Paul O’Shea Pilots Squirt Gun to Victory in $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix at ESP June I

The long-awaited Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) June Spring Series officially kicked off last week. It started with the ESP June Equitation Day on Wednesday, June 3, followed by four full days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The weekend culminated with the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix (plus $3,800 in add back money) on the Derby Field during which 59 competitors contested the track, but Paul O’Shea aboard Squirt Gun came out on top. O’Shea of Wellington, FL piloted Eye Candy Jumpers, LLC’s mount around the jump-off course to victory in just 44.726 seconds. “The field was fantastic. After all those rounds, the footing was still perfect,” commented O’Shea after the class. “It’s actually incredibly to get to jump out here. The horses always learn a lot out here because there’s just so much to look at. So, it’s a great opportunity.”

Paul O’Shea on Squirt.  Photo by Anne Gittins Photography.

O’Shea and his team will continue competing in Wellington next week for the ESP June II show and then travel North: “After next week we’ll go up to Kentucky for Split Rock and then Tryon for the summer. That’s the plan at the moment. We’re certainly glad to be back competing again.”

Left to right: Charlene Hatfield, Al Hatfield, Paul O’Shea, William Thiebaud, and Erica Hatfield keeping it safe and “socially distant” in the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix presentation on Sunday. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography.

Claiming second place was Wellington, FL’s Alberto Michan and his entry Cosa Nostra after crossing through the timers in 45.677 seconds. Emily Ward of the United Kingdom rounded out the top three once she completed the jump-off in 45.695 seconds aboard Millioninmind, owned by Stephen Barnes. The track was designed by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola and proved tough for many, as only 13 competitors made it to the second round.

For full class results, click hereThe ESP June Spring Series, hosted at Equestrian Village, will continue this week with the second Equitation Day on June 10, followed by the USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition from Thursday, June 11 through Sunday, June 14.  No spectators are allowed on-site, but friends and family can view all classes via the SGL live stream here.  To learn more about safety protocols at the horse show, click here.