The $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.60m was the highlight of today's schedule at the Spruce Meadows 'National' Tournament. Darragh Kerins (IRL) and E Muze Yek found the key to a clear round and were fastest in the jump-off for Kerins' first victory in the International Ring. McLain Ward won for the second day in a row, this time on Zander in the $33,000 ATCO Pipelines Cup 1.45m. Another first-time International ring win came for Lauren Tisbo and Roundthorn Madios in the $33,000 Prairie Mines & Royalty Cup 1.50m.
The $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.60m had 28 entries that contested a course set by Werner Deeg of Germany. Nine were clear through to the jump-off. The winning time of 40.165 seconds was set early in the jump-off by Kerins and E Muze Yek, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Carthago owned by Kerins and Maarten Huygens. They went second in the jump-off and no one was able to catch their speedy time and keep the jumps up.
Kerins was "delighted" with the way his horse jumped, and with his progress over the past five months. They started out in the 1.40m classes in Florida this winter, although Kerins has ridden E Muze Yek off and on for over a year. Coming to Spruce Meadows and going into the International Ring, Kerins "didn't know what to expect." He described, "He can be a bit sensitive and this ring can be daunting. He's maturing very quick. I didn't think he'd be this far a couple months ago. I couldn't be happier with where he's at right now."
While he has notched several second place finishes, this was Kerins' first victory in the International Ring. "The first couple of years I came, it beat me up pretty bad. To come back this year and win was great," he expressed.
Second place went to Ashlee Bond (USA) and Wistful, owned by Little Valley Farm. They were clear in 40.959 seconds. Ian Millar (CAN) and Team Works' Star Power were third with no faults in 41.023 seconds.
Bond noted that this was Wistful's "third or fourth 1.60m class ever." She said, "We bought her as a seven-year-old. She's still very green and I'm trying to give her good experiences and not take too much out of her. I'm elated and so proud of her. It's a huge accomplishment for her to do that tonight."
Ian Millar was pleased with his partner of four years, but is also looking at the long-term plans of the next World Equestrian Games/Pan American Games/Olympic Games cycle. "They're long-term partners," he said, "so it gets very personal with horses and ourselves."
All three riders praised the new turf footing in the International Ring. Millar pointed out, "To get new ground to maturity in about eight months is a huge accomplishment. It's another first for Spruce Meadows. No other venue in the world has ever put in ground that has come in line this quickly, that's been this good."
Final Results: $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.60m
1. E MUZE YEK: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by For Pleasure x Carthago
DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Darragh Kerins & Maarten Huygens: 0/0/40.17
2. WISTFUL: 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare by Grand Star x Polydor
ASHLEE BOND (USA), Little Valley Farm: 0/0/40.96
3. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 0/0/41.02
4. CAMPBELL VDL: 2004 Holsteiner stallion by Cassini I x Carpaccio
CANDICE KING (USA), Stateside Farm LLC: 0/0/44.31
5. DONATELLA C: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Mr. Blue
PAOLA AMILIBIA (ESP), Federico Fernandez: 0/0/49.73
6. FLAMING STAR: 1999 AES gelding by Fairman x Unknown
CHARLIE JACOBS (USA), CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 0/4/39.32
7. MIKA: 2000 Selle Francais gelding by Nidor Platiere x Rubis Rouge
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/4/40.48
8. SANDOR DE LA POMME: 2002 SBS gelding by Vigo D'arsouilles x Darco
MCLAIN WARD (USA), The Wannahave Group: 0/4/41.96
9. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 0/8/49.65
10. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky:4/83.17
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. / Spruce Meadows
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