$50,000 Grand Prix WEF

THE third week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw national level jumping competition peak last Saturday night during the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix. WEF 2, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, went under the lights at Wellington International for a win that went to Kent Farrington (USA) aboard the rising star, Greya.

Besting the field of 44 in a time of 37.756 seconds over a track designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX), Farrington topped a seven-horse jump-off from the lead-off position. Farrington, a USA Olympic team silver medalist, is currently ranked 18th on the FEI world rankings.

A tight time-allowed was a factor in the outcome for several riders as only time faults on the clock kept two from advancing to the short course. Top young Canadian Sam Walker ensured that the evening would have a jump-off aboard Amy Mason’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Equine America Ivanhoe GPH. Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR) produced one final clear before the halfway drag with a fault-free round on Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright’s Enjeu De Grisien.

Top five finish

Four more competitors added their names to the jump-off order in the class’ second half including Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Belgium’s Jos Verlooy.

Wexford international Allen finished fifth with Edison De Hus, a 2014 Selle Français gelding (Conrad x Galoubet du Rouet), owned by Ballywalter Stables.

Farrington said of his nine-year-old Oldenburg mare (Colestus x Contender), “It’s [Greya’s] first time jumping under the lights. So, I tried to just work out of her normal gallop which is already pretty quick. Luckily, it worked out tonight and I thought she was incredible.”

Dr. Richard Wheeler, Dr. Robert Brusie and Melissa Brusie presented Farrington as the winner. “Palm Beach Equine Clinic is proud to be a long-time partner and supporter of Wellington International,” said Dr. Wheeler, representing Palm Beach Equine Clinic, the official Veterinarian of WEF. “It has been very nice to see the event get stronger and stronger each year, and it’s an honor for us to serve the Wellington equestrian community.”