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Britannia Rules the $100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the 89th Royal Horse Show

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The winning couple in Toronto; Great Britain's Scott Brash & Bon Ami. Photo by Michelle Dunn.

Scott Brash set the tone this evening at the Royal Horse Show with the first clear round of the night, which continued through to the very end,besting a prominent international field to come out on top. As the first clear round of ten in the evening, Brash led the way in the jump-off posting a fault-free round in a time of 41.95 seconds which could not be matched.

“My horse was a little bit sharp yesterday but tonight he was much more relaxed,” said Brash following the class. “After the jump-off I came out of the ring slightly disappointed in myself. My horse was jumping fantastic and I had walked the last line in seven strides and planned to do seven strides, and I ended up going in eight strides where I could easily have gone in seven. I didn’t think I was going to be fast enough but luckily I was!”  

Runner-up; Ireland's Connor Swail on Lansdowne. Photo by Ben Radvanyi.Irish eyes will surely be smiling as Conor Swail and Dermott Lennon took second and third respectively. Swail rode Lansdowne to a fault-free jump-off time of 42.4 seconds, mere fractions behind the leader. “He’s not a particularly fast horse in the jump-off,” remarked Swail. “He has a big stride though, and I was of two minds on how fast to go. I knew there were some fast riders to come behind me. I thought if I had a nice, smooth round, I could maybe try and catch Scott. I’m very pleased.” The 2011 Canadian Show Jumping Champion, Yann Candele of Schomberg, Ontario, was the highest placed Canadian, finishing in fourth with Susan Grange’s Game Ready.

Many presentations were featured in the Horse Show this evening but none was more anticipated than the tribute to Hickstead, the Olympic mount of Eric Lamaze, who tragically passed away last weekend at a competition in Verona, Italy. Fans wearing black ‘Hickstead’ armbands packed the stands to watch a video montage which reviewed career highlights and the story of the pair.

Earlier in the day, Lamaze held a press-conference to allow media to ask questions, before removing himself from the public eye for the rest of the competition. He emphasized his decision to come and compete at the Royal Horse Show, so soon after the tragedy, was to honour the legacy of his partner, and to let the Canadian fans pay tribute to their national hero.

“I am here for the Canadian public and I am here to honour Hickstead; that’s why I came,” explained Lamaze. “Hickstead was a special horse that was exciting to watch, and he loved a loud crowd.  Being such an international horse, Hickstead didn’t get a lot of time to come to Canada.  The people who are going to come to the Royal will get a last chance to remember him.  If I would have stayed back in Europe and not come here because I wasn’t feeling great about riding, I don’t think he would have gotten the recognition that he has received already and is about to get.  I am here to remember Hickstead.”

Third; Dermott Lennon & Hallmark Elite. Photo by Michelle Dunn.

Click here for full results from the show.

$100,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix – Top Five

1. Scott Brash / Bon Ami /  0 : 41.95
2. Conor Swail /  Lasdowne / 0 : 42.4
3. Dermott Lennon / Hallmark Elite / 0 : 44.19
4. Yann Candele /  Game Ready / 4 : 40.19
5. McLain Ward /  Rothchild / 4 : 40.23

Source: Press release from Dunn

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