Ocala, FL – A sunny Florida day set the stage for the final feature class of the week, the $50,000 Florida Coast Equipment National Grand Prix. Twenty-five top-level horse-and-rider combinations competed over a challenging track set by Alan Wade (IRL), where only two found a clear first-round effort. Spain and the United States battled it out over the jump-off track where both had one unfortunate rail. Gonzalo Busca (ESP) prevailed on Liliane Stransky’s Classified (Je T’aime Flamenco x Larissa II) with the quickest time.
Pathfinders Busca and Classified were the first pair to attempt the jump-off track, “The plan was clear – I knew I had to go fast because Aaron Vale was behind me and he’s a very fast rider. I had to try and put a little bit of pressure.”
Busca spoke about the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, “He’s a very nice horse, very competitive, very fast and wants to do the job. I’ve been riding him for a year and half now and he’s been incredible. Next week he will jump the three-star. He hasn’t shown in a few weeks, so I thought it would be nicer to start him off a bit easier with just one small class then the national grand prix. Now, he feels ready for next week.”
Aaron Vale (USA) and Alise Carrico’s eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding Florida Man (Casallco x Loving Star) gave their best effort, but fell victim to an unlucky rail and galloped through the timers a touch off the pace in 38.215 seconds to slide into second place.
Third place honors and the $5,000 fastest four-faulter award went to Dorothy Douglas (USA) and MTM Farm’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Caepten 2 (Cayton x Rikkirou) after the pair stopped the first-round clock at 67.758 seconds with one rail down along the way.
Soehnke Theymann received the ‘Luck of the Draw’ award.
$50,000 Florida Coast Equipment National Grand Prix Results:
1 Classified, Gonzalo Busca, Liliane Stransky: 0 | 4 | 37.254
2 Florida Man, Aaron Vale, Alise Carrico: 0 | 4 | 38.215
3 Caepten 2, Dorothy Douglas, MTM Farm: 4 | 67.758
4 Iisabella Van De Zuuthoeve, Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen, Serenity Farm: 4 | 67.845
5 Quentin VA, William Simpson, Two Socks Farm LLC: 4 | 69.980
6 MTM Mcintosh, Tracy Fenney, Nina Koloseike: 4 | 70.348
7 Clip De La Haye Z, Dominic Gibbs, Peter Howard: 4 | 72.226
8 Nichole HPF, Benjamin Meredith, Nick Edmunds: 4 | 72.961
9 Collin, Luiz Francisco De Azevedo, Santa Cecelia Stables LLC: 4 | 73.294
10 Cool Girl PS, Tracy Fenney, MTM Farm: 5 | 74.675