Anthony D'Ambrosio (USA) is the course designer in the All Canada Ring this week, which saw a win for Darragh Kenny of Ireland in the $8,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m to kick off the final week of summer competition at Spruce Meadows. Kenny and the nine-year-old Hanoverian mare, Fantasy (For Pleasure x Acorado), completed the fastest of 13 clear rounds out of 45 total competitors over D'Ambrosio's speed track. Their winning time of 70.819 seconds just edged out Hector Florentino (DOM) and Anemone's Vicky, owned by Stransky's Mission Farms. They held the lead through most of the competition with a time of 71.066 seconds, but had to settle for second. Lisa Carlsen (CAN) and Alycia Hayes' World's Judgment finished third in 71.965 seconds.
Fantasy is shown under the ownership of Oakland Ventures LLC. She was purchased by Darragh Kenny, in partnership with trainer Don Stewart, in March. Kenny saw the mare compete with rider Kyle Timm in Ocala, FL, and bought her soon after. "She was only jumping 1.35m and had done one 1.40m," Kenny explained. "I had seen the mare the September before and really liked her. She is great quality, lots of scope, super blood, and really careful. I think she is going to be very nice, I am just going to take my time with her a little bit."
"She is a really, really interesting mare," Kenny said. "She has been placed a couple of times in the 1.45m classes. She did the two derbies here and she was very good in those. She is still quite green in her riding, but she is super brave, and I think she has a lot of ability. I think she can do really good things."
Fantasy's confidence and ability led Kenny to jump her in the derby competitions for experience this summer, and she fared well with the demanding course both times. "She is extremely brave. She does all that stuff very well," Kenny noted. "I wanted to do that with her because it is good for her to get that kind of experience going around the ring. It is bigger jumps without putting her in a class that is too big for her. You have lots more space in the derby and lots more room to set up the jumps, so you don't make that many mistakes at the jumps. I think it is easier for her to figure out how to jump bigger jumps that way."
Fantasy's experience came into play in her win Thursday morning where Kenny kept a tidy track to shave off the time. "I didn't actually go that fast, I just stayed very tight," he explained. "She turns really well and you can turn back to any jump and she has the jump to jump it easy, so I just stayed very tight. There was an option to do the grob or do a double that was on the left side, which was actually a shorter line to do the double, and I just did that with her because I know she jumps the grob no problem."
Final Results: $8,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
1 FANTASY: Hanoverian / M / 9 For Pleasure x Acorado
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Oakland Ventures LLC: 0/70.819
2 ANEMONES VICKY: Dutch Warmblood / M / 12 Krunch de Breve x Animo
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Stransky's Mission Farms: 0/71.066
3 WORLDS JUDGEMENT: Dutch Warmblood / M / 11 Judgement x Farmer
LISA CARLSEN (CAN), Alycia Hayes: 0/71.965
4 ARIANA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 13 Oklund x Damiro
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 0/72.243
5 LAPACCO: Holstein / G / 15 Lavaletto x Grundyman
WESLEY NEWLANDS (CAN), Weslands Farm: 0/73.489
6 COMETA: Oldenburg / G / 9 Contender x For Pleasure
NICOLAS PIZARRO SUAREZ (MEX), Veronica Portugal M: 0/74.229
7 CALVERO IV: Holstein / G / 10 Contact Me x Carolus I
PORTER ALLEN (USA), Porter Allen: 0/75.724
8 RAGING BULL VANGELIS S: Belgian Warmblood / S / 16 Nonstop x Indocrtro
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Nayel Nassar: 0/76.037
9 SALAMERA DE LA NUTRIA: Warmblood / M / 8 Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire
ANTONIO MAURER (MEX), Salvador Onate: 0/76.637
10 VICKY VAN HET GEINSTEINDE: Belgian Warmblood / M / 16 Skippy II x Lurano
LUIS ALEJANDRO PLACENSIA (MEX), Mario Onate: 0/77.193
11 FIEGO VAN DE ZONNENWEIDE: Belgian Warmblood / G / 9 Quidam de Revel x Darco
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA), Nathalie de Gunzburg: 0/77.574
12 NLF FAVORITE: Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 Action Breaker x Indoctro
EIRIN BRUHEIM (NOR), Nordic Lights Farm: 0/77.839
Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows Media Services
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