Richard Spooner takes his third victory at Spruce Meadows with Francis Family Cup…

Richard Spooner of USA riding Tuxedo

Competition kicked off in the Chinook Ring Friday morning with the $8,000 Francis Family Cup 1.45m where Richard Spooner (USA) got his third win in a row this week. Held in a faults converted format, the competition saw 30 entries jumping a course set by Manuel Esparza of Mexico. About halfway through the order, Spooner and Tuxedo cleared the course in a time of 66.44 seconds that would hold on for the win. The 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Gentleman x Hamilcar) is another brand new mount for Spooner riding for Legacy Stables LLC.

Darragh Kenny (IRL) guided Hyperion Stud LLC’s Chin Quidam VDL to second place honors in a time of 68.71 seconds. Frances Land (USA) and Vieanne placed third in 69.04 seconds. Kenny also took the fourth place prize in 69.48 seconds with Oakland Ventures LLC’s Fantasy.

“I don’t know what I ate, I don’t know what I ran into, but something happened right and I just have to try to figure out what it was,” Spooner smiled, commenting on his three-day sweep. He also won Thursday’s $33,500 Cargill Cup 1.50m with Cristallo and topped Friday’s $33,500 Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m aboard Uraguay. Although winning with veteran mount Cristallo is nothing new for the rider, Legacy Stables’ Uraguay and Tuxedo are both brand new horses that he has quickly figured out.

“Tuxedo is a wonderful horse,” Spooner stated after his win. “He is a top, top speed horse. I just got the ride of course, so we are still going through a little bit of growing pains, but today we felt great.”

“I am just learning the things he likes and the things he doesn’t like. He lets me know, which is nice of him,” Spooner said. “I think once I figure out the things that he is fond of we should hopefully have some success because he is unbelievably fast and careful and powerful. He actually really gets into it. He is a fascinating horse because you can feel him almost take over and he gets it. He gets that the goal is not to knock anything down and go as fast as you can, and if you get a horse that gets it like that, then they will be getting a lot of top ribbons.”

Detailing his round with Tuxedo, Spooner explained, “It was quick. I wouldn’t describe it as hair on fire, going 100% for broke, but it was quick and tidy. The horse is quite catty and his brakes are great, so you are able to really hit the gas when you land and stay off the brakes for longer than you can on other horses. Then you can kind of tap the brakes just a stride or two in front of the jump, and he settles right back into position. That gives you about a two-tenths of a second advantage at a good five or six jumps out there, and those tenths add up over the length of the course.”

Tuxedo is finished showing this week after a great win and will rest up for next week’s ‘North American’ Tournament.

Source: Spruce Meadows

$8,000 Francis Family Cup 1.45m (Faults Converted)

1 TUXEDO: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Gentleman x Hamilcar
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Legacy Stables LLC: 66.44

2 CHIN QUIDAM VDL: Dutch Warmblood / S / 8 Chin Chin x Quidam de Revel
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Hyperion Stud LLC: 68.71

3 VIEANNE: Dutch Warmblood / M / 12 Andiamo x Voltaire
FRANCES LAND (USA), Frances Land: 69.04

4 FANTASY: Hanoverian / M / 9 For Pleasure x Acorado
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Oakland Ventures LLC: 69.48

5 COMETA: Oldenburg / G / 9 Contender x For Pleasure
NICOLAS PIZARRO SUAREZ (MEX), Veronica Portugal M: 71.06

6 ZAPRILIA M: Dutch Warmblood / S / 10 Chin Chin x Silvio I
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Maxine and Robert Jack: 72.44

7 GELEDIMAR: Zangersheide / M / 11 Grosso Z x Lord Z
WILL SIMPSON (USA), Monarch International: 74.10

8 NLF BILLY ON SHOW: Warmblood / G / 12 Cevin Z x On Show
EIRIN BRUHEIM (NOR), Nordic Lights Farm: 75.68

9 TAM TAM HERO: Belgian Warmblood / S / 11 Ogano Sitte x Kebah
ROBERTO TERAN (COL), ARK Partners LLC: 75.99

10 MIMOSA: Swedish Warmblood / M / 10 Cardento x Easy San
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 76.40

11 WRIOMF: Dutch Warmblood / M / 11 Tangelo van de Zwthoen x Julius
CHRISTIAN SORENSEN (CAN), Christian Sorensen: 76.44

12 LADYS QUEEN: Selle Francais / M / 10 For Pleasure x Iris Landai
SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Dhr W vd Ham: 76.90