Richard Spooner of USA riding Chivas Z. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Eduardo Menezes Tops $34,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup
Calgary, AB, Canada – July 10, 2015 – USA’s Richard Spooner jumped to victory aboard his own Chivas Z in the $85,000 ASHCOR Technologies Cup on Friday of the ‘Pan American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, at Spruce Meadows. Friday’s competition also included a $34,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m competition with a win for Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and Carushka 2. The ‘Pan American’ Tournament continues with world-class show jumping through Sunday, July 12.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) is the course designer in the Meadows on the Green this week and set the 1.55m track for 43 starters in the $85,000 ASHCOR Technologies Cup. Fifteen entries jumped clear over the first round course and 14 returned for round two.
Speed was key for a win over Jorge’s jump-off track, but rails fell for many entries on the way to the finish line, and only four combinations cleared the short course without fault. Spooner and Chivas Z, a 16-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Cumano x Lord Gotthard), crossed the timers in 36.97 seconds for the win despite an unconventional finish.
“The jump-off started off fantastic actually and ended with a major chocolate chip,” Spooner laughed. “I absolutely missed to the last jump. I wanted to do one less stride, and then at the last minute I realized that there was a snowball’s chance in hell that we were going to get there. I just kind of dropped the reins and closed my eyes, hoped for the best and sat back so that if something bad happened I wasn’t the first person at the scene of the accident. Somehow he jumped it clear and we were fast enough in the beginning that even with the debacle in the end, we ended up with the win.”
Hardin Towell (USA) and Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS finished second in 39.15 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Kessler Show Stables’ Cylana placed third in 40.78 seconds, and Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) and Mario Onate’s Whin Whin took fourth with a time of 42.74 seconds. Coming in fifth, McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Carlos Z had the fastest time of the day in 36.63 seconds, but dropped a rail at the last jump.
Spooner explained that Chivas Z is not typically the kind of horse that would save the day in a tricky situation like that.
“Not at all actually,” the rider remarked. “The horse is very careful and quite sensitive, and we have been working through little issues, so the fact that he did that for me today – I am flabbergasted and quite impressed with his willingness to carry on even with my gross negligence.”
“He is a wonderful horse,” Spooner added. “He is really sweet and loving. He is a little bit of a nervous-type, a little spooky here and there, but that is what makes him so careful at 16 years old. I have just been so impressed with him during this circuit. He just continues to wow me.”
Menezes Gets a Win for Brazil
Friday’s international competition in the Meadows on the Green got underway with the $34,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m and a win for Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and Carushka 2. The competition saw 53 entries, with 15 advancing to the jump-off and six double clear rounds. Menezes and Carushka 2 were second to go and completed a fast, clear round in 37.28 seconds that would prove unbeatable.
Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms’ Ballade van het Indihof jumped into second place in 37.61 seconds. Thursday’s winners, Pablo Barrios (VEN) and Emanuel Andrade’s Fananka A had another great day, finishing third with their time of 37.91 seconds.
Carushka 2 is an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Caspar x Continue) that Menezes has owned for three years.
“She is a winning machine,” the rider described. “She always goes clean and she is super fast, so she is a really fun horse to have for these 1.45m and 1.50m competitions. She is super careful; she jumps clean in 90% of her competitions, so she is a great horse.”
Detailing his jump-off round, Menezes stated, “We know already here at Spruce Meadows that all jump-offs are super fast. They are even faster when you have 15 plus riders in the jump-off, so my plan was to go as fast as possible. I know that I can count on her to go clean, so I was just trying to focus on my job and fortunately everything worked fine for us.”
“We are always pleased to come here,” Menezes added. “I have been coming here now for 15 years and we love it. The sport is always great and we are happy to be here.”
Menezes will jump one more 1.45m competition on Saturday and then heads to Toronto, where he will represent Brazil at the Pan American Games with his top horse, Quintol.
Competition continues at the ‘Pan American’ Tournament on Saturday featuring the $34,000 McDaniel & Associates Cup 1.50m as well as another $34,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m.
For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.