46 horse/rider combinations had their work cut out for them in the $35,000 1.45 meter ATCO Midstream Challenge. The course, designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA), stretched over 525 meters of course, with 15 jumping efforts. With 16 combinations in the jump off, Richard Spooner (USA) was declared the winner with double clear rounds and a jump off time of 35.50 aboard his 13 year old Zangersheide gelding, Chivas Z. Although Spooner is not looking for a spot on the 2012 US Olympic team, he is still looking towards Saturday’s grand prix at Spruce Meadows.
Spooner came back to the International ring with 19 other horse/rider combinations in the 1.50 meter RBC Capital Markets Winning Round. After the first round, the top eight placed riders advanced to a jump off, designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA), with 15 jumping efforts and 545 meters of track. With two horses in the top eight, victory was inevitable for Beezie Madden (USA). Her first trip around the jump off course on the 10 year old Belgian Warmblood Cortez C placed her in third, but her 15 year old Holstein mare Mademoiselle won her first place. This win comes off of a successful selection trial for the 2012 US Olympic team. With at least one possible Olympic horse in her stable, Madden is paying attention to who her possible teammates will be. With many Americans doing very well at Spruce Meadows this season, Madden is confident that the US team has a chance to defend their gold medal in London. “If we all come together nicely, and we each peak at the right time, we`ll have a really good chance”, commented Madden, a member of the last two gold medal-winning Olympic teams.
The Olympic level excitement continues tomorrow in the International ring, with the first leg of the CN precision series, the $200,000 CN Reliability Grand prix.
ATCO Midstream Challenge – Top 10
1- Richard Spooner USA Chivas Z
2- Mario Deslauriers USA Vicomte D
3- Eric Lamaze CAN Wang Chung M2S
4- Quentin Judge USA Champ 163
5- Beezie Madden USA Vanilla
6- Tim Gredley GBR Unex Voske
7- Susan Artes USA Zamiro
8- Nick Dello Joio USA Geledimar
9- Elizabeth Gingras CAN Avensis 4
10- Reed Kessler USA Ligist
RBC Capital Markets Winning Round – Top 10
1- Beezie Madden USA Mademoiselle
2- Richard Spooner USA Apache
3- Beezie Madden USA Cortes C
4- Tim Gredley GBR Unex Chamberlain Z
5- Lauren Tisbo USA Creme Brulé
6- Nick Dello Joio USA Notre Star de la Nutria
7- Ashlee Bond USA Cadett 7
8- Robert Whitaker GBR Catwalk 7
9- Mclain Ward USA Rothchild
10- Andres Rodriguez VEN Caballito
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
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