David O’Brien Hails a Hat Trick in $140,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI3* Grand Prix

David O’Brien & El Balou © Sportfot

Ireland’s David O’Brien secured an impressive third victory for the week in the $140,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI3* Grand Prix on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Sunday afternoon. The culmination of three-star competition highlighted the conclusion of the second week of the 2024 ESP Spring Series, presented by Florida Coast Equipment.

The Spring Series at Wellington International runs for five weeks as part of the ESP Annual Series and finishes on May 12. 
From last draw, O’Brien continued his streak and secured the win aboard 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding El Balou OLD (Eldorado vd Zeshoek x Balou du Rouet), owned by Chansonette and Leap Year Farms. The pair was a force returning last in a 16-horse jump-off and coming off the momentum of a win in Friday’s qualifier. 

O’Brien, originally from Galway but now based in the U.S. with his wife Sarah, posted a jump-off time of 37.17 seconds over Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz’s (MEX) course. From an original field of 45 horses, 10 finished double clear with Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) riding Belle de Muze to second. The mount Larrazabal owns together with Driss Ngadi was bumped from the lead with a time of 37.68 seconds. Hannah Selleck (USA) and Cloud 39, owned by her own Descanso Farm, rounded out the podium in 38.53. seconds.

“Weeks like this are very rare to come by,” said O’Brien, 35. “We tried very hard to not overuse the horses this winter and you can see that they’re now coming into themselves. Hopefully that carries throughout the summer now.”  

Read MoreComplete Results

David O’Brien & El Balou OLD with Sarah O’Brien are presented as winners of the $140,000 Bainbridge Companies CSI3* Grand Prix by Richard Schechter. Photo © Sportfot

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