O'Shea's win at Palm Beach Masters part of green wave this past weekend

Credit : Sportfot

Monday 18 February - 16h42 | Ian Clayton and edited press releases

O'Shea's win at Palm Beach Masters part of green wave this past weekend

Irish riders were flying the flag in different parts of the world this past weekend. 

 - O'Shea's win at Palm Beach Masters part of green wave this past weekend

While his compatriots were capturing top prizes at the CSI5* Longines Masters in Hong Kong, Ireland’s Paul O’Shea was competing about 20 hours away by plane, with similar success – and despite some mishaps. At the Deeridge Farms grounds Friday, O’Shea came out on top of a 15-rider strong jump-off in the $210,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix. 

In the jumping class, O’Shea rode the fastest of the three double clear rounds to claim victory on Imerald Van 't Voorhof. The win marked the first five-star grand prix title of O’Shea’s career.
“I lost my rein after fence three, and it took me awhile to get organized again, so I did not get the distance that I wanted,” he said. “But Imerald tried even harder, and he stayed on track, so I have to give him credit there.”

The Alan Wade-designed course was a challenge for some of the 44 starters but still provided a crowd in the jump-off. “I just really rode it as hard as I could,” said O’Shea. “The second-to-last fence had come down a lot, and I thought, ‘That’s the one to watch out for.’ I had it in my head to just really go, because it probably doesn’t help to think like that, so I thought, ‘I’m just going to go at it,’ and he jumped it great. All I thought was, ‘Keep going; Margie (Engle) is behind me.’”

Indeed, O’ Shea had to wait for the final pair, U.S. Olympic veteran Margie Engle and Royce, to ride. That pair turned in a clean round and it was close, but they crossed the Longines timers a fraction of a second slower, finishing in 36.78 seconds, good for second place.

“I really want to thank and commend the Jacobs family for what they have done with this event,” Engle added. “They go out of their way to make this a fabulous experience for all of us. They do everything they can to make the conditions ideal; it rained so much recently, but the footing is as good as you find anywhere in the world. I think we all owe them a huge thank you for what they are doing for our sport.”

On Saturday, Israel's Ashlee Bond and Ereina produced the only double clear performanceto edge two U.S. Olympic veterans and win the $72,000 CSIO5* NetJets Classic at the CSIO5* CP Palm Beach Masters Presented by Suncast. Bond's win was her second of the weekend at Wellington, Florida’s picturesque Deeridge Farms, as she also took the top prize in Thursday’s $10,000 CSIO5* CP Welcome Stake.

"Lately, my strategy has been to do whatever I feel is right for me and my horse," said Bond. "I might not win as much, but I have been a lot more consistent. I no longer think about who is coming after me. It’s a new concept for me, and today it worked out."

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