The 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series® Closes With a Win for Dani G. Waldman in the $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final
In the final event of the 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series®, Israel’s Dani G. Waldman and new mount Queensland E took the win in the $300,000 CSI5* CP Palm Beach Masters Final Sunday at Deeridge Farms, conquering an especially challenging 1.60m track designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade.
Wade’s 14-obstacle, first-round track made use of every corner of the Deeridge Farms Grass Arena and asked no shortage of questions from the 40-horse start list. Rails fell from start to finish, but the course built in difficulty, beginning with the open water at Jump 7, followed by a large, square oxer at Jump 10b of the triple combination, and finally with a very short four strides from the Jump 12 triple bar to a tall, upright vertical at Jump 13.
“I thought it walked very big today, and normally, I never say that!” said Waldman. “But for me, the distances were in my favor, as my horse doesn’t have the longest stride, so I had [a range of] options.”
Six riders would ultimately solve Wade’s riddle to gain admittance to the jump-off, where Waldman planned to be quick yet conservative, making the most of her stallion’s speed across the ground.
“I don’t know [Queensland] all that well, so my strategy was to go as fast as I could where I still felt I could leave the jumps up. It wasn’t lightening-fast, but it was [fast] enough. Luckily, the horse is so quick naturally,” she reflected.
This is the first major victory for Waldman and Queensland E, who officially joined her string in Wellington this winter, following his tenure with Dutch rider Frank Schuttert. In fact, Waldman says she has her husband, Alan Waldman, to thank for their budding partnership.
“[We] had been looking for another horse to jump the big classes, and [Alan] had his eye on this horse for a while. We didn’t know if it was the best horse we’d ever seen, but Alan was sure it was my horse,” she said.
“He trusted that I could ride him, and I trusted Alan!”