December 10, 2013--Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Year-End Awards Show on December 7-8, 2013, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The week featured a $10,000 Open Stake on Saturday, December 7, as well as the $25,000 ESP Year End Grand Prix and $5,000 USHJA 3' Hunter Classic on Sunday, December 8. The ESP Year End Awards Banquet was also held on Saturday to celebrate some of the year's top competitors.
The show concluded on Sunday afternoon with an exciting win for Denmark's Henrik Gundersen riding Adlanteur in the $25,000 ESP Year End Grand Prix. Out of 32 entries, five horse and rider combinations qualified for the jump-off and three of those jumped double clear over the course designed by Pierre Jolicoeur of Wellington, FL. Henrik Gundersen and Adlanteur were last to go and had two fast rounds to beat. Their winning time was 38.267 seconds.
Theo Genn and Eduardo Leon's Asirea Fortuna finished second with their time of 38.597 seconds. Ramiro Quintana and St. Bride's Farm's Ziedento were third in 38.730 seconds.
Class winner, Adlanteur, is a 13-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Adlantus AS x Chasseur I. Gundersen bought Adlanteur in Germany this summer and is slowly bringing him up in competition as the horse had some time off after his previous owner got injured.
"He had not done anything in two years, so I started him up slowly in the summer and he had a couple of good placings," Gundersen explained. "It was nice to be able to finish up with a win for this year."
"He is a small horse," Gundersen described. "He is unusually small for me to ride, but he is very careful and he is a little bit of an aggressive type of horse. He is usually attacking the jumps, and he is very careful. He only jumped one class this week, but he jumped three classes last week and made two jump-offs, and he never touched a rail. It is a very competitive horse."
Commenting on Sunday's course, Gundersen noted, "There were a few technical aspects that I liked that you needed to have a little bit of rideability. There was a difficult triple combination that yielded a lot of faults, and I saw that coming when I walked the course. But for the amount of riders, I think it worked out well with five horses in the jump-off."
Gundersen was last to go in the jump-off and was warming up, so he did not get to see the other riders go, but he knew that there were some fast times to beat. "My good friend, John Brennan, sat and watched a couple and told me what they had done," the rider explained. "He said pretty much just go as fast as you can because they had both gone very fast before me. He said they had gone outside where I could make an inside turn, so I think that is where I got it."
Gundersen plans on competing at one more week of the ESP Holiday Show Series before getting Adlanteur ready for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival circuit, which begins January 8. He looks forward to a good circuit as they continue their partnership together.
Final Results: $25,000 ESP Year End Grand Prix
1. ADLANTEUR HENRIK GUNDERSEN HENRIK GUNDERSEN: 0/0/38.267
2. ASIREA FORTUNA THEO GENN EDUARDO LEON: 0/0/38.597
3. ZIEDENTO RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDE'S FARM: 0/0/38.730
4. OCTAVIA DE BEAUFOUR GRANT WILSON EMMANUELLE MILLE & GRANT WILSON: 0/4/40.180
5. OSIRIS GEMMA PATERNOSTER GEMMA PATERNOSTER & JULIA HARRISON LEE: 0/RT
6. DON JUAN VICTORIA COLVIN BRIGID COLVIN: 4/68.588
7. CONTINO 14 JONATHON MILLAR MILLAR BROOKE FARM: 4/70.991
8. ORBETELLO FEDERICO SZTYRLE HAMPTON FARMS LLC: 4/71.373
9. PRIMO DE REVEL PAUL O'SHEA MICHAEL HAYDEN: 4/71.489
10. ZIDANE ALI WOLFF JOHN C WOLFF: 4/71.940
11. HAPPY Z WILHELM GENN WILHELM GENN: 4/73.073
12. VANDAVID CATHERINE PASMORE PASMORE STABLES LLC: 4/73.498