British show jumping athlete Alexandra Thornton claimed the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award on Sunday, March 1, to close out week eight of the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Riding her top mount, Charielle, a 14-year-old Oldenburg mare (Chacco-Blue x Argentinus) owned by Dunwalke Ltd., Thornton kicked off her week with a top-12 finish in the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 on Thursday, February 27. The pair then jumped onto the podium with a third-place performance in Sunday’s $214,000 Premier Equestrian CSIO4* Grand Prix.
“I think it’s really great that Martha offers this award for us,” said Thornton, 27. “Female riders are often the minority in some of these grand prix classes, but there were three in the jump-off today who all rode fantastically. To win this award against them was really exciting.”
Thornton is making her return to WEF after nearly five years away from Wellington, explaining, “I’ve been based in Europe since 2012 and WEF is a completely different experience than it was when I was here last. I’ve already extended my trip!”
In recognition of her Leading Lady title, Jolicoeur presented Thornton with a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, and a gift certificate for a shopping spree at Hunt, Ltd.
Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horseman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series and grand prix events. During the 12th and final week of competition, the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the season. So far this season, Lillie Keenan, Jessica Springsteen, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Kirsten Vanderveen of the United States, as well as Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Canada’s Vanessa Mannix, have won the weekly award. These talented female riders are now joined by Thornton in contention for the overall title.
A sponsor and dedicated supporter of horse sport at WEF for many years, 2020 marks Jolicoeur’s 10th season presenting the weekly Leading Lady Rider Award. A former grand prix competitor herself, Jolicoeur enjoyed a successful international show jumping career before becoming Florida’s number one Douglas Elliman real estate broker for 2018.
Based in Wellington full-time, Jolicoeur has been serving the Wellington equestrian community since 2005 and specializes in both residential and farm properties. As part of the elite Douglas Elliman Real Estate Sports and Entertainment division, she offers a wide range of property listings that fit the equestrian lifestyle. To learn more about Jolicoeur and her listings, visit www.marthasproperties.com. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram for behind-the-scenes tours of available Wellington properties.