Wellington, FL - Mexico's Alberto Michan and Inouk P took the win in the $35,000 Dever Golf Cars, Inc. 1.45m Classic CSI 4* during the first week of the ESP Holiday Series on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* week will continue for two more days and conclude on Sunday, December 3.
Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the day's track for 39 entries in the International Ring, which saw nine clear rounds vie for top honors in the speed competition. Michan and the 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare (Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Darco) owned by Ilan Ferder, jumped their winning round in 60.59 seconds. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm's Picobello Choppin PC, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Motzart Des Semilly x Diamant De Semilly), finished second after stopping the timers in 60.69 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) and Dicas, a 2009 Rheinlander gelding (Diarado x Cassini I), owned by Storm Ridge Capital LLC and Gladewinds, Inc., placed third, crossing through the finish in 60.72 seconds.
"I think that it was a big enough course for a speed class," Michan described. "We saw Brianne Goutal go out early on and ride very, very fast, so I think that she set the bar high for the rest of us today and made us all take a serious shot at it. Because of that, we had to take strides out at almost every line and if you wanted to be in the top three you really needed to push it."
The mare, most recently piloted by Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts, is a new sale horse for Michan. Of his round, Michan explained, "We really considered whether or not we should push it and go really fast with her or not, but she is a very quick mare and has done very well with Nicola. We knew she was very experienced and has done it many times. We just went out there and went for it and she jumped unbelievably."
Michan's goal is to find someone who enjoys the mare as much as her previous riders have. Until then, he plans to continue taking her out at the Grand Prix level in the coming months. "We have a very nice group of horses here this winter and I have three or four horses to jump in the Grand Prix classes this coming season. Hopefully, because of them, we will have a successful year," he concluded.
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