Hillary Dobbs Dominates $20,000 1.50m Classic in Wellington
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 9 -
Hillary Dobbs of Sussex, N.J., claimed victory in the $20,000 Absorbine 1.50m Classic on Saturday during week four of the 12-week CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Having settled for second in Thursday’s $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series III, Dobbs and Marengo took top spot in Saturday’s featured competition. A total of 40 horses attempted the track set by 2008 Olympic co-course designer Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Fla., with eight turning in clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Jeanne Hobbs and Nielson B came heartbreakingly close to joining the tie-breaker, but their time of 87.03 seconds was just over the time allowed of 87 seconds.
The times posted in the jump-off became increasingly faster until Hillary Dobbs, riding fifth in the order, made all the inside turns to stop the clock at 33.85 seconds. Of those who followed, Simon Nizri and Erynn Ballard both incurred four faults while the final competitor, Lisa Silverman of New York City, N.Y., left the rails in the cups, but her time of 35.82 seconds riding Ardeche van de Zelm would only be good enough for second place.
“I was pleased with the way my horse jumped today,” said Dobbs, 19, of the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by The Dobbs Group. “We’ve been stepping him up. This is one of the biggest tracks, if not the biggest, he’s ever jumped, and he showed scope. If I gave him a good ride, he is quick across the ground. He knows what the jump-off is and he loves to win.”
Silverman is just beginning to show in the grand prix division with Ardeche van de Zelm, an eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding that she purchased a year ago.
“My horse has a big stride and is deceivingly fast. He spends a little time in the air, but he covers a lot of ground. He ate up the lines today,” said Silverman who showed Ardeche van de Zelm in the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Young Horse classes in Wellington last year.
A truly international field, Argentina’s Federico Sztyrle and Ambra 47 finished third for owner Christian Wolffer while British competitor Peter Charles took fourth with Markus Pom d’Ami.
The CSI3* Spy Coast Farm Week Four of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, concludes Sunday, February 10, with the featured event, the $60,000 Spy Coast Farm Wellington Cup CSI3*.
Results of Class 1001 - $20,000 1.50m Absorbine Jumper Classic
1 - 3046 MARENGO
HILLARY DOBBS 0.00 83.999 0.00 33.853 THE DOBBS GROUP
Results of Class 1025 - $15,000 High Amateur/Owner Classic (SJHOF)
1 - 1727 KADENA
R PAIGE JOHNSON 0.00 71.312 0.00 45.140 SALAMANDER FARM
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com