In 2018, Daniel Bluman and Danielle Goldstein established Team Israel as a force to be reckoned with when they won two CSI 5* Grand Prix classes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Bluman won week 5’s feature class aboard Ladriano Z and Goldstein, week 7’s with Lizziemary.
This season in Wellington, they’ve demonstrated it was no lucky coincidence.
Two weeks ago, Goldstein repeated her week 7 victory on Lizziemary at WEF. On Saturday night, Bluman took week 9’s $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5*.
It was a class he wasn’t even planning to enter with the 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding.
“I wasn’t actually supposed to show him this week, but I found out about quarantine restrictions for Mexico and then to go to Europe,” he explained, “so at the end I said, ‘If I’m not going to go to Mexico, then maybe we can jump one more five-star week here.’”
Of the 39 entries to contest Alan Wade’s course, five produced clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
Bluman had the advantage of going last with Ladriano Z. Using his mount’s huge stride and tidy turns, they galloped through the timers in 37.41 seconds, shaving a tenth of second off Japan’s Karen Polle and Sari’s time of 37.58 to take the win.
USA’s Beezie Madden and Breitling LS finished less than two tenths of a second behind Polle in 37.76 for third.
“Today he felt spectacular,” said Bluman. “[In the first round] he jumped flawless and then the warm-up for the jump-off was as good as I could have a warm-up for him. Then I got to see Beezie and Karen go, and Lorenzo [De Luca]. I sort of had my plan in my head and I knew if I gave the horse the right chance we could maybe win the class, and it turned out so I’m very thrilled.”
The international victory marks Ladriano Z fourth with Bluman since he took over the ride from his cousin Ilan Bluman in 2017.
The pair collected 1.60m victories at the Hampton Classic CSI4* in 2017, the Royal Winter Fair CSI4* in 2018 and Round 7 of the 1.55m WEF Challenge Cup CSI5* in 2019. They also posted a double clear in the Nations Cup at Deeridge Farms last month.
“I’m just sort of trying to be a better rider for him and get him more rideable and just figure out how to put him in the right spot because if I put him in the right spot, the horse is going to make the jump,” said Bluman.
“He’s a phenomenal horse. They don’t get any better than him. I have to get better so we can continue to win classes like this.”