The $33,500 ATCO Energy Solutions Cup 1.50m was held in the afternoon with a 16-horse jump-off out of 47 first round starters. Only four competitors were able to clear the short course without fault, where Eric Lamaze and Artisan Farms LLC's Fine Lady 5 took top prize.
Tiffany Foster and Victor, owned by Torrey Pines & Artisan Farms LLC, were first to jump-off and set the pace at 46.03 seconds to finish fourth. McLain Ward upped the ante in 44.44 seconds, next to go with Carl Rijcken's d'Ulien van de Smeets, to eventually place second. He was bested a few rounds later by Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 in a blazing 43.03 seconds. Ian Millar completed the only other double clear round in 44.53 seconds with Susan and Ariel Grange's Dixson to finish third.
Fine Lady 5 is a brand new ride for Lamaze, but the pair has already won two classes with several other top finishes at this summer's tournaments. The 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch) had lots of success with her previous rider, Holger Wulschner of Germany, and Lamaze explained that he knew they would be a great match.
"She was winning way before she met me," he stated. "She has been a winner for a long time. With her previous rider, she did nothing but win. I'm just getting what the other rider had. I don't think I've added anything to it. It is a horse that I knew I was going to click with for sure. That type of horse you definitely have to click with, but one thing she knows is how to win, so it took a very short time to get together."
Detailing his speedy jump-off round, Lamaze noted, "I didn't see McLain go, but he is really a fast rider. I know him well and I knew that this was going to be a fast jump-off, but I was sitting on the right horse. She is incredibly fast, and she is really careful. I knew that the turn at the top end meant a lot for me. She doesn't have the longest stride, so the long gallop is the hardest part, but in the roll back and the turns she is extremely quick. I went from fence one to two nicely fast and then I really risked that turn at the top end. The skinny I went quite fast to and then risked that turn again and then got a really forward ride to the last fence to be quick."
"Sometimes it's the distance that you see that determines how fast you go," he continued. "The opportunity is not always in front of you to take, other than doing something really stupid and risking something. This time it was there to be a fast last fence. A vertical or an oxer, it doesn't really matter for her. She is just so careful."
"She reminds of riding Hickstead at this height," Lamaze acknowledged. "She is just so careful and the jumps are sort of just in your way. You don't have any worries of knocking them down. It's like she has eyes in her legs. She knows where the poles are, so as a rider you just have to put her in security and not do anything stupid. That's my job."
Wednesday's competition began in the morning with the $33,500 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m in the International Ring. The one round speed course saw 61 entries in total with 21 clear rounds. Will Simpson completed the fastest clear clear round in 61.98 seconds for the win aboard Monarch International's Axl-Rose, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Ti Amo van het Lambroeck x Forever).
Richard Spooner and Maxine and Robert Jack's Zaprilia M finished second in 62.29 seconds. Nick Dello Joio took third place honors with Coker Farm's Contiki in 62.85 seconds. Simpson also finished fourth aboard Monarch International's Warrant in 63.07 seconds.
Axl-Rose is another horse that Simpson is showing for owner Hannah von Heidegger after the rider had a fall last week. Although Simpson has ridden Axl-Rose before, Wednesday was his first time competing the gelding.
"He thinks he's a rock star. He came with that name, but it fits him well," Simpson stated after their win. "The last class he rode, he had a little bobble, so I didn't know what to expect. He's very game. He was very, very quick across the ground. He's not shaken up at all, and he is ready to go."
"He was a little bit rambunctious in the schooling area," Simpson detailed. "He was acting like he wanted to accelerate after the jump, and I didn't really want him to. My plan, I said, 'Ok, I'm just going to let you go,' and I did. By the end he was waiting for me like a gentleman. It worked out really good today."
Simpson also had a great round with his mount Warrant and was happy with two top finishes to kick of the 'North American' Tournament. "I can't even remember the last time I won in International Ring," he stated. "I am really happy with both of those horses. I'm really happy that Axl is jumping and responding. Warrant – that was the first time I've shown him FEI for quite a while. I just got him last year. I was thrilled with him. I just chickened out to the skinny; I made a little bit of a wide turn there. It's good to be back in the International Ring."
The $33,500 AON Cup 1.45m speed competition followed with a win for Darragh Kenny and Oakland Ventures LLC's Picolo. Fifty-four entries showed with 20 clear rounds. Kenny and the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Alme) stopped the clock in 54.17 seconds. Colombia's John Perez guided Utopia to second place honors in 56.68 seconds. Venezuela's Pablo Barrios placed third in 57.24 seconds aboard The Romeo Group's Romeo.
Before his round with Picolo, Kenny had the opportunity to see some of the competition and plan his ride accordingly. In particular, he watched the very fast round of Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083, who had an unfortunate rail to finish out of the ribbons.
"Picolo is just really fast. I went as fast as he could go, and he was very good today," Kenny stated. "I knew that Shane had been very fast. He went in 55 (seconds), but had the last jump down. His horse and my horse are quite similar in the speed they can go. The leading time was 56, so I knew if I just stayed on it the whole way, he should be able to do it. I had a plan from the start, and I stuck with it. I think it's a good way to do it. I just look at someone who's usually pretty fast and see what their time was, how many strides they did, how fast they were, and what I need to do to be faster. It worked out great."
"He's a real winner," Kenny said of Picolo. "He just keeps doing as much as I ask him. The horse was a genius when I bought him. He teaches me things. From the day I got him, he has always been a winner. He doesn't need to improve on anything. I might need to improve, but he doesn't. He is so fast that a couple of the days I went too fast. I just figured out that to be really fast on him, I actually don't need to go so fast at the start. I need to not think about it too much, just get going at a nice pace and he picks it up."
Picolo jumped his first 1.50m competition at Spruce Meadows in last week's 'Canada One' Tournament and Kenny hopes to step him up to that height again this week.
The 'North American' Tournament continues on Thursday with a full schedule of competition in the International Ring starting with the $33,500 Suncast Cup 1.45m. The day will also feature the $35,000 PwC Cup 1.50m and the $85,000 Progress Energy Cup 1.55m. For more information and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Final Results: $33,500 ATCO Energy Solutions Cup 1.50m
1 FINE LADY 5: Hanoverian / M / 11 Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/43.03
2 D'ULIEN VAN DE SMEETS: Belgian Warmblood / M / 11 Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Darco
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Susan Heller & McLain Ward: 0/0/44.44
3 DIXSON: Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Vigo D Arsouilles x Olisco
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/0/44.53
4 VICTOR: Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Elmshorn x Grandeur
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Torrey Pines & Artisan Farms: 0/0/46.03
5 ZIGALI PS: Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Kigali x Palfrenier
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/2/54.17
6 MATADOR: Dutch Warmblood / S / 12 Indoctro x Corland
JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX), Jaime Azcarraga: 0/4/48.69
7 VALESKA: Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 Vigo d'Arsouilles x Heartbreaker
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/4/48.74
8 WANNICK WH: Dutch Warmblood / S / 11 Heartbreaker x Joost
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/4/50.89
9 QUILEBO DU TILLARD: Selle Francais / G / 10 For Pleasure x Quat Sous
ENRIQUE GONZALEZ (MEX), Enrique Gonzalez: 0/5/53.70
10 HH DONNATELLA: Belgian Warmblood / M / 11 Toulon x Mr. Blue
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/8/47.08
11 FINEMAN: Swedish Warmblood / G / 11 Feliciano x Beach Boy
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/8/50.65
12 EXACTO LS: Warmblood / G / 9 Carthago Z x Accord II
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Blue Star Investments: 0/8/56.27
Final Results: $33,500 AON Cup 1.45m
1 PICOLO: Selle Francais / G / 11 Diamant De Semilly x Alme
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Oakland Ventures LLC: 0/54.175
2 UTOPIA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 13 Ircolando x Notaris
JOHN PEREZ (COL), John Perez: 0/56.687
3 ROMEO: Dutch Warmblood / G / 16 Cantero x Gardeulan II
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), The Romeo Group: 0/57.249
4 PICCOBELLO DU VAL DE GEER: Belgian Warmblood / M / 15 Kannan x Skippy II
JORDAN MACPHERSON (CAN), JEM Stables: 0/57.286
5 INDIANA 127: Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Indoctro x Voltaire
ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Hollow Creek Farm: 0/57.394
6 CHANEL: Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Chin Chin x Damiro
ROBERTO TERAN (COL), ARK Partners LLC: 0/57.646
7 TAM TAM HERO: Belgian Warmblood / S / 11 Ogano Sitte x Kebah
ROBERTO TERAN (COL), ARK Partners LLC: 0/58.420
8 WAOMI: Dutch Warmblood / M / 11 Lupicor x Boreas
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalya Investments: 0/58.759
9 CHAQUI Z: Zangersheide / S / 8 Chacco Blue x Quilana Z
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/59.913
10 LAPACCO: Holstein / G / 15 Lavaletto x Grundyman
WESLEY NEWLANDS (CAN), Weslands Farm: 0/60.333
11 ROSANA DU PARK: Dutch Warmblood / M / 9 Kannan x Ukase
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines: 0/60.600
12 HH WHISKY ROYALE: Zangersheide / G / 9 Wonderful Vant Beugelhof x Kannan
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/62.254
Final Results: $33,500 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
1 AXL-ROSE: Belgian Warmblood / G / 14 Ti Amo van het Lambroeck x Forever
WILL SIMPSON (USA), Monarch International: 0/61.98
2 ZAPRILIA M: Dutch Warmblood / S / 10 Chin Chin x Silvio I
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Maxine and Robert Jack: 0/62.29
3 CONTIKI: Swedish Warmblood / G / 8 Contendro x Calido I
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA), Coker Farm: 0/62.85
4 WARRANT: Dutch Warmblood / S / 11 Numero Uno x Nimmerdor
WILL SIMPSON (USA), Monarch International: 0/63.07
5 ANEMONES VICKY: Dutch Warmblood / M / 12 Krunch de Breve x Animo
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Stranskys Mission Farms: 0/63.65
6 WORLDS JUDGEMENT: Dutch Warmblood / M / 11 Judgement x Farmer
LISA CARLSEN (CAN), Alycia Hayes: 0/64.65
7 CORCEGA LA SILLA: Holstein / M / 10 Casall la Silla x Candillo
ANTONIO CHEDRAUI (MEX), Antonio Chedraui: 0/64.69
8 ZANDOR: Warmblood / S / 10 Oklund x Ulster
LUIS ALEJANDRO PLACENSIA (MEX), Luis Gerardo Plascencia: 0/64.84
9 LUX LADY: Irish Sport Horse / M / 9 Lux Z x Master Imp
RICH FELLERS (USA), Harry & Mollie Chapman: 0/66.16
10 SHORAPUR: Hanoverian / M / 9 Stakkato Gold x Drosselklang II
KEVIN BABINGTON (IRL), Shorapur LLC: 0/66.59
11 BONIUS DE LAUBRY: Belgian Sport Horse / S / 13 Cento x Skippy II
JUAN JOSE ZENDEJAS (MEX), Haras de Laubry: 0/67.15
12 HER COURCHEVEL: Swedish Warmblood / G / 13 Camaro M x Cortez
SUSAN HORN (CAN), Kingsfield Farm: 0/67.66
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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