Manuel Lecuona of Wellington, FL, rode to victory in the $25,000 Equine Tack & Nutritionals in the 2018 ESP Pre-Charity show aboard Noche De Ronda at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Lecuona flew through the jump-off in 46.784 seconds the 2009 Oldenburg mare (Quintender x Lovis Corinth) to secure the win.
Manuel Lecuona and Noche De Ronda. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Following close behind, fellow Wellington resident Santiago Lambre claimed second place riding Dingeman, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Nintender x Darnels) owned by Integrated Services Florida LLC, completing the course in 47.812 seconds. Third place was awarded to Carlos Quinones, also of Wellington, FL, with Satoyama, a 2006 gelding, owned by Michelle Navarro-Grau, with a time of 49.749 seconds.
Only six pairs moved forward to contest the jump-off of 24 original entries and Lecuona remained on top in the course set by Hector Loyola of Wellington, FL. “It was a really nice course. It was very well built. There were difficulties all over, which was nice because they weren’t just in one place. I think that makes it better for us and the horses. We get challenged all over the course,” Lecuona remarked.
“My horse was amazing. It’s been a difficult year for us. I had to stop showing her because we went to Mexico for my wife. She’s a dressage rider, so we went to Mexico for the summer. This was [Noche De Ronda]’s first weekend back and she was amazing. She’s an incredible horse. I’ve had her since she was four and now she’s nine. I think she’s ready to step up to the international classes.”
Manuel Lecuona and Noche De Ronda in their presentation ceremony with ring master Steven Rector. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography
Regarding his future plans with Noche De Ronda, Lecuona stated, “I want to do some pre-season shows and then some Grand Prix classes. I also want to try do some FEI classes and aim for the trial of the Pan-Am Games. I really think she’s a horse who can compete at that level,” he concluded.