The Canadian team of Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze, and Ian Millar earned victory in Friday night's $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm, at the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) in Wellington, FL. Teams representing 12 different countries participated in the evening's competition with a win for Team Canada over Great Britain in second and USA in third.
Friday night's Nations Cup competition consisted of two rounds shown over a demanding course set by USA's Steve Stephens. Teams of four represented the nations of Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, USA, and Venezuela. Chile, Israel, and New Zealand were also represented with three riders each.
In the second round, the top eight teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team's top three riders from each round.
The winning Canadian team consisted of Yann Candele and the Watermark Group's Showgirl, Tiffany Foster and Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines' Victor, Ian Millar aboard Ariel and Susan Grange's Dixson, and Eric Lamaze riding Artisan Farms LLC's Powerplay, led by Chef d'Equipe Mark Laskin.
In round one, Candele, Millar and Lamaze all jumped clear rounds, dropping Foster's score of four to head into round two on zero. In the second round, Candele jumped another clear round and Millar and Foster each had four faults. The team had secured the victory, finishing on eight faults total, and Lamaze did not have to return for a second round.
Following their victory, Canadian Chef d'Equipe Mark Laskin was very happy with the evening's result and praised his horses and riders. "In Canada, it's always a good team feeling!" Laskin stated. "We have a great group; we always have. Somehow they always come together to get the job done. Canada has been on a bit of a roll. First it was curling, and then women's bobsled, then it was hockey, and now it's show jumping!"
"I want to welcome Yann Candele back to our team. I am really happy to have him, especially tonight," Laskin added. "I think that's a key for Canada right now. We have four fantastic riders with four fantastic horses, and they did an incredible job tonight."
Showgirl, a 14-year-old Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III, is a new mount for Candele and he spoke about how teammate Eric Lamaze helped him get the ride. "For me, it's just a new group that Eric put together. We were in Barcelona for the final last year, and Eric was thinking already about WEG (World Equestrian Games). He looked at that mare and approached the owner to be able to acquire it for me because Eric is not selfish and he's all about the team," Candele noted. "He put a group together of Canadian and American owners to be able to have that mare compete for Canada under me. I think all the success of today is all about Eric and his team spirit as well as Captain (Millar) and Tiffany. We are solid as it can be. That is the end result we had today, and we are going to try to keep going for bigger and bigger events."
"Captain Canada" Ian Millar is forming a great partnership with his mount Dixson, an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Olisco, and was happy with his horse's performance. "I've had him for a year, and he is coming along extremely well," Millar stated. "I am looking to include him in the next cycle for the World Equestrian Games, Pan American Games and Olympics, so it is a very long term plan for him."
"I was very pleased with him today," Millar continued. "His progress is great. He just gets better and better. He is the right age; he's a young horse and he has his whole life and his whole future ahead of him, and I'm very proud to have him."
Foster commented on the evening with Victor, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur, and that she has had great success with this year. "I'm really excited about winning this tonight," Foster said. "I thought my horse jumped really well. The first round he was a little bit unsettled. He got a little bit rushed in a few places, but the second round he came back really well and I was very happy with him."
Powerplay, a ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Limbus, jumped a great first round with Lamaze and was rewarded with the team's success by not having to return for a second trip. Lamaze spoke about his night as well.
"For us it is a fantastic evening," Lamaze expressed. "My horse jumped very well, and I had the pleasure to ride with many great riders on the Canadian team. No one but this young man next to me (Millar) has ridden so much for our nation. We take it very seriously, and we pull together with results like tonight."
The team from Great Britain finished second on Friday with rides from Ben Maher and Tatiana Korsakova's Diva II, Tim Gredley and Unex Competition Yard's Unex Chamberlain Z, Gemma Paternoster and her own and Julia Harrison Lee's Osiris, and Scott Brash aboard Lord and Lady Harris/Lord and Lady Kirkham's Hello Annie, headed by Chef d'Equipe Rob Hoekstra.
Maher and Diva II had four faults in each round, Gredley and Unex Chamberlain Z jumped double clear rounds, Gemma Paternoster and Osiris had one time fault in round one and nine faults in round two, and Scott Brash and Hello Annie finished with nine faults in round one and jumped clear in the second round. The team finished on nine faults total.
Team USA finished third with 12 faults overall with their team made up of McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms' Rothchild, Brianne Goutal and Remarkable Farms LP's Nice de Prissey, Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm Inc.'s Cedric, and Beezie Madden riding Abigail Wexner's Simon, all under the guidance of Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland.
Ward and Kraut both jumped clear in round one while Goutal and Madden each had four faults. In round two, Ward finished on eight, Goutal and Kraut each incurred four faults, and Madden returned with a clear round.
Ridland spoke to the result of his team Friday night, stating, "For us, last year was probably more fun, but it is a long-standing, competitive relationship between our two countries (U.S. and Canada). I seem to remember a jump-off for a gold and silver in a pretty recent Olympics. For tonight, we had some of those Olympians with us, all of whom jumped clean rounds. We felt that we were in it until the very end. It was just a rail here and a rub there. Brianne of course was our young rider. She got a tremendous amount of experience tonight under big pressure."
"This to me is now maturing into a real Nations Cup," Ridland acknowledged. "You are seeing real pressure out here. This is a Nations Cup we can be very proud of in this country, and it is only going to get better. That was a tough competition, 12 countries, and it has matured."
Beezie Madden also spoke about the evening and her rounds with Simon, stating, "I was happy with my horse today. I wish I had been clear the first round because he went beautifully, but he came back and went even better in the second round. Hats off to the Canadians. They did a great job. It was fantastic sport today, and thank you to G&C Farm, Furusiyya, and Equestrian Sport Productions. You all did a great job today."
The other top teams included Brazil and Ireland tied for fourth, Venezuela in sixth, Colombia in seventh, and Germany in eighth. The teams from Mexico, New Zealand, Chile and Israel did not return for the second round. Mexico finished ninth, New Zealand tenth, Chile eleventh, and Israel twelfth.
In addition to Yann Candele and Showgirl for Canada, the competition saw double clear rounds from Brazil's Alvaro de Miranda and AD Uutje as well as Great Britain's Tim Gredley and Unex Chamberlain Z.
The 2013 season brought the introduction of a new formula for the FEI Nations Cup™. Following a new sponsorship deal with the Saudi Equestrian Fund, this historic series is now known as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™. Under the new rules, the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a World Final. The six regions are Europe 1 and 2, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Representing the FEI, John Madden congratulated the Canadian team on their win and praised the competition as a whole. "We saw fantastic sport here today," Madden stated. "The Nations Cup is truly a very important part of our sport. It is very important to our Olympic endeavor. It takes a lot of people to put that together, and I'd like to thank Gustavo Mirabal and G&C Farm for presenting this, and of course we have to thank Furusiyya for their wisdom and support for this Nations Cup Series throughout the world. Thank you very much to Mark Bellissimo and all of your people and staff that put on a truly excellent night."
"I think the United States can be very proud to host part of this series," Madden said. "On behalf of the FEI, thank you to HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Furusiyya, G&C Farm, and the state of Florida. Wellington is really a welcoming place and this is a really excellent venue."
1. Canada 8 faults: Showgirl (Yann Candele) 0/0, Victor (Tiffany Foster) 4/4, Dixson (Ian Millar) 0/4, Powerplay (Eric Lamaze) 0/DNS.
2. Great Britain 9 faults: Diva (Ben Maher) 4/4, Unex Chamberlain Z (Tim Gredley) 0/0, Osiris (Gemma Paternoster) 1/9, Hello Annie (Scott Brash) 9/0.
3. USA 12 faults: Rothchild (McLain Ward) 0/8, Nice de Prissey (Brianne Goutal) 4/4, Cedric (Laura Kraut) 0/4, Simon (Beezie Madden) 4/0.
4. Ireland 17 faults: Eregas van't Kieselhoft (Shane Sweetnam) 4/4, Carrabis Z (Richie Moloney) 8/0, Lilli (Paul O'Shea) 5/4, Quidam's Cherie (Cian O'Connor) 0/8.
4. Brazil 17 faults: AD Uutje (Alvaro de Miranda) 0/0, First Division (Yuri Mansur) 5/4, Quintol (Eduardo Menezes) 4/4, Status (Rodrigo Pessoa) 5/4.
6. Venezuela 24 faults: Caballito (Andres Rodriguez) 8/0, G&C Quitador Rochelais (Gustavo Arroyo) 4/4, G&C Flash (Luis Larrazabal) 16/8, Zara Leandra (Pablo Barrios) 0/Ret.
7. Columbia 31 faults: Woklahoma (Roberto Teran) 0/5, Zipo CG (Manuel Espinosa) 10/8, Lagran (Mark Bluman) 12/Ret, Sancha LS (Daniel Bluman) 8/0.
8. Germany 39 faults: Conthendrix (Andre Thieme) 9/17, Mic Mac du Tillard (David Will) 0/4, Quintana Roo (Johannes Ehning) 18/5, Evita dan de Veldbalie (Daniel Deusser) 4/Ret.
9. Mexico 21 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Colasko (Nicolas Pizarro) 8, Jumex Sport Archimedes (Sofia Larrea) 1, Vicky Van Het Geinsteinde (Luis Alejandro Plascencia) 25, Chepepe La Escondida (Fernando Martinez) 12.
10. New Zealand 34 faults IN FIRST ROUND: Watch Me (Grant Wilson) 18, Que Pasa Z (Kirk Webby) 16, Derly Chin de Muze (Sharn Wordley) 0.
11. Chile 49 faults IN FIRST ROUND: William Wallace (Samuel Parot) 12, Player de Brocelia (Carlos Milthaler) 17, Carla TM (Jorge Matte) 20.
12. Israel Eliminated IN FIRST ROUND: Carisma (Danielle Goldstein) 1, Zamillus Again (Elad Yaniv) Elim, Quito 36 (Joshua Taylor) 20.
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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