05 September 2016, Spruce Meadows, Canada – The world’s best horse and rider combinations will gather in Calgary from 7-11 September as Spruce Meadows plays host to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the second equestrian Major of the year.
The 41st edition of this world-renowned event will culminate on Sunday 11 September with the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, the focal point of the Masters and one of the world’s most demanding Grand Prix competitions on the equestrian circuit. As part of the three Majors that link the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, it is fitting that this prestigious trophy will be contended by Rolex Testimonees and the only Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping winner Scott Brash, alongside current Olympic Individual bronze medallist and Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze.
“Winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at Spruce Meadows in 2015 was a dream come true for me so it holds great memories, I’d love to go back there and try and earn the title again,” says Scott Brash ahead of his return to the iconic venue where he became the first ever victor of the Rolex Grand Slam by virtue of winning his third consecutive major.
All eyes will be focused on the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Philipp Weishaupt, winner of the first Equestrian Major, the Rolex Grand Prix, at CHIO Aachen in July, aboard LB Convall.
Weishaupt will be looking to continue his path towards greatness and produce a performance akin to that in Aachen, one of precision and perfection, which will be required in order to reign supreme against the world’s greatest.
THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING
Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the only global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the three Majors consecutively – CHIO Aachen in Germany, the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada and CHI Geneva in Switzerland.
Only a great horseman or woman could win show jumping’s most prestigious challenge. In September 2015, the British competitor, Scott Brash made history and became the first ever to succeed.
SPRUCE MEADOWS MASTERS
Spruce Meadows is regarded as the most versatile event location in the world. It was the founding family’s vision to create a unique friendly atmosphere where trade and world class sport could thrive. The Masters tournament is the climax of four months of world class equine competition, everything show jumping has to offer is at home in Spruce Meadows, ranging from youth and amateur through to the pinnacle of professional sport.
The seven outdoor arenas and two indoor arenas are spread out over grounds measuring 553 acres, making it an ideal venue to stable 1,000 horses and host approximately 500,000 spectators every year. Set among rolling green pastures with the beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Spruce Meadows is a unique and world-renowned venue.
A fascination with equestrian sport comes from the fact that however talented and consistent riders may be, they must possess an exceptional range of abilities to form winning partnerships with their horses. They must be patient, sportsmanlike and courageous. Rolex has developed particularly close partnerships with a handful of the very best riders in the world – its equestrian Testimonees, all of whom reflect these qualities.
Many of Rolex’s Testimonees are returning with their leading horses this year. U.S. Olympic silver medal winning team member Kent Farrington will be there to contend for this trophy alongside 2012 Olympic Champion and Rolex Grand Prix winner at CHI Geneva in 2015, Steve Guerdat.
The Canadian sporting hero Eric Lamaze will also compete this year. He took home Individual gold at the 2008 Olympics and Individual bronze at this year’s Olympics in Rio, and his many Spruce Meadows victories include two at The International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex (the predecessor to the now CP ‘International’).
The 2015 winner and Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion Scott Brash will be returning to defend his title, alongside the ‘first lady’ of German show jumping Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, fresh from claiming Team bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. French rider Kevin Staut will also travel to Canada after a successful Olympics winning Team gold in the show jumping competition.
Chris Surbey and Quetchup de la Roque. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Leslie Howard and Donna Speciale Triumph in Spruce Meadows 1.45m Classic
Calgary, AB, Canada – On Sunday at Spruce Meadows, Calgary’s own Chris Surbey (CAN) made history by becoming the 20th rider ever to jump a clear round in the long-running Enbridge Classic Derby. Surbey and Linda Southern-Heathcott’s Quetchup de la Roque joined an impressive list of winners, completing the only clear round out of 13 starters, to win Sunday’s feature competition. Daniel Coyle (IRL) riding Ridley and Lisa Carlsen (CAN) aboard Worlds Judgment finished second and third respectively, each finishing the course with eight faults.
The Spruce Meadows 1.45m Classic, presented by Kubota, concluded the ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, with a win for Leslie Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale.
Thirteen entries contested Sunday’s Enbridge Classic Derby, which saw seven competitors finish with eight faults, and only the one clear round. Great Britain’s Pamela Carruthers designed the original course in 1985 and redesigned the track in 1990. For the last 26 years, the course has been the same. But out of 650 total attempts, Chris Surbey and Quetchup de la Roque are only the 20th pair to ever complete a clear round.
Featuring a demanding 16 numbered obstacles and 23 jumping efforts, the Enbridge Classic Derby is an incredible test of endurance and stamina for both horse and rider. The most challenging obstacles include a 26-foot bank, double liverpools, and a Devil’s Dyke.
Born and raised in Calgary, Surbey (29) began riding as a professional for Spruce Meadows two years ago, and took over the ride on Quetchup de laRoque from Kelly Koss-Brix last fall. “Her whole life, I think she has always had a heart of gold,” Surbey said of the 12-year-old Selle Francais mare (Quidam de Revel x Kannan). “She tries her best every time out. She is very careful, she is quick, she can turn, and she is brave. She has everything I think you need for a good derby partner.”
Surbey also jumped Quetchup de la Roque in the CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby during the summer’s ‘National’ Tournament in June.
Speaking of his second, very successful attempt at the derby, Surbey noted, “We jumped at the National, and she was actually quite good, but that was her first try. I was hoping that we would improve from there, but I was not quite expecting a clear round. I was just excited that Quetchup dug deep and showed us what she can do.
“In this attempt, I was maybe a little bit more relaxed,” Surbey detailed. “Obviously the first time in, you are not sure how they are going to react to some of the different natural jumps out there, but she showed us in June that she was comfortable. I think I had more of a relaxed approach today and she was able to take her time and jump a clear round.”
Surbey stated that completing one of so few clear rounds over the track is just “icing on the cake” to winning the coveted event. The obstacle on course that worried him the most was actually the smallest, but his horse handled the entire track with confidence.
Subrey explained, “Honestly, I do not think any part of the course concerned my horse. But I have to say, I have never been afraid of such a small jump in my life with that fence on top of the bank. That is probably the most intimidating jump because it is so close to the edge of the hill. Some horses even refuse to jump it because they can see the edge coming, so it is really an exercise in timing and patience, as well as bravery on the side of the horse.”
Daniel Coyle and Lisa Carlsen traded places in this week’s derby after Carlsen placed second and Coyle finished third in the CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby during the ‘National’ Tournament.
Riding to second place on Sunday with the fastest eight-fault round in 135.58 seconds, Coyle was aboard Ridley, a ten-year-old Canadian Sport Horse gelding (Ustinov x Adiantus AS) owned by Susan Grange.
Carlsen took third place honors with eight faults in 136.75 seconds aboard Worlds Judgement, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Judgement x Farmer) owned by WJ Partners.
Speaking of his return to the derby track with Ridley, Coyle stated, “I did not know what was going to happen today because it was only his second derby. He is not the most talented horse in the world, but he is one of the best for trying. I had two very simple fences down. I think mostly it just came from him being tired at this stage after five weeks of jumping here. Then again, I had an early fence down, so I could be fast and play to my advantages.”
Like many Irish riders, Coyle grew up jumping derbies in his home country, but noted that derby success really depends on the horse.
“Anytime there was a derby we did them,” Coyle said. “Irish people do the derbies a lot more than other countries. Maybe that is why I am a wee bit better at this than I thought, but at the end of the day we can be as good as we want, but the horse has to jump the fences. It really comes down to them.”
Commenting on the impressive event at Spruce Meadows, Coyle added, “The derby is a brilliant competition for riders and horses. Some riders are better at derbies, and some horses are better at derbies than actual show jumping, so it is great for us to be fit to do both. To be in the ring that long with a big crowd cheering you on is very exciting.”
Lisa Carlsen was a little challenged on Sunday riding with a strained groin, but felt confident in her horse, who has jumped consistently in derby competitions for several years.
“She is super brave,” Carlsen said of Worlds Judgement. “I do not think the mare has ever stopped with me. She does everything I have ever asked her to do. She is just super brave and talented, so she is a good derby horse.”
Commenting on her round, Carlsen added, “My mare was a little too fresh today because I have not been able to get her in the ring enough. She was more aggressive than I would have liked, but that’s just life.”
Leslie Howard Takes Final Event of Summer Series
Course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) concluded the week’s competition with 41 entries jumping his track in the Spruce Meadows 1.45m Classic, presented by Kubota. The final event of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Leslie Howard (USA) took top honors with the fastest of five double clear rounds in an eight-horse jump-off. Howard guided her husband, Peter Howard’s, Donna Speciale to the win in 38.72 seconds.
Daniel Coyle (IRL) finished second in 40.18 seconds aboard Fortis Fortuna for Susan and Ariel Grange. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and The Doodle Group’s Cocq a Doodle placed third in 40.55 seconds. Mario Deslauriers (USA) took fourth place honors with Wishing Well Farm LLC’s Cherrypop in 42.57 seconds, and Ben Asselin (CAN) finished fifth with Attache Stables’ Cool Feeling in a time of 42.99 seconds.
Donna Speciale, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Cavalier x Concorde), is a new ride for Howard this year. The pair first joined up in January and started this summer competing at the 1.40m-level. Over four weeks at Spruce Meadows, the young horse has made great progress and jumped her first 1.50m at the beginning of this week. For the final day of competition, Howard dropped her back down, and let the mare’s speed come out in full force for the first time.
“She got some ribbons in the1.45m competitions, but I never really let her open up in the jump-offs,” Howard detailed. “She had one rail this whole circuit in four weeks and that was only in her very first 1.45m. Then I let her move up to the 1.50m and she was great. She is young and eager; I think she will jump a lot bigger. I think she is world-class, but I did not want to show her any bigger than that yet.”
Daniel Coyle had a very fast round with Fortis Fortuna, and Howard explained that at first she was not going to try to beat him, but the mare’s natural speed took over.
“I do not have to do much encouraging with her,” Howard explained. “Going slow is the struggle; going fast is easy. She is a young horse, but she had a lot of great mileage in Holland. She is just a natural at going fast.
“The nice thing about her, or any good speed horse, is that if you lean your body a little right or left they immediately try to find the jump that your body language is taking them to,” Howard continued. “She was immediately searching and locking in on the next jump, so it makes it so easy. I think that is something that they are almost born with. They have to learn it, but some horses you could spend hours trying to teach them to turn and look for the jump, and they never get it. She is just innately a fast horse.”
Commenting on Santiago Varela’s courses, Howard praised, “I think Santiago did a fabulous job all week. We could not have asked for more. The courses were fair, they made sense, and they progressed at a nice level. They started out the week easy so the horses got encouraged and then they built up during the week. I thought it was super.”
Coyle also commented on his round with Fortis Fortuna, stating, “Today I was not sure what to expect because the last round I jumped on the mare did not go to plan. In the jump-off, I honestly do not think I could have gone much faster and jumped a clear, so congratulations to Leslie.”
Rounding out a fantastic summer, Coyle concluded, “All of my horses have jumped really well here. It was my first time at Spruce Meadows, and I love the show, and all of the people. I want to thank everybody for that. For my first time here, they made me feel very welcome.”
Sunday’s competition concluded the 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series. The ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO 5* is the next feature event on September 7-11, 2016.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Foster and Brighton Top Imperial Winning Round 1.50m on Saturday of ‘North American’ Tournament
Calgary, AB, Canada – The coveted $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup was featured on Saturday afternoon during the ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, at Spruce Meadows. Jumping clear through three rounds of competition, USA’s Kent Farrington and Gazelle emerged victorious over Elizabeth Gingras (CAN) and Zilversprings in second, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) aboard Check Picobello Z in third.
Earlier in the day, Canada’s Tiffany Foster took her second international win of the week with Brighton in the Imperial Winning Round 1.50m.
Course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) set a challenging first round track for the competitors in Saturday’s $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup. The competition took place over two rounds with a jump-off if necessary. The first round was a speed track against the clock, which saw 39 entries in total. The top twelve competitors from the first round then returned for round two in reverse order of penalties. Seven entries jumped clear over the first round course, and six of those also cleared the second round track to necessitate a jump-off.
Heading into the third and final tiebreaking round over a shortened course, Jonathan McCrea (USA) was first to go aboard Candy Tribble’s Aristoteles V. The pair completed another clear round in the jump-off to eventually finish fourth with a time of 45.52 seconds. Hardin Towell (USA) and Jennifer Gates’ Lucifer V had one rail down in the jump-off in 45.33 seconds to place sixth. Next to go, Kent Farrington and Gazelle raced through the timers in an unbeatable time of 40.59 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and her own and Artisan Farms LLC’s Southwind VDL followed with the fifth place time of 46.04 seconds. Eric Lamaze then jumped the third place time of 43.98 seconds riding Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Check Picobello Z. Last to go, Elizabeth Gingras and Zilversprings galloped into second place in 42.63 seconds.
Farrington and Gazelle have had an impressive summer that includes also winning the $375,000 Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex, during last week’s competition at Spruce Meadows.
A ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro) owned by Farrington and Robin Parksy, Gazelle never tired through three demanding rounds of competition for this week’s win.
Commenting on her stamina, Farrington stated, “That horse has really come on strong. One of her strengths is that she has a lot of blood and a lot of energy, so she kind of gets better as she goes.
“I don’t want to say I am totally surprised because I always thought she was a very good horse,” Farrington said of Gazelle’s recent success. “I got her when she was seven and I have been bringing her along now for the last few years. She has had her ups and downs like all of them. You never know what they are going to be in the end. She hit a little bit of a rough patch when I put her in some bigger classes and she got overly careful and was struggling a little bit, so I dropped her back down at the end of Florida, did some smaller classes and built her back up. I always had hopes that she would be where she is today, so I am very pleased.”
Course designer Santiago Varela had the difficult task of setting three different tracks for Saturday’s coveted competition, which has seen wins from some of the best in the sport. Farrington first won the event in 2014 aboard Voyeur, and spoke of this year’s courses.
“I thought he (Santiago) had a measured first round,” Farrington detailed. “It was difficult, with a short time allowed that put a lot of pressure on people, and probably caused some rails that they normally would not have. He only ended up with seven clear and a couple with time faults. That is usually the right number so that you still have a chance for a jump-off. I’m not sure, but I think that was his plan. The second round was a little more straightforward with a difficult line at the end. That was sort of the big test of the competition with the double liverpools. That is always difficult to jump, and still there were enough clear, and a great competition in the jump-off.”
Farrington went third over the short course with three fast riders still to come. Explaining his strategy, the rider stated, “I am not one that really plays it safe. I like to try to win and I do not think you win as much if you are playing by trying not to lose. I usually have my own plan of what I think is within the horse’s ability, and I try to work within those limits, and make the most of that track for what my horse can do.
“I never think that my time will hold up until the competition is finished,” Farrington added. “I am not that confident, because I think that is when you get caught, but I thought I put a lot of pressure on everybody else to really have to try.”
Elizabeth Gingras definitely had to try for her second place finish with Zilversprings, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Silverstone x Emilion) that she has had for three years.
“I have been watching Conor Swail, and Kent, and Eric all tour, and they are all so fast,” Gingras remarked. “I just went as fast as I am capable of at this point in my career, and hopefully I will just keep watching them and get as fast as them, or maybe even faster.
“Obviously I am really thrilled,” Gingras said of her result. “My horse was absolutely amazing. I am just so happy to have him back again. We had a little hiccup for a while, so I have been building him all tour, and to end on this note is really great. He is very special to me.”
Santiago Varela spoke about the result following Saturday’s competition, congratulating the riders and thanking Spruce Meadows.
“I think it was a very good competition,” Varela stated. “We tried to put the pressure more in the first round than the second one to keep the horses fresh to be in the jump-off, and at the end it was a very great jump-off, and I am really happy. I would like to thank the committee for giving me the opportunity to be here. It is very nice to have the possibility to build here at this special show.”
Varela’s next stop is the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as a Technical Delegate. Farrington is also on his way to the Olympics, as he was recently named to the U.S. Show Jumping Team with Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur.
Until then, Farrington goes to the World Equestrian Festival at CHIO Aachen in Germany. Gazelle and Uceko both fly there to compete next week. They will then have a short break before heading to their next stop in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, at the beginning of August.
Foster Tops Imperial Winning Round 1.50m
Canada’s Tiffany Foster took her second international win of the week with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stables’ Brighton on Saturday. Competing in the Imperial Winning Round 1.50m, Foster and Brighton proved consistent over two rounds of competition to take top honors in front of an electric Calgary crowd.
Thirty entries started over the Santiago Varela (ESP) designed course, and 12 competitors jumped clear in round one to qualify for the winning round, in which they started again with zero penalties. The combination that then had the fewest faults in the fastest time in round two was the winner. With eight clear competitors over the second round course, Foster and Brighton came out with the victory in the fastest time of 47.92 seconds.
Richard Spooner (USA) and Little Valley Farm’s Cornancer placed second in 48.27 seconds. Lucy Deslauriers (USA) and Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester finished third in 48.81 seconds, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park placed fourth in 49.03 seconds. Ireland’s Conor Swail and Cita, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, rounded out the top five with a time of 50.19.
Foster and Brighton, a ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contender II x Quick Star), began the week with a win in Thursday’s Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m jump-off competition and continued that winning momentum into the weekend.
Foster was overjoyed to get another win. She stated, “I just think this horse is so cool and so great. He is awesome. I do not know how he can keep going so fast and stay so high over the jumps all the time. He is so good, and I am so happy and proud of him. It was such a fun competition.
“I am amazed at how fast he goes every single time,” Foster laughed. “He does things that I do not imagine any horse can do; he is not normal. It is really fun because you do not have to play by the rules with him. You can come as fast as you want to a plank, or a skinny, or a vertical. The rules do not apply, so it is just so fun.”
Teammate Eric Lamaze held the leading time before Foster entered the ring, but she had not seen his round and took advice from Yann Candele to “go full speed.”
“Normally Eric beats me,” Foster admitted. “I did not actually see anybody in the jump-off. My plan was to come up early enough to watch Eric, and I did not make it in time. The thing is, Rosie (Rosana du Park) is such a fast horse, so generally if all the poles stay up and he does all the strides, it is almost impossible to beat him.
“The only thing I think I had working in my favor today was that the lines were a little on the half-stride,” Foster detailed. “Eric had already done the leave-outs in the first round, and I had not done them just because my horse does not have quite the same stride length as his. So me doing the same numbers, I can go faster just because I have to be kicking the whole way to get there, and Eric can do it a little bit easier. There was one turn to the double-verticals today that I was not planning to do, and then I went in the ring and they said Eric did it, so I knew I had to. I just kind of closed my eyes and hoped for the best, and my horse is incredible and it worked out.”
There were still a few more rounds after her time was set, so Foster waited anxiously to see if it would hold, but stayed back in the warm-up ring.
“I did not watch at all,” she stated. “I find here at Spruce Meadows, it is better to just not watch and listen for either a groan or a cheer from the crowd, and then see how it goes. Honestly today, even if I had ended up in sixth place, I was so thrilled with him. I could not have been happier.”
The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, concludes on Sunday with the final day of competition for the 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series. The Enbridge Classic Derby will be held first in the International Ring, followed by the Spruce Meadows 1.45m Classic, presented by Kubota.
Antonio Maurer and Galileo de Laubry. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Daniel Coyle Wins Pepsi U25 Challenge on Friday of ‘North American’ Tournament
Calgary, AB, Canada – Mexico’s Antonio Maurer emerged victorious in Friday’s LaFarge Cup 1.50m during an exciting evening of competition at the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Galileo de Laubry, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cardento I x Askan de Lauzelle), gave Maurer the second win of his career in Spruce Meadows’ famous International Ring after almost a 15-year lull. Earlier in the evening, Daniel Coyle (IRL) also took a win in the renowned arena, topping the Pepsi U25 Challenge aboard Somerset.
Twenty-nine entries started over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) course for the LaFarge Cup Friday night with nine clear rounds. Three qualified entries chose not to return for the jump-off, where six continued on, and only two entries jumped double clear. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou set the pace with the first clear round over the short course in 47.94 seconds. They settled for second place when Maurer and Galileo de Laubry raced through the timers in 45.80 seconds, last to go, for the win.
Maurer also took third place honors, with one fence down in a very fast time of 43.27 seconds on his first jump-off mount, Fernanda Saad’s Magnus Jaen Mail. Jaclyn Duff (CAN) was close behind, with one rail down in 43.45 seconds to place fourth aboard her own Pater Noster.
Commenting on his victory, Maurer stated, “It has been a very good tour, and finishing the tour with the horses jumping like this is really exciting. I have not come into the International Ring in the golf cart as a winner for a very long time, so I am very happy. I can’t remember how long ago, but it has been a good 15 years since I last won here. It feels amazing. I was second yesterday, and I was beat by the last rider, and I almost cried. Today I was lucky, because I was the last one in the jump-off. It helped me. I already had one horse in the jump-off, so I knew the course, and how it rode. When I saw Molly’s time, I knew that I could be a little quieter, and not risk that much with my second one.”
Maurer purchased Galileo de Laubry in December of 2015, but took a fall and needed surgery on his collarbone shortly after, so he only started riding the horse about four months ago.
“He was a hot horse, and I think the guy that I bought him from did a really good job getting the horse quiet, and not pushing him,” Maurer detailed. “He turned out to be a very nice and kind horse.”
Molly Ashe was happy with her second place finish aboard Cat Ballou, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Lacantus) that is coming into his own recently.
Speaking of her jump-off round, Ashe detailed, “I went for the slow clear tonight. We did not show the first week here this season because the horses had been off for a while and we had to get them up and running again. We started showing the second week in the Summer Series, and we threw him right in the grand prix, which was not fair. He got a little scared, so I am actually very pleased with the result tonight. It was a nice note to end on for him. He really came back from a bad place that we got him into. He really was a trooper and he felt really good tonight, so I was happy with that.”
Concluding an exciting night by remarking on what keeps him coming back to Spruce Meadows year after year, Maurer smiled, “This is an amazing place. They upgrade every year. It is amazing the way the riders are treated, and it is amazing the quality of the footing and the jumps. If you can walk the course and look at the little details on the jumps, how they are painted and how the poles are maintained, it is very impressive. The amount of work they have to put into everything here is incredible. If you get here tomorrow at 7 a.m., this whole place shines. To manage that with the amount of horses here takes a lot. This place is just different from any other venue. That brings you back always; everything is completely different here.”
Daniel Coyle Wins Pepsi U25 Challenge
The Pepsi U25 Challenge was held early Friday evening at Spruce Meadows, with 29 entries and a nine-horse jump-off, held over a 1.45m track set by Santiago Varela (ESP). The win went to Ireland’s Daniel Coyle, a 21-year-old rider, who burst onto the North American scene this year with the ride on many talented horses for Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm.
For the win on Friday, Coyle guided Grange’s Somerset, an eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare (For Pleasure x Oklund) to the fastest double clear round in 39.48 seconds. Coyle’s time pushed Kara Chad (CAN) and Torrey Pines Stable’s Tisele du Park to second place with their round in 39.90 seconds. Hilary McNerney (USA) and Z Acodate DDL settled for third on their time of 42.24 seconds. Theodore Boris (USA) jumped into fourth place aboard Icon d’Or in a time of 43.03, and Andres Azcarraga Rivera Torres (MEX) finished fifth with Jaime Azcarraga’s Al Capone in 43.40 seconds. Boris also took sixth place honors aboard Hip Star in 43.99 seconds.
Speaking of his winning mount, Somerset, Coyle stated, “She is only eight and I actually can’t believe that she was fit to go that fast at that height. She only just moved up to that level. We always knew she was going to be a good horse, but we have been trying to get it out of her. Just in the last month here she has been fabulous and I could not be happier. She tried really hard out there.”
Somerset was jumping in the impressive International Ring at Spruce Meadows for the very first time Friday night and handled the atmosphere like a pro.
“Most horses go in there and spook and stall,” Coyle noted. “Some horses don’t like it, but I think it actually helped her, and made it easier in some ways. I think she is going to be a real good horse for the future. I asked her a lot of questions and she answered them all.”
Coyle began riding for Lothlorien Farm at the beginning of this year and traveled to compete for them at Spruce Meadows for the first time this summer with great success.
Speaking of the opportunity, he stated, “I could never put into words how much I need to thank Sue Grange, and Ariel Grange, and John Grange, as well as Conor Swail, who is a really big help to me. We are a great team together and I could not be happier to ride all of their horses. I am trying to do as good a job as I can and I can feel the horses getting slightly better all the time. Hopefully, if everything goes right, we will have a bright future together.
“When I left Ireland, a lot of people on this side of the water did not really know me, so it is always good to make a good impression,” Coyle added. “I have been lucky that way and the horses have been fabulous for me. If I do my job right, they usually can help, and we can win.”
Coyle had plans to jump Somerset again in Sunday’s 1.45m competition, but after a fantastic performance Friday night, the young mare will get a well-deserved break.
“She is only eight, and it was her first time in there, and she could not have jumped any better,” he praised. “She has jumped here for five weeks, so I am going to leave her at that.”
Coyle has other mounts for the weekend, including Fortis Fortuna, who he rode to victory in the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup during last week’s Pan American Tournament. He also looks forward to making a second attempt at the derby course on Sunday riding Ridley, who jumped the demanding track for the first time during the National Tournament.
The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Saturday featuring the Imperial Winning Round 1.50m, as well as the week’s highlight ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
Philipp Weishaupt and Chico 784. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Tiffany Foster and Meredith Darst Top 1.50m Competitions on Thursday of the ‘North American’ Tournament
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, continued on Thursday with a win for Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and Chico 784 in the feature Progress Energy Cup 1.55m at Spruce Meadows. The pair topped a 13-horse jump-off to win over Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Check Picobello Z in second, and Richard Spooner (USA) with Chivas Z third.
The Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m was also held on Thursday with a win for Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton. Earlier in the day, young rider Meredith Darst (USA) won the ATCO Cup 1.50m with her horse Quester de Virton.
Spain’s Santiago Varela set the courses on Thursday and saw 20 starters in the day’s highlight Progress Energy Cup 1.55m with 13 moving on to the jump-off. Six entries completed the short course without fault, with the fastest time of 42.08 seconds completed by Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt aboard Madeline Winter-Schulze’s Chico 784.
Eric Lamaze (CAN) was close on his heels in 42.84 seconds to finish in reserve aboard Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Check Picobello Z. Richard Spooner (USA) and his own Chivas Z placed third in 43.45 seconds.
Weishaupt has earned a lot of top finishes this summer, but a win had eluded him until Thursday. The rider from Germany was thrilled to finally get his victory in one of the biggest competitions of the series with Chico 784, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Cordalme x Sandro) that he brought along from four years old.
“It was so nice to get my first win in the International Ring here, especially in that competition,” Weishaupt stated. “It was one of the highlights of the weekend, and the competition with the second best money of the whole tournament, so I am so excited that I won it. I had a good feeling on Chico in the first round and I thought I would try in the jump-off. I risked a little bit more than I did in the first weeks and I am so happy it worked out.”
Detailing his winning jump-off, Weishaupt noted, “I thought that if somebody went crazy they would beat me, but they had to try hard to get that time. I think I had a pretty good jump-off and Chico is a fast horse. He loves those big grass arenas and he has a huge stride. I knew that if they wanted to beat me they would have to go quick today.”
Before this summer, Weishaupt had only competed at Spruce Meadows in the ‘Masters’ Tournament, but decided to try out the Summer Series this year for the great competition and excellent ranking points.
“I came to Spruce Meadows three or four times to the Masters with the German team,” he explained. “Every year I did very well, I just never had the win. We won the Nations’ Cup two times as a team, but I never had an individual win here, so it feels really good today. It is a special moment.”
Weishaupt recently jumped from 139th to 81st in the Longines FEI World Rankings thanks to his great results at Spruce Meadows.
Commenting on his major move, the rider remarked, “I did not do much for half a year and that gets you to the bottom of the ranking list fast, so that is another reason that I came here this summer. It is a great place to earn points to come up in the rankings. I was shocked when I saw the list that I moved up so much; it was amazing. You have to have the right horses; it does not come automatically. You have to be strong, and you have to have the right horses, and you have to be competitive; otherwise you are not moving anywhere.”
Weishaupt plans to jump Chico 784 again in Saturday’s ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup. His horses will then fly back to Germany where he will compete at the CHIO in Aachen.
Concluding the day, Weishaupt stated, “I love Spruce Meadows. Calgary is a great place to compete; the horses love it, the riders love it, and it is just an amazing place. I am definitely coming back again.”
Foster Gets a Win in the Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m
The Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m jump-off was held Thursday evening with a win for Canada’s Tiffany Foster aboard Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Brighton. Foster and the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contendro II x Quick Star) topped an eight-horse jump-off out of 27 starters over the Santiago Varela (ESP) designed course. They completed the fastest of six double clear rounds in 35.54 seconds.
Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Wishing Well Farm’s Cherrypop finished second in 35.94 seconds. Richie Moloney (RL) and Equinimity LLC’s Merquisio placed third in 36.08 seconds. Lucy Deslauriers (USA) with Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester, and Peter Lutz (USA) aboard Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller’s Retiro, tied for fourth place with matching times of 36.53 seconds. Brian Morton (CAN) and Grafton Farm’s Atlantis T placed sixth in 37.89 seconds.
Commenting on her winning mount, Foster smiled, “He is awesome. We got him when he was seven, and from right when we first started competing together, he has always been a winner. This year he has actually really stepped into his own. He has won a few times this year and he is just the coolest; I love him.”
Foster has also had many top placings throughout the summer series, and already this week, and was happy to finally win one in the ‘North American’ Tournament.
She stated, “Spruce Meadows is so special in any ring, but especially in the International Ring, and I have been second a lot here. I have been so close so many times. I have been trying to win all of them and I just keep being not quite fast enough. I know with this horse that I can take all of the risk. It is funny, because Philipp Weishaupt and I have been joking that we have been the bridesmaids of this tournament because we have both been second a lot. Then he won the big competition today, and I won this one, so we were the brides today!”
Foster detailed her plan for the jump-off, noting, “I find Brighton a little bit short-strided, so I do not always try the big leave outs. But as has been the case in a few of the competitions that we have won, Eric (Lamaze) said to me, ‘Nope, you can do it, you can leave that stride out,’ and I kind of went with it. If Eric says I can do it, I know I can do it, and it generally works out.”
Foster added, “Every course suits Brighton. He can do anything. He goes forward, he adds, he is so clever, and so quick. His legs move so fast. He is a really cool, very special horse, and I feel really lucky to have him. It really shows this initiative that we have had at Artisan Farms with Andy and Carlene Zielger buying young horses and bringing them along. All of our horses that are so successful, most of them we have started as young horses. They are really patient owners and they have really encouraged us to bring the young horses here to Spruce Meadows and develop them, and then we come back with horses that can win a lot of competitions.”
Meredith Darst Takes First International Victory
The ATCO Cup 1.50m jump-off was the first event to be held in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows on Thursday with a significant win for 19-year-old Meredith Darst (USA). The young rider took her very first FEI victory aboard Quester de Virtonafter only jumping clear over her first 1.50m track just 24 hours before.
Course designer Santiago Varela (ESP) saw 45 starters over his first round course, yielding 12 to advance to the jump-off, where Darst had the advantage of being last to go. After watching the early competitors, she stole the lead in 46.89 seconds
Antonio Maurer (MEX) and Mario Onate’s Balarina 3 finished second in 47.56 seconds. Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Candy Tribble’s Brugal VDL placed third in 49.08 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) jumped into fourth place aboard her own and Peter Howard’s Up & Blue Chapelle in 49.13 seconds, and Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) placed fifth aboard his own Chacna in 49.51 seconds.
Darst, who usually trains in the U.S. with Max Amaya, has had the privilege of being coached by Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) this summer. With Lamaze looking on, she laid it all on the line with “nothing to lose” in Thursday’s competition.
“It is my first FEI win, so it is incredible,” Darst remarked. “Yesterday was the first time that I was clear in a 1.50m ever. I am just honored to show here, and compete in this ring, and I do not think it has really hit me yet.”
Detailing her jump-off round, Darst explained, “The first half of the course is where I made up speed I think. Eric Lamaze is helping me and he said to go for it on jumps one, two, three, four, and I do not think I have ever gone so fast in my life. I just galloped! Then I took my time a little bit in the end, just because there were harder, more careful parts at the end of the jump-off course. My horse jumped great. He was with me everywhere and I just felt really confident.”
Darst had never even met Lamaze before coming to train with him in Calgary this summer, but has learned a lot in the last several weeks.
“It has been an incredible experience,” she noted. “Eric was like, ‘If you want to go for it, just go!’ And I was not going to say no, so I went for it.”
Speaking of Quester de Virton, a 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Aiglon Rouge) that she has owned for one year-and-a-half, Darst added, “I really just started doing big jumpers when I got Quester. I always did a lot of hunters in the U.S., and getting my confidence up has been enough of a project, but when you have a horse that has all the scope and all the heart it really makes your job easy. I just have to find the jumps. Last year I did a 1.55m here, which was my first big competition on him. I have gotten to know him well, so we are really clicking now, and it is so much fun. He is a really great horse.”
The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Friday featuring the Pepsi U25 Challenge and the LaFarge Cup 1.50m in the International Ring in the evening.
Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, kicked off at Spruce Meadows on Wednesday with three feature competitions in the International Ring and two wins in a row for Canada’s Eric Lamaze. The ATCO Energy Cup 1.50m saw a win for Lamaze and Rosana du Park, and the PWC Cup 1.55m wrapped up the day with a second victory for Lamaze aboard Fine Lady 5. The AON Cup 1.50m was held earlier in the day with a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Fortis Fortuna.
Spain’s Santiago Varela is the course designer in the International Ring for this week’s competition. Varela concluded his first day with 27 entries in the PWC Cup 1.55m, and a six-horse jump-off that saw a top three finish for Canada. Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, won the jump-off with the fastest clear round in 42.67 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) guided Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines’ Tripple X III to second place honors in 44.81 seconds, and Yann Candele (CAN) jumped the Watermark Group’s Showgirl into the third position in a time of 45.01.
Hardin Towell (USA) also jumped clear over the short course in 45.48 seconds to place fourth aboard Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS. Richard Spooner (USA) and Show Jumping Syndication Intl.’s Cristallo were fast in 43.14 seconds, but dropped one rail to finish fifth. Alberto Michan (MEX) had two down in the jump-off with Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein’s Gigolo van de Broekkant to place sixth.
Commenting on his winning mount, Fine Lady 5, Lamaze stated, “Fine Lady is a great story. Artisan Farms purchased her for me. We were not sure where we were going, but we knew for sure we had a winner in the 1.50m. She had proven that with her previous rider. Sometimes you click with a horse and you get a little bit more, but I feel like she would do anything for me. She is a fantastic mare with a lot of heart and she just keeps jumping well. She is confident and I know her really well, so she is turning into a really special horse for me.”
Detailing the tiebreaker, in which he was last to go, Lamaze detailed, “Tiffany had the misfortune of going first in the jump-off. So many of these competitions at Spruce Meadows are won with the last rider going in, as you are able to get a feel for the track and how fast you need to go. Going last is definitely a big advantage in most competitions here at Spruce Meadows.”
Speaking of her own jump-off with Tripple X, Foster added, “It was actually a really nice jump-off for my horse because he has a really big stride and it was really open. If you just looked at the two of our horses standing next to each other, mine is a lot bigger than Eric’s. For me to gallop on a big stride is actually not that fast for me, but I thought my horse jumped great and I was really happy with him.”
With the Olympic Games in Brazil approaching, and the Canadian Show Jumping team yet to be announced, the riders are hoping for the best and feel confident knowing that they are performing well with their top mounts.
Speaking of the top three finish for Canada, Lamaze concluded, “It is all in the Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines family, and any time we can pull this off I think it is a great day for all of us. We all cheer for each other. We are there through the bad days and the good days and sometimes it all goes our way.”
Lamaze Leads ATCO Energy Cup
The ATCO Energy Cup 1.50m speed competition saw a first win for Lamaze earlier on Wednesday competing with Rosana du Park out of 57 entries and 22 clear rounds. Lamaze put his name on the trophy for the fourth time after also taking victory in the competition with Hickstead in 2005, Coriana van Klapscheut in 2010, and Fine Lady 5 in 2014. He and Rosana du Park, the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Ukase) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, clocked the winning time of 65.40 seconds.
Conor Swail (IRL) and Dillinger, owned by Susan and Ariel Grange, placed second in 66.67 seconds. Rich Fellers (USA) and Flexible, owned by Harry and Mollie Chapman, finished third with their time of 69.43 seconds. Leslie Howard (USA) took fourth place aboard the Utah Group’s Utah in 71.55 seconds. Lucy Deslauriers (USA) guided Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester to fifth place in 72.19 seconds, and Howard also took the sixth place prize in 72.19 seconds aboard Peter Howard’s Donna Speciale.
Commenting on his win, Lamaze stated, “There are a lot of 1.50m competitions throughout the summer tour and they are all important, but for me, to win in the International Ring always means much more. To see Hickstead and Coriana and Fine Lady’s names on this trophy just brings back some great memories.”
Seventeenth in the order of 57, Lamaze had to wait many rounds to see if his time held up for the win, but he felt confident in his round.
“You never know for these competitions,” he admitted. “The only thing I can say is that she (Rosana du Park) is extremely fast and I did leave a stride out from the Liverpool to the vertical. I am the only one that did six strides there. I think I had a pretty good trip. It went as I thought it would, but there are always riders behind you that watch you go, and get an idea where to knick you here and there. I was lucky enough today; Conor came pretty close.”
Eric Lamaze raises the trophy for his first win of the day with Pat Creaghan, President, ATCO Energy.
Always a cool character, Rosana du Park proudly accepted her winning ribbon and cooler, and led the victory gallop to the thrill of fans.
Commenting on the mare’s professional demeanor, Lamaze stated, “She is pretty cool; she is a great show horse. She is a worker and she just knows where she is.
“She is my Hickstead of the speed classes that can also jump a 1.60m if I ask her to once in a while,” he continued. “She is a really experienced speed horse and I was saying how great it is to come to Spruce Meadows with one of those. Other riders have younger horses or maybe horses that are not quite as fast. I love to have one that can compete in these classes that you know you can win with. It kind of sets the tone for the week.”
Coyle Wins in International Ring
The AON Cup 1.50m was the first competition held in the International Ring on Wednesday featuring 49 starters over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) one round speed course. Fifteen entries were able to clear the course without fault, while eleven others finished on time faults. The fastest clear track belonged to Ireland’s Daniel Coyle aboard Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna in 60.50 seconds. Their time pushed Conor Swail (IRL) and Ilan Ferder’s Kanisso into second on their time of 60.66 seconds.
Richard Spooner (USA) jumped to third place in 62.28 seconds riding Little Valley Farm’s Cornancer. Alberto Michan (MEX) guided Ilan Ferder’s Ujade Ste Hermelle to fourth place in 62.79 seconds, and Richie Moloney (IRL) rounded out the top five with a time of 64.46 riding Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando.
Daniel Coyle has earned multiple wins on different horses throughout the Summer Series at Spruce Meadows, but this was his first big win in the International Ring. He and Fortis Fortuna also won last week’s Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup in Meadows on the Green, but this victory was special for the 21-year-old rider.
“It was fabulous. It is always brilliant to win an international competition, especially in that International Ring,” Coyle remarked. “Last week, I said that I was going to jump a 1.50m on that horse after the she won the U25, and I did and it did not go well. So I decided to do one more and she won it. She was very good; she should have a bright future that one.”
Fortis Fortuna is an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Quidam de Revel x Carthago) that is stepping up to the top level along with her young rider. Second place finisher Conor Swail, who Coyle works with closely at Ariel and Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm, previously rode the mare. The two Irish riders were in a league of their own on Wednesday, finishing well ahead of their other competitors.
Coyle detailed, “In the warm-up, Conor still had his other horse Cita to jump, and she is very fast and has won a bunch of classes here. I said to him, ‘I think you have it won, unless I beat you.’ And I did! We never really got a chance to talk about the course, so I did that one all on my own. I am very happy. I would say Conor and I had very similar rounds, but my horse was just that small bit faster than his horse, and that is where the difference was.”
Speaking about the experience of jumping in the impressive atmosphere of Spruce Meadows’ International Ring for horse and rider, Coyle added, “For a young horse, it is brilliant for their experience. For an older horse that has done it for a while, they go in there and the atmosphere is different and the horse can sense that, and so can I obviously. There is always more pressure on, and some horses rise to it and some horses don’t. It is a fabulous ring; it is one of the best rings in the world, and there is always a crowd here. It is a lovely place to jump.”
Earlier in the day, Coyle also topped the Jayman Cup FEI 1.40m competition in the All Canada Ring, guiding Susan Grange’s Somerset to victory.
The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Thursday featuring the ATCO Cup 1.50m, the Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m, and the Progress Energy Cup 1.55m.
Lucy Deslauriers and Hester. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, concluded on Sunday at Spruce Meadows with wins for two 16-year-old riders from the United States. Lucy Deslauriers took victory in the Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.50m aboard Hester, and Mckayla Langmeier emerged victorious in the West Canadian Cup 1.45m riding Classic Care.
Ireland’s Alan Wade was the international course designer in the Meadows on the Green for this week’s Pan American competition. Wade concluded the week’s events on Sunday with the Friends of the Meadows 1.50m, which saw Lucy Deslauriers carry on a family legacy with her first international victory at Spruce Meadows. Her father, Mario, and her mother, Lisa, have both been international winners at the world-class venue.
For her win, the young Deslauriers guided Hester to victory in a ten-horse jump-off out of 39 original starters. In the tiebreaker, only three were able to clear the short course without fault. Kara Chad (CAN) and Gin Tonic, owned by Torrey Pines and Artisan Farms, set the pace in 48.50 seconds to eventually finish third. Nayel Nassar (EGY) and his own Lordan upped the ante in 45.01 seconds, but later settled for second place. Last to go double clear, Deslauriers and Hester shaved the time down to 43.12 seconds for the win.
Commenting on the momentous victory in her developing career, Deslauriers smiled, “It is incredible. It is an honor and a privilege not only to come out with a win, but even just to compete with all of these incredible riders. I have been coming to Spruce Meadows for a very long time watching these big competitions, so to be in it to win it thanks to my horse is obviously amazing.”
Hester, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) owned by Lisa Deslauriers, has moved up the levels right with his rider.
“I started riding him towards the beginning of his eight-year-old year, so we have kind of grown together,” she said of their connection. “My biggest classes are his biggest classes, so we are really in it together. I have 100% trust in him, and I think he responds equally, so it is really a great partnership. It makes stepping up a whole lot easier.”
That great relationship helped in Sunday’s jump-off, as Deslauriers pulled out all of the stops on the short course.
“I watched one round and I just heard that they kept getting faster and faster, so I knew that I just really had to go for it, and not slow down anywhere,” Deslauriers explained. “To the third jump, I took a little bit of a flier for sure. I think there were a few gasps in the audience, but I trust my horse and he was willing, so it is all thanks to him.”
Mckayla Langmeier Wins West Canadian Cup 1.45m
Prior to Deslauriers’ win in the 1.50m, 16-year-old Mckayla Langmeier (USA) also took home an exciting international victory in the West Canadian Cup 1.45m.The competition began with 68 competitors over Alan Wade’s (IRL) first round course, with 20 advancing to the jump-off, and another 11 clear rounds over the short course.
Langmeier rode Classic Care to victory in the tiebreaker with a time of 39.76 seconds. Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Wishing Well Farm’s Cherrypop finished second in 39.89 seconds. Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Candy Tribble’s Special Lux placed third in 39.90 seconds, and Leslie Howard (USA) guided Peter Howard’s Donna Speciale to fourth place honors in 40.14 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) took fifth place aboard Equinimity LLC’s Ypaja Yando in 40.35 seconds, and Howard also took sixth place riding the Utah Group’s Utah through the timers in 40.45 seconds.
Winning horse, Classic Care, is a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Caretino x Accord II) owned by Langmeier’s mother, Linda. Along with help from her mom, Langmeier also jumped to victory on Sunday with the help of trainer Darrin Dlin.
Commenting on the accomplishment, the young rider stated, “It is my first FEI win, so there are no words that can describe how amazing it is. To have my first win at Spruce Meadows in the 1.45m is amazing.”
Classic Care is a mare that Langmeier has had for four years. The pair jumped on a team at the Adequan FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships in 2014 and has since moved up to the higher levels.
“She is a very special horse to me. I have grown up with her doing the bigger classes,” Langmeier noted.
Speaking of Sunday’s competition, the rider detailed, “I briefly walked the course in the morning because I had to go over to do the 1.35m, so we watched a few. It looked like a really nice, inviting course. It was not too scary anywhere, but it was also challenging enough. In the jump-off, my plan was just to go double clear and fast.”
Langmeier jumped about midway through a 20-horse jump-off, so the rest was just a waiting game to see if anyone could catch her.
“I have a thing where if I am doing well, I do not watch the rest of the competition, but obviously I can hear the announcer sometimes,” she remarked. “I was mostly back with my horse just waiting.”
With an international win under her belt, Langmeier looks forward to returning to compete at Spruce Meadows again next summer.
The Spruce Meadows Summer Series continues with one more week of competition featuring the ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex, on July 6-10.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – USA’s Kent Farrington and Gazelle were the big winners in Saturday’s $375,000 Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex, in a fast and competitive seven-horse jump-off at Spruce Meadows. Conor Swail (IRL) and Grafton finished second, and Andrew Ramsay (USA) and California 62 placed third.
The CIBC Cup was also featured on Saturday with a historic first international victory at Spruce Meadows for the country of Japan, as Karen Polle and With Wings took top honors.
Ireland’s Alan Wade set the course for 34 competitors in Saturday’s highlight Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex. Held in the Meadows on the Green, the competition saw seven entries move on to the jump-off, and five clear over the short course.
Andrew Ramsay was first to jump clear in round two with The California Group’s California 62, setting a fast pace in 37.59 seconds to eventually finish third. Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Babel followed with a time of 37.77 seconds, which ended in fifth. Philipp Weishaupt (GER) shaved a few more fractions off the time aboard LB Convall, finishing in 37.71 seconds to land in fourth place. Kent Farrington and Gazelle cleared the course next, leaving no stone unturned as they raced through the timers in 35.78 seconds. Last to go, Conor Swail and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Grafton jumped into second place with their time 36.17 seconds.
Gazelle, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro) owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, has had a fantastic season that includes multiple wins over the last few months. Farrington bought the mare when she was seven and feels that she is really progressing this year.
“I am very grateful that I have a super group of people behind my career, Robin Parsky being one of them,” Farrington noted. “They are really passionate about show jumping and that is what all of us need today in order to compete at this level. I have taken my time bringing this horse up and she has found her way at the higher level. I had her in Florida this winter and she was struggling a little bit in the big grand prixs, so I dropped her down for a while and then brought her back up, and she seems to be finding her form.”
Speaking of his winning round, Farrington stated, “In the jump-off today, we got great competition. Andrew laid down a very fast track. He had the unenviable spot of going early, so that is certainly not an advantage when you have all of us coming after. I also do not like Conor coming after me; that’s not my favorite spot either, but I thought I put enough of a run down that he was going to really have to try if he could catch me. I was very pleased with my horse.”
Farrington also commented on Alan Wade’s first round track, praising the course designer on a great competition.
“I think Alan is one of the best course designers, if not the best course designer, in modern show jumping. I think he really understands horses,” Farrington said. “It is a very fair test and he ends up with the perfect number in the jump-off. That shows that he knows what he is doing, so I think that all of us as riders applaud his work.”
Conor Swail was aboard a young mount in Grafton, a ten-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Calvaro x Vondeen) that he got as a seven-year-old as well.
“He is a super horse,” Swail detailed. “I and Barry O’Connor sold him to Sue Grange and Lothlorien, who have been great backers for me. He has done some very good things. He jumped on two Nations’ Cup teams for Ireland, both times double clear. He has been a little bit the same (as Gazelle for Kent), up and down a little bit with the grand prixs. Sometimes it takes him a little bit to find his feet, but once he gets to be comfortable at this height, he really excels. He is very scopey and he has a big step. He was a little slower than Kent’s horse unfortunately today, but I was absolutely delighted with how he went.”
Speaking of his jump-off track, Swail explained, “There was not a lot of strategy involved really. I had to go as hard as I could following Kent. Kent got one to two easier than I would have liked, and then he got seven strides around the corner and I got eight, so I was already behind and had to keep chasing. I did one stride less to the last, which I knew I could get that no one else could. Unfortunately that was not enough, but I am delighted. Kent is a great rider with a great horse. Being second to him, I will take that any day. Not all days, but I will take it today. I am very pleased for my owners, and the horse, and myself.”
As Farrington noted, Andrew Ramsay had a tough position going early in the order with very fast riders to follow in the jump-off, but Ramsay was very happy with his finish on California 62. The 12-year-old Holsteiner mare (Cassini I x Galent Vert) also placed third in the ‘Continental’ Tournament’s $375,000 CP Grand Prix.
“California is a new mare for us. I got her just before Wellington this winter, so I have just been trying to get to know her,” Ramsay stated. “It took a little bit of time in the beginning, but we are getting on track. We were third two weeks ago as well, which I guess is a good thing, but also a little frustrating. I am starting to figure out how we need to ride the course and set her up. I was really pleased with the jump-off today compared to two weeks ago when I had one down.
“I was thrilled with her today and quite happy with the jump-off,” Ramsay continued. “There were some very fast people coming behind me and we tried to do the best we could. We have a bit more learning to figure out, but we are making good headway, and I am thrilled to be here.”
Course designer Alan Wade also weighed in on Saturday’s competition and was pleased with his result.
“I have a great team around me. When you come to an event, you have to trust the people around you, and with Peter Grant and Joey Rycroft as my assistants I got a lot of guidance,” Wade remarked. “I was very pleased with the start list. As course designers, we are really only here to facilitate. These are the athletes that bring their horses out for the great sport of show jumping. We are only here to allow them to show their best and I think we had very good sport today.”
Karen Polle Earns Historic First Win for Japan at Spruce Meadows
The CIBC Cup 1.50m was the first FEI competition held in the Meadows on the Green Saturday afternoon with a historic first international victory at Spruce Meadows for the country of Japan. Rider Karen Polle represented the nation as she guided her own 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding With Wings (Larino x L Ronald) to an exciting first place finish.
Alan Wade (IRL) set the track for 26 starters in the CIBC Cup with six advancing to the jump-off. Polle and With Wings earned the win with the fastest round over the short course in 30.71 seconds. They edged out Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farm’s Cadalora P, who settled for second place with their time of 31.28 seconds. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt took both the third and fourth place honors, jumping off with Catokia 2 in a time of 32.21 seconds, and Lord Chambertin in 32.43 seconds. Jennifer Gates (USA) and Luftikus S completed the jump-off course without fault in 34.35 seconds to place fifth. Conor Swail (IRL) took home sixth place honors aboard Ilan Ferder’s Hetman of Color J after an unfortunate refusal over the second track left the pair with four jumping and two time faults.
Commenting on her victory, Polle smiled, “I am so excited. To win here where the riders and horses are the best in the world is just so special. Especially to win on Wings, who I have had for a long time, is really fun. I have always dreamed of winning a competition here, so it is really nice.”
Polle (23) has owned With Wings for six years and knows the gelding well. In 2015, the pair earned their biggest win together in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI4* in New York.
Speaking of her winning mount, Polle stated, “He is just perfect. He has a big stride and he always tries his best. He is very spunky, so he has a lot of power and lots of energy. I like when a horse has energy, and a lot of power and blood, so he is perfect for me.”
This summer, Polle tapped the training expertise of ten-time Olympian Ian Millar of Canada. With Millar’s guidance, the young rider was able to use her longtime experience with her horse to an advantage in both rounds.
“I thought the first round course was very nice. For my horse, I just had to sit still in all of the lines and give him a little bit of room, and he took care of the rest,” Polle explained. “The course was pretty careful, especially towards the end, but for me it rode really well.
“In the jump-off, with all of these amazing riders that are always really fast, it is a lot of pressure to have to go for it,” she added. “I was a little nervous that they would catch me in the end, but I am really happy that they didn’t.”
Polle has one semester at Yale University to complete in the fall and then hopes to focus on her riding full-time. Her more immediate plans are to qualify With Wings for next week’s grand prix to conclude the summer at Spruce Meadows.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, concludes on Sunday with the West Canadian Cup 1.45m and the Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.50m in the Meadows on the Green.
Leslie Howard and Quadam. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continued on Friday featuring the Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m, as well as the WestJet Cup 1.45m in the Meadows on the Green. USA’s Leslie Howard jumped to an exciting win in the evening’s 1.50m aboard a brand new mount in the young stallion Quadam. Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel got the win in the 1.45m earlier in the day with his homebred gelding Babel.
Ireland’s Alan Wade set the course for 34 starters in Friday’s Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m with six entries advancing to the jump-off. Jeff Campf (USA) and Kimberly Bruce’s Wordsworth II were first to go over the short course, setting the pace in 44.19 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) followed with a clear round in 41.74 seconds riding Armando Torrado’s Temascaltepec RM to earn the third place prize. Theodore Boris (ISR) and Garkus van het Indihof had a good time in 40.72 seconds, but dropped two rails to finish sixth. Philipp Weishaupt (GER) jumped Ludger Beerbaum’s Liberty Son 2 into the lead with a time of 39.13 seconds, but was quickly bested by Leslie Howard and Laure Sudrea’s Quadam, who raced through the timers in 39 seconds flat. Last to go, Nick Dello Joio (USA) jumped into the fifth position with his time of 44.51 seconds riding The Corlida Group’s Corlida.
Howard is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Spruce Meadows, but Friday’s victory was an exciting one for the rider, who has been working to build her partnership with Quadam since taking over the ride two months ago. The ten-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Quite Easy I x Stakkato) was previously owned and ridden by Howard’s student, Richard Neal, mostly in the amateur and U25 divisions.
“I met Laure Sudreau last year, and she loves the sport and told me to keep my eyes open if I ever saw a good one for her to buy, and I said, ‘Well, I think I have a good one right in my barn,’” Howard detailed. “So she bought him and I have been showing him since May.
“Whenever you get a new horse, it is always up and down because you do not know them, and they do not know you,” Howard noted. “Sometimes you feel like you are speaking Chinese and they are speaking Spanish, and the two of you are just not in sync, but it has been slowly getting a little bit better all the time. It was just a rail here or a rail there because we were not totally understanding each other, but today it all came together.”
Howard’s plan in the jump-off changed slightly midway through her course after realizing that she was very close to the winning time.
“I just planned to be very tight for jumps one through four,” she explained. “I watched the rider ahead of me who was winning and I thought I was right on the same time as him, but then I turned back to the vertical and I found it a little bit quiet. I thought that might have put me a smidge behind, so I just said, ‘What the heck?’ and floored it to the last two jumps. He had enough quality that he left the jumps up. He was right with me everywhere.”
Howard plans to compete Quadam again in the 1.50m this coming week at Spruce Meadows and will then work on building him up throughout the year. She is excited to see what the future holds as their partnership develops.
Patricio Pasquel Wins WestJet Cup 1.45m
The WestJet Cup 1.45m was the first FEI competition held in the Meadows on the Green Friday afternoon with an exciting first international victory at Spruce Meadows for Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel. The rider guided his nine-year-old homebred gelding, Babel (Billy du Lys x High Flyer), to victory in a nine-horse jump-off out of 77 first round starters.
Six entries jumped double clear over Alan Wade’s (IRL) short course, but it was Pasquel and Babel who took the winning prize with the fastest time of 37.54 seconds. USA’s Lucy Deslauriers clocked the second place time of 37.73 riding Lisa Deslauriers’ Hester. Hardin Towell (USA) and Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS placed third in 38.87 seconds. Taizo Sugitani (JPN) guided Yvonne Barrow’s Avenzio to fourth place honors in 39.73 seconds. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Pjotter van de Zonnehove finished fifth in 40.23 seconds, and Conor Swail (IRL) clocked the sixth place time of 40.65 seconds riding Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein’s Cenzo.
Pasquel has been knocking on the door of Spruce Meadows’s international competition with several second place finishes and was very happy that he was finally able to get the win on Friday. He had the help of Nikolaj Hein Ruus and Norman Dello Joio on the ground, as well as a great team that got his horses ready for the competition.
“I am a businessman, so riding is my hobby,” Pasquel stated. “I was in a board meeting yesterday until 4 p.m. in Mexico City and then I got to Calgary at 3 o’clock in the morning. I had a long flight, but I have a great crew, and they had the horses ready. It is all about the team. There is a lot of work going on behind the riders that nobody sees. I really appreciate all of the people that help me.”
Speaking of his winning mount Babel, Pasquel noted, “It is an interesting story. I bred Babel myself at my ranch in Mexico. I have had this horse his whole life, and it is funny because when he was a three-year-old, he was a big, horrible horse. He is a bit crooked and I wanted to give him away, but I decided to keep him. Then he was four-year-old champion of Mexico, and then five-year-old champion of Mexico, then six-year-old champion and seven-year-old champion, and now he is winning all of the classes. I think I have won over 110 first place ribbons with this horse. He is amazing; it is really a nice story to tell.”
Pasquel qualified two mounts for Friday’s jump-off, going first in the order with Careyes, who ended the competition in seventh place overall with one rail down over the short course.
“Of course that always helps to have two horses in the jump-off because I was in the ring with that horse first and it gave me a little advantage,” Pasquel detailed. “My first horse jumped really well. I wanted to go faster with that one, but I had number two down, so I had to just wander around. Then I went in again and I said, ‘Babel wants to win today,’ and I gave it a shot.”
The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continues on Saturday with its feature event, the $375,000 Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex, as well as the CIBC Cup.
Alberto Michan and Gigolo van de Broekkant. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continued on Thursday with a momentous win for Alberto Michan. The rider from Mexico led his first international round of honor on the fields of Spruce Meadows, guiding Gigolo van de Broekkant to victory in the Cargill Cup 1.55m. Thursday’s competition also featured the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup, which saw an exciting win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna.
The ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continues with world-class show jumping through Sunday, July 3. The highlight of the week is Saturday’s $375,000 Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex.
Ireland’s Alan Wade is the international course designer in the Meadows on the Green arena for this week’s ‘Pan American’ competition. For Thursday’s Cargill Cup 1.55m, Wade saw 43 entries, with just three clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Seven other competitors finished the course with a single time fault to keep them out of the tiebreaking round.
First to go over the short course, Alberto Michan guided Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein’s Gigolo van de Broekkant to the win with a clear round in 38.46 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, owned by the Chacco Kid Group, jumped next and finished with one rail down in 39.27 seconds to place third. Last to go, Tiffany Foster (CAN) jumped into second place with Torrey Pines and Artisan Farms’ Victor, completing a clear round in 38.97 seconds.
Commenting on his first big win at Spruce Meadows, Michan smiled, “It is incredible; it is such an amazing feeling. I last came here eight years ago, but every year I follow the results and the great riders that are always at Spruce Meadows. I really love this competition; I think it is one of the best in the world. To be in the first position in a big event here is something exciting for any rider.”
Michan’s winning mount on Thursday was Gigolo van de Broekkant, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Heartbreaker x Concorde) that he began competing this spring.
“He is a super nice horse,” the rider detailed. “We just bought him in April, so we have not had so much time with him, but he has already had amazing results. He is maybe not the scopiest, but he has such a big heart, and he is so careful over the jumps. I think that if I can help him a little bit with speed he can jump any track in the world.”
Speaking of speed, Michan was first to go in a jump-off with two very fast riders to follow. Commenting on his plan, Michan explained, “Truthfully, I was sure they were going to beat me. They are both so fast, but I tried to do the best I could. I did a very short turn to jump number three, and the eight strides came in a forward motion, so I did not lose time there. Then I went really quick to the vertical. I did not watch the other ones go. I do not know if they went with all they had, but I was lucky they did not beat me.”
Over his eight-year hiatus from competing at Spruce Meadows, Michan lived in Europe and focused on a career in the textile industry. He then decided to become a professional rider again in 2012, and stayed in Europe to compete. In January 2016, he began a new partnership with Ilan Ferder Stables, and is now based in the United States.
“I am very excited about the partnership,” Michan noted. “I think Ilan is super excited as well to do the big sport. He has been a great dealer for many years and now I think we can also try to be in the top of the sport in the rankings. We have to build up a lot of horses still, and we have to go to many important shows and start getting results, but it is going really well. I am so happy and on my part I will try very hard to achieve our goals together.”
Thursday’s Cargill Cup was also a great competition to earn valuable FEI World Ranking points, which will help Michan in his goal to move up in his international standing.
“This was a great ranking class to win,” Michan stated. “It is nice at Spruce Meadows because we have four weeks here that are 5* competitions. In Europe, it is really hard to get points if you are not in the top 20 or 30 in the world, so I think for many riders it is a great opportunity to be here and earn good points. We have so many ranking classes and we can really use it to climb up some positions.”
Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna Top Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup
Thursday’s competition kicked off in the morning with the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup, held in the Meadows on the Green, and a win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle aboard Susan and Ariel Grange’s Fortis Fortuna. Coyle and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Quidam de Revel x Carthago) topped a nine-horse jump-off out of 34 original starters. They completed the fastest of five double clear rounds in the winning time of 30.45 seconds.
Andres Azcarraga Rivera Torres (MEX) jumped to second place aboard Jaime Azcarraga’s Al Capone in 30.70 seconds, and also placed third riding Jaime Azcarraga’s Contendros II through the timers in 30.85 seconds. McKayla Langmeier (USA) stopped the clock in 31.55 seconds to finish fourth aboard Linda Langmeier’s Classic Care. Tina Yates (USA) and Highpoint Farm’s Bowmore VDL took fifth place honors with their time of 32.33.
Coyle (21) recently got the ride on Fortis Fortuna before the start of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series.
“Conor Swail used to jump her very successfully, but he had a lot of horses, so he gave me that one and I am very happy for that,” Coyle explained. “I seem to be getting on very well with her.”
The up-and-coming Irish rider began jumping for Susan and Ariel Grange’s Lothlorien Farm at the beginning of this year and traveled to compete for them at Spruce Meadows for the first time this summer. Prior to Thursday’s win, he has also had nine other victories with various horses in the Summer Series.
“I have never shown here before and I am really glad I got to come because I really like it,” Coyle noted. “I have had a great time, and all of the horses have jumped really well, so I am very happy.”
In the jump-off for the U25 Cup, Coyle qualified two different horses for the tiebreaker. He jumped first with a mare named Tienna, but dropped two rails over the short course to finish eighth overall.
He detailed, “I probably tried to go too fast because I was first to go with her, so I had a couple down. Then a couple of horses jumped to give me time to get ready with my second one, so I just studied what I had to do. I think from the double over to the second to last fence I was very fast, and I left a stride out down to the last fence, so that is probably where I made most of my time.”
Coyle and Fortis Fortuna got their first win together in another U25 competition in Palgrave, Ontario before traveling to Calgary. She is a new mount for Coyle, but he hopes to step up to compete in 1.50m competition with her this week, and looks forward to seeing where the mare will go from there.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continues on Friday featuring the Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m, as well as the WestJet Cup 1.45m in the Meadows on the Green.
Championship show jumping continues on Canada Day and throughout the weekend at the Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex. Enjoy Canada Day at Spruce Meadows with the entire family starting at 8 a.m. with the family friendly “Heroes behind the Heroes” 5 and 10 km Family Fun Run. Other fun family activities on Canada Day include pony rides, face painters, great food, sport and entertainment. Championship show jumping throughout the weekend features Canada’s best against horses and riders from around the world highlighted by Saturday’s Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex.