Danielle Goldstein (ISR) and her feathered locks charted a course for victory on Saturday night.
For the second year in a row Goldstein and Lizziemary topped the Saturday Night Lights Grand Prix on Week 7 of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Of the 37 entries to contest the Anthony D’Ambrosio designed course, six posted clear rounds to advance to the jump-off in the $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI 5*.
Goldstein may be renown in show jumping circles for her fashion risks, but this week’s jump off ride was equally bold. With a daring inside turn from the first jump to the “WEF wall,” she and the 13-year-old AES mare kept up a scorching pace to stop the timers in 37.76 seconds—nearly two seconds faster than runnerup Alex Granato (USA) and Carlchen W’s time of 39.51 seconds.
“Going into the jump-off, I knew I had Kent [Farrington] after me,” Goldstein said.
“I had walked inside to the wall, and I knew it looked sort of dicey, but my horse is good about those sort of weird angles. She didn’t quite see it today, and I got a little bit lucky I thought. I thought, You gotta go out there. If you don’t try to win, you never win, so you might as well try.”
Last in, Farrington (USA) and Creedance caught a rail in the double combination to finish in sixth place in 38.65 seconds.
Goldstein and her World Equestrian Games partner Lizziemary won the same five-star grand prix during week 7 of last year’s WEF in strikingly similar circumstances—same course designer, same number of jump off contestants, and an American Olympic medalist coming behind her. (In 2018, McLain Ward and HH Azur were last to go but caught a rail to finish third.)
“It’s amazing to win two years in a row,” said Goldstein. “It’s a hard feat to win one year, let alone two years in a row, so I’m shocked and amazed and happy. I was really thrilled.
“It felt like a long time coming,” continued the Israeli rider. “I jumped the last couple of big grand prix [classes] clear, and I would have one down in the jump-off, or I’d have one unlucky fault and it felt like I was at the edge and we were really close. This is not ideal weather; it’s sticky and hot and she was breathing heavy, but she managed to pull it all together. Even in the warm-up, I thought she may be a tad empty, but she went in there and tried her heart out. It was really amazing.”
Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Lucifer V took third with a clear round in 39.91 seconds.