After a week of podium finishes at the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* Tournament, Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan got his story book ending aboard the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Sumas Zorro (Ard Vdl Douglas x Unknown) with a 1st place finish in the CP Grand Prix 1.60 on Sunday, June 18, 2017.
The feature class of the tournament in Calgary, Alberta, Canada saw a field of 32 entires, with Leopoldo Palacios Jugo of Venezuela designing the 14-obstacle-course that had an allowed time of 85 s in the opening round.
Only two riders made it to the jump off, with El Dahan producing the fastest, clear round to take home the red ribbon.
“The mare deserved to win because she was 2nd in the [Scotiabank Cup 1.55m CSI5*] on Saturday, and 3rd in the [Bantrel Cup 1.55] on Wednesday so I’m so happy that today was her winning day,” said El Dahan. “From the beginning of the Summer Series this mare has given me such a great feeling, and she has been jumping with ‘super class’ so I got the feeling we would have the clear round today. I walked the course this morning and knew it would be quite tough. Leopoldo didn’t leave anything to chance – there were big oxers, tall verticals, and a short time allowed – but my mare can cope with all of that because she has that quality. She has a big heart, and she really tried her heart out at every jump and made it happen for me.”
El Dahan was last to go in the jump off behind Charlie Jacobs of the USA, who piloted the 11-year-old Zweibrucker mare Cassinja S (Carinjo x Cassini I) to 4 faults and a final time of 43.62 s. For the second year in a row, Jacobs and Cassinja leave the CP Grand Prix with a 2nd place finish. Most recently in North Salem, NY, the pair had a 3rd place finish in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI2* on May 14, 2017.
“In a CSI5* Grand Prix, I am very happy with today’s finish,” said Jacobs. “It means a lot to have my family here on father’s day and for my son to see his old man ride in this grand prix and do well. I would also like to thank the Southern and Heathcott family for offering such a world class venue like this – there is really no other place like it in North America. It’s the top of the sport and its always just a pleasure to be here.”
For 3rd place, Beezie Madden and the 9 year-old Holsteiner gelding Coach ( Con Air x Corofino) finished with one time fault on the clock for a final 85.18 s.
“He’s a 9 year-old that I purchased when he was 7, and we unfortunately weren’t able to get him over here in time for the Spruce Meadows summer series when I was here two years ago,” said Madden. “I’ve always believed in him and he really stepped up during the winter circuit in Wellington, Florida this year. I am very impressed with how he handles himself in strange venues, especially coming into impressive rings like the International and Meadows on the Green, so I’m really happy that for such a young horse, he was able to come in and go like that.”
El Dahan, Jacobs, and Madden raised $40,000 dollars in donations with their clear round performances, benefiting the CP Has Heart, a charitable division of the Canadian Pacific that donates $10,000 towards heart health per every clear jumping round. The donations from Saturday’s competition will benefit the DIL Walk Foundation, with all funds supporting operations of the foundations CHARM (Community Heart failure Assessment, Rehabilitation and Management) clinic.
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