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Sam Walker youngest winner of the Sun Life Derby at Spruce Meadows

Monday, 11 July 2022
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American' 2022

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Jack Cusano Sam Walker and Evita, winners of the Sun Life Derby at Spruce Meadows. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Jack Cusano.


Edited press release from Spruce Meadows



Sunday of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' tournament marks Derby Day. This year, a new track was designed by FEI course designers Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), inspired by the original Spruce Meadows derby course designed by Pamela Carruthers (GBR) back in the 80's. The new track is over 1km in length and features 18 obstacles and 24 efforts including the table top, open water, dry ditch, liverpool, bank at the south end other arena and of course – the devil's dyke. 

Twelve horse-and-rider competitions stepped through the Spruce Meadows clock tower for the final competition of the 'North American' Tournament, the Sun Life Derby. Young Canadian Sam Walker and Evita (Canturano x Farmer) posted a four fault round putting them at the top of the leaderboard, with the time of 152.51 seconds. The 20-year-old Walker had to wait while recent Spruce Meadows Sun Life Derby winners Rowan Willis (AUS) and Jordan Coyle (IRL) were set to go at the end of the order

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk Sam Walker and Evita had no trouble navigating the bank on the new derby course. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk.

Today it was good enough – a single rail on course at the "C" element of the devil's dyke was all that kept Walker from a clear round, but no one else could best it. Local Canadian rider Vanessa Mannix and Kitting des Hausseurs (Winningmoood x Thunder vd Zuuthoeve) finished in second on a total of six faults (one rail and two time penalties), while Saturday's Grand Prix winner Paul O'Shea (IRL) finished third on a quick eight faults aboard Hellcat (Cassander van het Bremhof x Conan Z).

"It's like a fairytale ending to the Summer Series for me. I'm definitely going to be coming back here (Spruce Meadows) for years to come and it means so much to me as a Canadian to just be here,"  Sam Walker said on his first Spruce Meadows Summer Series experience.

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