Tag Archives: Spruce Meadows

Brash Sweeps Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping with Win in $1.5M CP International

Scott Brash of GBR riding Hello Sanctos. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 13, 2015 – The 2015 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament concluded with a momentous day of show jumping on Sunday, September 13, as Great Britain’s Scott Brash jumped to victory in the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, riding superstar mount Hello Sanctos. Belgium’s Pieter Devos and Dylano placed second, and Brazil’s Pedro Veniss and Quabri de L Isle finished third. With the win, Brash became the first rider in history to conquer the challenging Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Watch highlights from Sunday’s incredible competition to conclude the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

One of the most prestigious grand prix events in the world, the CP International was the third and final leg in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Prior to his arrival at Spruce Meadows, Brash already made history by winning two consecutive legs of the challenge with victories at CHI Geneva in December followed by a second victory at CHIO Aachen a few months later. By topping the final grand prix event at Spruce Meadows, the rider took home the competition’s winning prize of $500,000 Canadian Dollars (the equivalent of about €350,000). He was then awarded an additional bonus of €1 million for winning all three events in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The 29-year-old rider was almost speechless as the magnitude of his accomplishment sunk in. “To win the Rolex Grand Slam is every rider’s dream. I did not actually think it could be done,” Brash acknowledged. “This means everything to me.”

As he thought about the win, Brash gave credit to Hello Sanctos, the 13-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Nabe de Reve) that helped make his biggest dreams come true.

“When you target something for so long, and your whole team has put so much work and hard effort in, to actually come and achieve that dream and have it all pay off is just a wonderful feeling,” Brash expressed. “I do not think words can describe how I feel. I am ecstatic and I don’t think it has really sunk in just yet.”

“Sanctos is a horse of a lifetime,” he added. “I thought he was a little fresh in the first round and was not absolutely perfect, but the second round he was just unbelievable. He tried his heart out today. He is a privilege to work with and ride.”

Thirty-nine entries started in round one and the top twelve were then invited to return for round two in reverse order of penalties. The twelve that returned included ten clear rounds and two entries that entered carrying one time fault.

The difficult course set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios took its toll in round two. Yann Candele (CAN) riding Watermark Group’s First Choice 15 and Alex Borrin (FRA) aboard SARL C Epona’s Marlou des Etisses each came into the second round with one time fault and added to their totals. Candele added ten faults in round two to finish tenth overall and Borrin added 19 faults to place twelfth.

Richard Spooner (USA) was the first of ten clear entries to return in round two, and completed a fantastic four-fault trip to eventually place fourth aboard Show Jumping Syndication Intl.’s Cristallo. Wout Jan Van Der Schans (NED) was next to go aboard K.V. van den Berg and S.J. Kat’s Capetown with ten faults to finish in ninth place.

Pedro Veniss of BRA riding Quabri de L Isle
Pedro Veniss of BRA riding Quabri de L Isle

Pedro Veniss (BRA) followed with a clear trip over fences, but one fault on the clock. He eventually finished third based on his time from round one aboard Carmen Davrella de Aguilera’s Quabri De L Isle.

“I am so happy. This was my first time to Spruce Meadows,” Veniss said of his finish. “It was a dream for me to come to Spruce Meadows. We just won the Nations’ Cup yesterday, and now third in the grand prix, so I am a very happy man today.”

McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur, owned by Double H Farm and Francois Mathy, were next to return and had a great round until one rail fell at the final fence and one time fault was added. The pair finished fifth overall on five faults total.

Romain Duguet (SUI) returned clear with Christiana Duguet’s Quorida de Treho but dropped four rails in the second course to place 11th. Pieter Devos (BEL) and Devos Stables’ Dylano then jumped into second place with one time fault and their time from round one.

Devos previously won the competition in 2013 aboard Candy, and was very happy with his result this year riding Dylano.

“I am just behind Scott, so it is not a shame I think,” Devos remarked. “I came out of the ring with one time fault and a few people told me that I might have to jump-off with Pedro, who also had one time fault. Really inside, I knew that it would not come to a jump-off for us because Scott still had to go. I am very delighted to be here again and to be second. I won one time, but I am really happy with my second place now. I am happy with my horse; he did a really good job today.”

Last year’s champions, Ian Millar (CAN) and Susan and Ariel Grange’s Dixson, were next to go with nine faults to place eighth. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ dropped two rails to place seventh, and Gregory Wathelet (BEL) and Conrad de Hus, owned by Haras de Hus, also had eight faults in a faster first round time to take the sixth place prize.

Last to go, Brash had a lot at stake as he rode into the ring aboard Lord and Lady Harris and Lady P Kirkham’s Hello Sanctos. The world’s number one rider kept his cool and guided his talented mount to a beautiful clear round as the crowd exploded in applause. With the only double clear round, Brash won the biggest grand prix in the world and rode into history as the first rider to ever take the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

“I was just very focused on the course,” Brash said of his preparation. “I was here early this morning to walk. I must say, I think Leopoldo has done an absolutely fantastic job. It is easy for me to say that because I am sitting here as the winner. I think Spruce Meadows has a reputation of being a tough course, but I think that is really good. I think that is what makes it so unique. They always try to just get one double clear and for a course builder that is very difficult, but Leopoldo seems to deliver that year after year. My horse feels like he could do another round. He felt really, really good.”

Devos also praised Palacios on his course, stating, “It was two tough rounds, but the same with my horse that he came out after the second round and he felt like he could go again. I think that is very important. We know it is very tough here. It is a tradition; it is unique and it has to be like that, but the welfare of the horses is always important and it was very good today.”

The unique venue and challenging course of the CP International was the last in three very different competitions that Brash won in succession. When asked how he and Sanctos were able to jump so well in such different venues, Brash smiled, “That is a question for Sanctos really! He is an incredible horse. He has the mind of a human. To be able to win in a delicate ring like Geneva, then a big tough course like Aachen and then such a unique venue like Spruce Meadows – to do that on different horses is hard – but for the same horse to win all three is just incredible. You could go 20 or 30 years at least and it could probably never be done again. I think Sanctos deserves every bit of credit he is going to get for this. I think with age, he has gotten more comfortable with different rings and he has turned into a horse that can jump anywhere and do anything.”

With the conclusion of a phenomenal experience, Brash already has next year’s Grand Slam in mind and explained that he will try for the title again, along with aiming for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

“I will try and do both,” he laughed. “It is an incredible title to have to aim for, but the percentage chance of being able to win the three biggest grand prix in the world consecutively is very, very hard. We were told it was impossible. We will try again, but it is going to be very difficult. We will start again in Geneva. They are the best shows in the world, so every rider in the world wants to be at these three shows. Rio is in our plans too. We saved Sanctos a lot this year. I must say, he feels better than ever and we have high hopes for next year.”

Brash’s win concluded a fantastic week of competition at the 2015 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO 5*. For full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Scott Brash Wins Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

History Is Made at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’

13 September 2015, Spruce Meadows, Canada – Scott Brash (GBR) has made history by becoming the first and only rider to win the three equestrian Majors consecutively, claiming the pinnacle of equestrian sporting achievement: the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title and a €1,000,000 bonus.

In a sport with top-level competition all year round, winning just one of the three Majors is a goal that motivates all riders. However, to dominate top sport consistently takes a truly unique horse and rider partnership – a legendary one that will remain etched in the annals of the sport.

Riding his formidable horse Hello Sanctos, Scott Brash started his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping campaign by winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the greatest indoor show in the world, CHI Geneva in December 2014. In May 2015, he then went on to claim the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, the title to which every rider aspires. The final part of this Grand Slam challenge came with his third victory in the CP International presented by Rolex during the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.

The build-up to the grand prix was dominated by warm weather and a buzz of excitement from the large crowd who knew they could be watching history being made. But conditions changed on the day of the CP International presented by Rolex and the riders were faced with wet conditions and a drop in temperature. Forty horse and rider combinations started the competition with twelve going through to the second round. As Scott Brash had posted the fastest time in the opening round, he had the benefit of watching his fellow competitors jump round what course designer Leopoldo Palacios described as “the biggest course on the circuit”.

The tension inside the Spruce Meadows International ring was electric as the huge crowd went silent each time a new partnership entered. Poles dropped and faults accumulated, and for a while it appeared that a single time fault from Brazil’s Pedro Veniss and the 2013 Grand Prix winner, Pieter Devos, would be enough to take them into a jump-off. With Scott Brash the last to go, he knew that a clear round would win him the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping and the record bonus.

As he has done on so many previous occasions riding Hello Sanctos, he rose majestically to the challenge and went clear barely touching a pole throughout his winning round.

Scott Brash said, “Winning one of the equestrian Majors was an incredible achievement; to win two was a dream come true, but to go on and complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is beyond belief. I have a very special horse in Hello Sanctos, and some amazingly supportive owners in Lord & Lady Harris, and Lord & Lady Kirkham. This close partnership has enabled Hello Sanctos and me to achieve success that will never be forgotten, and I would like to thank all those who have played a part in making this happen.”

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping was launched in 2013 by the three Majors as the ultimate challenge in equestrian sport. The shows have a natural synergy and a mutual respect for their respective achievements and heritage. Select riders, including Rolex Testimonees Rodrigo Pessoa and Eric Lamaze, have won all three Majors; however, this is the first time it has been achieved consecutively.

Arnaud Boetsch, Communications & Image Director of Rolex SA, said, “On behalf of Rolex, we would like to congratulate Scott Brash on winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the ultimate prize in equestrian sport.

“In winning this unparalleled challenge, Scott Brash has proven that he is the one of the finest riders of his generation. His achievement will go down as one of the most remarkable in the history of the sport, and will be talked about for years to come.”

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ enjoyed record crowds throughout the week with over 85,000 people coming through the turnstiles on Saturday when temperatures hit 30 degrees centigrade. Founded by Ron and Margaret Southern, the tournament grounds maintains a close link with the local Calgary community and sells many of its admission tickets for $5, giving families who enjoy equestrian sport the opportunity to watch world class action throughout the spring and summer.

Final Results:
http://www.sprucemeadows.com/tournaments/media/1442185625848_818.pdf

Media Contacts:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 2761

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
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+44 7770 647 662

Brazil Takes $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

Pedro Veniss of BRA riding Quabri de L Isle. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Scott Brash and Hello Forever Top $126,000 Suncor Energy Cup

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 12, 2015 – The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament hosted its $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup on Saturday afternoon, with eight countries represented, and an exciting gold medal win for Brazil in the team’s first time ever competing in the event. The team of Pedro Veniss, Felipe Amaral, Eduardo Menezes and Rodrigo Pessoa jumped to victory in front of a record crowd for Saturday at the ‘Masters’, with a grand total of 85,747 fans in attendance. France earned the silver medal, and Canada took home Bronze.

Watch highlights from Saturday’s competition at the Masters.

Earlier in the day, Scott Brash (GBR) earned top prize in the $126,000 Suncor Energy Cup Winning Round 1.50m riding Hello Forever. The ‘Masters’ Tournament concludes its fifth day of world-class competition on Sunday, September 13, featuring the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex.

One of the most prestigious grand prix events in the world, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, where Brash will attempt to become the first rider to ever take the Grand Slam title. Brash already made history by winning two consecutive legs of the challenge with victories at CHI Geneva in December followed by a second victory at CHIO Aachen a few months later. An unprecedented €1 million in bonus money is on offer to any rider who can win all three grand prix events in succession.

On Saturday, teams representing the countries of The Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Belgium and the USA started in the first round of the BMO Nations’ Cup. The top six teams then returned for a second round over the same course, which was set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios.

The competition came right down to the wire, but it was Brazil who led in both rounds, with nine faults in round one and four faults in round two to finish on a score of 13. France finished with 16 faults overall, and Canada ended with a score of 24.

Only two riders were able to clear both rounds of competition without fault, and Pedro Veniss was one of them with his mount, Quabri De L Isle. Veniss started riding the 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Kannan x Socrate de Chivre) last year, and the pair jumped together for Brazil in both the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Pan American Games. Commenting on the team’s big win, Veniss simply stated, “Today here at Spruce Meadows was a dream come true.”

The youngest rider on the team at 23 years of age, Felipe Amaral rode the 12-year-old Zangersheide stallion Premiere Carthoes BZ (Carthago Z x Voltner) to a clear first round, and the drop score of eight in round two.

“I started riding him in Brazil and he had some good results. Then I went to Europe and Rodrigo and Jean (Chef d’Equipe Jean-Maurice Bonneau) helped me a lot with the horse. Now we are here at the top level of the sport and it is all a dream to be here,” Amaral acknowledged.

Eduardo Menezes and Quintol were the drop score in round one with 24 faults, but returned for a four-fault score in round two. Menezes has also had great results with the ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Quintender x Cento) in past competitions at Spruce Meadows.

“This is a very special win because he was basically made here at Spruce Meadows. I come here almost every year,” Menezes stated. “I had a really bad first round where everything fell apart a little bit after the water jump. He is a very sensitive horse, but I remembered that I had some good teammates with me, so I tried to put things back together for the second round and fortunately it worked well.”

“This is the first time that Brazil has been here in the Nations’ Cup as a team,” Menezes added. “Rodrigo has been in the Masters many times as an individual and some other riders from Brazil, but never as a team. The course, as the results say, was tough enough. It always is, but the conditions were amazing and fortunately all of our horses jumped well because we came up here for the win.”

As the anchor rider, Rodrigo Pessoa had nine faults in round one, but jumped a clutch clear track in round two to secure the team victory. Pessoa was riding his 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Status (Satisfaction x Sao Paulo), who he has had for two years and also jumped in the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

“He has had some ups and downs, but today he performed really well for me,” Pessoa noted. “I rode better in the second round obviously. The first round was so-so, but I think he was up to the task in the second round.”

The most experienced rider on the team, Pessoa knew that he needed to come through for his teammates at the end, and ranks this win among his many big victories at Spruce Meadows.

“It is on the way up top in terms of things that I have won here,” the rider remarked. “To win individually is one thing, but when you ride for the team it is a different story. You have more pressure and more responsibility. You are able to share the win with your three colleagues and your Chef (d’Equipe) and everybody behind the team, so this ranks all the way up there with the good ones for me.”

“Obviously these are all really good riders with really good horses,” Pessoa added. “This was a tough task and we were really looking forward to today. We did not know how the class was going to unfold and we started really well in the first round. We had two bad rounds, but then started again with a good clear. We just had to keep it together and try to perform well, which we were able to do today. We had some mishaps, but just at the good times and we could pull the clears when we needed them. That was crucial.”

The riders from Brazil were led by Chef d’Equipe Jean-Maurice Bonneau, who was thrilled with the results and explained how he has worked to improve their strength as a team.

“When I took charge of that team five years ago, it was to aim to create the same condition in Brazil as the top nations like Germany, France and The Netherlands,” Bonneau stated. “In the beginning, we were not good enough to attend the 5* level, so we started with the 3* level. Last week, we won a 3* Nations Cup in Arezzo in Italy with another team. We are trying step by step to gather up the number of riders capable to join the team and I think this really represents what we are doing. Today we had youngest rider, Felipe at 23 years old, and Rodrigo the oldest at 43. We have youth coming up and also the experience.”

Brazil has the Olympic Games in their home country next summer and Bonneau is working to develop more riders to round out their options for the big event.

“I would like in nine months to have a choice among six or seven combinations,” he detailed. “It could be this squad, but it is too early to know. I want to continue to develop the team. Even though we won today, I think we need to have a debriefing because we had some bad courses. We need to be stronger. It is not enough for the Olympics in my opinion. We have to stay humble and continue to work.”

The team from France finished second with 16 faults in round one and a clean slate in round two. Jerome Hurel and Quartz Rouge were the only other combination to complete double clear rounds. Roger Yves Bost and Quod’Coeur de la Loge notched eight faults in round one plus eight from Cedric Angot and Saxo de la Cour. Kevin Staut and Qurack de Falasie HDC had the drop score of 20 in round one and did not need to return after all three of his teammates cleared the second track. They were led by Chef d’Equipe Philippe Guerdat.

Canada placed third overall with a 24-point total (12 in each round). Yann Candele and Showgirl, Tiffany Foster and Tripple X III, Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 and Ian Millar aboard Dixson all had four faults in round one, with one drop score. They continued on to round two where Candele had the drop score of eight faults and the other three riders all had one more rail. They were led by Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin.

Course designer Leopoldo Palacios commented on the day, stating, “I am very happy with the result of the course. I think the faults spread out well and having Rodrigo at the end and winning with a clean round was very good. Three or four days ago Rodrigo told me that they came here to win and they did it, so I am very happy for them. The French team was very good in the second round. I am very proud of them to recover well with three clean rounds. The course was tough enough, as it is every year at Spruce Meadows. It is one of the hardest Nations’ Cups in the world.”

Fourth place went to the USA with 28 faults total, fifth place was awarded to Switzerland with a 30-fault score, and Belgium finished sixth with a score of 32. The team from Great Britain finished seventh and The Netherlands placed eighth.

Brash Is Best in Suncor Energy Cup

Leading into the biggest day of his career with the chance to make history in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Scott Brash (GBR) picked up a confidence boosting win in the $126,000 Suncor Energy Cup on Saturday at the ‘Masters’. Held in a winning round format over a 1.50m course set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios, 28 entries started in round one. The top ten competitors were then invited to return for the winning round, in which they begin again with zero penalties. The combination that has the fewest faults in the fastest time in the winning round is the winner.

Scott Brash of GBR riding Hello Forever
Scott Brash of GBR riding Hello Forever

As he makes his bid for history with top mount Hello Sanctos, Brash also brought nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding Hello Forever (For Pleasure x Nimmerdor) to compete this week. The pair completed the fastest of six clear trips in 40.73 seconds in the winning round to take top honors and the first place prize of $41,580.

Great Britain also finished second as Guy Williams jumped clear in 41.03 seconds aboard Casper de Muze in the second phase of competition. USA’s Hardin Towell took third place honors riding Jennifer Gates’ Lucifer V through the timers in 41.99 seconds, and France’s Jerome Hurel placed fourth in 43.21 seconds riding S.A.R.L. Ar Tropig’s Ohm de Ponthual.

Brash has only ridden Hello Forever for about eight months, but the duo has already formed a fantastic partnership that includes wins on the Global Champions Tour in Miami and Valkenswaard. Brash explained that Forever has been a bit inconsistent throughout the year, however, and he brought the horse to Spruce Meadows specifically for the experience in a large grass arena. The nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding (For Pleasure x Nimmerador) is owned by Lord and Lady Harris and Lady P Kirkham and was purchased from Stuart Harvey in England.

“Stuart produced him really well on the national circuit and then we took him over and he did a couple of the indoor winter shows,” Brash detailed. “He won a good class in Miami, but in a sand ring. Then when he went into the big grass rings, he got a little inconsistent, so it is great to finish off with a win here on a big grass arena for this year.”

“I think he is going to be a really good horse and I am very excited for him,” Brash continued. “He used to be afraid of these big rings, so I thought it was best to bring him to these types of shows to get him used to them. Hopefully he will be coming here one year to jump the grand prix or the Nations’ Cup, so it is great that he has been here now and he has that experience under his belt. I must say, he has gotten better every day here. I do have really high hopes for him. I think he is going to be very good for the future.”

Speaking of his round in Saturday’s competition, Brash explained that Hello Forever jumped the 1.60m track on Friday and had a bit of bad luck, so he chose to drop the horse down a level and give him a good final day.

“He jumped a big course yesterday and I thought it would be nice for him to drop down and have another trip around the arena,” Brash explained. “I felt confident today because he jumped so well yesterday and he jumped a really good first round today. I knew it was going to be a fast jump-off, and he is a fast horse, so we set off and luckily the rest did not catch us.”

The ‘Masters’ Tournament concludes on Sunday with the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, where all eyes will be on Britain’s star duo. Brash rode Hello Sanctos on Saturday and declared that the horse felt good and ready to go.

“It will be nice to get on with it now and go and do our job,” he said of the anticipation.

The world’s number one rider now also has an extra boost of confidence from a win before the big day. Brash laughed, “I don’t think it can do any harm anyway! It is great to get a win under our belt. Everyone wants to win at Spruce Meadows, so first of all it is nice to get a win and it does give you a bit of confidence that what you are doing is right.”

The $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, will begin at 12 noon. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Farrington Wins with One Time Fault in $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup at the ‘Masters’

Kent Farrington of USA riding Uceko. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Edwin Smits Tops $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 11, 2015 – An exciting evening of international show jumping took place complimented by equestrian exhibitions, live music and a dazzling display of fireworks during the Mercedes-Benz Evening of the Horse Friday night at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament.

It was a packed house to watch many of the world’s best horses and riders compete in the evening’s events, which included the second win of the week for Kent Farrington (USA) and Uceko in the $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m. The $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar was held later with a victory for Edwin Smits (SUI) and Rouge Pierreville over four rounds of competition.

Watch highlights from Friday’s competition.

The ‘Masters’ Tournament features five days of competition through Sunday, September 13, with highlights including Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex. One of the most prestigious grand prix events in the world, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, where Scott Brash (GBR) will attempt to become the first rider to ever take the Grand Slam title. Brash already made history by winning two consecutive legs of the challenge with victories at CHI Geneva in December followed by a second victory at CHIO Aachen a few months later. An unprecedented €1 million in bonus money is on offer to any rider who can win all three grand prix events in succession.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios set a difficult track for the horses and riders in Friday’s $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup. Out of 26 entries, no one was able to clear the course without fault. The win went to Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko with one time fault in 80.66 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) finished second with the fastest four-fault round riding Torrey Pines and Artisan Farms’ Victor in 78.31 seconds.

“The course was very big,” Farrington remarked on the lack of clear rounds. “That was as big as a 5* grand prix that we jump anywhere. I also think a lot of people did not have their top horses in there. The size of the course was quite big for the Friday class, but Uceko is a legitimate grand prix horse, so I think I had the right weapon today. It was a serious course with a very tight time allowed.”

Elizabeth Gingras (CAN) and Gingras Equestrian Ltd.’s Zilversprings placed third with four faults in 78.43 seconds. Scott Brash (GBR) also had one rail down with Hello Forever, owned by Lord and Lady Harry and Lady P Kirkham, to place fourth in a time of 78.52 seconds.

“I didn’t know if I was going to win because I never like to be that presumptuous, but when you look back at that course, Leopoldo would have been lucky to get one clear maybe. If there is a strong group of riders in there, somebody is going to pull it off usually. I was lucky to get away with it today; I was worried I was going to be crying all night with that time fault.”

With two wins for the week, Uceko will now have a well-deserved vacation. Farrington was thrilled with the horse’s performance and praised his mount, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander).

“He is an exceptional horse and he really likes to jump on big grass fields, so I try to use him heavily in those venues,” Farrington detailed. “He is a horse that goes better when he is excited, so I try to keep him really fresh. I give him half the year off every year. He is better when he has a lot of energy, so the more atmosphere a place has, the better he goes. Where a big field or a large crowd intimidates a lot of horses, he usually goes better in that setting.”

Edwin Smits Makes a Dream Come True

Friday night at the ‘Masters’ featured the always-exciting $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar competition in front of a fantastic crowd at Spruce Meadows. Thirteen entries started in round one and 11 continued on to round two. Six then qualified for the third round where only three were able to clear the obstacles. Robert Breul (FRA) and Arsouille du Seigneur opted not to continue on and took home the third place prize as Michael Whitaker (GBR) and Edwin Smits (SUI) battled it out in the fourth and final round. Whitaker jumped first aboard Emilie Machon and Michael Potter’s Valentin R, but dropped the top rail of the final fence, which was set at a staggering 1.95 meters. Smits and Rouge Pierreville followed with a perfect round to take victory.

Edwin Smits and Rouge Pierreville clear 1.95m
Edwin Smits and Rouge Pierreville clear 1.95m

After the prize giving ceremony and round of honor, Smits took in the magnitude of his first win at Spruce Meadows and gave praise to the iconic ‘Masters’ event.

“It is like a childhood dream come true,” he beamed. “I have never had the chance to compete at this level in a place like this. I have been here a few times as a spectator with my wife, who competed here at the Masters. Now finally in the autumn of my career, to come here and compete with the horses that I have, there are no words for what this is. The competition is amazing; all of the details, everything is perfect. We are guests here and we feel like kings. It is just amazing.”

Smits has only ridden Rouge Pierreville, a ten-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Ultimo van ter Moude x Narcos II) owned by Claire Franzoni and Daniel Desforges, for a few months. The rider explained that he saw the horse on video and immediately fell in love and asked to ride him for the owners. Despite the horse’s inexperience, he jumped flawlessly through each round Friday night and fed off the energy of the crowd as the fences got higher and higher.

“The key (to the six bar) is that you need a horse that does not want to touch the poles and wants to jump very big and very high,” Smits explained “This horse has so much scope. He is such a powerhouse. The first day here he was a little green, but he is really learning and I think this is a really big step in his career. I think he is going to go very high in this sport.”

“I think the crowd gives an extra energy to the horses as well,” Smits added. “As riders, it gives us an enormous boost, but for the horses also. They feel the adrenaline go up and they give you even more.”

In addition, Smits had help from show jumper Jessica Kürten Friday night. Kürten currently holds the record for the six bar at Spruce Meadows after clearing 2.12 meters and gave her friend some sound advice heading into the arena.

“She said to just go in and fight. Fight and jump it,” Smits declared with a smile.

With his six bar win, Smits has now qualified for Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex. The qualification also takes some of the pressure off as the rider returns to compete for Switzerland in Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup. His mount for each of the weekend’s major events will be Copain du Perchet CH, but Smits praised Rouge Pierreville for helping to make his dream of competing in the world’s greatest grand prix come true. The horse will now have a nice break before flying back to Europe.

The ‘Masters’ Tournament continues on Saturday featuring $125,000 Suncor Winning Round 1.50m followed by the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup, where eight teams will vie for winning honors. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Eric Lamaze Claims Third Career Victory in ATCO Cup

Photo © Starting Gate Communications.

Calgary, Canada – Canada’s Eric Lamaze scored victory in the $35,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup for the third time in his career at the CSIO5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament on Thursday, September 10. The five-day international show jumping tournament takes place September 9 through 13 in Calgary, AB.

Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 entered the $35,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup as the defending champions, having taken the win last year. Lamaze had also been victorious in the same event in 2011 with Coriana van Klapscheut.

This year, the Canadian Olympic Champion faced a starting field of 40 challengers in his quest to defend his title. When a total of 17 riders cleared the first round track set by two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, Lamaze had his work cut out for him. A competitive jump-off saw Canadian Olympian Lisa Carlsen of Spruce Grove, AB move into the lead after crossing the timers in 39.88 seconds riding Worlds Judgement. Her time at the top would be short-lived, however, as Lamaze guided Fine Lady 5 around the jump-off track and through the timers in 39.70 seconds to take the win.

“This is an event that is always won by a really fast horse,” said Lamaze, who is the all-time leading money winner at Spruce Meadows with earnings totalling more than $4.3 million to date. “Fine Lady is very fast. It doesn’t matter what people tell you about how fast the person was before you; you know you always have a chance with her to beat it. With some horses, you know it is not possible, but with her, it is always possible.”

Lamaze has been partnered with the 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) since the spring of 2014 when owners Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms LLC purchased her from Germany’s Holger Wulschner.

On Saturday, Lamaze will ride Fine Lady 5 as Canada attempts to defend its title in the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup. Lamaze will ride alongside Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, Tiffany Foster of North Vancouver, BC, and Ian Millar of Perth, ON as members of the Canadian Team.

For Sunday’s $1.5 million CP International, presented by Rolex, Lamaze plans to saddle up Artisan Farms LLC’s 10-year-old Rheinlander stallion, Coco Bongo, his mount at the recent TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games where Canada won the team gold medal. Lamaze is a two-time winner of the richest grand prix event held on North American soil, having claimed victory in 2007 and 2011 riding the legendary Hickstead.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.EricLamaze.com.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

Gregory Wathelet and Algorhythem Win $126,000 CANA Cup at Spruce Meadows

Gregory Wathelet of BEL riding Algorhythem. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 Top $35,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 10, 2015 – The 2015 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO 5* hosted its second day of competition with the world’s best horses and riders Thursday. Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet celebrated his 35th birthday as well as his first trip ever to Spruce Meadows with a win in the $126,000 CANA Cup 1.60m riding Algorhythem. Earlier in the afternoon, Canada’s Eric Lamaze rode to victory in the $35,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup 1.50m for the second year in a row aboard Fine Lady 5.

Watch highlights from Thursday’s competition at the Masters.

The ‘Masters’ Tournament features five days of competition through Sunday, September 13, with highlights including Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex. One of the most prestigious grand prix events in the world, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, where Scott Brash (GBR) will attempt to become the first rider to ever take the Grand Slam title. Brash already made history by winning two consecutive legs of the challenge with victories at CHI Geneva in December followed by a second victory at CHIO Aachen a few months later. An unprecedented €1 million in bonus money is on offer to any rider who can win all three grand prix events in succession.

On Thursday, the $126,000 CANA Cup was the feature event, shown over a 1.60m track set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios. Forty-seven entries contested the first round course, which yielded 14 clear rounds. Six entries were also able to clear the jump-off track without fault. Of the entries that were not able to clear the short course, two had refusals. An imposing wall set on a tight rollback turn became the bogey fence for the rest, dropping for six different pairs.

In the end, it was Gregory Wathelet and his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mount Algorhythem (Tampa x Calvados), who completed the fastest clear round in 43.70 seconds. The pair pushed Roger Yves Bost (FRA) into second place with a time of 44.90 seconds aboard Nippon d’Elle. France also finished third as Kevin Staut and Qurack de Falasie HDC clocked in at 47.42 seconds.

Wathelet captured the winning prize of $41,580 and hoisted the CANA Cup for his first win in Spruce Meadows’ esteemed International Ring. Commenting on his victory, the rider smiled, “I feel really good. It is always good to win and it is very special for me to win here in Calgary because it is a tournament that I have wanted to do for many years. I am really happy that I could come this year. It is an amazing place with amazing facilities and everything is perfect. The people are really nice and winning makes it even better.”

Algorhythem is a horse that is usually ridden by Wathelet’s girlfriend and has not competed much at this level, but the rider feels that he has the potential to become a championship horse.

“He just started at the big level three or four months ago,” the rider stated. “Normally my girlfriend rides him, but now she is studying and she does not have as much time, so lucky me, I get to ride him for one more year.”

“The first big grand prix he did was four weeks ago in Valkenswaard (NED) on the Global Champions Tour. He was fifth and double clear,” Wathelet continued. “I really think it is a horse for the big level in the future, maybe for a championship I am sure. Now I am just working to build him up and bring him to the real top level and I think having him here is really a good step in that direction. It is really an easy horse. He has good mentalities. When you come in the ring, nothing is difficult. He does not spook at all. Yesterday I was maybe a little bit scared because I had to go straight in the big competition, but he acted like he had already jumped many times here. It was more me who had to get used to that ring and the big fences.”

Wathelet knew that the only way he would win against the talented list of horses and riders in Thursday’s jump-off was to go as fast as he could.

“When we go to the jump-off, if I know that I have a horse who can win and be in front, for sure I am going to try. That is the sport,” he declared. “With that horse, even if it does not have the most experience and has not done that many speed competitions or jump-offs, I know that he can go fast. I took my chances and he did really well.”

“I did not see the riders before me. I did not see Bosty; I just knew that he was in the lead and he is always really fast,” Wathelet continued. “I saw the jump-offs yesterday and they were crazy fast. I did not know where I could win, but I knew that I needed to take all the risk and go full speed from the beginning. That was the only way to win and I think it will be the same every day for the competitions here.”

With his first Spruce Meadows win under his belt, Wathelet now plans to compete Algorhythem on Belgium’s team for the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup. He is also already pre-qualified for Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex, after winning the individual silver medal at this year’s European Championships in Aachen with Conrad de Huis.

Lamaze Tops ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup for Second Year in a Row

The ‘Masters’ Tournament continued in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows Thursday morning with the $35,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup shown over a 1.50m course set by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN). For the second year in a row, Canada’s Eric Lamaze raised the trophy for a win aboard Artisan Farms LLC’s Fine Lady 5, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II).

Eric Lamaze of CAN riding Fine Lady 5
Eric Lamaze of CAN riding Fine Lady 5

“It is an event that is usually won by a really fast horse,” Lamaze remarked on his victories. “Actually, all of the competitions here are won by a fast horse and she is very fast.”

Thirty-eight entries jumped the first round course, with 21 qualifying for the jump-off and ten double clear rounds. Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 carved out a victory in 39.70 seconds over Lisa Carlsen (CAN) and Worlds Judgement in 39.88 seconds. Chile’s Samuel Parot jumped into third with a time of 40.24 seconds aboard Couscous van Orti, and Guy Williams (GBR) finished fourth riding Casper de Muze in 40.43 seconds.

“It is great to go in the ring when it does not matter what people tell you about how fast the person was before you. You know you always have a chance with her to win it,” Lamaze stated. “Some horses you know it is not possible, but with her it is possible.”

Commenting on his jump-off track, Lamaze continued, “I had a lot of help at the back gate telling me what Lisa had done. The word was that it was very fast. Fine Lady is a very quick turner and she is very quick at landing and going places, so she is not a difficult horse to go fast with.”

The ‘Masters’ Tournament continues on Friday featuring the $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m and the $75,000 ATCO ELECTRIC ‘Circuit’ Six Bar. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Kent Farrington and McLain Ward Win on Opening Day at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

Kent Farrington of USA riding Uceko during the AKITA Drilling Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Calgary, AB, Canada – September 9, 2015 – The 2015 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament CSIO 5* got underway on Wednesday celebrating 40 years of outstanding competition at one of the world’s most iconic venues. Top international horses and riders convened for opening day, which featured wins for Kent Farrington (USA) and Uceko in the $85,000 AKITA Drilling Cup 1.60m and McLain Ward (USA) aboard HH Carlos Z in the $35,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m.

Watch highlights from Wednesday’s competition at the Masters.

The ‘Masters’ Tournament features five days of competition through Sunday, September 13, with highlights including Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex. One of the most prestigious grand prix events in the world, the CP International is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, where Scott Brash (GBR) will attempt to become the first rider to ever take the Grand Slam title. Brash already made history by winning two consecutive legs of the challenge with victories at CHI Geneva in December followed by a second victory at CHIO Aachen a few months later. An unprecedented €1 million in bonus money is on offer to any rider who can win all three grand prix events in succession.

Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios is the course designer in Spruce Meadows’ famed International Ring for this week’s tournament. Palacios began competition on Wednesday with two fantastic events highlighted by a win for Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko in the $85,000 AKITA Drilling Cup. Thirty-seven entries jumped in round one, with a star studded jump-off of 17 to follow and seven double clear rounds.

In the jump-off, Richard Spooner (USA) and Show Jumping Syndication Intl.’s Cristallo set the early pace in 39.81 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Kevin Staut (FRA) upped the pace with his round in 39.75 seconds to take home third place honors aboard Haras des Coudrettes’ Elky van het Indihof HDC. Farrington and Uceko soon stole the lead in an impressive 38.62 seconds to hold on for the win. Last to go, Roger Yves Bost (FRA) jumped into second place with a time of 38.99 seconds aboard Quod’Coeur de la Loge, owned by Equiblue et Bosty Jump.

Following his win, Farrington spoke of the exciting atmosphere and fantastic conditions starting off this year’s event.

“The level of competition here is always very high, particularly at the Masters,” Farrington stated. “These are the best riders in the world using their best horses, so there is no easy victory here. The conditions are fantastic. The field looks great and it is jumping great. That is nothing new here at Spruce Meadows. I think this is one of the best jumping fields in the world and today was as good as ever. My horse loves it here too, so that works out well for me. I always try to make a good schedule for him where he gets to compete a lot at Spruce Meadows.”

A 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander), Uceko is very experienced and Farrington knows that the spacious field of the International Ring is one of his favorite venues.

“The course today was not super technical,” Farrington said of the competition. “I think it was bigger fences, but a simpler course to get everybody going here the first day. There were a lot of horses in the jump-off, so you knew that it was going to be very fast. Richard Spooner and Bosty – those are some of the fastest riders anyplace, so the jump-off was quite fast. My horse is also typically very fast on a field, so I think if you looked at those top four horses, you know that it was going to be very competitive today.”

Speaking of where he made the time, Farrington added, “I think it was probably throughout the whole course, not necessarily in one line. I think the top few horses all did the same number of strides in the last line. I was very fast to the double across the middle of the ring, and Uceko is very experienced here, so I can turn quite short to the fences. I think I turned really short back on the skinny vertical and also to the second fence.”

After winning the CSIO 5* grand prix at the Dublin Horse Show in August, Farrington is already pre-qualified for Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, but plans to compete his other top mount, Voyeur. The CP International is one of the only major events that Farrington has yet to win in his inspiring career, and the rider admits that it is definitely on his To-Do list.

“I think every rider in the world would love to win that competition here. The Masters in Calgary is very special. It is the biggest prize money that we jump for all year and the courses are always massive, so I think that is something that we would all like to have on our resume,” Farrington concluded.

Ward Wins on Opening Day

The $35,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m was the first competition held on Wednesday to kick things off at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament. Course designer Leopoldo Palacios saw 53 starters, with 19 clear rounds and 17 entries that chose to return for the jump-off. McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Carlos Z were the winners in a speedy time of 39.46 seconds over Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC’s Fine Lady 5, who finished second in a time of 39.77.

Hardin Towell (USA) placed third aboard Jennifer Gates’ Lucifer V in 40.70 seconds, and Beezie Madden earned fourth place honors with a time of 40.96 riding Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS.

McLain Ward of USA riding HH Carlos Z in the TELUS Cup
McLain Ward of USA riding HH Carlos Z in the TELUS Cup

HH Carlos Z has had an incredible season, including three CSI 5* wins during this year’s Summer Series at Spruce Meadows. The 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) then had a short break before returning to win a $100,000 Grand Prix in Saugerties, New York, at the beginning of August. He competed once more last week before making the trip back to Calgary.

“Carlos is always a little winning machine. I was really pleased with him; he handled it well,” Ward said of his opening victory. “He had a nice rest in August and feels fresh and ready to go. He loves this ring. He is a little, careful horse and you would think this ring would intimidate him, but he seems to really like it.”

To those who know Ward well, some may have noticed that the rider was not in his usual attire Wednesday. Ward flew to Calgary from Newark, New Jersey, and his luggage had yet to arrive in the morning. Thanks to Rodrigo Pessoa (BEL) and Ben Asselin (CAN), the rider was able to piece together an outfit for the day.

“The clothing was a bit of a problem,” Ward noted. “I am a little funny about my clothes; they are all pretty tailored. I was stressing a little bit this morning, but luckily a few riders lent me their wardrobes and I had my own boots, so everything went fine.”

It went more than just fine as HH Carlos Z sped through the course fault-free for the win. The little horse is always a professional, and he was game no matter what his rider was wearing.

Commenting on his jump-off round, Ward detailed, “I didn’t see Eric, but I know what he can do with that horse and I knew that he went into the lead. Carlos is just an incredibly fast horse and very careful. I thought jumps one, two, three and four were very fast. I actually made a bit of a mistake to jump number five in the jump-off. I added up late and it was not the right choice, but Carlos helped me out and the turn showed up good. Those rollbacks are always a little bit to chance on grass; the horses slip sometimes, but the ground held nicely for him. It was by a sliver, but we’ll take it.”

As the ‘Masters’ Tournament continues, Ward has his sights set on the $1.5 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, where he plants to compete young mount HH Azur. Ward is pre-qualified thanks to winning the individual gold medal in July’s Pan American Games and feels good heading into the weekend.

“I am always confident in my horses and my team behind me,” he stated. “We are aiming HH Azur to the grand prix. She had a nice schooling round today with some time faults, but she felt great. She will do one more competition before the big event. I have the luxury of being pre-qualified, which is a huge bonus. I believe she can win, but at the same time she is a nine-year-old horse and you have to have good perspective about that.”

The ‘Masters’ Tournament continues on Thursday featuring the $35,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m followed by the $126,000 CANA Cup 1.60m. For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com
803.240.7488
jenniferwoodmedia.com

Preview Film: The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

08 September 2015 – The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the ultimate prize in equestrian sport. In five days’ time, at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, one horseman, Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, has the chance to make history and become the first rider to claim the prestigious award.

Please find below a short copyright free preview film, presented by Rolex.

YouTube link

Media Contacts:
Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 2761

Rod Kohler
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
T: +44(0)207 592 1207

USEF Names Jumping Team for Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and FEI Nations Cup Final

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the athletes representing the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team at upcoming Nations Cup competitions. Robert Ridland will serve as the Chef d’Equipe for both teams.

The following athletes (in alphabetical order) will represent the U.S. in the BMO Nations Cup during the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 9-13:

Georgina Bloomberg (New York City, N.Y.)
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)
Todd Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.)
McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.)

Find out more about the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* Tournament.

The following athletes (in alphabetical order) will represent the U.S. in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final at CSIO5* Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, September 24-27:

Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Margie Engle (Wellington, Fla.)
Lauren Hough (Wellington, Fla.)
Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.)
Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.)

Find out more about CSIO5* Barcelona.

From the USEF Communications Department

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in Contention as World’s Finest Riders Head to Spruce Meadows

1 September 2015, Spruce Meadows, Canada – The 2015 edition of Spruce Meadows marks the 40th edition of this exceptional event. The peak of this anniversary tournament will be the CP International, presented by Rolex, where one rider has the chance to take home the ultimate Show Jumping prize: The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

British competitor Scott Brash could make history and become the first to succeed in this unique challenge. Brash has already made history by becoming the first rider to win two consecutive legs of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

His quest started at the greatest indoor show in the world, CHI Geneva, last December, when he triumphed in the Rolex Grand Prix. A few months later, he soared to stunning victory at the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen in Germany – possibly the most prized in the world. Winning it – in the electric atmosphere of the huge grass arena – is akin to winning a gold medal at a championship.

He instantly declared his intention to compete for the final stage of the Rolex Grand Slam at Spruce Meadows, saying: “To win one leg is already hard enough; to win two is extremely difficult; to win three is going to be really hard. But the Rolex Grand Slam is the ultimate challenge, so I will definitely try and win it.”

Scott Brash’s partner in both Geneva and Aachen was Hello Sanctos, the 13-year-old Belgian-bred gelding owned by Lord and Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, with which he has won many major grand prix around the world. Brash is taking no chances with Hello Sanctos and is resting him in order to target this exceptional opportunity at sporting glory in Spruce Meadows.

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping represents the pinnacle of equestrian sporting achievement. Launched in 2013, it is the only global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the three Majors consecutively – CHIO Aachen in Germany, Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada and CHI Geneva in Switzerland. Only a great horseman or horsewoman could win this most prestigious challenge of show jumping.

A VENUE LIKE NO OTHER

Spruce Meadows is one of the world’s greatest equestrian venues, founded by the Southern family, who understood just what it takes to reach the pinnacle of such a demanding and thrilling sport. At the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Canada, Spruce Meadows has a spectacular setting, as well as the perfect facilities for athletes to perform to the best of their abilities.

Spruce Meadows is the most popular venue for equine sport in North America. The highlight of its season is the ‘Masters’ Tournament, which runs from 9-13 September 2015.

The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament has been named the number one event in Show Jumping four times, and Rolex is proud to have been associated with it since 1989.

Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze, who won The International, presented by Rolex, at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in 2007 and 2011, said, “For me, Spruce Meadows is one of the most exciting venues in the world. As you proceed through the course the noise gets louder and louder; as a rider I’ve never heard anything like it and the horses feel it, too.

“It’s the Super Bowl of Show Jumping and gives you chills when you come into the ring. You want to put in that clear round to hear the crowd come to life.”

The finest riders and horses from round the globe will be vying for victory and leading the way will be Rolex’s Equestrian Testimonees.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES

At its heart, top-class sport is all about performance. To be the very best, an athlete must be able to repeatedly deliver under pressure. As the world’s leading makers of timepieces, this is something Rolex understands perfectly.

But some of the fascination in equestrian sport comes from the fact that, however talented and consistent the human athlete may be, he or she must possess an exceptional range of complementary abilities in order to form a winning partnership with the equine athlete.

They must be patient, sportsmanlike and sympathetic – but also courageous, resilient and quick-thinking. It is these qualities that turn a rider into a horseman, qualities found at the heart of every Rolex Testimonee.

Eric Lamaze is a Canadian sporting hero. He won individual gold at the 2008 Olympics, and his many Spruce Meadows victories include two at The International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex (the predecessor to the now CP International). He is respected worldwide for his outstanding horsemanship and will be one of Scott Brash’s toughest opponents.

Kent Farrington is the United States’ highest-rated show jumper. His 2015 form has been superb, and includes a win in the RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, another at Spruce Meadows in June and again in the Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex, in July. He has yet to win the grand prix at the ‘Masters’ Tournament, and is determined to make it happen.

The Europe-based riders will have further to travel but are still in contention for the prestigious prize.

Kevin Staut has established himself as one of the top riders in the world and travels to Canada looking to claim his first Spruce Meadows title. Swiss leading rider Steve Guerdat has accumulated some impressive results in 2015. With a victory at the World Cup, held in Las Vegas earlier this year, he is a strong contender for the prize.

Rolex’s newest and youngest Testimonee, Bertram Allen from Ireland, will make his Spruce Meadows debut this year. At only 19 years-old, Allen has proved he has maturity beyond his years after becoming the youngest ever rider to compete in the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen, where he placed in the top 10.

ABOUT ROLEX

Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.

SPRUCE MEADOWS INTERNATIONAL – PAST WINNERS

2014   Ian Millar (CAN), Dixson
2013   Pieter Devos (BEL), Candy
2012   Oliver Philippaerts (BEL), Cabrio Van De Heffinck
2011   Eric Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead
2010   Jeroen Dubbledam (NED), Simon
2009   McLain Ward (USA), Sapphire
2008   Nick Skelton (GBR), Arko III
2007   Eric Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead
2006   Eugenie Angot (FRA), Cigale du Tallis
2005   Beezie Madden (USA), Judgement
2004   Jos Lansink (BEL), Cumano

Media Contacts:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 22 302 2761

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 7770 647 662