Danielle Goldstein, (ISR) resplendent in feathers of orange and red, flew around the course to claim the first double clear. Riding Lizziemary, she stopped the Longines timers at 37.54 seconds. However, she had little doubt that someone would take over the lead.
“Honestly I came out thinking I left the door wide open so I was not surprised that I got beat quickly. I didn’t think that I would hold on to second (place). With so many in the jump-off you think that somebody is going to catch you. I thought I was quick, but for sure I left the door open. I wish I hadn’t done that,” said Goldstein.
“I made a point to come to this show. The footing is amazing. It’s been raining a lot the last week, but the footing felt that it hadn’t rained at all. It was really perfect. The management here is great and I very much enjoy coming to this show.”
Granato and Carlchen W sped through the door Goldstein left open, but the path to victory was not easy to find. “There wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity to gain a lot of speed from rider to rider. It was a pretty set track, you could only be tight. There weren’t a lot of options on leave-outs or turning inside somewhere that somebody else couldn’t do, you had to just tighten up the track and hold enough pace to be faster. I think they did a nice job.”
Jessica Springsteen (USA) also jumped double clear on Fleur de l’Aube in a time of 39.42 seconds, which was good enough for third. The Colts Neck, New Jersey resident was happy to be back at the Palm Beach Masters.
“I always look forward to coming here,” said Springsteen. “Even when I first arrived here the other day, I had forgotten how beautiful it is. It really is an incredible venue and it is refreshing for the horses and riders and I am really happy to be here.”
Friday’s Qualifier set the field for Sunday’s $208,200 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington, which serves as the penultimate east coast qualifier for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April.