Lauren Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Christine McCrea Takes $35,000 Progress Energy Canada Cup Victory; McArdle Captures 1.45m Speed Win
Calgary, AB – July 4, 2013 – The ‘North American’ Tournament had three international competitions today in two rings. Riding to the top of the standings in the $35,000 PwC Cup 1.60m was Lauren Tisbo (USA) on Roundthorn Madios. Christine McCrea (USA) won the $35,000 Progress Energy Canada Cup 1.50m as the first in the jump-off with Romantovich Take One. In the All Canada ring, an early fast round by Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cosma 20 won the $33,000 Zoetis Horse Health Care Cup 1.45m.
The ‘North American’ Tournament continues through Sunday, July 7, and features the $200,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 6, and the $140,000 Cenovus Energy Classic Derby on Sunday, July 7.
Twenty entries went to post in the $35,000 PwC Cup 1.60m over a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio of New York. Only two were able to clear the first round, and they went head to head in the jump-off.
“I thought it was going to be difficult,” Tisbo said. “Anthony usually builds courses that don’t allow for a whole lot of clears, but a nice number usually. There were plenty of questions there, and the water jump was in there. I expected there to be more than two though. You just had to know your horse really well and know what his strengths are.”
First in was Reed Kessler (USA) on Cylana. They pulled a rail at the first fence in the jump-off and finished with four faults in 39.76 seconds.
Knowing a clear round was needed to win, Lauren Tisbo went in with a steady stride, but still kept up a pace just in case. She was able to leave all of the jumps up and recorded a time of 41.20 seconds for her second international win at Spruce Meadows.
Tisbo recently moved Roundthorn Madios up to the 1.60m competitions, and she used today’s event to see if he would be ready for the $200,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday. “From the beginning today was all about jumping clear, and if I got into the jump-off, jumping clear again. My plan just happened to work out with the rest of the circumstances,” she pointed out.
Tisbo has been riding Roundthorn Madios, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Condios x Clover Hill, for six months. He is owned by her family’s Tequestrian Farms LLC. While Tisbo felt like they clicked “for the most part,” right away, it still took some time to get to know each other. She explained, “His previous rider had him for a long time, and I think in any situation when you get a horse that someone’s been riding for multiple years, even if you match right away, it takes a little while for them to figure you out and think the way you think. That certainly started to happen after the Florida circuit. Now I think it’s going pretty well.”
Tisbo said that Roundthorn Madios has gotten “so much scopier” here at Spruce Meadows. “He doesn’t have a huge, huge stride. He’s careful, but he likes when you can gallop him up to the jumps,” she said. “He’s exceeding my expectations in the parts of the course that I think he’s going to struggle with. Those are all signs for me that make me feel very confident going into a class like the Queen’s Cup on Saturday.”
Tisbo said she was “still a little shocked” with her victory. “It does feel as special as the first win. It was not what I expected today,” she smiled. “I was hoping I would win for the first time in the International Ring here, (and) I got that goal accomplished, so the rest is gravy!”
McCrea Is Only Double Clear to Win
The $35,000 Progress Energy Canada Cup had 35 entries and five of those would advance to the jump-off, but it would be the first in the ring over the shortened course that would lead the way. Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One, 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj owned by Candy Tribble, put in the all-important clear round in a time of 42.58 seconds.
McCrea said of her plan, “I obviously wanted to jump clear and go fast, but I didn’t want to go too fast because there wasn’t very many in it in the jump-off. I thought it would be more important to try to jump a clear round. I did kick myself because when I was coming around the bank, I realized I missed the inside turn to the skinny (fence). I thought I left it open a little bit there. But as it turned out, it worked out, so that was good. I thought he jumped great.”
Next in, Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Gitano, had an unfortunate 12 faults in 47.97 seconds for fifth place. Conor Swail (IRL) and Lansdowne had an early four faults and slowed down to finish the jump-off. They accumulated three time faults in 52.77 seconds for fourth place.
It came down to the final fence for the last two riders, and both of them had their heartbreaking four faults there. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Catharina 9 were third in 45.34 seconds. Susan Artes (USA) and Zamiro were quite fast in 41.72 seconds, but the rail down left them in second place.
McCrea pointed out that by now, their relationship has advanced to where she just thinks “speed,” and Romantovich Take One does it. “You just push the button and he goes,” she smiled. “He’s faster than a normal horse. Then if you want to go a little quicker, just leg him a little bit more and off you go. He’s so seasoned that he knows exactly what I’m asking. It’s not like he’s questioning; he just knows. First gear, third gear, fourth gear, he just knows.”
This was Romantovich Take One’s third victory in the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments, and McCrea has had success on her other horses as well. “I’m very lucky. They are extremely nice horses and I’m really happy to have them,” she expressed.
McArdle and Cosma 20 Speed Past Competition
The $33,000 Zoetis Horse Health Care Cup 1.45m had an early leader whose time held up to win the competition. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cosma 20 went sixth in the order out of 23 entries and put in a very quick time of 104.82 seconds with no faults.
Going second to last, the closest clear round came from Francois Mathy (BEL) on Falco von de Clehoeve, who finished in 108.39 seconds for second place. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 were third in 108.69 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) and Martha Louise had the time in 103.67 seconds, but a rail left them in eleventh place.
McArdle didn’t leave much room for anyone to catch her, with the exception of one inside turn. “I thought everywhere I kind of went for it. I didn’t seem to leave too many gaps,” she agreed. “The only place is where I went around (to jump 14), and Conor went inside there. He had my time, but he had that jump down. That’s what we were worried about when we walked (the course). We thought if I went inside, I would have had the same jump down. That was the one place where I thought someone could beat me, if they went inside there and left the jump up. After seeing Conor have that down, most people went around.”
Cosma 20 didn’t blink at any of the derby-style jumps on the speed course designed by Peter Holmes of Canada, including the open water, bank, and grob out of 17 numbered obstacles. “She’s super over the derby jumps,” McArdle said. “It’s funny, for being such a careful, spooky horse, she doesn’t care about the derby jumps at all. If anything, she’s going to back off of those as much as the plain oxer. The grob, the water, everything was perfect with her.”
This is the fourth win in the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments for McArdle and Cosma 20. McArdle remarked, “We’ve had a heck of a Spruce! I feel like I know her really well. It’s a good feeling in that you know what to expect out there and you know the places that are going to be difficult and where you can make up time. I just feel like I’ve really formed a wonderful partnership with her. She’s taught me how to move up to the big classes. She’s taught me how to ride in the big ring and given me an opportunity to ride well and do well at the same time.”
What Can You Do at Spruce Meadows?
Spruce Meadows includes affordable fun for the whole family. With admission starting at only $5 per person, and children (12 & under) and seniors (65 & up) free, it is the perfect venue to unwind and enjoy a day of show jumping, activities, delicious food and shopping. Limited Reserved Seating tickets are also available – for full details, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
From Friday through Sunday, there will be a number of activities for the whole family (all included in your admission to Spruce Meadows) such as Pony Rides, presented by Kozy Shack, the Spruce Meadows Prairie Dogs, presented by RE/MAX, Wagon Rides, Face Painting, children’s games in the Garden Court Restaurant and more! Delicious food is offered throughout the grounds, featuring a healthy menu at the Garden Court Restaurant, a wide range of options at the Time Faults Public House, and International Fare in the Plaza.
Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 will feature the Royal Occasion Brunch – all are welcome to join us at the royally inspired breakfast from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm in the Meadowgreen Building, adjacent to the Meadows on the Green Ring. Fresh berries and cream, scones, pancakes, sausages and more will be complimentary to the first 3,000 guests. In light of the recent flood in Southern Alberta, Rush Seating for Saturday and Sunday will be complimentary. Reserved Seating and Club International tickets are available on our website in advance.
Looking to test your luck? Spruce Meadows has several contest options for those wanting to win excellent prizes, including the CN/Sun Media Name the Foal contest featuring a chance to name future show jumping star and a trip to the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, and the Win a Year contest, with a chance to win a year of access to all Spruce Meadows events. If you are looking for some retail therapy, vendors in the Gallery on the Green and Vendor Village offer an excellent variety of gifts and services, both equine and non-equine in nature.
The ‘North American’ continues tomorrow with the $33,000 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m and the $50,000 LaFarge Cup 1.50m in the International Ring. For more information and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations