The $25,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix took place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, at Equestrian Village in Wellington, FL. The class served as the highlight event to close out the ESP Labor Day show. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Valentine Car, owned by Fernando Cardenas, bested a field of 27 entries to take home the top prize.
Héctor Loyola (PUR) designed a technical track for the starting field of horse-and-rider combinations. Wordley and Valentine Car went toward the end of the order and produced a fault-free effort. In the end, 10 pairs managed a clear first round to advance to the jump-off.
“I thought the course was great,” shared Wordley. “The time was a bit fast for younger horses, but there were already 10 clear, and if the time had been slower there would have been 13 or 14 in the jump-off. For riders, where there’s a tight time on the first round, that’s where you must make your best judgment as to the pace you feel that your own horse is comfortable with.”
Wordley and Valentine Car were the second to last pair to return for the jump-off. The duo stopped the clock at 41.798 seconds to take first place. Wordley has been partnered with Valentine Car for the past two years, and they have earned many top placings together.
“He’s very quick-footed,” said Wordley of the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding. “Even in a fast jump-off like the one today it’s hard to beat him. He just skims over the jumps. I think we’ll do one more of these shows this summer, and then we’ll start doing FEI classes in the fall. The shows here are great for younger and older horses to help prepare them for bigger classes, so I want to bring them down here once more this year.”
Gabriel de Matos Machado (BRA) and Evabellie W, owned by Emily Wood, claimed second place with a time of 42.866 seconds. Dylan Daly (IRL) and Cinderella Z, owned by Jacqueline Steffens Daly, secured third place after stopping the clock at 44.280
Palm Beach Equine Clinic is the Official Veterinarian of the Wellington International Summer Series in Wellington, FL. Veterinarians are available on-site to provide exceptional care to competing horses as well as those in the surrounding Wellington area. View results, live stream replays, and more at WellingtonInternational.com. For more information about Palm Beach Equine Clinic, visit EquineClinic.com.