Darragh Kenny Steals the Spotlight in $25,000 JTWG Grand Prix

November 5. 2023

ESP Fall Finale commenced on Friday with the day's feature class, the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Stake. The class saw an opening field of 25 riders, all competing for the lion’s share of the prize money. The winning pair was Brazilian rider, Gabriel De Matos Machado and Evabellie W, owned by Emily Wood. 

Designing for the International Arena throughout the week, American course designer, Oscar Soberon, challenged the riders to a thirteen-jump round, followed by a six-jump jump-off. Twelve riders cleared round one and advanced to the jump-off. Machado tested first in the jump-off, making him the pathfinder for the riders to follow. Machado and Evabellie W completed the jump-off fault-free with a time of 34.526 seconds.  

Gabriel De Matos Machado & Evabellie W (pictured with Legaland Sandro) presented as winners by Richard Schechter in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Stake © Sportfot

Machado also secured the second-place title aboard Sher-Al Farm Inc.’s Ibalius SMH with a clear time of 34.557 seconds. Rounding out the podium was USA’s Natalie Dean aboard Oasis Van De Bucxtale, owned by Marigold Sporthorses LLC, with a time of 35.044 seconds. 

Competition continued Friday with the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Pilates Rocks, taking place in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena. Setting the path for riders to follow was USA’s Lexy Reed and Arezzo, owned by both Reed and Keri Kampsen. Reed earned scores of 87 and 89 to take the win with a combined 176. Earning second was USA’s Danielle Menker and Ladies First, owned by Elysian Stables LLC, with a combined score of 170 while Canada’s Angela Covert earned the yellow-ribbon with a score of 158 aboard Londarco, owned by Covert Equestrian. 

Lexy Reed & Arezzo presented as winners by Pilates Rocks in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby © Sportfot

Saturday morning kicked off with the $5,000 CLPR Wind 1.35m Stake in the International Arena. A total of twenty-one competitors took to the course, with twelve advancing to the short course. Taking home both the blue and red ribbon for a double podium finish was Canada’s Erynn Ballard. Ballard put in the quickest clear time aboard Caethe 7, owned by Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports, LLC, with a double-clear time of 38.833 seconds. Ballard also captured the second-place title, navigating the course with Kummel, owned by both Ballard herself and Ilan Ferder with a clear 40.527 seconds. Completing the podium was Juan Manuel Bolanos Barrios (ESA) and Abril Licobalou, owned by BZB Barn LLC, putting in a double-clear time of 41.767 seconds. 

Erynn Ballard & Caethe 7 presented as winners by CLPR Wind in the $5,000 CLPR Wind 1.35m Stake © Sportfot

Wrapping up the day on Saturday, Wellington International proudly hosted the Miracle League of Palm Beach County, a beacon of inspiration for children with disabilities and special needs, during their momentous All-Star Weekend.  

© Cassidy Klein

"Wellington International is honored to support the Miracle League and its incredible athletes," says Vaneli Martinov, Executive Vice President of Wellington International. "This is a reminder that sports can unite us in ways that transcend the playing field, reaching into the very heart of community."

The awards banquet, a highlight of the weekend, was hosted at Wellington International, where cheers and applause filled the venue, honoring the achievements of more than 600 Miracle League athletes, volunteers and families. The celebration was further amplified by a spectacular 1.30m - 1.40m show jumping exhibition class, where equestrian athletes gearing up for the Winter Equestrian Festival showcased their skills under the dazzling lights of the International Arena.

© Cassidy Klein

Sunday got underway with the $2,500 NAL Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic (1.30m), sponsored by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, taking center stage in the International Arena. The class saw a total of thirteen horse-and-rider pairs competing for the spot at the top of the leaderboard. Galloping to the top was Estella Bonanni (USA) and her own entry, Lilly Pezy, in a double-clear time of 29.784 seconds. Izabella Barrett (USA) claimed the red rosette aboard Bo Hopson’s VDL Elliot with a time of 33.488 seconds. The last combination to jump two clear rounds, Leo Paoli (COL) and LA Caprichosa Heroina posted a time of 34.904 seconds to round out the podium.

The $25,000 JTWG Grand Prix took place late Sunday morning to wrap up ESP Fall Finale. Twenty-four competitors took to the course, designed by Oscar Soberon (USA), with nine riders returning for the jump-off. In the end, Darragh Kenny (IRL) led the victory gallop with Amsterdam 27. Amsterdam 27 is cared for by groom, Kelsi Ciona. 

Darragh Kenny & Amsterdam 27 in the $25,000 JTWG Grand Prix © Cassidy Klein

“He (Amsterdam 27) was ridden by Teddy Vlock, who still owns him. Teddy took him to the Olympics in Tokyo and I started riding him after that,” explained Kenny. “He was very good down here last winter and then he got a little bit of an injury setback. We’re just kinda starting back again but he feels amazing.” 

Darragh Kenny & Amsterdam 27 in the $25,000 JTWG Grand Prix © Cassidy Klein

With a fault-free time of 43.316 seconds, Kenny and Amsterdam 27 took home top honors and the lion’s share of the money. “He’s one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden in my life and it’s nice to just have him feeling fresh and good,” said Kenny.

Darragh Kenny & Amsterdam 27 presented by Travis Gould, Jacqui Gould, Wyatt Gould, Harley Gould, and Payton Gould as winners of the $25,000 JTWG Grand Prix © Sportfot

Taking home the second-place title was Australia’s Scott Keach and Noble De La Chapelle, owned by Southern Cross Equestrian LLC, with a time of 43.672 seconds. Darragh Kerins (IRL) rounded out the podium with Darius De Kerglenn, owned by Twin Oak Ventures LLC & Maarten Huygens after tripping the timers in a clear 45.136 seconds. 

The competition resumes next week on November 9th, with the last week of the Fall Series, ESP November, on the main grounds of Wellington International. Prepare for an exciting week of competition from Friday to Sunday with events that include the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake, the $1,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by Pilates Rocks, the $5,000 Zen Elite Equestrian 1.35m Stake, the $1,000 Alexander Academic Access 2’6”/2’9” Hunter Derby and the feature class of the week - the $20,000 Long Creek Farms Grand Prix to wrap up competition for the week.  

Starting November 15th, FEI classes are back at Wellington International for ESP Pre Charity CSI 3*! Join us for a week of thrilling FEI classes including the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m CSI3*, the $39,000 IDA Development 1.45m Power & Speed CSI3*, the $39,000 FreeJump Grand Prix Qualifier CSI3*, the $39,000 Elite Horse Transport 1.45m Speed CSI3* and the $146,000 Flagler Insurance Grand Prix CSI3*. View the prize list and schedules here! 

Congratulations to Our 2023 Fall Series Circuit Award Winners! 

.60-1.0m Jumper - Andrew Beckman & Vanda Hermes | 71 Points 

1.10-1.15m Jumper - Olivia Krapf & Ce Ce Senior | 50 Points 

1.20m & Higher Jumper - Kitt Ritter & Kereen Cobra | 52 Points 

2’-2’6” Hunter - Kendall Cafferty & Spiderman | 104.50 Points 

2’9”-3’ Hunter - Tricia Barr & Party Started | 88 Points 

3’3” & Higher Hunter - Zara Humayun & Cardinal | 142 Points 

Beginner Hunter - Cailey Mulligan & Xbox | 56 Points 

Equitation - Saoirse Cournane | 44 Points 

Regular Pony Hunter - Lacey Powers & Miss Miracle | 104 Points