Wellington, FL – December 22, 2015 – Laurenz Buhl and Calista finishing in exciting fashion, topped a competitive class of 40 entries in the $25,000 Brazilian Court Hotel Grand Prix hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday, December 20. Buhl, originally from Germany, but based in Wellington, FL, for the winter season, piloted Calista, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, LLC, to the win, finishing the second round track in 37.004 seconds.
Liza Finsness of Wellington, FL, and her own Shiver earned second place with a time of 38.385 seconds while Edward Levy of Neuilly, France, and Rebeca LS owned by Remarkable Farms LP, collected third place crossing the timers in 39.541 seconds. Competition at PBIEC will resume on Wednesday, December 30, with the ESP New Years Show, which will host the $30,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on Sunday, January 3.
Buhl carefully guided Calista, a 2006 Westphalian mare (Cornet Obolensky x Poesie) to one of four double clear trips in the class, setting a quick pace in the jump-off round that Finsness nor Levy could catch as they followed later in the order. Buhl, who is typically based in Germany for the majority of the year, enjoyed a solid first outing at PBIEC, riding a smart and efficient two rounds to secure the win. Guillerme Jorge of Brazil, who will also design the courses for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, built a difficult and technical track for the final grand prix class before the holiday break.
“When I walked the course I thought it was pretty tough, but very jumpable, which makes for a good course. I had a very talented horse with me today and I knew that if I rode well, we would have a chance at winning the class and going clear,” commented Buhl. “She’s owned by Georgina Bloomberg and I’m lucky to have the ride on her for a little bit before Georgina gets here and then she will take over competing her.”
Bringing a talented string of young horses from Europe, Buhl will look to continue building upon the foundation created throughout 2015, aiming for quality finishes in the bigger classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) beginning Wednesday, January 13. He noted, “I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to do some of the bigger classes with our horses and see where we end up at the end of circuit. Most of the year we’re based in Germany and we’ll head back there in April but enjoy being here for the first few months of the year.”
Wintering in Florida has proved beneficial for Buhl, as he earned a win in the Artisan Farms Under 25 Series at WEF in 2015 aboard another Gotham Enterprizes LLC mount, River Dance Semilly in the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final.
“Competing here at PBIEC and WEF is a different world than competing back in Europe. It’s so much bigger and a lot of aspects are different than if we would stay at our base throughout the winter months. It’s very competitive here and that’s why we enjoy coming. With all of the venues and classes, we’re looking forward to starting a successful year off here in Wellington.”
Peter Wylde and Paloma Top $10,000 AcuLife Open Stake
Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, FL, piloted Paloma, a 2006 Holsteiner mare (Canaletto S x H Lila M) owned by Kathleen Kamine, to victory in the $10,000 AcuLife Open Stake at PBIEC on Friday, December 18. Wylde, an Olympic-team veteran, made quick work of the class, finishing nearly six seconds faster than second place finisher Luke Dee and Auckland De L’Enclos. Wylde and Dee secured the only two double clear efforts on the day.
Wylde and Paloma captured the class with a time of 42.699 seconds, while Dee, of Wellington, FL, finished in second place with a time of 48.707 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL, completed the jump-off track in 41.817 seconds, with a single rail for a third place finish.
Final Results for $25,000 Brazilian Court Hotel Grand Prix
Story: Equestrian Sport Productions