For Jessica Springsteen, it was love at first ride.
The American show jumper came across Tiger Lily at the end of 2015 while training with Edwina Tops-Alexander and Jan Tops in Europe. The Oldenburg mare was showing in the 1.45m division under Massimo Grossato of Italy.
“I actually was not even supposed to try her,” said Springsteen. “When Edwina and Jan were going to see her, I just decided last minute to go with them. I immediately loved her.”
By December, Tiger Lily was under ownership of Springsteen’s Stone Hill Farm. The pair of started showing in Wellington last year, before globe trotting to Shanghai, picking up their first FEI victory in Valkenswaard, and stopping in Dublin. They returned to American soil in the fall.
Springsteen has been moving the 10-year-old mare up the ranks, jumping between 1.45m, 1.50m, 1.55m and 1.60m classes.
“She is very feisty,” said Springsteen. “She always wants to go, so I have to do my best to keep her stride short and together.”
On Wednesday, the quick footed pair logged their first 5* victory with the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Tiger Lily beat a field of 76, to stop the clock nearly a second faster than second place finisher, Leslie Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale (57.27 seconds versus 58.36 seconds).
“I saw a lot of rounds before I went,” Springsteen said of her winning track. “I knew what I had to do, which is always a nice advantage of going last. I actually added strides in places where other people left out, but she is just so fast on her own. I don’t even have to kick; I just loosen the reins and she goes.”
Today, they’ll attempt to earn a spot in Saturday’s $380,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 5*.