Ocala, FL – Week V of the 2024 Winter Spectacular Show Series showcased yet another exhilarating week of equestrian sport. Daniel Coyle (IRL) flew to the top on Saturday night securing first and second place in the $100,000 Wheels Up Grand Prix. Daniel Geitner proved to be untouchable scoring his third-consecutive victory in the $20,000 Golden Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby and the win in the $15,000 UF Veterinary Hospital 3’ Open Hunter Derby. Read on for additional highlights from the week.
Daniel Coyle (IRL), fresh off two European World Cup™ victories, continued his winning streak by clinching both first and second place in the $100,000 Wheels Up Grand Prix.
“I was lucky. I was able to go first on Quintin. He has a bigger stride, but Farrel is fast in a different way; he’s handy, neat and tidy in the way he jumps. I knew I had a good round on Quintin, but I knew I could do a whole lot more with Farrel, so I took quite a few risks.”
The $15,000 Buckeye Nutrition Futures Prix unfolded with Andre Thieme (GER) returning to WEC – Ocala right where he left off, taking home his first feature class victory of the series aboard his own Candid 14.
“I definitely had a competitive mindset. This was the one class this week I wanted to win. As soon as I was in the jump-off there was no second place for me today. I was going to win it.”
Daniel Geitner demonstrated his dominance once again, clinching his third consecutive victory in the $20,000 Golden Ocala 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby, this time aboard Story Hour.
“Don Stewart has a string of fantastic horses. When you have quality like that the job is just easy. Story Hour is a second-year horse. He’s such a talent. He’s old school: he looks like a thoroughbred and goes like a thoroughbred. He’s my type of horse.”
In the UF Veterinary Hospital USHJA National 3’ Open Hunter Derby, horses were showcasing their style, but it was Daniel Geitner who once again caught the judges’ eye, securing the top spot aboard Robusto BC.
“I was lucky to get the ride on this horse. Don bought him yesterday. Don and I saw him go two or three weeks ago with Lizzy Traband, and we both said what a nice horse he was. And of course, Don will walk up to anybody and ask if something is for sale, and he walked right over. I didn’t even know he bought him until this morning,” Geitner chuckled.
In the $15,000 USHJA National 3’ Junior Hunter Derby, Abigail Sapp emerged victorious with Cara Z.
“There were a lot of inside turns, so my plan was to be very handy. I had a really good group to help me plan my course, and it worked out really well.”
Isabel Harbour and Fitz delivered two outstanding rounds for victory in the $15,000 USHJA National 3’ Amateur Hunter Derby.
“I looked at the course this morning and knew it was going to be a good one. I didn’t even have to think about turning, and he was just already doing it.”
In the $24,000 C. Jarvis Insurance Welcome Prix, Luis Sabino Goncalves (POR) and Scoop De Septon Z emerged victorious after an 11-horse jump-off.
“My horse is extremely careful, and very fast in-front. I took the risk to go, go, go and then I was able to slow down at the end to be careful,” explained Goncalves. “Sometimes when you ride them quick, they react better.”
On Sunday afternoon, Sean Jobin (CAN) and Foxridge Farms Stables’ Cuba Libre V captured the win in the $15,000 1.45m Jumper Classic with a quick time of 40.729 seconds.
Daniel Geitner (USA) continued his winning ways on Friday, snagging the victory in the $15,000 THIS 1.40m Jumper Classic aboard Jalanne owned by November Hill.
Charlotte Morassutti scored another $2,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby win aboard Wishlea Star Song with an impressive score of 170. She also earned second place aboard Glitterati.
Brooklyn Gervasio and Annabelle Gitterman’s Lachlan emerged victorious in the $3,500 2’6” Non Pro Child Hunter Derby.
In the $3,500 2’6” Non Pro Adult Hunter Derby, Sydney Shelby prevailed aboard her own Louis Vuitton.
Congrats to all athletes on another great week of equestrian sport!