By Frank Waters


The series finale of The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour was held on the magnificent grounds of The International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida last March near the end of the famous Winter Equestrian Festival.  The Wellington Turf Tour is a tradition that brings together a collection of the finest horses and show jumpers from around the globe, including South America, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Canada and, of course, the United States, to compete in the Grand Prix.


A big purse of nearly $25,000 and a big field of 48 horses and riders assembled in the 140- acre IPC venue which happens to be one of the world’s premier venues for the best of polo in the United States with its renowned social scene. It was wonderful to see some of the world’s top riders compete for the end-of-season championship on the 2015 Turf Tour. A super course, built by Eric Hasbrouck and Nick Granat, tested some of the best horse-rider combinations. Thanks to Olympian Nona Garson and her partner George D'Ambrosio, the IPC is becoming just as famous for show jumping as it is for polo.  Despite the heavy rain and storms predicted in the forecast, everything went well and we were extremely lucky even though we got our share of a brief passing shower.


The first double clear round came from Alex Granato from Colorado, riding Zenith Dance. Not only have they won consistently on the Turf Tour this season, but they stepped up the game reaching pace of 36.378. They held it steady for quite some time until Conor Swail entered the arena riding Susan and Ariel Grange's Dillinger. They flew around the course in 35.200 seconds and held the lead for the rest of the class.


Conor is an amazingly talented rider from Ireland, who is now based in Canada. He shined for three months on the Turf Tour and was by far the 2015 leading rider of the series. He was constantly either the winner or one of the top six in every class he rode in since January. Apart from this great win in the 2015 Wellington Turf Tour, he was also awarded an Equestrian Membership by the International Polo Club to the value of $6,000.00 for becoming the leading rider of the series. Starting January 2016, he can enjoy all of the private facilities of the magnificent world-class facility.


My dear friend Lisa Goldman from Chicago came to the arena riding Morocco, an amazingly athletic horse known as Cowboy. I knew she would go really fast if she jumped a first round clear, which she did. It comes as no surprise that she rode magnificently. Although one additional stride in the opening line cost them some time, they came home clear with a second slower than Conor. Their time was 36.104 which put them into second place pushing Alex Granato and Zenith Dance into third.


Best Buy came in fourth with Amy Millar, daughter of Ian Millar who is famous for Captain Canada. He represented Canada riding Heroes, taking the fifth spot. Quentin Judge and Ciske Van Overs ranked sixth while Karina Ulenberg and Umbra 34 took the seventh award. These were the seven double clear rounds with the fastest four fault jump-off time going to Laura Kraut riding Constable. With 10 ribbons, the ninth award went to Conor and Game Ready with McLain Ward riding Dulien Van De Smeets into the 10th.


A challenging course left the jumpers with numerous trials to nail the jumps. Featuring the Panthera Vertical, as fence of the day, added to the difficulty of the course. The final fence jump was even more challenging for every time the Panthera fence was cleared, the Panthera Conservation donated $50.00 to the organization which furthered their mission in ensuring the future of wild cats. This is a super cause through the dedication of scientific leadership and global conservation action. Thank you Dianna for your wonderful support and being a part of this incredible organization.


As for Nona and George, they have brought the old style of hospitality and style back to show jumping. From day one, they offered everyone breakfast and lunch including exhibitors and guests. They served a wonderful array of food including beef wellington, enormous shrimp, the best spring rolls, fruit and international cheeses and of course, champagne, sponsored by the IPC.


Thanks to Nona and George the old fashioned style of show jumping is now very much a part of the circuit and what an unbelievable season this has been. The true tradition of show jumping is back and even though it was sad to see the end of this wonderful show jumping circuit, we will all be back for the 2016 Turf Tour brought to you by The Ridge at Wellington next season. Finally, I would like to acknowledge a great staff led by Nona Garson, George D'Ambrosio and Craig Bergmann, our show manager. All worked extremely hard to make the 2015 Turf Tour the circuit of the year. Here's to next year and an even better 2016 on the Turf Tour brought to you by The Ridge at Wellington.


Here are the results of the $24,990 1.40m Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale

1 1443 Dillinger Conor Swail for Susan and Ariel Grange - Canada

2 995 Morocco Lisa Goldman owner/rider - U.S.

3 1388 Zenith Dance Alex Granat for Page E. Tredennick - U.S.

4 694 Best Buy McLain Ward for Ansgar W. Holtgers - Germany

5 991 Heros Amy Millar for AMMO Investments - Canada

6 1458 Ciske Van Overis Quentin Judge for Double H Farm - U.S.

7 1273 Umbra 34 Karina Ulenberg - U.S.

8 1461 Constable Laura Kraut for Cherry Knoll - U.S.

9 1573 Game Ready Connor Swail for Susan Grange - Canada

10 473 Dulien Van De Smeets Mclain Ward for Blue Chip Bloodstock and McLain Ward, Inc - U.S.


Here are all of the results from ring two.

101 - Low Schooling Jumper 1.10-1.15m Table II, sec 2.2.1 4 Entries

1 1431 Jessika Emily Snack Huston

2 1451 Candide VH Kastanjehof Stephanie Gallucci Stephanie Gallucci

3 1435 Cadente Miguel Sarmineto Arturo Altamar

4 1301 Chester Agatha Langlois Jean Van Gysel


102 - Low Schooling Jumper 1.10-1.15m Table II, Sec 2b 5 Entries

1 1431 Jessika Emily Snack Huston

2 1432 Talula Katie Sparks Katie Sparks

3 1435 Cadente Miguel Sarmineto Arturo Altamar

4 1451 Candide VH Kastanjehof Stephanie Gallucci Stephanie Gallucci

5 1301 Chester Agatha Langlois Jean Van Gysel


103 - Medium Schooling Jumper 1.20-1.25m Table Ii,sec 2.2.1

1 1462 Lucille 72 Jean Van Gysel Jean Van Gysel

2 1432 Talula Katie Sparks Katie Sparks

3 1436 Sokrates Miguel Sarmineto Arturo Altamar

4 576 Lionwood Kinsale's Lad GERMAN A. CAMARGO KEN HALEY


104 - Medium Schooling Jumper 1.20-1.25m table II, Sec 2b

1 1401 Heticera Nelson Pessoa Nelson Pessoa

2 1457 HH Ashley Mclain Ward Mclain Ward

3 1344 Quentino Joanne E. Kovacs Show Horses Inc

4 1462 Lucille 72 Jean Van Gysel Jean Van Gysel

5 1436 Sokrates Miguel Sarmineto Arturo Altamar

6 1450 Kandel Catherine Sullivan Iron Horse Farm

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