The 2024 Holiday Festival II CSI4* horse show, held at Wellington International from December 14- 17, concluded with a series of spectacular performances despite challenging weather conditions. The week began on Thursday with the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies Holiday Festival Opener. Aaron Vale (USA), aboard Iadermie R 4, clinched first place with a double clear round and a jump-off time of 29 seconds. Matt Williams (AUS) on Fayuri Awr, and Ashley Vogel (USA) on Bellissimo Z, secured second and third places, respectively, both bringing in double clears. Thursday’s events included the $50,000 CSI4* Grand Prix Qualifier sponsored by Omega Alpha. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) emerged victorious on Bull Run’s Hesed, followed closely by Nayel Nassar (EGY) on Jiminy Cricket and Margie Engle (USA) on Dicas.

Friday’s highlights were the $39,000 1.45m Speed Class, sponsored by Palm Beach Equine Clinic, and the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40 Stake. Tiffany Foster (CAN) aboard Brighton took the lead in the 1.45m Speed Class, with Simon McCarthy (IRL) and Aaron Vale (USA) following. Christina Kelly (IRL) won the 1.40m Stake on Fastday VDL, with Alannah Wagstaff (USA) and Tina Yates (USA) finishing second and third.

Saturday’s conditions, marked by strong winds and rain, led to the rescheduling of the Grand Prix to ensure the safety of all horses, riders, staff and visitors. The $226,000 BrainJuice Holiday II CSI4* Grand Prix sponsored by BrainJava, built by Andy Christiansen, saw Aaron Vale (USA) taking the top spot on Carissimo 25 who is cared for by Vale’s long-term groom, Oscar Lugo. Schuyler Riley (USA) on Robin De Ponthual and Tiffany Foster (CAN) on Electrique completed the podium.

The excitement continued into Sunday, which started with early morning showers before giving way to sunshine, creating ideal conditions for the $39,000 Zen Elite Equestrian Center CSI4* 1.40m. The competition was fierce with six pairs making it to the jump-off, but only the top three managed to post double clears. Tiffany Foster (CAN) delivered an outstanding performance on Northern Light, securing first place with a jump-off time of 35.44 seconds. Simon McCarthy (IRL), continuing his strong showing from the previous day, clinched second place aboard Gotcha with a time of 35.89 seconds. Thaisa Erwin (AUS) and Vanturo completed the top three with a commendable double clear and a jump-off time of 36.87 seconds.

The festival’s final event in the International Arena, the $25,000 Resilient Fitness National Grand Prix, was equally thrilling. With four competitors in the jump-off, the competition was intense. Jonathan McCrea (USA) emerged victorious aboard Fantasy BB, impressing the crowd with a double clear and a jump-off time of 36.725 seconds. Filip De Wandel (BEL) on Manhattan Van’t Leeuwerikenhof claimed the second spot with a time of 37.764 seconds, closely followed by Darragh Kerins (IRL) on Darius de Kerglenn, who finished third with a time of 38.146 seconds. These performances exemplified the skill and determination that define Wellington International’s equestrian competitions, bringing a fitting close to a remarkable week of show jumping.

The event demonstrated the high caliber of international show jumping and the unyielding spirit of both horses and riders, undeterred by the stormy weather. Wellington International congratulates all participants for their exceptional performances and thanks its sponsors and staff for their unwavering support.

Full Results here.

Watch the $226,000 BrainJuice Holiday II CSI4* Grand Prix Sponsored by BrainJuice here: