CSI 2*

Maria Costa & Valentino V Z Victorious in $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI 2*

Wellington, Florida, USA – February 27, 2022 – The International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) closed out the week with the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI 2*. Forty-four horse-and-rider contenders competed for the opportunity to jump-off but only 12 managed to put forth a fault-free round one effort. Late in the order, Twenty-nine-year-old Maria Costa (USA) put on the gas pedal and piloted her long-time partner Valentino V Z to win the class with a top time of 37.85. 

“This might sound crazy but I was on him for all of 30 seconds when I tried him, and I just knew I had to have him,” described Costa of her 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion (Verdi TN x Converter). “Our relationship is really special to me. I have had him since he was a seven-year-old, and it was certainly a rocky road in the beginning. We stayed super consistent with him. He is the type of horse that really appreciates consistency so about two years in he just kind of decided he liked it. Our bond has gotten to the point where I would comfortably ride into war on him. I always know he has my back and I have his, so I would have to say it is the most special connection I have ever had with a horse. I can’t imagine it ever getting better.”

“I really wanted to take a little bit of a risk today,” added Costa. “I jumped clear in the qualifier on Friday but I was not happy with my performance in the jump-off. My goal was to do better today, and that goal was really my main motivation in my ride. He is naturally fast, and if you let him go forward a bit he thrives on the energy. He is not a big horse but he makes himself big when he is out there in the ring.”

Friday’s qualifying class winners, Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) and Bonne Chance Farm LLC’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding Ilex (Baltic VDL x Chn Chin), had another impressive finish as they stepped into the second-place position with a time of 38.29 seconds. Charlotte Jacobs (USA) bookended the victory gallop aboard North Star’s nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Rincoola Milsean. The combination came just one-tenth of a second short of Da Costa and finished in 38.41 seconds.

Maria Costa (USA) & Valentino V Z during the awards ceremony

Final Results – $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic CSI 2*

1) Maria Costa (USA) & Valentino V Z – 0 / 0 – 37.85

2) Fabio Leivas da Costa (BRA) & Ilex – 0 / 0 – 38.29

3) Charlotte Jacobs (USA) & Rincoola Milsean – 0 / 0 – 38.41

Source: Press Release by Summer Grace / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival

Photos: © Sportfot