Upper Marlboro, Maryland – The artwork of Sharon Lynn Campbell has appeared at many of the country’s most prestigious horse shows, including the 2016 Capital Challenge Horse Show. As the newly named official artist of the Capital Challenge Horse Show, Campbell is masterfully creating two paintings for the 2016 edition of the horse show, to be held October 1-9 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The Rochelle, VA based artist’s work will appear on the cover of the horse show prize list and on the annual Capital Challenge commemorative poster. Both paintings will be unveiled in August alongside the release of the official prize list.
“I painted the prize list cover art for Capital Challenge for the last two years, and this year, I have created a very artsy composition for the prize list cover art of the same horse that will be used as the jumping portrait for the poster and the horse show program,” Campbell explained.
As the winner of the $25,000 World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Professional Challenge and the 2015 $5,000 WCHR Professional Finals at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show, Scott Stewart was selected as the rider to grace both the prize list and poster painting on the horse of his choosing.
“I met with Scott to see which horse he would like to put on the cover, and he choose the Gochmans’ beautiful grey gelding Catch Me,” Campbell said, referencing the mount on which Stewart earned the 2015 $25,000 WCHR Professional Challenge victory. Campbell has now beautifully recreated a photo of the gelding, captured by James Parker, for the prize list cover.
For Campbell, the opportunity to paint horses like Catch Me for the Capital Challenge Horse Show is an incredible honor.
“I just really love this horse show,” Campbell said of Capital Challenge. “It’s the perfect transition from the outdoors to the indoors, and I have the opportunity to catch up with my West Coast clients and meet new people from all over the country. It’s always a great group of people that come to show. The management for the show are wonderful people, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.”
Campbell is a lifelong horsewoman, having grown up riding, showing, training, and even shoeing horses at her family’s horse farm in Indiana. Her equestrian knowledge and great understanding of the horse’s conformation and expression is evident in each piece of artwork that she creates. To learn more about Sharon Campbell, visit www.sharoncampbell.com.
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.
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.
Gerardo Pasquel and Big Red. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series continues this week with the ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, featuring world-class show jumping through Sunday, July 3. Opening competitions on Wednesday featured junior and amateur riders in Prix des Nations events, which offered exciting team experience for many developing riders. The highlight competition of the week is Saturday’s $375,000 Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex.
Wednesday’s Paramount Resources Prix des Nations 1.40m and 1.30m competitions were each held in the beautiful Meadows on the Green arena and featured courses designed by Ireland’s Alan Wade.
The Paramount Resources Prix des Nations 1.40m was held first in the afternoon, with three teams competing, and a win for Mexico’s team “Chilangos” led by Chef d’Equipe Nikolaj Hein Ruus. Mauricio Huesca and Fair Force II Berkenbroek led the team off, with one time fault in round one, and a clear trip in round two. Gerardo Pasquel and Big Red jumped double clear to help their team take the victory. Sofia Larrea and Remmits Delphi carried scores of four and eight in their respective rounds. As the anchor rider, Francisco Pasquel jumped clear in round one with Heart Winner V Gurbrue Ch, and did not need to return for round two after his team had the win secured.
Team “Super Mario’s” Alexandra Crown and Emperio vant Roosakker, Lucy Deslauriers and Hamlet, Jennifer Gates and Lord Levisto, and Hilary McNerney aboard Vitesse finished second led by Chef d’Equipe Mario Deslauriers.
Following a great day with two clear rounds for his team, Gerardo Pasquel spoke of the victory, as well as his mount Big Red. The 11-year-old Warmblood gelding (Ludwig von Bayern x Lamoureux I) had a successful year competing with Nikola Hein Ruus, and then USA’s Richard Spooner, before Pasquel took back the reins recently.
“We have had him for almost three years,” Pasquel detailed. “I stopped riding him for one year because Nikola showed him. He went for the $1 million dollar competition in Saugerties, NY and placed second. After that we made a plan with Richard Spooner to try to make the U.S. team for the Olympics, so he rode the horse for the first half of the year. He did super through the winter in Wellington, FL and then he jumped on the U.S. Nations’ Cup team in Mexico where they were second. After the process was finished, we always talked about me riding the horse again, and I just started riding him again two weeks ago.”
Pasquel is competing for the first time at Spruce Meadows this summer and Wednesday was also his first time competing in a team event.
“I quit riding for 16 years, and I just started riding again four years ago,” he explained. “This is my first time at Spruce Meadows and I think it is the best place I have ever seen for horses.
“The people at Spruce Meadows make it feel so important for the riders,” Pasquel continued. “It is the best feeling in the world. They make it special at every single level. You can start riding from 1.10m and it is the only place in the world where they treat you like a champion in any competition. I think that is very important for the sport. In other places, it is only about the professionals and the top riders. Here, they treat everyone like the best.”
The Paramount Resources Prix des Nations 1.30m was the final competition of the day in the Meadows on the Green. Nine teams started in the first round, with the top four continuing on to round two, and a win for USA’s “Ritter’s Rascals” led by Chef d’Equipe Nikko Ritter. Claire Schreder and Quality II led the team off, with a clear in round one, and just one time fault in round two. Sydney Hutchins and Chantal scored nine and four in their respective rounds. Kelsey Maloney and La Coco jumped clear in round one and dropped one unlucky rail in round two. As the anchor rider, Coco Fath rode Catachi to one time fault in round one, and then secured her team’s victory with the final clear round of the night.
The “Jumping Jac’s” finished second led by Chef d’Equipe Jaclyn Duff. Their team was made up of Julia Madigan (CAN) riding Vintovara, Elena Fernandez (PAN) aboard Balou, Gabriella Mizrachi (PAN) with Game Boy, and Ali Ramsay (CAN) on Disarrono.
Fifteen-year-old Coco Fath did not let the pressure of going last keep her from putting in a clutch performance to help her team to the win. Fath was riding the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Catachi (by Caretino) that she has jumped at the 1.30m-level for the past year.
This was Fath’s second time competing in a team event, but a big deal for her first year jumping at Spruce Meadows.
Commenting on the competition, Fath stated, “After the first round I realized I was too slow, which was disappointing, but it made me want to do better in the second round. I went in there and I wanted to win. The pressure did not really affect me. I just wanted to go in there and give a good, clean round.
“It felt really good doing it for the team,” Fath added. “I feel like I accomplished something, not just for me, but for three other people too. I think it was a better experience winning as a team and I think it will help me later as I go on to other things.”
Speaking of Catachi, Fath smiled, “He has been great. He has a little trouble in the schooling area, but he is always perfect in the ring. You can always count on him.”
Wednesday’s Prix des Nations competition also featured three other events for competitors at many levels. The Paramount Resources Prix des Nations Junior/Amateur 1.20m riders jumped in the Chinook Ring with a win for Mexico’s team “Mayas” and Chef d’Equipe Israel Medina. Luis Alejandro Plascencia and Chapileto, Jeronimo Larrea Burillo aboard Emporio B, Francisco Mendoza riding Chacaba, and Luciana Roberta Gonzalez with Zidane secured the win.
The Paramount Resources Prix des Nations Junior/Amateur 1.10m competition saw a win for the Canadian team “Alberta Select” led by Chef d’Equipe Lisa Carlsen. Magic Man and Cassie Gorsline, Millennium Z and Anya Bereznicki, Tacata de Bedon and Oona Palmer, and Pepito des Baumes and Jenna Lee Gottschlich made up the winning team.
The Friends of the Meadows Prix des Nations Junior/Amateur 1.00m was held in the All Alberta Ring with a win for team “Jump Alberta First Choice” led by Chef d’Equipe Alex McBride. The winning team consisted of Wendy Dixon and Dollar Girl, Victoria Johnstone and Cassius, Kiera Allen riding Valkyrie, and Alexa Dever aboard Hazaro van de Rispen.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, continues on Thursday featuring the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup, followed by the Cargill Cup 1.55m and the Mercer Cup 1.45m to conclude the day’s competition.
Peter Lutz and Robin de Ponthual. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – It was a picture perfect day for the biggest event of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental CSI 5* Tournament, and it was a storybook ending for Peter Lutz (USA) and Robin de Ponthual, who scored their biggest victory together in the $375,000 CP Grand Prix. Second place went to Charlie Jacobs (USA) with Cassinja S, while Andrew Ramsay (USA) and California 62 were third. This marked the final day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament, the second of four weeks in the 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series.
Thirty-three entries contested a course designed by Luc Musette of Belgium. There were only three who found the ticket to a clear round and would advance to the jump-off. While there were 10 competitors who had just four faults, the rails down were spread out around the course.
“That’s the measure of a good course designer, when there isn’t a bogey or a gotcha fence,” said Jacobs. “The oxers, specifically, I thought were quite wide, especially when you consider the last line was a very skinny vertical in a quite steady five (strides) to a 1.80m wide oxer. It was a challenge, and it asked a lot of us.”
Musette, in his first time designing at Spruce Meadows, said, “It’s a first experience for me (at Spruce Meadows), and it’s the best experience. It is the best in the world.”
The first in the jump-off was Charlie Jacobs with Cassinja S, a ten-year-old Zweibrucker mare (Carinjo x Cassini I). They had a steady ride through the course to finish in 41.87 seconds and no faults.
Jacobs started riding Cassinja S as a seven-year-old, and she competed in the National division at Spruce Meadows last year. These past two weeks at Spruce Meadows were the mare’s first CSI 5* competitions.
“It’s been a real fulfilling experience, especially today, to come out here and jump a course of this magnitude and this delicate and have such a wonderful turnout,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs felt that Cassinja’s education has grown in those two weeks. He noted, “If you talk to fellow horsemen and say that you brought a horse to Spruce Meadows and they did well, it’s a very high watermark that knowledgeable horse people acknowledge and respect. This is a place to bring a horse to season.”
“It’s a pleasure to be here,” he said of Spruce Meadows. “It’s especially nice that my son was in the audience today, today being Father’s Day. He and I came up here and spent the two weeks riding horses together, so it’s been a great experience.”
Next in the jump-off was Ramsay on California 62. The 12-year-old Holsteiner mare (Cassini I x Quidam de Revel) raced through the course, but the speed caught up to them at the second to last jump on course. They finished on four faults in 39.72 seconds for third place.
California 62 is a new ride for Ramsay, who only started with her at the beginning of the year.
He said, “This is by far the biggest accomplishment so far. She’s quite careful and limited on stride, so we’re working on that. The lines had a lot of options, which worked for us today. She’s a wonderful mare, and I think we’ll have to keep getting used to each other.”
Lutz could not go easy in the jump-off, as he had to go clear and quicker than Jacobs. He did just that, finishing in 40.43 seconds and no faults for the win. “I think I was a little faster to the second jump and also to the ‘All Canada’ jump. I took a gallop at it. On the way to last jump, it just felt like it came up perfectly,” he recalled.
Lutz has been riding Robin de Ponthual, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Elf D’or x Calypso D’Herbiers*Ecolit) owned by Michael Meller and Katherine Gallagher, for two years. This is their biggest victory together, but they have steadily been rising in the ranks of show jumping. They won a World Cup qualifier in Las Vegas in 2015 and completed a clear round at the 2016 FEI World Cup Finals.
He described, “We’ve built a nice relationship, and I know that I can trust the horse. I know that he can jump any size jump. He’s very brave, and I think he trusts me. We have a good bond. It’s nice to have a horse for two years. I know he can do anything and he believes he can too, so it’s a good match.”
Lutz competed at Spruce Meadows two years ago, but in the National division. He was very excited to gain such a prestigious victory.
“It’s just an incredible facility,” he said. “It’s exciting to be here, doing this level, with this great horse. This horse has been great for us for almost two years now. He’s been stepping up to this level. He’s showing us he can do it. But to actually come here and win is thrilling for us.”
The 2016 Spruce Meadows Summer Series continues with the ‘Pan American’, presented by Rolex, CSI 5* Tournament on June 29 – July 3.
Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Calgary, AB, Canada – The Repsol Cup 1.50m was the highlight competition on Saturday at the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament, the second week of four in the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Eric Lamaze (CAN) was victorious riding Rosana du Park. Philipp Weishaupt (GER) and LB Convall were second, while Kara Chad (CAN) and Bella Strade took third place. Earlier in the day, Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and New York won the McDaniel & Associates Cup 1.45m.
Join Spruce Meadows for a special Sunday Father’s Day at the ‘Continental’ Tournament! Highlighting the day is the CP Grand Prix, at 1 p.m. MST, and there will be the CP Mini Train, pony rides, mini golf, face painting, and ice cream. Don’t miss a special day for the family at Spruce Meadows and see top show jumping competition with complimentary admission.
The Repsol Cup had 40 entries, and seven of those found the clear path to the jump-off. Five were double clear, and the pacesetter was Christine McCrea (USA) on Win for Life, who finished in 47.19 seconds for fifth place. Peter Lutz (USA) and Retiro finished fourth in 46.55 seconds. Kara Chad and Bella Strade took the lead in 45.06 seconds, but it would not last long as Philipp Weishaupt and LB Convall moved up in 45.02 seconds.
Last to go in the ring, Lamaze had the best chance to go for a win, and he said that he was “very confident” heading into the jump-off. He and Rosana du Park, an 11-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Quinine de Livoye) owned by Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, took nearly two seconds off of Weishaupt’s time and won in 43.08 seconds.
“This was, not to call it an easy jump-off, but we didn’t have our usual racers with Hardin and Kent, and people who seem to be able to lay it down all the time,” he said. “Philipp’s horse is a very nice horse, but I don’t think it’s a super-fast horse. Kara’s is a new horse for her. I had the champion of the runners.”
While Lamaze is known for his incredible ability to ride at speed, he admitted that being in a situation where he doesn’t have to go all out is not his forte.
He laughed, “I’m not great at that, to be honest. I’ve mostly managed to screw up [a situation like this] quite often! For whatever reason, I’m better at going fast and they say you gotta go. I’m not good at managing my speed. I feel like the whole course I’m going too slow. I’m better when you just have to go.”
Lamaze was proud of his student, Kara Chad, who placed third Saturday and was second in the difficult Scotiabank Cup 1.55m Friday.
“Spruce Meadows is really a venue that gives opportunity to younger riders to step up and do big classes,” he said. “This is where magic happens and where they get confidence. What that competition did for Kara last night is a huge boost. Who knows where it’s going to take her. I feel like everybody has a chance to have these moments here at Spruce Meadows.”
For Weishaupt, Spruce Meadows is also a special place to prepare a young horse. His new star, LB Convall, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, came out strong this week. Having only ridden him for six months, Weishaupt found that he was good on grass.
“He’s not so experienced, and he’s quite green on that level. He has never jumped on grass,” he said. “He felt really, really happy on the grass field. I’m really happy with that because some of them don’t like it. He liked it from day one.”
Weishaupt said he knew he “had no chance” against Lamaze. He noted, “Eric’s horse jumped amazing. She has so much more experience and is a really quick horse. I didn’t want to go crazy because my horse is only nine years old. I did what I can do without risking too much and that worked out. I’m more than happy with my second place.”
Weishaupt feels that he has a very special mount in LB Convall. “He is, I think, I hope, my next championship horse. He’s the best I have,” he said.
Following the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Weishaupt will contest the CHIO Aachen with LB Convall.
Towell and New York Win Wire-to-Wire
Jack Hardin Towell didn’t plan to even compete in the McDaniel & Associates Cup 1.45m, but when his barn manager Chris Howard entered New York and told him he was first in the ring, he gave it a go. A good go, in fact, as he was the first clear in round one and the first to return in the jump-off. They set down an unbeatable time of 40.80 seconds to win a wire-to-wire victory.
Coming close behind in second place was Eric Lamaze (CAN) on Melody des Hayettes, who stopped the clock in 40.97 seconds. Third place went to Molly Ashe (USA) and Balous Day Date, who were clear in 42.07 seconds. Finishing in 42.39 seconds, Alberto Michan (MEX) and Ujade Ste Hermelle were fourth. Fifth place was awarded to Jaclyn Duff (CAN) on EH All or None, who had a time of 42.99 seconds.
There were 50 entries in the first round, and 18 of those were clear to the advance to the jump-off. There were 11 double clears.
After a solid schedule of show jumping this winter and spring, New York, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding (Verdi x Watzmann) owned by Jennifer Gates LLC, was given five weeks off before coming to the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Towell planned to have him as his grand prix horse during last week’s ‘National’ Tournament, and rode Lucifer in the lower competitions. It did not go as planned, and Towell felt discouraged heading into the ‘Continental’ Tournament.
“Last week he was really strong, and he didn’t jump great in the grand prix,” Towell said. “Every class he’s just been too fresh. This is his third day showing in a row. Last night he didn’t jump bad, but it was getting better.
“To be honest, I wasn’t showing until this morning,” he revealed. “I was arguing with Chris, my barn manager. Last night I was talking to him and he said, ‘I entered the 1.45m. You go first.’ Then we were arguing all morning and I didn’t even walk the jump-off (course). I got there, and it was nice. I could gallop and he really held off the jumps, which is good.”
Seeing how New York has been after a five-week absence from the competition, Towell has learned that he thrives on work and competing and will now adjust his schedule accordingly.
“I should just know that I need to show him more,” he said. “I gave him the week off before I came to Spruce Meadows, and I shouldn’t have. I should have shown him that week and then he would have been ready for last week.”
“Less is more” is something else that Towell learned Saturday with New York. He said, “I think sometimes I complicate it. I try to do too much. This morning I didn’t even ride him. I just got on and went (in the ring). Sometimes we want to be so successful and we try to put too much thought into it. There are some horses that you’re just better off getting on and going.”
Towell was pleased with New York’s improvement and the feeling he gave him in this competition. He noted, “I’m happy with the win, but I’m really happy with how he jumped in the jump-off. He feels back to himself. He really tried hard and jumped well.”
While Towell may have been discouraged with some of his performances, he was thrilled with how his student, Jennifer Gates, did in the challenging Scotiabank Cup Friday. She and Pumped Up Kicks had just one time fault and finished fifth.
“Last night Jennifer was amazing. She had a great result, and that was exciting,” he remarked. “The morale on my horses has been down a little bit, so that makes us feel a little better. I was really excited with how Jennifer did. As long as one of us is doing well, it makes things a little easier!”
The CP Grand Prix will conclude the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament on Sunday, June 19, at 1 p.m. MST.