With a record five day crowd of 117,336 braving the heat, the 2012 Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament was wrapped up on the last day of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. With the Olympics fast approaching, the Sunday of the ‘North American’ Tournament marks the last International competition for many riders before the opening ceremonies in London. With this in mind, Daniel Bluman (COL) walked through the clock tower of the International Ring, hoping to put in one last good round before departing to England. Going up against 25 horse/rider combinations, Bluman and his Olympic mount, the 9 year old Warmblood mare, Sancha LS La Silla, took home the 1 Akita Drilling Cup. The course, which featured 16 obstacles over 510 metres, saw 4 combinations return for the jump off. “This has been a great 5 weeks for her” Bluman commented about his mare. “This venue is the perfect place to prepare for something like an Olympic games.”
In an extreme test of endurance and stamina for the horse, the $140,000 Cenovus Energy Classic Derby has stood the test of time to push riders and horses to their best. The course, which was designed by Pamela Carruthers 27 years ago, has 21 jumping obstacles, including the famous Spruce Meadows bank and the dreaded Devils Dyke, stretched over 995 meters of track. After 22 horse/rider combinations took to the course, three veteran riders posted clear rounds, and advanced into the jump off. Facing off against 2012 Nexen Cup Champion Richard Spooner (USA) and 2011 Nexen Cup Champion Leslie Howard (USA), Katie Prudent (USA) and her 10 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding, V, were the only combination to post double clear rounds, an unusual feat in a derby. This is Prudents first FEI win of the season, although after coming second in the 2012 Nexen Cup Derby, she commented that it wasn’t much of a surprise for her. “I knew he could do it.” Prudent said after the win. “He came so close in the last derby, and I took him in some other competitions to show him the rest of the field, but I knew he could do all the natural obstacles in the International Ring.”
Although Richard Spooner missed out on a rare two derbies in a single season, his success over the past five weeks gave him plenty of recognition. With five FEI wins under his belt this season, Spooner took home gold in the G & C Riders Cup, after coming in second last year to Mario Deslauriers (USA). Richard was also able to defend his title as the Spruce Meadows North American Champion.
In the next few days tack will be packed up and horses will ship off to London for the Olympics. While Spruce Meadows will quiet down for several weeks, the world will turn its eyes back to Calgary for the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament September 5th-9th, which features the richest Grand Prix in Show Jumping, the $1,000,000 CN International.
Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows Media Services
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