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Victory in $40,000 AltaGas Cup 1.45m goes to Darragh Kenny at Spruce Meadows

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Darragh Kenny and Prof de la Roque. Photo by © Spruce Meadows Media Services. There were 91 entries in the $40,000 AltaGas Cup 1.45m, making for a top jump-off of 11 horse and rider combinations. The early leader was Daniel Bluman (COL) on Believe, owned by Blue Star Investments. They set the time at 36.72 seconds, which held up for third place. Four horses later, the time was dropped to 35.30 seconds by Eric Lamaze on Artisan Farms LLC's Fine Lady 5, which looked good for the win but wasn't quite enough when the last horse entered the ring.

Sitting in the final position in the jump-off, Kenny knew what he had to do for victory. "I knew Eric had to be very fast," Kenny acknowledged. "He's a very careful horse, and I just said 'Ok, jump one, as tight as I can back to two, go to three, and then just relax to the double (combination), and then just go as fast as I could." The plan worked when Kenny and Prof de la Roque, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Damiro, were efficient through the first five jumps on course and positively blistering through the final three jumps. They brought the winning time down to 34.42 seconds.

The victory and good ride for Prof de la Roque was a confidence builder for the horse, who slipped in a turn last week in the International Ring. "He came back this week, and he was a little bit worried about that. He was a little fresh, so he was a little bit tense the first day, and it didn't go exactly to plan. Today he was amazing. He's funny. Sometimes he's so cocky and then sometimes, (he says) 'Oh, you have to be there for me.'"

Kenny felt that the smaller Meadows on the Green ring suited Prof de la Roque. "The jumps come up a lot faster in here, and it's very careful jumping in this ring. In the big (International) Ring, the jumps hold them off a little bit," he noted. "In this ring, they don't all. It's a little bit more difficult in that, I find anyway. That's why it suits him. My plan was always to try and do well in one of these classes this week."

Kenny said that he doesn't ride Prof de la Roque "all that much" when they're not getting ready for the competition ring. "Delphine who works for us rides him a good bit. He's kind of a high, energetic horse. She gets on really well with him and keeps him really relaxed. I ride him every so often," he explained.

While he is still deciding Prof de la Roque's schedule for the rest of the week, Kenny does know that he will lean on this horse more in the final three weeks of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series when some of his other horses travel to Europe. "He's a great horse to have like that. I'm very lucky to have so many nice horses and so many people to own those great horses," he said.

Final Results: $40,000 AltaGas Cup 1.45m

1 PROF DE LA ROQUE: Selle Francais / G / 11 Kannan x Damiro

DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Postage Stamp Farm LLC: 0/0/34.42

2 FINE LADY 5: Hanoverian / M / 11 Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch

ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/35.30

3 BELIEVE: Warmblood / M / 8 Ulcato x Burgraaf

DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Blue Star Investments: 0/0/36.72

4 CASSINJA S: Zweibrucker / M / 8 Carinjo x Cassini I

CHARLIE JACOBS (USA), CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 0/0/36.77

5 UTAH: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Andiamo x Jus de Pomme

LESLIE HOWARD (USA), Utah Group: 0/0/36.79

6 AMPARO Z: Zangersheide / G / 11 Andiamo Z x Calido I

RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Legacy Stables LLC: 0/0/36.85

7 INDIANA 127: Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Indoctro x Unknown

ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Hollow Creek Farm: 0/0/37.53

8 ALFIE: Warmblood / G / 9 Luidam x Quat Sous

EDUARDO SANCHEZ NAVARRO (MEX), Eduardo Sanchez Navarro: 0/0/38.18

9 WELFARE: Dutch Warmblood / G / 11 Pacific x Zortin

ANDREW RAMSAY (USA), Shalanno Farms LLC: 0/0/39.42

10 ALPHA VDL: Dutch Warmblood / G / 9 Corland x Emilion

DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Eva Castegren: 0/4/37.15

11 SUMAS ZORRO: Irish Sport Horse / M / 10 Ard Vdl Douglas x Unknown

SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Joanne Sloan Allen: 0/4/40.85

12 RAGING BULL VANGELIS S: Belgian Warmblood / S / 16 Nonstop x Indocrtro

NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Nayel Nassar: 1/73.85

Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows Media Services

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