The 'Canada One' Tournament at Spruce Meadows concluded on Sunday with a win for Mexico's Nicolas Pizarro Suarez and Colasko in the $125,000 Imperial Challenge 1.55m in the Meadows on the Green.
Cristina Larangeiro of Portugal was the course designer for Sunday's main event, which saw 30 entries in total with five advancing to the tie-breaking jump-off. Pizarro and Monica Burrillo Eguia's Colasko completed the fastest of two double clear rounds in 43.40 seconds to take their first major international grand prix victory.
The top two belonged to Mexico, as Santiago Lambre and Johnny Boy completed the only other clear round over the short course in 43.77 seconds to finish in reserve. Venezuela's Pablo Barrios had the fastest jump-off round with ZL Group, Inc.'s Zara Leandra in 42.54 seconds, but dropped a rail at the final fence to finish third.
As Pizarro was on course in the jump-off, he heard the announcer state that he was ahead in the intermediary time, but explained that he thought he was behind. "They said I was one-tenth ahead, but when I heard that I thought I was one-tenth behind, so I did a sharp turn," the rider detailed. "When I came out of the turn I just followed to the last jump, but I can never focus on the blue and white rails. I saw a distance that was far too long, so then I pulled back and he really came back quickly and I had to push up again. Then I was a little bit deep. I was a little lucky, but in Mexico we have a saying that there is no champion without luck. Sometimes you have to have a little bit of luck, but today it came and it was a really fantastic day."
Pizarro (35), the number one ranked rider in Mexico for over two years, has had two top Nations Cup finishes, earning a silver medal in Wellington and a bronze medal at the 'Masters' here in Calgary, but noted that this was his biggest individual placing.
Pizarro has had his winning mount Colasko, a nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Coleman x Granus), for four years and hopes to continue developing the talented horse to championship quality.
"It is really fantastic. I made this horse. I bought him when he was five and he was super green, so it is really amazing to build him up," the rider stated. "He is really a stallion. He has a very good attitude, but at the end he is always a stallion, so you have to always give him a good ride. The minute he feels that you are forcing him to do something, he doesn't like it at all, but he is always trying to do his best. The first week here I was just coming back from surgery for a broken collarbone. I could not even hold my hand, but he was always jumping well for me. He was right there. This week he was amazing since the first day."
Pizarro began riding at a young age and then became a professional 18 years ago. He also has many students and explained that it is important to jump at the very best competitions and push yourself to improve. "I always try to do really good shows, and this is one of them," he acknowledged. "I try to go to Wellington during the winter and spend the summers here because then you are in the real sport."
Final Results: $125,000 Imperial Challenge 1.55m
1 COLASKO: Oldenburg / S / 9 Coleman x Granus
NICOLAS PIZARRO SUAREZ (MEX), Monica Burrillo Eguia: 0/0/43.41
2 JOHNNY BOY: Dutch Warmblood / G / 9 Johnny Boy II x Silvio I
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (MEX), Santiago Lambre: 0/0/43.77
3 ZARA LEANDRA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Metropole x Ahorn
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), ZL Group Inc: 0/4/42.55
4 DYNAMO: Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Skippy II x Veritas
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalya Investments: 0/4/43.27
5 MARK Q: Irish Sport Horse / G / 12 OBOS Quality 004 x Positively
KEVIN BABINGTON (IRL), Kevin Babington: 0/4/43.50
6 AMIGO: Zangersheide / G / 10 Coriano Z x Silvester
ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Hollow Creek Farm: 1/77.17
7 CASALL: Holstein / G / 9 Casall x Capitol I
ALI WOLFF (USA), Blacklick Bend Farm: 1/77.66
8 EREGAST VANT KIEZELHOF: Belgian Warmblood / G / 10 Thunder van de Zuuthoeut x Lantano
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 1/77.90
9 SUMAS ZORRO: Irish Sport Horse / M / 10 Ard Vdl Douglas x Unknown
SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Joanne Sloan-Allen & Sameh El Dahan: 4/73.12
10 TIC TAC: Belgian Sport Horse / S / 11 Clinton x Darco
LESLIE HOWARD (USA), Jane Clark: 4/74.10
11 URAGUAY: Dutch Warmblood / G / 0 Nairobi x Colino
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Legacy Stables LLC: 4/74.53
12 DIXSON: Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Vigo D Arsouilles x Olisco
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Susan & Ariel Grange: 4/75.06
Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows Media Service.
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