Wellington, Florida (March 24, 2016) – Samuel Parot brought determination, edge, and excitement to his narrow victory during Week 11 of The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour.
Securing a late won double clear in a time just a few hundredths of a second faster than the leader, Parot’s successful round closed out the two days of world class show jumping competition held March 16 and 19, 2016 on the Turf Tour.
The weekly circuit hosts a variety of divisions from its headline $15,000 Grand Prix and 1.30-1.35M divisions to Young Horse classes and Junior/Amateur Owner classics, all set in gorgeous venues and with an unparalleled utopian atmosphere.
With all of its courses for Week 11 set by renowned Pan Am, Olympic, and international course designer Leopoldo Palacios, Week 11 proved to be a hotbed of competition.
Wednesday’s events kicked off with two 1.30-1.35M classes, Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers, and Young Horse divisions on the sweeping and elegant grounds of the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The 1.30-1.35M classes saw more than 40 horse and rider efforts, with Lauren Crooks with Dora the Explorer and Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman with Contessa V topping the divisions.
Alexander Zetterman and Contessa V (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Lauren Crooks and Dora the Explorer (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Wednesday’s competition at IPC started as a foggy morning that turned into a beautiful day. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Misty course walk (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Due to concern over a strong weather system in the area, day 2’s classes were relocated to Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, where the spectacular covered arena hosted The Ridge’s second and final Hunter Derby Days the evening before.
With the brilliant Grand Prix fences set, a slew of top international show jumping combinations tested their mettle over Palacio’s course. Parot proved exceptional with his first ride, putting in a double clear with his own Great Ben and taking the lead with a jump off time of 25.832.
Beth Underhill and Count Me In, the defending champions of Week 10’s $15,000 Grand Prix, were yet to go and sure to make a bid for the top spot. Underhill and the powerful bay gelding owned by Sandy Lupton edged out Great Ben with a final jump off time of 25.817. With a blazing fast time and a history of victory on the Turf Tour, any gambler would put odds on Underhill for the win.
However, Parot returned as one of the last rides of the day with Cortina 186, and epitomized the determination and skill of the top Grand Prix riders in Wellington. With a spectacular effort he and Cortina 186 swept past the timers with no rails and a time of 25.392 to win the class.
Samuel Parot and Great Ben (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Beth Underhill and Count Me In (Photo courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography)
Building on Wednesday’s 1.30-1.35, Leopoldo Palacios designed the Grand Prix in progression, with the larger course becoming more technical. In his first stint designing for the Turf Tour, Palacios stated his passion for building on the grass, a medium he believes benefits the horses.
“On the grass horses are more comfortable and safe, and it is a more natural surface for them to work on,” said Palacios. “They jump better and more efficiently, but not necessarily higher, and on the polo fields here at IPC the excellent drainage and slight slope of the field adds an extra dimension. It is more interesting for the riders, as they must ride very accurately, and more engaging for the horses. I have always wanted to design for the Turf Tour, and I think the concept behind it is a great thing for both horses and riders. Nona and George do a fantastic job, and they are improving the sport which I think is very important.”
Week 12 continues with two more exciting days of show jumping at The Ridge at Wellington, and the venue is the gorgeous Tonkawa Farm, just a few minutes hack from WEF. The action will commence Wednesday and Friday, March 23 and 25, and will feature Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers, Young Horse divisions, Child/Adult and Junior Amateur Owner Classics, 1.30-1.35M classes, and a 1.40 Grand Prix. All of the Turf Tour’s classes run concurrently over two arenas, combining convenience with the beautiful backdrop of Tonkawa and a welcoming atmosphere.
The Turf Tour also features complimentary breakfast, lunch, and refreshments for all spectators, owners, riders, grooms, and their staff throughout the day, and also offer a door-to-door horse shuttle provided by Meadowbrook Transport.
Directions to Tonkawa Farm:
4150 South Road
Wellington, FL 33414
(From Pierson Rd. or Lake Worth Rd, head South on South Shore Blvd. Make a right on 50th Street, and then a right on South Road. The entrance to the farm is on the right.
For up-to-date show results, photos, and news, follow The Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.
Photo gallery courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing: