Wellington, FL - Pierre St Jacques and his mount Lucky Tiger won the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special in the $120,000 5* West Palm Beach, presented by Diamante Farms on Friday. St Jacques, who hails from Anthony, FL, took the blue ribbon with a score of 67.311% at the Stadium show grounds of the Global Dressage Festival. (GDF) David Marcus, of Campbellville, Ontario, was second with Chrevi's Capital scoring 67.022% and Christopher Hickey was third aboard Douglas Hilltop with 65.378%. Lucky Tiger, a 1995 Danish Warmblood gelding, is both owned and ridden by St Jacques. They have been a team since 2000 when St Jacques found Lucky Tiger in Denmark as a five-year-old."I have had him since he was five-years-old and now he's 17, so he's been a very good horse for me. He is very special to me," said St Jacques. "I was really happy with him today. He was a little bit tired, the heat got to him a little bit. I made a couple mistakes in the one tempis because he was a little bit tired and not in front of my leg enough, but overall I was really, really pleased with him."
St Jacques took some time off from showing to spend time with his family. His wife, Samantha, had a baby boy, Stirling Keaton, which had an effect on this show season.
"My horse is getting better as the season gets older," said St Jacques. "He had the summer off because my wife was having a baby and he hadn't had a break for a long time. I brought him back at the beginning of the season and it's taken this long to get him back into show condition."
St Jacques and Lucky Tiger were members of the Gold Medal Winning US Dressage Team at the 2003 Pan American Games.
Marcus, who was second with Chrevi's Capital, was pleased with their test despite a few errors. "Overall I was very happy with his ride today," said Marcus. "It was not his best ride and I had some mistakes in the changes, but I think the potential for him is really great. This is his first season and each time out we sort out one issue after the next and he just keeps getting better and better."
The 5* West Palm Beach culminates with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle class on Friday evening. A spectator favorite, the Freestyle showcases horses "dancing" to the music while performing intricate dressage movements. Festivities begin at 7:30 with a spectacular opening ceremony by Ukiproduction that will feature a DJ, a laser show and "silk dancers!"
Admission, stadium seating, and general parking are all free. Valet parking is available for a fee. For a VIP experience, spectators can reserve a seat in the Global Pavilion for $150 on Friday night. Pavilion guests will be treated to a dinner buffet with an open bar while watching the Freestyle.To make reservations, please call Annette Goyette at 561-784-1120. Pavilion tickets may also be purchased at the door.
The Global Dressage Festival also includes a National Horse Show that takes place Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1. Classes range from the USDF Training Level up through the national Grand Prix level.
For more information and ride times for the $120,000 5* West Palm Beach, presented by Diamante Farms, and National Show please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com