Tag Archives: Jack Hardin Towell

Repsol Cup Victory Goes to Eric Lamaze at Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’

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.

Jack Hardin Towell and New York
Jack Hardin Towell and New York

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.

For more information and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.weilinger@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232

Jennifer Wood
Jump Media
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Towell Tops RBC Capital Markets Cup at Spruce Meadows ‘National’

Jack Hardin Towell Jr. and Lucifer V. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – Jack Hardin Towell Jr. of the United States and Lucifer V won the RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m on Friday at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’, presented by Rolex. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid finished second, while Ben Asselin (CAN) was third on Plume de la Roque. Winning for the first time in the International Ring in her first trip to Spruce Meadows, Kelli Cruciotti (USA) rode Chamonix H to victory in the Encana Under 25 Cup, a brand-new addition to the schedule for the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. The CSI 5* tournament continues through Sunday, June 12.

Highlights of the week’s competition include the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 11, and the $175,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby on Sunday, June 12. 2016 Olympic Games course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil is setting the tracks in the International Ring during the ‘National’, presented by Rolex.

The RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m had 21 entries, and eight were clear to move on to the jump-off. Setting the opening pace with a clear round was Tiffany Foster (CAN) on Cadalora, who stopped the timers in 45.02 seconds. They would eventually finish in fourth place.

Calgary’s own Ben Asselin and Plume de la Roque lowered the winning time down to 44.00 seconds to hold onto third place. Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Candela slipped into fifth place with a time of 45.69 seconds.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid made a bid for the win with a speedy time of 42.61 seconds, but it was last to go who proved to be the best. Jack Hardin Towell Jr. and Lucifer V, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandeur) owned by Jennifer Gates, put the pedal down to win in 40.96 seconds.

“I was lucky enough to go last and see him go,” Towell said of Lamaze. “My horse is naturally quick, so I went quite fast. I knew what I had to do, and I thought I did enough. Luckily the last two jumps I caught right out of stride. My horse is very naturally quick. I gave it a shot, and it worked out.”

This was the pair’s second win of the week, having previously topped the Back on Track Cup 1.50m. Towell has stepped Lucifer V, his top horse, down to the 1.50m competitions this week and focused on his other horse, New York, for the grand prix.

Towell noted, “After World Cup Finals, it didn’t go the way I would have liked, so maybe I lost a little confidence in myself and Lucifer. It’s nice to go back down and gain confidence again. My plan is to do him in the grand prix next week. I entered him in the right classes. Now I have a lot of confidence in him going into next week.”

Lamaze may have a new star in Chacco Kid, but he did not go all out in this jump-off.

“Hardin is a very fast rider, and I knew that perhaps I left the door open,” he conceded. “In my case, I felt like I asked as much out of my horse tonight [as I could]. If I went after Hardin tonight, I don’t think much would have changed for me. It’s a new horse for me that I’m really happy with, that I love, so I’m a bit cautious. But I thought I put enough pressure to make him run, and at that point anything can happen.”

Lamaze termed Chacco Kid as a “great one,” and added, “He has everything to me that great horses do. After that, he has to prove me right, but I’m really excited about this horse. Winning or not, I was very excited about his jump-off.”

Asselin also felt that he could be caught when he came out of the ring after his jump-off ride. He said, “My horse jumped fantastic. I was fast enough, but I knew there was quite a bit left on the table. I was slow to the Chinese oxer and then also to the double. I was thrilled with the way my horse jumped.”

He has been riding Plume de la Roque for just over a year, and their partnership has taken time to develop.

“It took me quite a long time to get in tune with her,” he revealed. “This coming year we’ve really started to click together. It’s quite exciting. She had some great results, like earlier this year in Mexico, and she feels on form for the rest of the circuit.”

Cruciotti Tops Encana U25 Cup

There were 30 entries in the Encana U25 Cup 1.45m, a new competition added to the schedule for the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Showcasing the best young riders in the sport of show jumping, the competition had 10 go clear to contest the jump-off with seven double clears.

Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H
Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H

The fastest in that second round was 18-year-old Kelli Cruciotti (USA) on Chamonix H, a 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Equest Carnute x Caletto II) owned by Serenity Equestrian Venture. They sped through the shortened course in 34.80 seconds for a decisive win.

“I am typically a very slow rider, and we’ve been working on really going for it, not trying to set up so early,” Cruciotti explained. “My trainer Peter Lutz told me the plan. When you have ten in the jump-off, you just kind of have to go for it. Originally my plan was to go inside the open water to the vertical, and it really wasn’t there, so I kind of called an audible and zipped around. Luckily [then] it was right there. To the last jump as well, it was my plan to go as fast as I could with leaving all of them up.”

Juan Jose Zendejas (MEX) and Hector van de Papendijk finished second on 35.64 seconds, while Nayel Nassar (EGY) were third in 36.07 seconds. Andres Azcarraga Rivera Torres (MEX) rode Contendros II to fourth place in 36.14 seconds, while Alexandra Crown (USA) and Von Cim were fifth with a time of 36.58 seconds.

Cruciotti and Chamonix H have plenty of experience in U25 competition, having won the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival. Cruciotti was the youngest rider in the Encana U25 Cup, and this was her first time competing at Spruce Meadows.

“It was a feeling like no other,” she expressed. “I was fortunate enough to have a very seasoned horse, but you’re still nervous when you go into a ring like that. It’s very intimidating walking through the clock tower. She jumped incredible in both rounds.”

The Under 25 competitions have become popular at major events in North America, and Cruciotti felt it was a special addition to Spruce Meadows.

“It’s such a fantastic idea for Spruce Meadows to do this. It’s such a good opportunity for riders to gain this valuable experience and yet not be put in with riders of such high experience,” she said. “The classes are equally as hard; there are lots of fantastic horses with fantastic riders. It’s definitely still a challenge. When you go into the ring and you’re in with everyone else, it’s a bit intimidating, but this lowers it just a little bit. It’s such high standard of sport and top show jumping [here].”

Cruciotti has been riding Chamonix H for four years and called her a “real horse of a lifetime.” While her horse is only three years younger than her, the experience has helped her grow as a rider. “She loves this just as much as I do,” she said. “Even though she’s 15, I feel like she’s found her second wind, if you will. I believe in her, and we feed off each other. She gives you that extra oomph that you want to win and be competitive. It really helps when you have a horse like that.”

Cruciotti will continue competing at Spruce Meadows for the remainder of the Summer Series and plans to compete in each of the U25 competitions held at the four tournaments.

“It’s an incredible venue. It’s fantastic that the sponsors, Encana, put this on, and everyone at Spruce Meadows. I’ve never been at a horse show like this in my life,” she said.

Five different countries were represented in the inaugural U25 competition at Spruce Meadows. The decision to add it for up-and-coming grand prix riders was an easy one, said Spruce Meadows Senior Vice-President Ian Allison.

“It seemed natural, particularly on our tournament schedules, with the big horses having Friday night off,” he said. “It allows the young riders a chance to come in and feel a little bit more at ease, but also step up to a level with one less element of pressure. They’re not taking on Farrington, Lamaze, Millar. We thought we would try it. We were delighted that we had 30 entries, it was very international, and it was a good competition. We like all of those things that represent what we’re trying to be. It’s something that we think will allow the young stars to gain valuable experience. It was a legitimate FEI competition.”

For full results and schedule, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.weilinger@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232
sprucemeadows.com

Jennifer Wood
Jump Media
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Spruce Meadows Summer Series Begins with Strong Competition at the ‘National’

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photos by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – The Spruce Meadows Summer Series kicked off competition on Wednesday, June 8, with some of the best show jumpers in the world riding for top honors in the ‘National’, presented by Rolex. Kent Farrington (USA) won the highlight competition of the day, the Bantrel Cup 1.55m, with Gazelle. Conor Swail (IRL) and Cita were the fastest to capture the Erwin Hymer Group Cup 1.50m, while Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Lucifer V won the Back on Track Cup 1.50m. The CSI 5* tournament continues through Sunday, June 12.

Highlights of the week’s competition include the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 11, and the $175,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby on Sunday, June 12. The course designer in the International Ring for the ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, is Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, who has been tapped to design for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Five of 29 starters in the Bantrel Cup 1.55m found the clear track to the jump-off, with pathfinder Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 taking the shortened course first. Their blazing time of 39.95 seconds would have been good for the win, but a rail down left them in fourth place.

Next in were Farrington and Gazelle, who were quick with less risk to go to the top of the leaderboard, clear in 42.18 seconds.

“I know Eric well, and I know that horse very well,” Farrington said. “I knew that was going to be the speed of the class, so I wanted to be sure to watch him go so I knew what I had to do. When he had a rail down, I thought I would go more measured than I had planned, but put enough pressure where the others had to go. He was really going all out there, and it would have been hard to beat if he hadn’t had that rail.”

Antonio Chedraui (MEX) and La Bamba were also clear in 46.83 seconds, which placed them third. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Victor landed in fifth place with a time of 43.01 seconds and four faults.

Last to go, Yann Candele (CAN) and Showgirl slotted into second place with a strong time of 44.06 seconds despite a slip on course.

Candele said, “She’s in aluminum shoes. It makes the foot slippery even with caulks. Even with that, I saw the time. Even if I made both turns, it would be close, but I don’t think it would make the win.”

Gazelle, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, was Farrington’s mount for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where they won the team bronze medal. Farrington noted that she is learning to be a good grand prix horse, and the plan for her time at Spruce Meadows is to gain mileage in bigger competitions.

All three riders commended Spruce Meadows on their improvements since last year. Candele noted, “The facility looks great, and as usual there has been some upgrading. It’s going to be great sport.”

Farrington added, “I love riding on grass. It’s one of my favorite parts of Spruce Meadows. The horses jump well on grass, and it’s better for them.”

Chedraui complimented, “I really love the place. I’ve been able to show many places in the world, and it’s pretty hard to find a place like this. Not only the footing, the stables, the warm-up rings that every year get better and better, but also the people and the ambience that you produce here. I think it’s really the best of the best.”

Swail Starts with Victory

There were 38 entries in the first competition of the year on the field of the International Ring in the Erwin Hymer Group Cup 1.50m. It was held as one round for speed, and the fastest of the day was Ireland’s Conor Swail on Cita, a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Romero) owned by Susan and Ariel Grange. Swail and Cita scorched the field by putting in a time of 65.46 seconds with no faults.

Five seconds behind was Canada’s Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze on Melody des Hayettes Z, owned by Artisan Farms LLC. They posted a clear round in a time of 70.45 seconds. Third place went to Antonio Chedraui (MEX) on Corcega La Silla in 73.72 seconds. Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Acita placed fourth in 75.33 seconds, while Antonio Maurer (MEX) on Galileo de Laubry was fifth in 75.90 seconds. There were seven clear rounds.

Conor Swail and Cita
Conor Swail and Cita

Swail and Cita were first paired last August, and he took his time with the “unbelievably careful” mare. This spring they won in Palgrave and Langley before topping the first competition at Spruce Meadows.

“She’s been amazing,” Swail said. “To go straight into that ring and jump 1.50m, and to do it the way she did it… I mean, she won by five seconds. I did a couple of turns that no one else did, and that’s basically I think where most of the time came from. I did an inside turn there, and when I did it and I saw the angle that I was at, I thought it was an awful, bad idea on my behalf. She was incredible to jump it.”

Swail plans to attempt his first derby at Spruce Meadows on Sunday in the CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby with Cita, and it will be her first derby as well. He feels confident though that her carefulness and energy will carry them well through the challenging competition.

“We’ve trained all the stuff at home, and she’s like, ‘No problem, no problem.’ There’s so much quality (that) when I’m jumping fence 24, I’m not going to run out of engine, that’s for sure. I like doing derbies but unless I’m in it to win it, I don’t want to go in it. The few years I’ve been here, I’ve never had anything suitable. I’ve practiced on her a few times at home, and I feel she’s very good at it and I think she has a good chance on Sunday, even though it’s her first go and mine.”

Towell Goes for Speed

Another 38 entries went to post for the Back on Track Cup 1.50m speed, and 14 were clear to lead the results. The fastest of those was Jack Hardin Towell (USA) on Jennifer Gates’s Lucifer V, who stopped the timers in 60.86 seconds for victory.

Eric Lamaze had to settle for another second place ribbon today, this time with Artisan Farms LLC’s Rosana du Park. They finished the course in 61.47 seconds. Fellow Canadian Vanessa Mannix and Dooley’s Deluxe were third in 67.13 seconds. Olympic gold medalist Leslie Howard of the United States was fourth with Utah in 68.14 seconds, while Ian Millar (CAN) and Teddy du Bosquetiau were fifth with a time of 68.81 seconds.

Towell brought Lucifer V, a 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Lord Pezi x Grandeur) to Spruce Meadows last year with some success. He has grown into one of Towell’s top grand prix horses, performing well at CSI 5* events. After a month’s break following the winter season, Towell decided to step Lucifer V down this week while his second mount, New York, does the grand prix.

“There’s nothing like being over-horse-powered in a class!” he laughed. “I thought I would give it a little bit of a go. He jumped quite well, and he feels good. He always jumps well here. It was nice to step him down and go in there for both our confidence, together.”

With age comes wisdom, and Towell feels lucky that both of his top horses are maturing and growing.

He said, “It’s amazing how much they’ve grown in a year’s time. This class last year, Lucifer went in. I probably would have been close to winning, and then he saw something, spooked, and reared. It’s nice that both of my horses are 10 years old now; they’re a little older and more experienced. I feel like they’re coming along well.”

The Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Thursday featuring the ATCO Pipelines Cup 1.50m, the Westmoreland Coal Cup 1.50m, and the ATB Financial Cup 1.55m.

For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Spruce Meadows Media Services
caroline.weilinger@sprucemeadows.com
403.974.4232
sprucemeadows.com

Jennifer Wood
Jump Media
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

Jack Hardin Towell Sr.

Jack Hardin Towell, Sr. started his own business as a hunter/jumper trainer at the age of 17. Now the owner of Finally Farm in Camden, South Carolina, and one of the leading horse trainers in the US, his accomplishments as a trainer have secured his stature in the industry. Jack has used his skills and intuition to discover and make top hunter ponies and horses. He has trained 65 champions and/or reserve champions in the best indoor shows, including The Pennsylvania National, Devon, The Washington International, Capital Challenge, and The National Horse Show.

Jack is also an R rated horse-show judge and has officiated at many prestigious horse shows including the Washington International and the ASPCA Maclay Finals.

Please join us May 7-8, 2011 at Longfield Stables located at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, SC for an opportunity to ride with a master. Contact Lauren Marcinkoski at SwampFoxFarms@gmail.com or (912) 484 8510 for more information.