March 6, 2016 – CSIO Wellington came to a close with the Grand Prix for Children, Juniors, Young Riders, and Seniors taking place in Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena. Topping the $10,000 Young Rider Grand Prix presented by Hollow Creek Farm was Victoria Colvin, who earned the win with a lightning fast jump-off round aboard Zidane.
A field of 13 top Young Riders took on the Steve Stephens-designed track with six combinations going clear in the first round. Included in the six were U.S. representatives from the Gold-medal winning FEI Young Rider Nations Cup Team, Colvin (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Springfield Showjumper’s Zidane and Madison Goetzmann (Skaneateles, N.Y.) with her own Wrigley. Going second in the order, Goetzmann had a costly rail down to place fifth.
Colvin had the advantageous position of being last to go and followed Mexico’s Fernanda Rodriguez De Haene, who set what appeared to be an unbeatable time of 35.11. “I had watched [Fernanda] on the jumbotron and saw her galloping past the in-gate and thought there was no way I could beat that [time],” said a Colvin. Holding nothing back, Colvin expertly guiding Zidane to a foot-perfect finish through the timers in a 34.97 seconds. “I went in there and told Zidane we were going to go for it. I haven’t done too many jump-offs with Zidane, but he was really game for it,” said Colvin.
It was Mexico that dominated the Children’s and Junior Grand Prix, winning both handily. Luciana Gonzalez Guerra and Zidane topped the Children’s Grand Prix, while Carlos Hank Guerreiro and Golden Horta won the Junior Grand Prix.
In the $216,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix presented by Lugano Diamonds, Stephens presented a technical track with a tight time allowed, sending five combinations forward to the jump-off from the 50-horse field. As the sole American representative in the jump-off, Hardin Towell, riding Jennifer Gates, LLC’s Emilie De Diamant A S, had a rail down at fence two to finish fifth. Darragh Kenny of Ireland came away victorious aboard Red Star D’Argent.