The weather all around us is terrible. The weather service has issued a tornado warning for the region, but here at Angelstone farm, we have sunshine and we are preparing for the second grand prix of their summer season.
This will be a 2* FEI rated grand prix and is 1* higher than last week. This means that the course will show a higher level of difficulty than last week.
The field of horses for the most part will be the same, but the class will have a few more entries and some different names. We will also have an American professional, who in the last couple of years has made the shows in eastern Ontario a regular stop in his season. Andrew Kocher will have two entries in tonight’s class. The class list shows 28 entries and all will compete.
Before we begin the walk, I would like to acknowledge two other Canadian course designers that are at the peak of their profession. Peter Holmes and Danny Foster have been in the business of course design for a long time. Danny has a million dollar grand prix under his belt and has a ton of North American experience. He does not build that much locally, but is in constant demand. Peter has just finished Thunderbird in B.C. with a Nations Cup class that had brilliant results and a grand prix that involved a completely different course two days later and also had tremendous results. Livestreaming does not give the whole story of the course, but Peter must be very proud of the results in these competitions. Canada does not have many course designers at the top level, but the ones that are there are among the best the world of show jumping has to offer.
Now we must begin tonight’s course. As stated, there will be 28 starters over a course that has 13 numbered jumps with 16 efforts. The TA will be set at 80 seconds and will not be changed. The speed is set at 375mm, which is mandatory, but is a difficult speed for a ring this size. As mentioned, the weather is clear and will remain that way for the whole class. The crowd is a little light, but the prospect of bad weather may have been a factor.
On the course tonight, we will see one triple combination and one double. We will also have ine liverpool oxer. We will not have a triple bar, a wall, a short pole vertical, and a jump with a plank at the top. As stated last week, this ring will not really have room for a water jump. The course is well decorated. The sponsor play pen is in the ring and with good weather the sponsors are in the middle of the action. It is now 6.35pm Saturday night and time for the walk of the $36,000 BFL Canada grand prix.
#1 oxer 1.35/1.40/1.40m or 4.3/4.6/4.6ft and suddenly ended the evening for two entries.
#2 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #1 on the right rein with a slight bend no given distance and was the demise of four more entries.
#3 oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.3/5ft comes from #2 on a change of direction left away from the in-gate and was lowered in height two times.
#4 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft follows the left bending line on no given distance and fell from grace two times.
#5 over 1.45/1.55m or 4.9/5.1ft comes in a straight line with a distance of 18.9m or 62ft from #4 and here we had one refusal and saw four poles meet mother earth.
#6 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #5 with a full change of rein and direction to the right and was pushed from the top cups three times.
#7a oxer 1.45/1.55m or 4.9/5.1ft comes in a straight line from #6 with a distance of 22.50m or 74ft and tumbled to the sand three times.
#7b vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft with a distance of 7.90m or 26ft from #7a and broke the hearts of two riders.
#8 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes on no given distance on the left rein half turn from #7c and toward the in-gate and was faulted one time.
#9 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes on a full turn on the left rein with a full change of direction and also ended the evening for one rider.
#10 oxer Liverpool 1.45/1.55 or 4.9/5.1ft with a change to the right rein and again saw only one splash down.
#11 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #10 with a soft bend right with a distance of 25m or 82ft and was the only jump on the course tonight not to be faulted.
#12a vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #11 on a full turn on the left rein and tumbled to earth three times.
#12b oxer 1.45/1.55m or 4.9/5.1ft with a distance of 7.80m or 25.9ft and was the bogy fence on the course tonight with five dislocations.
#13 oxer 1.45/1.60m or 4.9/5.3ft comes in a straight line from #12b with a distance of 28.60m or 94ft. The final fence on the course tonight also ended the evening for two riders.
This ends the first round of the $36,000 BFL Canada grand prix. The results are as follows:
The opening round saw eight clear rounds, nine rounds of four faults and six rounds of eight faults. The rest will fight another day. There were no eliminations, no falls and there were no VW’s. The TA was on the generous side, which I believe was good for the class. I believe that a major sign of a very good course is all the fences on the course should be a test for the riders from start to finish. The course tonight saw faults come at all the fences except one.
There are no negative aspects to the course tonight, but, for me, I would like to see more variety in the material used, but this is now the norm in courses throughout the world of show jumping today. If you look at the pictures of the jumps tonight all the jumps are built with nothing but parallel lines. If we saw zigzag lines to break the monotony of the parallel lines because there is nothing but poles and planks being used the course would not be more difficult but a change is better than a rest. This was a very good course with excellent results and Michel should be very pleased with his work tonight. The course also provided a great and exciting jump off. The material count on the course saw 53 poles, 12 planks, only 2 fillers and 1 liverpool.
We have a week off and then we are back to Palgrave and two weeks with EMG and two more walks. Until then I am Dave Ballard.