Yesterday's $35,000 Progress Energy Canada Cup at Spruce Meadows had 35 entries and five of those would advance to the jump-off, but it would be the first in the ring over the shortened course that would lead the way. Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One, 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj owned by Candy Tribble, put in the all-important clear round in a time of 42.58 seconds.
McCrea said of her plan, “I obviously wanted to jump clear and go fast, but I didn't want to go too fast because there wasn't very many in it in the jump-off. I thought it would be more important to try to jump a clear round. I did kick myself because when I was coming around the bank, I realized I missed the inside turn to the skinny (fence). I thought I left it open a little bit there. But as it turned out, it worked out, so that was good. I thought he jumped great.”Next in, Federico Fernandez (MEX) and Gitano, had an unfortunate 12 faults in 47.97 seconds for fifth place. Conor Swail (IRL) and Lansdowne had an early four faults and slowed down to finish the jump-off. They accumulated three time faults in 52.77 seconds for fourth place.
It came down to the final fence for the last two riders, and both of them had their heartbreaking four faults there. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Catharina 9 were third in 45.34 seconds. Susan Artes (USA) and Zamiro were quite fast in 41.72 seconds, but the rail down left them in second place.
McCrea pointed out that by now, their relationship has advanced to where she just thinks “speed,” and Romantovich Take One does it. “You just push the button and he goes,” she smiled. “He's faster than a normal horse. Then if you want to go a little quicker, just leg him a little bit more and off you go. He's so seasoned that he knows exactly what I'm asking. It's not like he's questioning; he just knows. First gear, third gear, fourth gear, he just knows.”
This was Romantovich Take One's third victory in the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments, and McCrea has had success on her other horses as well. “I'm very lucky. They are extremely nice horses and I'm really happy to have them,” she expressed.
Final Results: $35,000 Progress Energy Canada Cup 1.50m
1. ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE: 2000 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/0/42.58
2. ZAMIRO: 2004 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lupicor x G. Ramiro Z SUSAN ARTES (USA), Alix Fargo: 0/4/41.72
3. CATHARINA 9: 2004 Mecklenburg mare by Cellestial x Monsum LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/4/45.34
4. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 0/7/52.77
5. GITANO: 2001 Zangersheide stallion by Caretano Z x Concorde FEDERICO FERNANDEZ (MEX), Federico Fernandez: 0/12/47.97
6. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 1/77.70
7. SPIRIT MAGIC: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Acacio x Ahorn MANUEL ALVAREZ (MEX), Manuel Alvarez: 1/77.88
8. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 4/71.22
9. EVERLYCHIN DE LA POMME: 2004 BWP mare by Malito de Reves x Nabab de Reve SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 4/76.13
10. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D'elle KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 45/78.61
The $33,000 Zoetis Horse Health Care Cup 1.45m had an early leader whose time held up to win the competition. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cosma 20 went sixth in the order out of 23 entries and put in a very quick time of 104.82 seconds with no faults. Going second to last, the closest clear round came from Francois Mathy (BEL) on Falco von de Clehoeve, who finished in 108.39 seconds for second place. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 were third in 108.69 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) and Martha Louise had the time in 103.67 seconds, but a rail left them in eleventh place.
McArdle didn't leave much room for anyone to catch her, with the exception of one inside turn. “I thought everywhere I kind of went for it. I didn't seem to leave too many gaps,” she agreed. “The only place is where I went around (to jump 14), and Conor went inside there. He had my time, but he had that jump down. That's what we were worried about when we walked (the course). We thought if I went inside, I would have had the same jump down. That was the one place where I thought someone could beat me, if they went inside there and left the jump up. After seeing Conor have that down, most people went around.”
Cosma 20 didn't blink at any of the derby-style jumps on the speed course designed by Peter Holmes of Canada, including the open water, bank, and grob out of 17 numbered obstacles. “She's super over the derby jumps,” McArdle said. “It's funny, for being such a careful, spooky horse, she doesn't care about the derby jumps at all. If anything, she's going to back off of those as much as the plain oxer. The grob, the water, everything was perfect with her.”
This is the fourth win in the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments for McArdle and Cosma 20. McArdle remarked, “We've had a heck of a Spruce! I feel like I know her really well. It's a good feeling in that you know what to expect out there and you know the places that are going to be difficult and where you can make up time. I just feel like I've really formed a wonderful partnership with her. She's taught me how to move up to the big classes. She's taught me how to ride in the big ring and given me an opportunity to ride well and do well at the same time.”
Final Results: $33,000 Zoetis Horse Health Care Cup 1.45m
1. COSMA 20: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Couleur Rubin x Stakkato ABIGAIL MCARDLE (USA), David McArdle: 0/104.82
2. FALCO VAN DE CLEHOEVE: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Quickfeuer van Koekshof x Riunetta van de Clehoeve FRANCOIS MATHY (BEL), Francois Mathy: 0/108.39
3. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/108.69
4. CANTANDO LYNGRIIS: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Ilan Ferder & Kirsten Coe: 0/109.56
5. ELATRICE: 2004 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Major de la Cour ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN), Arao Enterprises LLC: 0/109.90
6. RANVILLE: 1998 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Calvados x Concorde JOHN PEREZ (COL), Zeidler Farm Canada Ltd.: 0/111.33
7. THE PUGILIST: 2004 Warmblood gelding by Ard Vdi Douglas x Freddies Star JOS VERLOOY (BEL), Axel Verlooy: 0/111.52
8. SORAYA DE LOBSTINATION: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Skippy II REED KESSLER (USA), Kessler Show Stables: 0/111.67
9. S&L ELITE: 2005 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Action Breaker x Galoubet DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), S&L Farms: 0/118.59
10. COLGATE: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Concorde x Calando I PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios: 0/118.86
Source: Press release from Spruce Meadows Media Services
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