Wellington, FL – February 18, 2015 – Today Anne Kursinski illustrated once again why she is one of the most successful show jumpers in the United States, claiming the top prize today aboard Hay’s Investment Corporation’s MTM Motto in the first 1.30-1.35m jumper class at The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour. The weather started out a bit less than ideal Wednesday morning, but that didn’t stop several of Wellington’s top competitors from trying their hand at Nick Granat’s courses in between the rain drops. As the afternoon progressed and the sun brightened everyone’s day, competitors flocked to the pristine polo fields of the International Polo Club (IPC) Palm Beach.
Anne Kursinski posted a very fast time of 39.071 to win the first 1.30-1.35m class with MTM Motto. Despite being only the third pair to go double clear, Kursinski and the grey gelding blazed around in a time that held for the entirety of the day against a field of 31. Nina Fagerstrom did her best to claim the top prize in both classes, but fell just short by stopping the clock at 39.173, a mere tenth of a second off of the leader. Jeffery Welles was the second double clear of the day, and finished in third with a time of 39.660 aboard Calais.
Kursinski was extremely impressed with the footing at IPC. “Going early this morning, I was hoping that it would be good, but it was perfect! It was amazing; the polo crew knows how to take care of the ground. I had the same studs in that I used in the sunshine and I didn’t even go any bigger because the footing is so good. I went quite fast and never even thought of slipping. When I first got here I thought we might just train, but it felt good so I thought let’s go fast.”
She continued, ”I thought it was a very good course, nice options, and not a giveaway. The horses are definitely going to learn something. You can go good and fast or train, but either way the horses and riders will learn something. It was a wonderful morning and a great way to start the day.”
The second 1.30-1.35m class was won by Nina Fagerstrom, riding Finca Horses Inc’s Hot Topic. She posted a time of 32.684, nearly two seconds ahead of second place Conor Swail who posted a time of 34.650 on Simba De La Roque. Paul Yanke on Chill Haze stopped the clock in 30.585, but an unfortunate rail down at fence three put him into third place.
Fagerstrom was very complementary of her partner today. “She’s 8 years old, we bought her three and a half years ago from Belgium, and she’s an extremely talented horse. I really think a lot of her. She was second last week in the 1.40m Grand Prix here. I find that she’s developing every week—she’s always learning.”
She continued, “It’s great here! The footing and the jumps are wonderful. The course is just challenging enough for her but not too difficult, and it really teaches the horses with the various turns and tracks you can take.”
The second ring saw a number of talented horse and rider pairs competing throughout the day. Competitors were developing their young horses by providing them with valuable experience on the turf. Michel Ismalun, three star level member of the course design team from World Equestrian Games 2014, a world-renowned course designer and a director for Classic Champions Inc., built the young jumper courses in the adjacent ring to the 1.30-1.35m jumpers. The course proved to be very inviting and educational for each division, allowing the younger horses to go forward and gallop while on the turf.
Martha Redman won the first 6-year-old class aboard Expresso. Peter Lutz claimed the top prize in the 6-year-old YJC Qualifier Class riding T Zero. Triumph was successful in the first 7-year-old class, ridden and owned by Gustavo Prato. Paul O’Shea rode Hayley Patmore’s Peninsula Riversong to the victory in the second 7-year-old class.
Samantha Johnson won both low jumper classes, riding Rene Johnson’s Artemis. Sarah Wayda claimed both second place ribbons in those classes with Rian Miller’s Contentus. Baer Hendrix won the first medium jumper class on Equiagrix SAS’s Tip Top Cool. Debbi White topped the leaderboard in the second medium jumper class on her own Basil Hayden.