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The Spruce Meadows Summer Series gets underway

Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Spruce Meadows Summer Series 2019

Photo © Spruce Meadows Media. Linda Southern-Heathcott, president and CEO of Spruce Meadows. Photo © Spruce Meadows Media.

The Spruce Meadows Summer Series kicked off last week, with some of the biggest names in showjumping in action. With close friends Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Steve Guerdat (SUI) finishing first and second in Saturday’s RBC Grand Prix of Canada presented by Rolex, the first week of competition got an emotional conclusion. This was Lamaze’s first five-star Grand Prix win following his return to international competition after revealing that he has been battling a brain tumour for the past year and a half, a battle in which Guerdat has been an important friend and support. 

It’s the first time Guerdat begins his summer season at Spruce Meadows, and he has two good reasons to do so: “The first and the most important reason is that I think that the Summer Series at Spruce will make me a better rider, and the second reason is to do something different. Usually, we go week after week to the same shows in Europe and when you don’t have the CSIOs, those shows are quite the same with same jumping material and the same course designer. After all these years it gets a little boring so I thought it would be good for me and my horses to get some new experiences at Spruce.”

Guerdat has brought all his best horses to Spruce Meadows – Albfuehren’s Bianca, Alamo, Venard de Cerisy, Flair and Victorio des Frotards. He also brought the 8-year old Albfuehren’s Maddox. “I took all of them, so they don’t need to jump too much and they can do two classes a week,” Guerdat says. 

As of this year, the Spruce Meadows Summer Series also includes 7- and 8-year-old competitions. Linda Southern-Heathcott, president and CEO of Spruce Meadows, tells more: “We did a survey, our team went to Europe, Florida, Thermal and Guadalajara and interviewed the riders, the Chef d’Equipes and the grooms to see what we could do to improve Spruce Meadows. One of the takeaways was a young horse series with 7- and 8-year-olds.”

The young horses will compete in the main ring every week to give them the chance to advance. In these classes some of the beautiful natural fences will be built in to let the young horses grow and experience different technicalities and different fences. They will also be able to see some of the many amazing fences purchased from the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games and other big events going all the way back to Montreal in 1976.

As Eric Lamaze said following his Grand Prix win last week: "Spruce Meadows is a place to bring young students and see them grow, and to bring young horses and see them grow. If you win a competition here, you can win anywhere in the world.”

Watch the press conference with Eric Lamaze and Steve Guerdat

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