Wilton Porter of USA riding Diamonte Darco during the Friends of the Meadows event at the Spruce Meadows North American tournament.
Twenty-year-old Wilton Porter (USA) got his first International win at Spruce Meadows Friday morning riding Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco in the $33,500 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m. Porter got the nine-year-old mare, a Great Britain Sport Horse by Unbelievable Darco, this winter. The pair first showed in Florida for a few months and then traveled to Europe in May before starting up in Calgary last week. Jumping in the world-renowned International Ring, they made their first win together a big one.
Forty-three entries showed in the first competition of the day with nine clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Porter and Diamonte Darco had the advantage of being last to go over the short course. When no one else was able to finish without fault, they only had the round of two time faults in 52.37 seconds from Christine McCrea and Candy Tribble’s Win For Life to beat. Porter explained that he thought he was almost not fast enough, but he galloped down to the final fence and jumped clear in 50.33 seconds to take top honors.
“It was a good jump-off to go last in,” the rider smiled. “I was right at the in-gate when Chris went, and I watched her round. It wasn’t super slow, but it wasn’t all out. I knew that I didn’t need to race and have a rail down because I was trying to go too fast. Actually, once I started doing the course and I was coming around to the second to last jump, I thought, ‘I’m pretty slow. I might be slower than her.’ So I had to kind of race to the last (jump), but it was a wall. Horses tend to back themselves off of that, so it worked out well.”
“It’s really exciting,” Porter said of his momentous win. “I have been coming to Spruce for four years and competing in the International Ring for three years. I have had some good placings in here, but I had not gotten that victory yet, so it is really special to have all of the hard work pay off.”
Porter was also excited to get the win with a relatively new horse in Diamonte Darco. He had a great round in the competition with his veteran partner Paloubet as well, but had one time fault to finish just out of the ribbons.
Porter explained that the mare has been gradually stepping up to bigger classes, and that although she is only nine years old and a little green at this level of competition, she handled it very well.
“She’s pretty fiery; a fiery personality, and she’s definitely very sensitive,” he said of the ride. “I have adjusted to that. She is very different from my other horse, Paloubet, who is really strong and powerful. I am just sort of trying to hold on to him, whereas with her, it is more of a finesse to it. She’s very careful. The distance at the jump is very important for her.”
With a fantastic win under his belt, Porter has big plans for the rest of the summer. Diamonte Darco will travel to Kentucky to be his mount at the Adequan FEI North American Junior/Young Rider Championships while Paloubet will fly over to Europe to give Porter the ride in his first senior Nations Cup team on the United States Under 25 tour in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Source: Spruce Meadows
Final Results: $33,500 Friends of the Meadows Jumper 1.45m
1 DIAMONTE DARCO: Great Britain Sport Horse / M / 9 Unbelievable Darco x Kriska
WILTON PORTER (USA), Sleepy P Ranch LLC: 0/0/50.34
2 WIN FOR LIFE: Zangersheide / G / 8 Winning Mood x Chatman
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/2/52.37
3 BELIEVE: Dutch Warmblood / M / 8 Ulcato x Burgraaf
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Blue Star Investments: 0/4/43.95
4 CONTIKI: Swedish Warmblood / G / 8 Contendro x Calido I
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA), Coker Farm: 0/4/45.84
5 ACER: Warmblood / G / 9 Pino x Burggraaf
HAP HANSEN (USA), Geraldine Pope Bidwell: 0/4/49.09
6 ANEMONES VICKY: Dutch Warmblood / M / 12 Krunch de Breve x Animo
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Stransky’s Mission Farms: 0/8/44.65
7 TAM TAM HERO: Belgian Warmblood / S / 11 Ogano Sitte x Kebah
ROBERTO TERAN (COL), ARK Partners LLC: 0/8/45.24
8 GENEROSO RM: Warmblood / S / 8 Orame x Bachus
ANTONIO CHEDRAUI JR (MEX), Armando Torrado Martinez: 0/26/68.86
9 AMADORA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 11 Chin Chin x Indoctro
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/ELIM
10 UNICO: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Odermus R x Wuzo
SPENCER BRITTAN (USA), Stransky’s Mission Farms: 1/75.28
11 NLF FAVORITE: Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 Action Breaker x Indoctro
EIRIN BRUHEIM (NOR), Nordic Lights Farm: 1/76.78
12 DUTCH AMOURETTA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 9 Dutch Capitol x Wellington
BRENDA RIDDELL (CAN), Silverstar Farms: 1/77.41