WEF: Jessica Springsteen and Tiger Lily Open CSI 5* with a win
USA’s Jessica Springsteen and Tiger Lily opened week five of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with victory in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class on Wednesday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
2012 Olympic course designer Robert Ellis (GBR) began the week with 76 entries in Wednesday’s 1.45m speed class,and had 25 clear rounds. Last to go, Springsteen guided Stone Hill Farm’s Tiger Lily to the win in 57.27 seconds. She bested the lead previously held by Leslie Howard (USA) riding Laure Sudreau’s Donna Speciale in 58.36 seconds. Brazil’s Luiz Francisco de Azevedo and Collin placed third in 59.42 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and The Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt finished fourth in 59.65 seconds.
“I saw a lot of rounds before I went today,” 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.”
Springsteen purchased Tiger Lily, a ten-year-old Oldenburg mare (Balou du Rouet x Domino), at the end of 2015. The pair showed in Wellington for the first time last winter and spent the 2016 season traveling around the world.
“She is very feisty,” Springsteen described. “She always wants to go, so I have to do my best to keep her stride short and together. She is jumping again tomorrow, so I was not sure if I should go forward today, but she has so much energy that it was a good course for her. She felt great.”
While previously training with Edwina Tops-Alexander and Jan Tops in Europe, Springsteen found Tiger Lily showing under Massimo Grossato of Italy.
“I actually was not even supposed to try her,” Springsteen detailed. “When Edwina and Jan were going to see her, I just decided last minute to go with them. I immediately loved her.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horses’ Sibell BH won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman CSI 2* 1.40m speed.