Wellington, Florida – Lucas Porter and Alexa Pessoa were first-time winners in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion during Week XI of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida.
The first “Go Clean for the Green” competition of the day was the $10,000 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper Classic, which attracted a starting field of 34 entries. Six entries posted clear rounds to qualify for the jump-off and, as all six were wearing their SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves, there was no doubt that the $1,000 bonus would be awarded. The only question was who the lucky recipient would be!
Only two riders managed to repeat their flawless performances from the first round with Porter crossing the finish line in 35.18 seconds with Phineas, his partner of the past three years, to take the win over Emanuel Andrade who had negotiated the jump-off track in 38 seconds flat.
“I’ve always wanted to win a Classic here at WEF,” said Lucas, who made it two for two, having won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic one week earlier with a different mount. “I just tried to stay calm, ride well, and not worry about the other competitors. I just worried about myself and stayed focused.”
In addition to scoring his second Classic win two weeks in a row, the 16-year-old from Bartonville, TX, was awarded a $1,000 bonus from SSG Gloves in recognition of his loyalty to the brand.
“It’s really great, and it spreads the brand’s name because all the riders know about the bonus and they all want to win it, so they all buy gloves,” said Porter of the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. “It’s a really great promotion, and other companies should think about doing it as well.”
Of the SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves themselves, Porter continued, “I ride in them every Sunday; I think they are a bit lucky for me now! I like them a lot. They are thin, so they don’t make my hands sweat as much, and they grip the reins very well.”
Immediately following the High Junior Classic, Pessoa also became a first-time winner in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion, having topped a 40-horse starting field to win the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Classic. With 12 entries advancing to the jump-off from the original 40-horse starting field, Pessoa took the early lead with a time of 37.92 seconds that would prove to be unbeatable. Charlotte Jacobs came heartbreakingly close, stopping the clock in 37.95 seconds to finish second with Cyrina Z. Both riders train with Pessoa’s husband, Rodrigo Pessoa.
As Pessoa was wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves on her way to victory, she was awarded a $1,000 bonus from SSG Gloves.
“I think it’s pretty awesome!” said Pessoa of the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. “I just got up to speed on this, Rodrigo told me to go try the gloves and get going on the glove challenge. It’s a really nice bonus, and a little extra incentive. When you have a circuit that’s this long, it’s nice to keep things interesting! And now it’s finally all aligned; I’ve got the gloves on, and I won!”
Pessoa’s winning mount was Levade 35, a grey mare with a mind of her own.
“She has a lot of personality, she is very opinionated, and a real woman,” said Pessoa, who began riding Levade 35 in February of last year. “She is extremely sensitive, and the way to get anything done with her is to make her feel like it is her idea, which we can all relate to. She is really a girl’s horse. Taylor Land rode her before me, and we’ve talked at length about what a personality she is.”
Riders will be talking for one more week about the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion as the 12-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival enters its final week of competition. SSG Gloves will continue to offer a $3,000 bonus in the WEF Challenge Cup, as well as a $1,000 bonus in the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the High Junior Jumper Classic competitions. If the winning rider in any of these three competitions is wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible, they will be presented with bonus money during the awards presentation. A total of $60,000 in bonus money is on offer from SSG Gloves at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.
SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves are available for purchase at numerous Wellington locations, including Tackeria, as well as on-site at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds at various retailers including Beval Saddlery, Hadfield’s, Jods and Running Fox.