Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S
The fifth week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, concluded on Sunday with a win for Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Davendy S in the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Competing in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), Springsteen topped an 18-horse jump-off to win over Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Rosana du Park in second, and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Unbelievable 5 in third. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Bob Ellis (GBR) set his final international track of the week for 67 starters in Sunday’s Suncast® 1.50m. With big prize money on the line, 18 entries cleared the first round course to advance to the jump-off. In round two, eight of those also jumped clear on the short track.
Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S got their first win of the WEF circuit with a super fast round in 37.71 seconds. The duo pushed Eric Lamaze and Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park into second place with their round in 37.85 seconds. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Windward Farm and Jessica Suida’s Unbelievable 5 clocked in third in 38.28 seconds. Fourth place honors went to Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Cyklon 1083 with a time of 38.87 seconds.
Springsteen and Davendy S have been in the top ribbons multiple times this season, but had yet to get a win with the fierce competition at WEF. Earlier in the week, the pair set an early pace in Wednesday’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic, but eventually settled for fourth place. On Friday, they held the lead in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic, but were pushed into second place by Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083. In Sunday’s 1.50m, it was finally their turn to take the victory.
“I was so determined to win today,” Springsteen stated. “I was really fast on Wednesday and I just messed up one line and finished fourth. Here, if you are not on it everywhere, that is what happens. Then on Friday I was second. Shane Sweetnam got my time at the very end. So today, I was just going for it, and she was amazing. She tries so hard every time.”
Springsteen made her plan with the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II) and tried to go as fast as she could “without losing her head”.
“When the fences are higher, you can not go as crazy fast, so I do not think I went any faster than I have been going,” Springsteen noted. “With a class like this it is a little bit more tough. I went as fast as I could and she tried so hard. I got away with that second to last jump.”
“Ben is so relaxed and he gives you so much confidence.”
Springsteen began training with Edwina Tops Alexander in 2015 and has also had help from Ben Maher throughout the winter circuit in Wellington.
“I have been training with Edwina over in Holland, but they do not come down here, so I have been training with Ben Maher here, and it has been great,” Springsteen explained. “Ben is so relaxed and he gives you so much confidence. He is really clear, so it has been good. The horses are jumping great and it is nice to be back down here in one place for a while. It has been going well.”
While her top mount, Vindicat W, is sidelined with an injury, Springsteen is bringing along some new mounts this winter.
“Right now I am just focusing on getting all of my horses going well, and getting back into the groove of jumping the bigger grand prix, which I have not been able to do in a while,” she noted.
After jumping so well this week, Davendy S will now have a break before coming back to compete later in the circuit.
“Mostly I will just aim for the 5* (shows) with her, doing the speeds and the 1.50m classes,” Springsteen stated. “I will keep her in her comfort zone that she likes to be in. She is so competitive in these classes, so I will keep aiming towards those.”
For complete results of the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic follow this link.
-Source: Jennifer Wood Media