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Richard Spooner and Cristallo win the Derby at Spruce Meadows

Monday, 11 June 2012

Derby winner Richard Spooner. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services.The legendary Nexen Cup Derby got underway without a hitch, with 16 horse/rider combinations trying their hand at the famed course designed by Leopoldo Palacious (VEN). With 24 jumping efforts stretched over 1100 meters, a clear round is very rare, with only 3 posted in nearly 120 attempts. Richard Spooner (USA) came closest with a single fault and time of 166.72 aboard his 14 year old Holstein gelding, Cristallo. After having amassed 17 faults previously in the competition aboard the 13 year old Warmblood Apache, Spooner returned to the ring counting on Cristallo. “With Apache, I rode terribly. So when it came to Cristallo, I made sure I was more concentrated” commented Spooner. “It was my competition to lose, because Cristallo was a machine today.” Along with the win, Spooner collected silver in the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship.


26,492 spectators braved the wind to cheer on their favourite competitors in the $40,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom. In a sudden-death style competition, 32 horse/rider combinations raced against each other until a final two remained. Robert Whitaker (GBR) emerged victorious, winning each of his five rounds aboard his 9 year old Warmblood gelding, Waterstone. Sunday rounded out a great week for Whitaker, who took home the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship. Points were awarded to riders in 4 competitions over the tournament, where Whitaker edged out American riders Richard Spooner and Kent Farrington for the gold medal. This is nothing new for the Whitaker family, with Robert’s cousin Ellen Whitaker (GBR) taking gold in 2011. Whitaker’s winnings for the tournament, his first at Spruce Meadows, totalled $52,890.

Although the ‘National’ tournament has concluded, the action continues at Spruce Meadows next week, with the ‘Continental’ tournament, which includes the 2012 US Olympic team trials, and the second leg of the CN Precision Series, the CN Performance World Cup Grand prix on July 16th.

ATCO Structures & logistics Double Slalom –

1-Robert Whitaker                   GBR                Waterstone
2-Eduardo Menezes                 BRA                Chanel
3-Isabella Salles                       BRA                Princess Emily
3-Carla Diewert                       CAN                Nippur de Lagash
5-Shannon Spencer                  USA                Markos
5-Shoshana Weiss                    CAN                Only Time
5-Molly Newsome                   USA                Touch and Go
5-Vani Khosla                          USA                Avance

Nexen Cup Derby – Top 10

1-Richard Spooner                   USA                Cristallo
2-Katie Prudent                        USA                V
3-Lauren Tisbo                         USA                Creme Brule
4-Femke van den Bosch            CAN                 Tom Tom
5-Robert Whitaker                     GBR                 USA Today
6-Callie Schott                           USA                 Wrigley
7-Richard Spooner                     USA                  Apache
8-Nick Dello Joio                       USA                  Gledimar
9-Leslie Howard                        USA                  Lennox Lewis 2

10-Richie Moloney                      IRL                  Alsvid

Source: Press release Spruce Meadows Media Services.

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