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Paul O'Shea and Imerald van't Voorhof win the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows

Sunday, 10 July 2022
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American' 2022

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk. Paul O'Shea and Imerald van't Voorhof, winners of the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk.


Edited press release from Spruce Meadows



It was a beautiful day at Spruce Meadows for the CSI5* 1.60m ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Thirty-one horse-and-rider combinations had qualified for the Grand Prix over two rounds, hoping to get a piece of the $500,000 purse. At the completion of the first round, the top twelve entries returned for the second round of competition in reverse order of merit from the first round. For those tied on faults for first place after two rounds, a jump-off would take place to determine the champion. 

It was a fair but challenging first-round track with seven clears and five quick four-fault rounds making up the top twelve athletes who advanced to round two. The second round asked riders and horses to complete an additional 446m of track and 10 obstacles (13 jumping efforts) in under 67 seconds. It was a real test.

Many veteran Spruce Meadows riders, and former champions started the event. As the cream rose, it was Spruce Meadows rookie Paul O'Shea (IRL) that posted one of the seven clears to advance to round two. He set up his horse Imerald Van't Voorhof (Emerald Van't Ruytershof x Bacardi-Orange) for success, completing the second round on a single time fault. Today that was an incredible result and good enough for the win in a hard-fought battle. 

"He's a great water jumper (Imerald Van't Voorhof) and very brave. I had a feeling if I brought him here, he would excel," Paul O'Shea about bringing his horse to Spruce Meadows for the first time.

Mexican riders Eugenio Garza Perez on Contago (Cornet Obolensky x Cassini II) and Patricio Pasquel on Babel (Billy Du Lys x High Flyer) both carried four faults into round two, but a clear in round two placed them in second and third respectively. Fourth went to Rowan Willis (AUS) and Blue Movie (Chacco-Blue x Pilot), while Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) and Mighty Mouse (Quartz Adelheid Z x Codexco) finished fifth – both with four faults in round two.

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