The Spruce Meadows Summer Series kicked off competition on Wednesday, June 8, with some of the best show jumpers in the world riding for top honors in the CSI5* ‘National’, presented by Rolex. Kent Farrington (USA) won the highlight competition of the day, the Bantrel Cup 1.55m, with Gazelle. Conor Swail (IRL) and Cita were the fastest to capture the Erwin Hymer Group Cup 1.50m, while Jack Hardin Towell (USA) and Lucifer V won the Back on Track Cup 1.50m. The CSI5* tournament continues through Sunday, June 12.
Highlights of the week’s competition include the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 11, and the $175,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby on Sunday, June 12. The course designer in the International Ring for the ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, is Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, who has been tapped to design for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Five of 29 starters in the Bantrel Cup 1.55m found the clear track to the jump-off, with pathfinder Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 taking the shortened course first. Their blazing time of 39.95 seconds would have been good for the win, but a rail down left them in fourth place.
Next in were Farrington and Gazelle, who were quick with less risk to go to the top of the leaderboard, clear in 42.18 seconds.
“I know Eric well, and I know that horse very well,” Farrington said. “I knew that was going to be the speed of the class, so I wanted to be sure to watch him go so I knew what I had to do. When he had a rail down, I thought I would go more measured than I had planned, but put enough pressure where the others had to go. He was really going all out there, and it would have been hard to beat if he hadn’t had that rail.”
Antonio Chedraui (MEX) and La Bamba were also clear in 46.83 seconds, which placed them third. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Victor landed in fifth place with a time of 43.01 seconds and four faults.
Last to go, Yann Candele (CAN) and Showgirl slotted into second place with a strong time of 44.06 seconds despite a slip on course.
Candele said, “She’s in aluminum shoes. It makes the foot slippery even with caulks. Even with that, I saw the time. Even if I made both turns, it would be close, but I don’t think it would make the win.”
Gazelle, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, was Farrington’s mount for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where they won the team bronze medal. Farrington noted that she is learning to be a good grand prix horse, and the plan for her time at Spruce Meadows is to gain mileage in bigger competitions.
All three riders commended Spruce Meadows on their improvements since last year. Candele noted, “The facility looks great, and as usual there has been some upgrading. It’s going to be great sport.”
Farrington added, “I love riding on grass. It’s one of my favorite parts of Spruce Meadows. The horses jump well on grass, and it’s better for them.”
Chedraui complimented, “I really love the place. I’ve been able to show many places in the world, and it’s pretty hard to find a place like this. Not only the footing, the stables, the warm-up rings that every year get better and better, but also the people and the ambience that you produce here. I think it’s really the best of the best.”
-Source: Jump Media for Spruce Meadows
Final Results: Bantrel Cup 1.55m
1 GAZELLE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro
2 SHOWGIRL: 2000 Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III
3 LA BAMBA: 2005 Swiss Warmblood mare by Lordanos x Chameur
4 FINE LADY 5: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Forsyth x Drosselklang II
5 VICTOR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur
6 LORDAN: 2004 Warmblood gelding by Lordanos x Landor S
7 SOUTHWIND VDL: 1999 KWPN gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Ahorn
8 ARISTOTELES V: 2005 KWPN stallion by Padinus x Lux
9 HETMAN OF COLOR J: 2007 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Calvaro x Querlybet Hero
10 SUMAS ZORRO: 2004 Irish Sport Horse mare by Ard VDL Douglas x Unknown
11 CHECK PICOBELLO Z: 2006 Zangersheide gelding by Cardento x Orlando
12 HH WHISKY ROYALE: 2005 Zangersheide gelding by Wonderful Van’t Beugehof x Kannan