Simon McCarthy Speeds to Victory on Opening Day of ESP Spring III

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Simon McCarthy & Gotcha

Simon McCarthy & Gotcha, winners of the $32,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* 1.45m. Photo © Sportfot

Ireland’s Simon McCarthy opened the second week of the 2024 ESP Spring Series, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, on Thursday with a win in the $32,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* 1.45m on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village, home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival during the winter season. The Spring Series at Wellington International runs for five weeks as part of the ESP Annual Series and concludes on May 12.

For a field of 63 horses, Andy Christiansen Jr. (USA) set the two-phase course. McCarthy, 28, and Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms, topped the clock of the speed phase in 30.42 seconds, only fractions over the runner-up, Kelli Cruciotti-Vanderveen (USA) riding Forever SFN for owner Serenity Farm Show Stables, in 31.02 seconds. Third went to Grace Debney (GBR) riding Boheme de la Roque two one-hundredths slower than Cruciotti-Vanderveen in 31.04 seconds for owner Temple Equestrian, LLC.

“I knew I needed to get through the first phase and then go for it,” said McCarthy. “In the last couple of lines there was a leave out, which I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do. When I was there, I kicked, closed my eyes and hoped I got there. And she was right with me, so I think that’s what was the winning factor at the end.”

Read MoreComplete Results

Press release Wellington International

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