the $36,600 – Palm Beach Masters Classic CSIO5*. With intermittent spitting rain 30 horse-and-rider duos took to the turf to try their hand at a piece of the prize and coveted points in the Longines rankings. The weather added an extra element for the riders to battle in today’s 1.50m class, but it did not deter Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura who answered the call on course, laying down the most efficient turns and hardest hustle to the finish winning their first ever CSIO5* together.
Course designer, Alan Wade (IRL), crafted a technical 12 obstacle track made more difficult by everchanging weather. Utilizing three different double combinations, the competitors were tasked to show their rideability and control while battling the allowed time. The first half of the riders to jump on course were faced with rain and excessive wind creating even more obstacles for the riders to juggle whilst on course.
Alexandra Thornton (GBR) on her 14-year-old Oldenburg mare, Charielle, owned by Dunwalke Ltd was the first to grace the course. The British rider navigated the course with precision and efficiency making her the first in the order and the first clear around the track. Wade’s combination obstacles proved difficult knocking many of the riders out of contention. Nicholas Pizzaro (MEX) was the second clear on course ultimately spurring a jump-off. Six more athletes would go clear including Lucas Porter (USA), a second jump-off ride for Thornton on her other horse in the class, Cornetto K, Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX), Rodrigo De Paula Pessoa (BRA), Sydney Shulman (ISR), Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), and finally Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) rounded out the group representing six nations. Of the 30 pairs to take to the course only eight pairs made it to the jump-off featuring two jumps not seen in the first round.
Thornton was the first to try her hand at the shortened course aboard her first jump-off partner, Charielle, which featured a tight roll back turn after the second fence. She galloped to the finish laying down the first double clear track setting the pace for the seven riders to follow. Pizarro followed aboard Pia Contra, but despite their best efforts were not able to take top prize from the Brit. It was U.S athlete, Porter, and SPR Fund One’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare who were able to snag the early lead with a lightning fast pace laying down a time of 37.18 seconds.
The shortened course featured two wide sweeping turns, which allowed riders to make up time favoring the riders with the most control in the beginning of the round and the most guts at the end. The following two riders snagged unfortunate rails on their way around the course taking them out podium contention. Brazilian rider, Pessoa, came out on the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC with a bold ride. Aggressively slicing the last fence Pessoa strategically shaved off just enough time to sneak just behind Porter with a time of 37.91 seconds.
Shulman was the penultimate rider in the jump-off. She wasted no time riding to win and blew past the competitors into first place laying down the tightest and tidiest track. Her all business 11-year-old bay mare owned by Jill Shulman launched off the ground slicing the the inside corner of the last fence and taking the lead with a time of 36.61 seconds, ultimately leading the lap of honor while Porter placed second and Pessoa rounded out the top three.
Shulman and her mare, “Minnie”, had no trouble establishing the fastest pace giving it all gas on course. The under 25 rider surpassed her expectations for the pairs first CSI5* class together considering the pair had to restrategize after “Minnie” threw a shoe in the schooling area right before the class. Having to wait and go at the end of the class added stress to the already highly spirited mare. The two laid down a highly impressive first ever CSI5* class together at today’s rainy event.
Competition at The Palm Beach Masters wraps up tomorrow with the highly anticipated Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America at 1:30 p.m. EST.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Sydney Shulman — $36,600 – Palm Beach Masters Classic CSIO5* Winner
On her first CSIO5* with Villamoura:
“To be even invited to show for Israel here at the show is a big deal. I have never gotten to show in the 5* here before, so that was the first exciting part and to finish it off with a win was so cool. I really came in here with nice expectations, nothing major. If the horses show nicely, great. It was a big class with all the best riders here, so to be able to win a class here with all these riders was really nice.”
On her win and upcoming plans for this season:
“Her normal canter is faster than any horse going full out. Just naturally she’s a speed demon. I got to the wall on a really sharp angle enough that it had to be fast enough and then to the last fence I was thinking she was going left so I was thinking to give myself a little bit of space, but the second she landed she was looking for the next jump. So I just went with her.”
On her course strategy:
“So I actually pulled a shoe in the schooling ring before the first round, so I had to move down about fifteen trips and we were waiting. But, she is not really a horse that wants to wait around so I hoped she did not get too antsy and lose her mind, but she kept it together. Then I was thinking to just give her the best ride because she was a little stressed out and just make it easy and nice for her. Which honestly she did for me more than I did for her. She’s amazing.”
$36,600 – Palm Beach Masters Classic CSIO5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Villamoura / Sydney Shulman / ISR / Jill Shulman / 0 / 0 | 36.61 sec
2. Hope Street / Lucas Porter / USA / SPR Fund One / 0 / 0 | 37.18 sec
3. Venice Beach / Rodrigo De Paula Pessoa / BRA / Artemis Equestrian Farm Llc / 0 / 0 | 37.91 sec
4. Charielle / Alexandra Thornton / GBR / Dunwalke Ltd / 0 / 0 | 38.30 sec
5. Pia Contra / Nicolas Pizarro / MEX / Nicolas Pizzaro / 0 / 0 | 39.40 sec
6. H5 Market Irminka / Carlos Hank Guerreiro / MEX / Carlos Hank Gonzalez / 0 / 4 | 38.12 sec
7. Quilimbo / Schuyler Riley / USA / E2 Showjumpers / 0 / 4 | 38.83 sec
8. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / Amanda Derbyshire & Gochman Sport Horse / 0 / 8 | 38.63 sec
9. Dez’ Ooktoff / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / Roberto Teran Tafur / 1 | 73.98 sec
10. Cornetto K / Alexandra Thornton / GBR / Dunwalke Ltd / 1 | 75.49 sec
11. Catoki / McLain Ward / USA / Bob Russel, Marilla Van Beuren, Mclain Ward/ 4 | 70.22 sec
12. Athos d’Elle / Katherine A. Dinan / USA / Grant Road Partners Llc / 4 | 70.94 sec