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Viva la France on Opening Day at Spruce Meadows; Hurel and Spooner on top

Thursday, 06 September 2012

Richard Spooner, winner of the Akita Drilling Cup. Photo Credits: Spruce Meadows Media Services. Fifty-three horse/rider combinations from 9 nations took to the International Ring for top spot in the 1.50 meter Akita Drilling Cup. Over the 500 meter course designed by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), with 14 jumping obstacles, it was Richard Spooner (USA) that topped the field, riding his 13 year old Warmblood gelding, Apache. Spooner is pleased with Apache, saying things are starting off well for him. “I got lucky, and everything just fell into place for me. My horses are in great shape, so I have high hopes for the rest of the week”. With the win, the reigning Spruce Meadows North American Champion qualifies for the $1,000,000 CN International on Sunday.

Andy Fraser President, Finning Canada, presenting the winners trophy to Jerome Hurel. Photo Credit: spruce Meadows Media Services. It was also a sweet return to the International ring for Jerome Hurel (FRA). After being a part of the three rider team that took home the 2011 BMO Nation’s Cup, Hurel and his 10 year old Selle Francais stallion OHM de Ponthual took home the 1.60 meter Finning Cup. Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) designed the course, which stretched over 480 meters, and featured 14 jumping obstacles. In her first International win at Spruce Meadows since 2010, Brianne Goutal (USA) took second place aboard the 11 year old Selle Francais Stallion, Nice de Prissey. Goutal was thrilled to be back competing in Calgary this year. “It’s always an amazing competition” She commented after her second place finish. “The horses love it, it’s great sport, and the turf is always impeccable. It’s always a pleasure to come back to Spruce Meadows”

The excitement of the ‘Masters’ continues tomorrow on the International Ring, with the ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup starting at 11:30am, followed by the CANA Cup at 3:00pm.

Akita Drilling Cup – Top 10

1-Richard Spooner, USA - Apache

2-Beezie Madden, USA - Coral Reef Via Volo

3-Harrie Smolders, NED - Regina Z

4-Ludo Philippaerts, BEL - Denver Vant Goemanshof

5-Jur Vrieling, NED - VDL Emmerton

6-Nicola Philippaerts,  BEL - Diebrich De Kalvarie

7-Hans Dieter Dreher, GER -  Magnus Romeo

8-Nayel Nassar, EGY - Raging Bull Vangelis S

9-Jeroen Dubbeldam, NED - BMC Utascha SFN

10-Ashlee Bond, USA - Cadett 7

Finning Cup – Top 10

1-Jerome Hurel,  FRA - OHM De Ponthual

2-Brianne Goutal, USA -  Nice De Prissey

3-Ian Millar,  CAN -  Star Power

4-Hans Dieter Dreher, GER - Embassy II

5-Shane Breen, IRL - Balloon

6-Reed Kessler, USA - Cylana

7-Robert Whitakr, GBR - USA Today

8-Jur Vrieling, NED - VDL Bubalu

9-Olivier Philippaerts, BEL - Cabrio Van De Heffinck

10-Jennifer Crooks, IRL - SF Uryadi

Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows

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