Fabio Da Costa and Tosca De L’Esques. ph: Anne Gittins Photography.
The ESP Holiday & Horses CSI4* week concluded at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with the $25,000 Omega Alpha Grand Prix on Sunday, December 3, 2017.
The class, which saw 40 horse and rider combinations vie for top honors, ended in victory for Brazil’s Fabio Da Costa and Tosca De L’Esques.
“Tosca De L’Esques was originally purchased as a ride for one of our clients last year,” commented Da Costa. “When we brought her from Europe she was already jumping the 1.40m classes and the client did really well with her. Shortly after, my own Grand Prix horse got hurt, so we decided to try the bigger classes with her.”
In the jump off, Da Costa and the ten-year-old Selle Francais mare (Cardento x Apache D’Adriers), owned by Bonne Chance Farm, were one of six partnerships that proceeded to the jump-off aboard the track set by Guilherme Jorge (BRA).
The duo put in a fast round ending in 39.737s to win Sunday’s feature class. “She has done great at the higher levels, as she is doing more than expected of her right now. She’s such a fighter and she’s such a winner,” says Da Costa. She’s won over six classes in the past few months, so we have larger hopes for her looking into the future. We are planning to ride her this winter under the lights at WEF, and if she goes well we will take it all step-by-step.”
Emanuel Andrade (VEN) and his own Ricore Courcelle, a 2005 Selle Francais stallion (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme), took home 2nd place honors after crossing through the timers in 45.833s. Samuel Parot (CHI) rode to 3rd place aboard his own Dazzle White, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Calvino Z x Narcos II), after completing the short track in 42.236s and adding four faults.
Da Costa also piloted Fox Trot VD Padenborre, a 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Chin Chin x Fleuri Du Manoir), owned by Bonne Chance Farm, to the 4th place finish in the class. A long-term mount for the rider, the horse has returned from an injury and Da Costa hopes to ride him in the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
“This horse was in the last trial for the Olympic games and was very successful in Europe. Unfortunately, when he got hurt we had to back off and it has taken a while to get him back to the higher levels of competition. It feels like he is finally ready to be back out here, so let’s see how it goes. If he is up for it, he is the horse that I would like to take to the WEG.”