Opening Day Wins for Diniz & Garcia at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament

Juan Carlos Garcia & Gitano V Berkenbroeck during the Akita Drilling Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters 2017. ph: Spruce Meadows Masters

On the opening day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, an impressive entry of international athletes primed to test their skills in the famed International Ring on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Forty eight entires made up the field, with only nine returning for the jump off. Of the six double clear performances, the top three were all within 0.32 seconds of each other.

In his first return back to the venue since 2012, Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia and the Belgian Warmblood stallion Gitano V Berkenbroeck won the afternoon’s 1.60m event. “This horse is very brave,” said Garcia. “No spook at all, good power, a great head, and this field is very good for him. The courses are different than what I am used to. The time is quite short and the first round needs to be ridden more like a speed course. There is so much space, and the grass field is unique and the jumps are quite wide which all comes into play.”

Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann made his Spruce Meadows debut with a 2nd place finish aboard the 10-year-old OS stallion Chacanno.  The duo were just 0.25s shy of Garcia’s winning pace. “This was my first time so I had heard rumors of how it could be, and with a very careful horse I didn’t know whether it would go well or not,” said Von Eckermann. “It’s different from what we are jumping at home in Europe, but its nice, a nice course.”  The time was tight — which is what I heard to expect when coming here — so I needed to get going fast.”

In her first time competing at Spruce Meadows, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz closed out the top three podium placings with the 18-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion Winning Mood.

The full results can be viewed here. 

Luciana Diniz Claims First Spruce Meadows Victory With Win In 1.50m Telus Cup 

Luciana Diniz & Fit For Fun 13 during the TELUS Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters 2017. ph: Spruce Meadows 

Coming off a 3rd place finish in the earlier Akita Drilling Cup, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz outpaced field of 63 starters to win the 1.50m TELUS Cup aboard the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Fit For Fun 13 (For Pleasure x Fabriano).

In the world class roster, clear rounds were hard to come by. Venezuelan course designer Leopoldo Palacios set the challenging course that saw only ten riders return to the jump off.

In changing her original game plan with Fit For Fun, Diniz decided to compete in the morning’s 1.50m class in an attempt to solidify her qualification for this weekend’s CP ‘International’ Grand Prix. “My victory began yesterday when I arrived and truly fell in love with this place,” said Diniz. “I woke up yesterday and decided I would go with a different plan than I first thought. I originally thought I would take Fit For Fun into the 1.60m competition, but my goal was to qualify for the Grand Prix and get the pressure off for the week.”

The top three placings in the TELUS Cup automatically qualify for Sunday’s $3,000,000 CP International Grand Prix. “I had a great feeling about my decision and luckily it seems my intuition was right.“

Just fractions behind the winning jump off time, Canada’s Eric Lamaze and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Chacco Kid (Chacco Blue x Come On) finished in 2nd with a time of 36.69s.

Lamaze qualified two horses for the jump off, though he opted not to take his second mount, the 14-year-old Hanoverian mare Fine Lady 5 (Forsyth x Drosselklang II), into the final round.

After producing such great results during the 2017 Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan closed out the podium placings with the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare WKD Diva (Balourado x T Hors La Loi II). El Dahan was the third of four faultless score cards, also arriving just a hair behind the 1st and 2nd place finishers.

For the full results, visit this link. 

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