Welcome to the final summer festival grand prix at Palgrave, Ontario, where we will feature the Caledon Premier 2 CSI2*.

This week will have well known Canadian riders and a mix of young professionals and young amateurs riding a couple of well seasoned mounts, but the field is mainly filled with horses moving up the scale to gain experience at a higher level. This fact does not make the job of the CD any easier. This is a 2* FEI level grand prix, so there is a criteria that must be met in the building of this course. The beginning of this course design began on Thursday with the open welcome. In this class, the CD will try to assess the field and at the same time encourage this field to move forward to the major money class that we will see today. The open welcome had a value of $36,000 and there were 12 placings that had prize money and the result had 12 clean rounds. This means that every ride in the JO was jumping for money and at the same time encouraged everyone to go forward to the class today.

Our course designer this week will be Marina Azevedo (BRA), who we believe is one of the best in the world today. Marina was an assistant to Michel Vaillancourt at the Pan Am games in 2015. She has extensive experience in both North and South America.

There were 24 starters in the open welcome and today we will see 21 starters so the open results did the job. The course today will feature one double combination, one triple combination, a closed Liverpool vertical (no water in the Liverpool), a triple bar and a short pole vertical. There will be no open water and no plank jump vertical or oxer.

The TA was set at 82 seconds. The speed in the open welcome was at 350m/m and, as I have stated, this speed has no value at this level of competition. The course designer must decide in a 2* what tests to use on the day. Height and width, the technical tests with the TA make up this course. This is a 2* 1.45m grand prix and the TA takes on a major role. Today Marina has used height and width and no shaved cups (well done). The course did not show a strong technical ride and because of this the TA was a little too aggressive after the first three rides and with the approval of the jury the TA was changed to 88 seconds and this was the correct decision. The speed for this class was 375m/m and this ring supports this speed.

Now it is time for the course. There will be 13 numbered jumps and there will be 16 efforts. We will see 21 entries and they will all compete. The corrected TA will be 88 seconds. We will now begin the walk of the Caledon Premier 2 CSI 2* $50,000 grand prix.

#1 oxer 1.35/1.40m or 4.3/4.6ft. This opening jump created a short day for one rider.

#2 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes on the left rein and a long gallop and never found mother earth on the day.

#3 oxer 1.45/1.50m or 4.9/5ft comes from #2 on the right rein and another long gallop and kissed the ground one time.

#4a oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.3/5ft comes from #3 on the right rein and a long gallop and ended the day for two entries.

#4b vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft with a distance of 7.9m or 25.9ft and fell from the sky one time.

#5 oxer 1.45/1.60m or 4.9/5.3ft comes from #4b in a straight line and with a distance of 27m or 88.6ft and was never removed from the top cups.

#6 oxer 1.45/1.50m or 4.9/5ft comes from #5 on the left turn and a long gallop and was completed without error on the day.

#7 closed Liverpool vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #6 with a very small bend left with no given distance but the number was 8 strides and the top pole splashed down three times.

#8 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #7 on the right rein and a long gallop and fell from grace two times.

#9 oxer 1.45/1.50m or 4.9/5ft comes from #8 in a straight line with a distance of 18m or 59ft and at this point we saw refusal but was more of a regroup after a bad rail at #8.

#10 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #9 on a long gallop on the right rein and never touched the sand.

#11 triple bar 1.45/1.80m or 4.9/5.9ft comes on the left turn and was never damaged today.

#12a vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes from #11 with a distance of 23.5m or 77ft and crashed down two times.

#12b oxer 1.45/1.50m or 4.9/5ft with a distance of 7.8m or 25.6ft from #12a and also fell from grace two times.

#12c vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft with a distance of 11.20m or 26.6ft from #12b and was never faulted on the day.

#13 vertical (short pole) 1.48m or 4.10ft comes from #12c on the left bend with no given distance and did not get dirty on the day. This was the final fence in the first round today.

The final results after the first round will show that there were eight clear rounds, three rounds of one time fault, four rounds of four faults, one round of five and one with eight faults. The rest will return another day. There were no falls, no eliminations but there was one VW. I have stated before that these grand prix are not easy and over the course of this season in eastern Canada we have seen very, very good course design. This was another really good competition and I would like to thank Marina Azevedo for a great week and we look forward to your return next year.

We have dealt with the use of time allowed in modern course design and, with that in mind, I will invite any trainer or rider that is currently showing in a division of 1.20m or better to wheel the grand prix at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament in September with me and then compare what we come up with in comparison with that of the course designer. This is not a challenge, but an opportunity to learn a small part, but extremely important part of course design. I would be very pleased if someone would accept this invitation.

The next three weeks we move our walks over to Angelstone and I look forward to three more great grand prix competitions.

Until next week I am Dave Ballard.