It was a great day of competition for Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts, who earned his first major Spruce Meadows victory in the 1.60m CANA Cup on Thursday, September 8, 2017. This accomplishment earned him a qualification spot in Sunday’s $3 Million CP International Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Forty five riders took to the grass arena on the second day of competition in Alberta, Canada. Nine would make it to the jump off, with Philippaerts and the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding H&M Harley VD Bisschop finishing in 1st with a time of 41.25s. “My horse is naturally quite quick so I tried to go as fast as I knew I could with him without taking too many risks, and Harley really jumped great,” said Philippaerts. “I was especially lucky because when Kent [Farrington] goes clear he is usually unbeatable, so it was lucky for me that he had one down.”
Following in 2nd place with a time of 41.77s was Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and the 11-year-old Sell Francais mare Cayetana. Entering the jump off prior to Philippaerts, Guerdat was able to set the pace with a 41.77s the time to beat.
Making his debut at the Spruce Meadows Masters, Maikel Van Der Vluten of the Netherlands and the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion VDL Groep Verdi TN finished in 3rd place with a time of 42.40s.
For the full results, visit this link.
Conor Swail Wins 1.50 ATCO Founders Classic at Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’
Ireland’s Conor Swail won the ATCO Founders Cup 1.50m competition aboard his new partner GK Coco Chanel, the nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding. In a field of 61 starters, Swail produced clear rounds with both Chanel and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare Flower, securing two spots in the 13 horse jump off.
While Swail suffered an unfortunate fall aboard Flower in the final round, he came back to win the class with Chanel, piloting the gelding to a winning time of 38.81s. “After what had happened with Flower I was just focused on going out and not making the same mistake on my other horse,” said Swail. “I didn’t have the opportunity to watch Eric’s round, but in a jump off like this, you just want to ride fast without taking too many risks. The jump off actually suited Chanel quite well — I could just gallop along and use his extreme canter and quality — so it was nice. From the bad to the good it really showed how our sport can be sometimes.”
For 2nd place, in an astonishing 0.01 seconds behind Swail, Canada’s Eric Lamaze and the 11-year-old Gelding Chacco Kid finished with a time of 38.82s.
The final podium placing was taken by Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and the 10-year-old gelding Callisto. The duo stopped the timers in 39.85 seconds to finish in 3rd.
The full results can be viewed here.