Wellington, FL- Olympic Silver Medalist, Peter Leone maneuvered Monica Carrera's Lincourt Gino (Gino) to the second place prize in the first-ever $50,000 Live Oak International Grand Prix in Ocala. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the popular Combined Driving event expanded by featuring two jumper classes this year: a $15,000 Welcome Stake and a $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2*.
According to Leone, "The horses got off the trailer and you could just see them sigh. The setting is real horse country. Chester Weber and the Spruce Meadows team did a beautiful job. They delivered the same presentation, protocol and tradition characteristic of Spruce Meadows."
Michel Vaillancourt designed the Grand Prix course in the grass arena where 35 athletes from 15 countries competed. Nine competitors finished the first round clear. In the jump-off, Andres Rodriguez and Caballito from Venezuela stopped the clock at 40.80 to take the win. Leone and Gino laid down two double clear rounds with the second fastest jump-off time of 43.47. Ashlee Bond and Apache owned by Little Valley Farms were third with four faults and a time of 41.81.
"I am thrilled to compete with Gino. I've only been riding him since January and he has been very consistent," confided Leone. Leone and Gino recently won a challenging $8,000 G& C Farms 1.45 meter Speed Class and came in fifth during the $50,000 G & C Farms Jumping Derby at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Lionshare Farm also celebrated a championship in the Small Pony Hunters during Week Eleven at the FTI Winter Equestrian Games with Rico Suave, owned by Isabella Russekoff and ridden by Daisy Farish. Lionshare Farm trainer, Elizabeth Pandich guided the duo to top honors in the Gotham North Small Pony Hunter Division.
"I selected Daisy because she is a really great pony jockey. Friday was her first time ever riding Rico. In the handy class, I asked Daisy if she was comfortable making an inside turn that I pointed out to her, she agreed and executed it beautifully. They were the only pony and rider team to make that choice. Isabella Russekoff, who normally rides the pony, was thrilled to hear Rico won the championship," said Pandich.
Rico and Farish won the handy hunter class and the over fences class to earn the Small Pony Hunter Championship.
Peter Leone is an Olympic equestrian, trainer, producer of hunter/jumper instructional DVDs and author. He owns and operates Lionshare Farm in Greenwich, CT. His clients successfully compete in the pony, equitation, hunter and jumper divisions. He is one of three brothers, internationally known as Team Leone, for their success in the show ring. Leone was a member of the 1996 Silver Medal United States Olympic Show Jumping Team and winner of numerous national and international Grand-Prix show jumping competitions.
Check out the DVD, Ride the Body: Select Insights of Peter Leone. Produced by Leone and Kim Jaussi, PhD, it includes many of his favorite exercises to keep you and your horse sharp and give you that winning edge. Click here for more information: http://www.lionsharefarm.com/store/page2.html
For more information about Peter Leone and Lionshare Farm go to: http://www.lionsharefarm.com/index.html
Photos: Peter Leone and Lincourt Gino by Picsofyou.com; Daisy Farish and Rico Suave by Sportfot