There were 46 entries in the $33,000 AON Cup 1.50m, and five of those found the path to a clear round and tackled the shortened course. From those, Beezie Madden was fastest to win on Coral Reef Via Volo, a 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker owned by Coral Reef Ranch.
First into the jump-off was Nick Dello Joio (USA) on Carlos VHP Z owned by EM Horses. They put down a quick, clear round in 41.82 seconds, which would slot into fourth place. Next in was Antonio Maurer (MEX) on Charro owned by Salvador Onate. They had eight faults in 41.38 seconds for fifth place.
Pablo Barrios (VEN) and Zara Leandra, owned by ZL Group Inc., set the next time to beat at 39.69 seconds, but it would not be quite enough. They would finish in second place.
Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo then took the lead with a time of 39.36 seconds. Madden said of her jump-off ride, "I did the leave out, which was six (strides) up the first line. I think I actually got a little wide and not quite as fast to fence three. I tried to make up some time after that. I was quick to the double verticals and quick down the last line."
Shane Sweetnam (IRL) tried to make it two wins in a row, but he was just off the time in 39.81 seconds with Sweet Oak Farm's Fineman. They placed third.
"We've been together for awhile now, so we have confidence in each other," Madden said of her partnership with Coral Reef Via Volo. "Sometimes she's difficult about one end of the ring or the corners of the ring, but she's getting more and more used to this ring. (And) she's getting more seasoned now and less things bother her."
While Madden showed in Europe the past two weeks, Via Volo had two weeks rest from showing. "She felt good and fresh. I had to work her a little bit this morning! She felt great, which was good. I did this so I could qualify for the 1.50m on Saturday. She'll do that and then the derby on Sunday," Madden noted.
Final Results: $33,000 AON Cup 1.50m
1. CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 0/0/39.36
2. ZARA LEANDRA: 2004 KWPN mare by Metropole x Ahorn
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), ZL Group, Inc: 0/0/39.69
3. FINEMAN: 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Feliciano x Beach Boy
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/0/39.81
4. CARLOS V.H.P Z: 2002 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Voltaire
NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), EM Horses: 0/0/41.82
5. CHARRO: 2000 Warmblood gelding by Skippy II x Pavarotti
ANTONIO MAURER (MEX), Salvador Onate: 0/8/41.38
6. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 1/78.04
7. POWERPLAY: 2004 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Limbus
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 1/78.71
8. DYNAMO: 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Skippy II x Lys de Darmen
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 1/79.35
9. CLYDE: 2004 Holsteiner stallion by Clearway x Coronado
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Leonardo & Royi Aljure: 1/80.32
10. VICKY VAN HET GEINSTEINDE: 1998 Belgian Warmblood mare by Skippy II x Lurano
ALEJANDRO PLASCENCIA (MEX), Mario Onate: 1/80.91
Riding out of the fifth position in the order, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Solerina were able to keep the lead through the entire competition. They set a very quick time of 64.70 seconds with no faults to win the $33,000 Suncast Cup 1.45m out of 48 total entries. The next fastest to finish in second place was another early in the order – Katie Dinan (USA) and Glory Days went second in the order and were clear in 66.36 seconds. Third place went to Francois Mathy (BEL) and Opus PSG, were finished in 70.16 seconds.
Sweetnam and Solerina, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad owned by Sweet Oak Farm, did not have to go all out to win, and Sweetnam said he was surprised that his time held up.
He acknowledged, "I thought I'd finish in the top three, especially with Kent and Brianne and plenty of people there that I thought would catch me." He also said that while it was quick, he left some in the tank for Solerina. "There was more. I'm still trying to keep her relaxed in there. I did think I could have been faster, maybe two seconds faster, but I tried to keep close enough to my plan and keep her within her range. I didn't want to run her too fast and get her upset about things."
Keeping Solerina happy is something that Sweetnam works on, and it includes an unusual item in her stall – a television. Sweetnam described her as a typical chestnut mare, "more than anybody," and that he tries to work with her personality.
"She's a bit quirky. I was wondering how she would be up here because there is a lot to look at here in the rings. It's not out of badness, it's more nerves. If you can keep her in the same routine all the time, she's fine," he explained. "She's afraid of the TV (screens), so we have one in her stall. She's watching 'The Top 100 Moments of Spruce Meadows' right now!"
Final Results: $33,000 Suncast Cup 1.45m
1. SOLERINA: 1999 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/64.70
2. GLORY DAYS: 2001 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento 933 x Diamond Serpent
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners, LLC: 0/66.36
3. OPUS PSG: 2000 Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Landego
FRANCOIS MATHY (BEL), Francois Mathy: 0/70.16
4. ZEMILION: 2004 KWPN gelding by Emilion x Voltaire
NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Wembley Farms, Inc: 0/70.16
5. VALESKA: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Heartbreaker
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/71.03
6. WHITNEY: 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare by Oklund x Nirvana
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines: 0/71.15
7. NEW IDOL Z: 2004 Zangersheide mare by Nelson Z x Concorde
JILL HENSELWOOD (CAN), Juniper Farms: 0/71.95
8. WOUTER: 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno x Monaco
CLEMENTINE GOUTAL (USA), Cloverleaf Farms: 0/71.98
9. PEKIN ST DENIS: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Eyken des Fontenis x Quatubet du Rouet
CLAUDIA LORENZA O FARRILL (MEX), Terranova Kohima SL: 0/74.12
10. PATER NOSTER: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Parco x Heartbreaker
JACLYN DUFF (CAN), Jaclyn Duff: 0/74.35
The $33,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m was the first competition of the day in the International Ring. There were 47 combinations in the speed format, and it was Conor Swail of Ireland who was fastest with Martha Louise, a 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang owned by Susan and Ariel Grange. They sped around the course in 63.50 seconds.
Second place went to John Perez (COL) on Utopia in 64.72 seconds, while Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Wang Chung M2S were third in 65.44 seconds.
This was Martha Louise's first win, although she has placed in eight out of nine competitions at the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments. Swail was happy to be back in the International Ring and noted, "She felt very good today. She was in here week one and then she has been a few weeks away (in other rings). When she went back in, I thought she felt more comfortable. She handled it very well. She jumped lovely."
Despite losing his stirrup going into the double combination, Swail was able to ride through it and regain his stirrup before the next oxer. "It affected me. I think it's nearly worse losing one because you have no balance. She didn't jump the in and out particularly well I think because of me, where I was (with) my balance, but she was good to leave that double up," Swail pointed out. "I was probably lucky that I have nice quality because she tries to do her best."
While Swail got the win, he did not have to go all out today for victory. "Honestly, I think there was a bit left there today. It certainly wasn't the fastest round that I've ever had with her. In that respect, it is nice to come out on top and not have them going crazy," he said.
Swail originally purchased Martha Louise two years ago and she has been a consistent winner for him. She moved up to the higher levels this winter in Florida. "Since Sue (Grange) bought her, she has been absolutely amazing," he commented. "She is just such a consistent horse. She is a really versatile mare; she can do many jobs. She did the grand prix last week, which was very big for her, but she handled it very well."
Martha Louise is leading the Horse Health Care Championship presented by Pfizer Equine Division and Moore Equine Veterinary Clinic, which is awarded on Friday, July 5, to the horse/rider combination who accumulates the most points throughout the 1.45m Derby Series. Swail hopes that she will able to take that top prize.
Swail said that Martha Louise is not your typical chestnut mare. "She's not like a mare at all, she is just so nice. She is so laid back. I think her temperament is the best part of her because she is very willing to do anything and try anything. When she goes in, she is laid back, but at the same time very careful and I think that is a great quality," he said.
Final Results: $33,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
1. MARTHA LOUISE: 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/63.50
2. UTOPIA: 2001 Dutch Warmblood mare by Ircolando x Notaris
JOHN PEREZ (COL), John Perez: 0/64.72
3. WANG CHUNG M2S: 2003 KWPN stallion by Royal Bravour x Ahorn
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/65.44
4. FRIEDA: 2001 Warmblood mare by For Future x Graf Anhalt E
AINSLEY VINCE (CAN), KMA Group: 0/66.16
5. VIEANNE: 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare by Andiamo x Voltaire
FRANCES LAND (USA), Frances Land: 0/66.53
6. RONALDO DE LA POMME: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Stakkato x Darco
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/67.85
7. TWISTHER: 2000 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Farmer
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/67.92
8. APARDI: 2005 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Corland x Kannan
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Ricardo & Alberto Simhon: 0/70.42
9. AMBOSELLI: 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Silverstone x Lancelot
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios: 0/71.76
10. VODKA: 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Zortin x Lancelot
SUSAN HORN (CAN), Kingsfield Farm: 0/73.96
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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