Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, a rider inexplicably immune to helmet hair, won the first Saturday Night Lights Grand Prix of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Riding Calle 67, the 2016 Olympic team medalist bested a starting field of 45 to capture the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix CSI 2* in Wellington, FL. It was the first double clear in a grand prix and first grand prix victory for the nine-year-old Westphalian gelding.
“He hasn’t done too many grands prix yet in his career,” said Michaels-Beerbaum. “The course was quite spooky. Some of the fences at the beginning of the course were quite challenging for a green, young horse. He is a relatively new horse to my string; I’ve had him less than a year, but I adore the horse. He’s got a wonderful mind and character.”
Out of the nine to advance to the jump-off in Oscar Soberon’s course, Michaels-Beerbaum and Calle 67 posted the fastest clear round in a time of 36.85 seconds.
“I was really pleased with my horse because he’s relatively new to that speed,” said the three-time World Cup Final champion. “I think I’ve only done one other jump-off as fast as that, so he was a little shocked and surprised, but he’s so on my side. That’s really what it takes to be a great horse.”
Watch their first win! (And for the delighted fist pump at the 53 second mark.)