Jorge Matte & Jesse Smith Sail to Victory at Palm Beach Open

Chile’s Jorge Matte and Perle Dumarais, owned by the rider, took top honors in the $10,000 1.35m Jumper Time First Jump-Off competition held at the Palm Beach Open on Saturday, March 24th. Palm Beach Open is a part of the Palm Beach Masters Series located on the picturesque grounds of Deeridge Farm in Wellington, FL.

Of the 41 original starters in the class, there were only five penalty free rounds, with only two double clear, Matte and Charlotte Jacobs with North Star’s Bartani S, who had lead throughout most of the class.

Matte and Perle Dumarais took the lead with a jump-off time of 39.256 seconds narrowly edging out Jacobs, who finished the course in 40.064 seconds for second place.

“I have had this mare for a long time,” said Matte. “She is just coming back from a couple of months rest, so I am really happy that she is back. It was tough for a 1.30m class, but I have jumped this mare in some big classes, so I had confidence in her. She is an older mare, about 15, but she is always a little bit fresh so you have to be aware and not let her get crazy. Today was perfect. She was really good, and very happy here in this ring that is so amazing. It was a good day.”

Jorge Matte and Perle Dumarais. Photo by Kathy Russell Photography

The top three placings in the $7,500 1.30m Jumper Time First Jump-Off class went to riders from Katie and Henri Prudent’s Plain Bay Sales. Olivia Chowdry aboard Cosma 20, owned by Atlas Equine Holdings LLC, earned first place with two faultless rides, and a jump-off time of 33.179 seconds.

Adam Prudent was second in the class, the same position he was in the previous day, with Endy, owned by Plain Bay Sales. Their jump-off round ended in 34.110 seconds and penalty free around the track.

Third place went to barn mate Dorothy Cox and her Joy Ride, who were double clear in 34.714 seconds.

“She just keeps getting better,” said Chowdry. “I have never had a horse that wants to win as much as me, but she does. She just steps in the ring and is all business. She knows exactly what her job is. She is super focused in the ring, in the zone, but she is really silly in the barn. She is probably one of the nicest horses I will ever own.”

Chambery 25 and Jesse Smith. Photo by Kathy Russell Photography

The $5,000 1.25m Jumper Time First Jump-Off class went to Jesse Smith and her Chambery 25, a 10-year-old gelding. Smith and Chambery 25 were the fastest of the seven horse and rider combinations who went clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. They completed the shortened course in a blazing 40.493 seconds for the win.

“He was really perfect today,” said Smith. “We had kind of a mishap yesterday in the 1.35m so I planned on him being more difficult today, but he went in and was totally professional and just jumped around like it never happened. I think he really likes it here. The last time we were here he won the 1.30m, the first class he has ever won in his life. He has somehow become shockingly competitive. He is going fast and forward in the jump-off, so I am really happy with him.”

Alexandra Cherubini and her longtime partner Equifit Carlos, owned by LoveLite LLC, emerged victorious in the hotly contested $2,000 1.20m Jumper Time First Jump-Off class. A total of 39 entries took on the course in the Grand Prix grass field but none could beat Cherubini’s time of 33.828 seconds over the jump-off course.

“It was so fun out there,” said Cherubini. “Carlos is 15 years old and I have had him since he was 8, so he is my best friend, my go to guy. He is a bit spooky, so I did a little drive by fence 4 down in the corner and the liverpools, but he was perfect out there. This horse show is gorgeous. Everything is so well done. It is such a treat to be able to ride on grass, it seems to be such a dying luxury these days. Carlos always goes well on grass. I just feel that his stride opens up and he jumps great. He seems to be more alert and feels like he is having fun. We both had fun.”

Photo by Kathy Russel Photography