Brazilian Jose Roberto Reynoso and Galip won their Winter Equestrian Festival debut in the $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3.
Reynoso and his 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding won the six-rider jumpoff in 35.57 seconds late Saturday night at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Reynoso, a 2012 Olympian, bought his mount just six months ago. The pair have been showing at WEF for a month.
“I am really, really happy,” Reynoso said. “It is like a dream to be here and to come from Brazil and win something like this grand prix.”
Against a jump-off field with a mix of veterans and young riders, Reynoso was deceivingly fast. He was the only rider to go under 36 seconds on the tight, fast course. Four of the six riders went clear.
Veteran rider and U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington and 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Creedance were second in 36.23.
“I knew that Kent is a really fast rider, I just tried to be faster,” Reynoso said. “Since I bought Galip, he has just been doing better and better. Tonight, he was just amazing.”
Reynoso said he wanted to come to Wellington for the first time in his career to compete against most of the world’s top riders.
“I came because of a dream,” Reynoso said. “I did everything in Brazil that I could do. I just wanted to try something new. I would like to be here with a good owner and get more horses because I really like it here.”
Farrington bounced back after a fall from Creedance in last week’s grand prix.
“This was a recovery,” Farrington said with a smile. “I got thrown on my head last week, so that was not ideal. I thought he jumped great tonight.”
Young American rider Eve Jobs, 19, and her new mount, Tiny Toon Semilly, a 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding, were third in 37.80 in her “Saturday Night Lights” debut.
Jobs, the daughter of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, was also presented the Leading Lady Rider Award for Week 10.
“I bought this horse about a month and a half ago and right off the bat I clicked with him,” Eve Jobs said. “This was the biggest we have jumped and I couldn’t be happier. He jumped amazing.”
On Sunday, American Laura Chapot finished first and second with different horses in the $35,000 Suncast 1.50-meter Jumper Classic. Chapot won with her longtime partner Quointreau Un Prince in 34.79 seconds and was second with Thornhill Kate in 35.88 in a six-rider jump-off.
The 12-week WEF circuit, which is awarding more than $9 million in prize money, runs through April 2, Wednesdays through Sundays.
In other events earlier in the week:
- Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and his new mount Gasper van den Doorn won the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10. The pair had the fastest of eight double clear rounds in 38.13 seconds. Kenny started riding the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding just two weeks ago.
- U.S. Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut and Caelle won the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45-meter speed class. It was the 8-year-old mare’s FEI debut, winning in 62.25.
- Richie Moloney of Ireland and his 15-year-old Irish Sport horse gelding Slieveanorra won the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45-meter speed class in 65.33 on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Kerry McCahill, 20, and Charly Chaplin S won the $35,000 Hollow Creek Under-25 Grand Prix Series semifinal. The pair won the 12-rider jump-off in 39.95.
- American Katherine Strauss and All In won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under-25 Grand Prix Series Welcome stake.