Paul O’Shea & Imerald van’t Voorhof Ph. Sportfot
Wrapping up Sunday’s competition at WEF 2018, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Imerald van’t Voorhof won the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix CSI2*.
There were 43 entries in the $50,000 Equiline Grand Prix CSI2*, and 11 of those went clear to the jump-off. The fastest in the second round was the last to go, Paul O’Shea and Imerald van’t Voorhof, owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC. They left out strides across the course to finish in 36.84 seconds.
Second place went to fellow Irishman Conor Swail on GK Coco Chanel, owned by Vanessa Mannix, in 38.24 seconds. Rebecca Conway of the U.S. and Salitos 8 were third in 38.55 seconds.
“I had the advantage of going last, which was obviously a big help because when I walked the jump-off, I didn’t know if there would be seven strides to the double or eight strides to the last,” said O’Shea. “But then after seeing Becky (Conway) and a few other people go, it was really there and that was a big help today.”
O’Shea has been riding Imerald for a year. He said, “He is owned by the Tisbo family and I am very grateful to them for letting me ride him. Lauren was here to watch him and support us.”
O’Shea said of Imerald, “He is extremely scopey and brave and has a massive stride. That was useful today with the long gallops, like down to the double (combination). To be able to really open him up, his stride and scope was a big help to the last fence.”
Swail has been riding GK Coco Chanel since July, but after competing at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto in November, he has not sat on the horse since. “He has had a nice break and we have done a few smaller things with him here and there with my rider, James Chalke; he has kept him going very nicely for me,” he said. “I just appeared this week and I have to say the horse feels really good and he jumped very, very well today.”
Conway and Salitos 8 have only been paired together since December, and it took some adjustments to get to this performance.
“We had to change some of the equipment a little bit as we were getting to know him,” she said. “This week, he jumped very well in the qualifier and I have to say I was very rusty in the jump-off and started slow and made a mistake. John Brennan and Missy Clarke are helping me. John said to me before I went in the ring (today), ‘Don’t go in there and try to be fifth, go in there and try to win this thing.’ He jumps this very easily and I think the few equipment changes we have made in the past few weeks are the reason why I was able to get the result I did today.”
Results of Sunday’s $50,000 Equiline CSI2* Grand Prix here.