Flying Feathers For the Win, Danielle Goldstein Victorious in the $384k Rolex Grand Prix at WEF

In the second five-star grand prix of the season, Danielle Goldstein (ISR) was victorious riding Lizziemary in the $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

There were 39 entries in the Saturday night grand prix, and six found the key to a clear round to advance to the Anthony D’Ambrosio-designed jump-off. First in was Liubov Kochetova (RUS) on her own Veneno, a ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Balou du Rouet. They took their time to produce a clear round in 45.77 seconds, which would hold up for second place.

Danielle Goldstein and Lizziemary. Photo by Ashley Neuhof.

“He’s still young for me,” said Kochetova of the horse she found five years ago at the Paul Schockemöhle auction. “He started to jump big grand prix just like half a year ago. He’s getting better and better. It’s a very good horse for the future and big classes; he just needs more experience in night classes because he’s looking at all this and the jumps. Today of course, he was amazing. I’m so happy he did two clear rounds. He showed me he can do this.”

Liubov Kochetova and Veneno. Photo by SportFot Photography

Jessica Springsteen (USA) and RMF Swinny du Parc, owned by Rushy Marsh Farm, were next in, but had eight faults in 37.24 seconds for sixth place.

Goldstein and Lizziemary, a 12-year-old AES mare by Cabri d’Elle x Acord II owned by The Golden Group and Danielle Goldstein, contested next and put down a blazing time of 35.92 seconds, but even more importantly, the only other clear round in the jump-off.

“I got a good shot at the skinny, and I saw it, and I thought, ‘Alright, it’s there. I’m just going to kick and hope it works out,’” said Goldstein. “The horse jumped great, so tonight it worked!”

Three more would chase Goldstein’s time and end up with four faults. Yuri Mansur (BRA) and Louise Weber’s Babylotte had a time of 39.28 seconds for fifth place, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) and the Chacco Kid Group’s Chacco Kid finished in 37.23 seconds for fourth place.

McLain Ward and HH Azur. Photo by Sportfot Photography

Going last in the jump-off, Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur, owned by Double H Farm, were on pace to win, but a front rail at the final Rolex oxer relegated them to third place in 36.60 seconds.

“Azur was brilliant,” said Ward. “Dani put up a great jump-off round. It wasn’t easy to beat. She did eight (strides) to the last, which I actually hadn’t walked. I thought it was nine. When I rolled back on the skinny, it didn’t show up exactly the way I wanted. I thought the mare made a great move to clear it, but we landed very far to the left. I just didn’t see the line to do it, and I chickened out and did the nine. I knew the nine was too slow, so I was trying to do the nine quickly, and I just drove her through the front rail. It was rider error, but it was rider error because Dani put up a great effort. I wasn’t going to be able to back into winning, so congratulations to her.”

The top three riders on the podium – Liubov Kochetova, Danielle Goldstein, and McLain Ward – are joined by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo of Equestrian Sport Productions; Kyle Younghans, Sports Marketing Manager for Rolex Watch USA; and ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo by Sportfot Photography

Goldstein has been building up Lizziemary’s program this winter to aim for the five-star competitions.

“The horse had a big summer,” she said of her European Championships mount. “I was gearing her toward one of these classes, specifically tonight. I jumped an easy class on Wednesday, and then she had a couple days to recover and prepare. I thought she came out tonight and jumped beautifully. I was thrilled with her.”

This was the second five-star grand prix victory at the 2018 WEF for an Israeli rider, following Daniel Bluman’s win during week five.

Danielle Goldstein receives her Rolex timepiece from Kyle Younghans, Sports Marketing Manager for Rolex Watch USA. Photo by Sportfot Photography

“It’s huge,” said Goldstein of the success for Israel. “Winning any grand prix in Wellington is a big deal, but winning one of the five stars is really unbelievable. Daniel has won two grand prix this season, so it’s been a big season first of all, which I think is wonderful. We’ve been building for a few years, trying to get a number of riders up to this level. We’re a bit of a close-knit group. It means the world to us. All we want to do is go to the Olympics and represent our country well. Okay, everybody wants to win a medal, but for us, for Israel, it’s a huge deal. I think the country has never fielded an equestrian team at the Olympics.’”

Goldstein was also presented with the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate for week seven. For winning the grand prix, Goldstein received a stay in a Luxury Studio at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach.

Danielle Goldstein receives the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award from Isabel and Martha Jolicoeur. Photo by Sportfot Photography

Final Results: $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*

1 LIZZIEMARY: 2006 AES mare by Cabri d’Elle x Acord II
DANIELLE GOLDSTEIN (ISR), The Golden Group & Danielle Goldstein: 0/0/35.92

2 VENENO: 2008 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Balou du Rouet
LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/0/45.77

3 HH AZUR: 2006 Belgian Sport Horse mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Sir Lui
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm & Francois Mathy: 0/4/36.60

4 CHACCO KID: 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Come On
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Chacco Kid Group: 0/4/37.23

5 BABYLOTTE: 2006 KWPN mare by Dollar du Murier x Concorde
YURI MANSUR (BRA), Yuri Mansur/Euro Stables: 0/4/39.28

6 RMF SWINNY DU PARC: 2006 Selle Francais mare by Berlin x Laudanum
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Rushy Marsh Farm LLC: 0/8/37.24

7 SANCHA LS: 2003 SLS mare by Chin Chin x Polydor
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman LLC: 4/74.21

8 BLUE MOVIE: 2006 AES mare by Chacco Blue x Pilot
ROWAN WILLIS (AUS), Rowan Willis: 4/75.32

9 CITA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Pik Ramiro
DANIEL COYLE (IRL), Ariel Grange & Lothlorien: 4/78.11

10 CORIANDOLO DI RIBANO: 2007 Sella Italiano stallion by Cassini II x Baldini
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 4/78.24

11 CRISTALLINE: 2008 Bavarian Warmblood mare by Cristallo 1 x Caretello B
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 4/78.38

12 WITH WINGS: 2003 KWPN gelding by Larino x L. Ronald
KAREN POLLE (JPN), Karen Polle: 4/78.47