Ray Texel of USA riding Baldira. Ph. Spruce Meadows Media Services
Riding out of the 53rd spot in the order of 76 entries, Ray Texel (USA) and Baldira, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare by Baloubet du Rouet x Carthago, secured the win with a clear round and the fastest time of 63.60 seconds in the Wipro Cup 1.45m on the first day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament on Thursday, June 16th, 2016.
Texel just slipped past Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Cocq A Doodle, who recorded a time of 63.94 seconds for second place in the speed competition. Third place went to Ian Millar (USA) and Baranus who were clear in 64.96 seconds. Nick Dello Joio (USA) and Contiki were fourth in 65.07 seconds, and Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Special Lux were fifth with a time of 66.13 seconds that resulted in one time fault.
Owner Paul Schockemohle and friend Florian Meyer zu Hartum sent Baldira to Texel just over a year ago. Schockemohle has stayed as an owner, along with a new owner, Katie Harris, one of Texel’s clients. Read more about Baldira’s return to Texel’s barn by clicking here.
“I think from my previous results with Fleur, ages ago, I’ve been labeled as good with hot mares,” Texel said with a smile. “It’s a great relationship. The mare and I have now had sufficient time to really get to know each other. We had a nice couple of weeks in Vancouver. She was jumping beautifully. After the week off for her, for me to arrive and have a nice, solid day like this, I couldn’t be happier. We have a great team of people.”
Competing in the Meadows on the Green worked out well for Baldira, said Texel. The open grass field and large, wide jumps give Baldira pause and instead of fighting against her rider, she pays attention and respects the course.
“I allow her to carry me and let the jumps be her fight.”
Texel added, “I allow her to carry me and let the jumps be her fight. She’s had enough time with me now to know that ride. The more imposition in front of the horse, for her to fight against, tends to bring her to a better level.”
The duo competed at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series in 2015, and it was satisfying to return for victory in their first competition. Texel believes he will compete with Baldira in Sunday’s CP Grand Prix, but will make sure he does what is best for her.
“Now that I’ve had more time with her, I hope I’m making more mindful choices in this circuit, how I’ll bring her along before the final week,” he said. “It’s nice to have a win the first day, but I don’t ever allow those victories to impact my decisions as far as the plan for the horse and what is right for her.”
Final Results: WIPRO Cup 1.45m
1 BALDIRA: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Baloubet du Rouet x Carthago
RAY TEXEL (USA), Paul Schockemohle & Katie Harris: 0/63.60
2 COCQ A DOODLE: 2007 KWPN mare by Tolan R x Niagara
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA), The Doodle Group: 0/63.94
3 BARANUS: 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Balou de Rouet x Centauer Z
IAN MILLAR (CAN), The Baranus Group: 0/64.96
4 CONTIKI: 2006 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Contendro I x Calido I
NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Coker Farm Inc: 0/65.07
5 SPECIAL LUX: 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Lux x Coille Mor Hill
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 1/66.13
6 CORA 572: 2006 Westphalian mare by Cornet Obolensky x Ramirez
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA), BU Ribbons: 1/67.05
7 HESTER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Palestro
LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA), Lisa Deslauriers: 1/67.11
8 ATLANTIS T: 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Padinus x Guidam
BRIAN MORTON (CAN), Grafton Farm: 1/67.97
9 RAIA D’HELBY: 2005 Selle Francais mare by Fergar Mail x Papillon Rouge
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Adrienne Sternlicht: 1/68.06
10 CAT BALLOU: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Lacantus
MOLLY ASHE (USA), Louisburg Farm: 1/69.19
11 DAVEAU: 2008 KWPN gelding by Zento x Glennridge
JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), Millar Brooke Farm: 2/70.01
12 CHAPEAU: 2007 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Oklund x Quite Easy 958
ALBERTO MICHAN (MEX), Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein: 2/70.52