Wellington, FL - November 28, 2014 - Equestrian Sport Productions' (ESP) Holiday & Horses competition saw another win for Ireland this week in the $34,000 1.45m FEI World Ranking class held on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Catsy Cruz of Mexico set the speed track for the class, which had 47 rounds with 15 clear. Ronan McGuigan and his 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Capall Zidane (Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet) won the class with the fastest time of 63.96 seconds.
The second place prize went to Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Paris Sellon's Heracross in 64.74 seconds. Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms LP's Wirma finished third in 65.20 seconds. Nina Fagerstrom (FIN) and Finca Horses' Notaris jumped clear in 65.72 seconds to place fourth.
Hough held the leading time with Heracross when McGuigan and Capall Zidane stepped into the ring, but the winning horse and rider were able to shave off the time.
"I watched all the horses go early, and I wasn't until after the drag," McGuigan detailed. "A lot of the numbers were the same. My horse is just really fast across the ground. I didn't think Lauren left any room, but we got it somewhere."
McGuigan and Capall Zidane (known as Elliott in the barn) had several grand prix wins in the 2014 season and came back strong this week.
We did Harrisburg, but we had rails every day," McGuigan stated. "This is his first show back really. He had a rail down on Wednesday, but he was good and today suited him. It wasn't that big today, so he was able to run. You are able to run him fast and he is careful that way."
Capall Zidane will show again in Saturday night's $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix and will then have a few weeks off before the start of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in January.
"I will try to do well there and then take a little break and maybe go mid-circuit again on weeks eight or nine," McGuigan said. "My plan is definitely to gear him up early in the season. He had a great year last year, and I hope to follow that. If I have the same year as last year I will be very happy. It couldn't have been any better last year."
"He is 10 now, and he is going to be 11 in January," the rider continued. "He has definitely matured. I started doing these classes two years ago and he used to hold his breath a little bit, but now he has taken it all in stride. The good thing about him is that I can run him like that today and he will come out tomorrow and it will not blow his head."
Always fast, Capall Zidane thrives on speed, and McGuigan explained that he likes to let the horse stretch out before bigger classes. "My plan with him is that I usually run him in a class earlier in the week if it is a speed class," he said. "I don't hold back, because once he is going forward, then I can relax later on in the week. He is always careful enough, so the main thing is to go forward with him."
"It's funny, he will go so fast in the ring, but if you are riding him at home it is really hard to get him going," McGuigan added. "You are kicking. He is very laid back around the barn. He is completely the opposite of what he is in the ring. He just sort of switches on when he gets to the warm-up ring, so it's nice."
The Holiday & Horses CSI-W 2* competition continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center through Sunday, November 30, 2014. Saturday night will feature the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
Final Results $34,000 1.45m
1. CAPALL ZIDANE: 2004 KWPN gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet RONAN MCGUIGAN (IRL), Ronan McGuigan: 0/63.96
2. HERACROSS: 2000 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Ramiro B x Clover Hill LAUREN HOUGH (USA) Paris Sellon: 0/64.74
3. WIRMA: 2003 KWPN mare by Hors La Loi III x Lux BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/65.20
4. NOTARIS: 2006 BWP gelding by Nonstop x Eclair des Bois NINA FAGERSTROM (FIN), Finca Horses: 0/65.72
5. BALOUS DAY DATE: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rover x Domino MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/66.46
6. CASPER: 2006 Oldenburg gelding by Contender x Baloubet du Rouet ANDREW BOURNS (IRL), Andrew Bourns: 0/66.57
7. RECONNAISSANCE: 2005 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Camaro M x Irco Mena LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura & Meredith Mateo: 0/66.90
8. WASHINGTON SQUARE: 2005 KWPN gelding by Quattro B x Nimmerdor GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes LLC: 0/68.98
9. D'ULIEN VAN DE SMEETS: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Darco MCLAIN WARD (USA), Susan Heller & McLain Ward: 0/69.37
10. BALOU DU REVENTON: 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky x Continue LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 0/72.31
11. PLAYBOY: 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Lys de Darmen CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Charlie Jayne: 0/73.08
12. URUS 2: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Canturo x Cento LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 0/73.91