Penny Brennan & Vertigo Delorme Sail to Win in Both $7500 Classic & $25K Grand Prix at Gulf Coast Classic

Penny Brennan of Buhl, Alabama and her own Vertigo Delorme just arrived in Gulfport Week II and made a grand entrance with wins in both the $25,000 Purina Grand Prix and the $7,500 Gulf Coast Winter Classic Welcome. She bought the coming 10 year old stallion last April with Laurent Dupre from France. “He [Vertigo Delorme] is truly amazing,” she said.

“I had shattered my hand and didn’t show for 8 months. When I started showing again, I rode him in a couple of mini prix and a few 1.50 m classes. Then, I gave the horses 7 weeks off before we came here,” commented Brennan.

After winning the $7,500 Gulf Coast Welcome, Brennan and Vertigo Delorme were primed for the $25,000 Purina Grand Prix. With 13 in the first round, six returned for the jump off over a course designed by Nancy Wallis of Lambertville, New Jersey.

Photo by Hartwell Photography

The jump off round was set with a time allowed of 57 seconds. First to go in the jump off order was Whitney Boyce-Petrey of Covington, Louisiana in the irons of Lincoln Case’s Canebrake. The pair earned four jump faults with a time of 50.369, but a fall after the last fence finished them in sixth place.
Shannon Hicks of Lake St. Louis, Missouri and Helen Gilbert’s Yspsilon followed with a rail at the first fence in a time of 52.171 which had them finish in fourth overall.

Collin Reynolds of Oxford, Pennsylvania and his own Semi-Automatic followed in the order and earned four jump faults in a time of 56.105 seconds and finished fifth overall.
Allan Nabors of Odessa, Florida and Jessie Grabowski’s Bon Chatsworth Pierre, winner of the Week I $25,000 Domino’s Pizza Grand Prix, followed Reynolds. The pair earned four jump faults, but turned in the fastest round yet in 49.005 seconds.
Brennan and Vertigo Delorme were next. “I went into the jump off thinking, ‘well, it’s just as easy to try to get a double clear as it is to be careful’, so I thought I’d just go for the win. My horse jumps better on a big stride and basically, the entire jump off round was a horse race,” Brennan commented.

Photo by Hartwell Photography

Brennan and Vertigo Delorme turned in a lightning-fast clear round in a time of 48.469 seconds and took the lead.

Brian Murphy of Berryville, Virginia and Light Speed Equestrian, LLC’s Ambassador Van Berkenbroek Z sat in the last to go position, but four jump faults in a time of 50.554 seconds would see them finish in third place overall, leaving Brennan and Vertigo Delorme in the winner’s circle.

“The oxers were square and it was a run in the jump off. It is so easy to outrun your horse and that’s when it gets dicey. When I’m on that big open gallop I need to be myself and be in tune with my horse. I have done it so many times and have also done it wrong many times. I have learned it’s best to stay with your horse’s stride,” she said.

Photo by Hartwell Photography

“The jump off course was a pure gallop with one turn only. Heading into the turn, you needed to settle because it was a square oxer on a 90 degree turn toward the in gate then land and do a 180 degree turn back to the vertical which was very square. Then ride to the in and out and I left a stride out to the Purina jump which was another square oxer and then galloped to the last two. It was so much fun and a really cool course,” Brennan said.

“He [Vertigo Delorme] is so green and I just can’t believe how well he is doing. He has heart and talent and I think he can go all the way. I think he may be my Longines horse,” she said.