Wellington, FL – December 3, 2017 – The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI 4* week concluded at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix on Sunday, December 3, ending in victory for Brazil’s Fabio Da Costa and Tosca De L’Esques.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the final track for the week, which welcomed back six of the original 40 entries in the jump-off. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and his own Ricore Courcelle, a 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme), took home second place honors after contesting the jump-off and crossing through the timers in 45.833 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) rode to third place aboard his own Dazzle White, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Calvino Z x Narcos II), after completing the short track in 42.236 seconds and adding four faults.
Fabio De Costa and Tosca De L’Esques. PC: Anne Gittins Photography.
“Tosca De L’Esques was originally purchased as a ride for one of our clients last year,” commented Da Costa. “When we brought her from Europe she was already jumping the 1.40m classes and the client did really well with her. Shortly after, my own Grand Prix horse got hurt, so we decided to try the bigger classes with her.”
Da Costa and the mare, a 2007 Selle Francais mare (Cardento x Apache D’Adriers) owned by Bonne Chance Farm, returned to the jump-off sitting in second place and put in a fast round ending in 39.737 seconds. He continued, “She has done great at the higher levels, as she is doing more than expected of her right now. She’s such a fighter and she’s such a winner. She’s won over six classes in the past few months, so we have larger hopes for her looking into the future. We are planning to ride her this winter under the lights at WEF and if she goes well we will take it all step-by-step.”
Fabio Da Costa and Tosca De L’Esques in their presentation ceremony with ring master Steve Rector, and Kassidy Peacock of JRPR on behalf of Omega Alpha. PC: Anne Gittins Photography.
Da Costa also piloted Fox Trot VD Padenborre, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Chin Chin x Fleuri Du Manoir), owned by Bonne Chance Farm, to the fourth-place finish in the class. A long-term mount for the rider, the horse has returned from an injury and Da Costa hopes to ride him in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
He explained, “This horse was in the last trial for the Olympic games and was very successful in Europe. Unfortunately, when he got hurt we had to back off and it has taken a while to get him back to the higher levels of competition. It feels like he is finally ready to be back out here, so let’s see how it goes. If he is up for it, he is the horse that I would like to take to the WEG.”