We are here at Angelstone in Guelph, Ontario for the second in our summer series of Course Discourse Canada. This is a level * 1 FEI rated tournament and the $25,000 grand prix is in accordance with the rules for a *1 event. The heights are 4.6ft to 4.9ft or 1.40m or 1.45m.

This class will see 24 entries and the class will begin at dusk and for this tournament there are no lights. This should not be a factor. The weather is perfect and we should have a good competition. The footing is artificial and in good shape.

Michel Ismalun Exhibits Ring at Angelstone Tournaments

Michel Ismalun, Angelstone Tournaments

Michel Ismalun, Angelstone Tournaments

As we have never walked in this ring, we need to address some new factors that are new to the reader. The footing is one and the course designer is also new to us. Michel Ismalun (FRA) has course designed here before and so is familiar with this ring and the size of this ring. We will have a short resume of the course design life of Michel at the end of this walk.

What is very important for the course designer at this venue is the size of this ring. The dimensions of this ring are 60m or 200ft by 87.5m or 287ft. These dimensions make the ring for the most part a square and the ends are square, not rounded. There is also a slope that needs to be considered that runs on the long sides from the far end to the in-gate. If I was asked what I would do to create good courses in a ring this size, I would think large indoor and know that the courses will be very related. The shape of the ring and the square ends also will play a role in the time allowed.

Over the life of this venue there has been a serious effort to involve the local sports fans and I think that it has paid dividends. When the weather is good the seating areas have been full and the VIP tent well sold. Also when the weather is favourable there is a sponsor play pen placed in the ring for the salute and for the sponsor to watch the class. There are other events that are not related to the class that give the younger spectators a chance to play some games before the grand prix begins. I think that we are now ready to begin the walk of the Angelstone FEI *1 grand prix.

Tonight, the course will consist of 12 numbered obstacles and 15 efforts. The TA will be set at 76 seconds and will not be changed. The speed will be the required 375mpm and is aggressive for the size of this ring. On the course, we will see one double and one triple combination. We have one closed Liverpool and one triple bar. There will be no plank jump, no short pole vertical, no wall and no water jump (this ring will not support a water jump). There will be 24 entries and all 24 will start. The weather is perfect and a smallish crowd is on hand for the first Angelstone grand prix of the season.

#1 oxer (very square) 1.37/1.40m/1.45m or 4.4ft/4.6ft/4.9ft comes on the right rein and ended the evening for one competitor.

#2 vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #1 on a soft right rein and on a distance of 26.20m or 86ft and the top pole fell to earth seven times.

#3 oxer 1.40/1.55m or 4.6/5.1ft comes on a soft left rein on a distance of 21.60m or 71ft from #2 and was faulted two times.

#4 triple bar 1.40/1.80m or 4.6/5.9ft comes on a full left rein turn and was damaged only one time.

#5a vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes in a straight line from #4 on a distance of 28m or 92ft and was lowered four times.

#5b oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft on a distance from #5a of 7.9m or 25.9ft and tumbled to the floor three times.

Jump 5b at Angelstone Tournaments

#5c vertical 1.42m or 4.7ft comes from #5b on a distance of11.30m or 37ft and was also pushed from the top cups three times.

#6 vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes on a full turn on the right rein and was punched out one time.

#7 oxer 1.40/1.55m or 4.6/5.1ft on no given distance from #6 with a soft bend on the left rein and was the only fence without a fault on the evening.

#8a oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft comes on full turn on the right rein and met mother earth four times.

#8b vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes on a distance of 8m or 26.3ft from #8a and kissed the ground one time.

#9 oxer 1.40/1.60m or 4.6/5.3ft comes from #8b in a straight line with a distance of 23.20m or 76ft. This oxer fell from grace three times.

#10 vertical closed Liverpool 1.45m or 4.9ft comes on a full turn from #9 no given distance and splashed down on four occasions.

#11 vertical 1.45m or 4.9ft comes on a full turn on the left rein and fell to the ground one time.

#12 oxer 1.40/1.60m or 4.6/5.3ft comes from #11 in a straight line with a distance of 24.50m or 80ft. The final fence on the course tonight ended the evening for two competitors.

The final tally of the first round saw four clean rounds and three clear rounds with one time fault. There were seven rounds of four faults and one round of eight faults. These were very good results with more than 50 per cent of the class within four faults of the jump-off.

The whole course was a factor in the final results. The time allowed was correct. The size of the ring and the required speed of the class at 375mpm is a factor that must be taken into consideration by the riders. The fact that the courses will almost always be extremely related, where there is an opportunity to make up some time on the ends the riders must make the effort to ride forward. This was a very good course and Michel Ismalun our course designer from France should be pleased with his work.

The material count will show that the course consisted of 44 poles, five planks and there were five jumps that used filler not related to poles and planks. I want to express once again that there were no 18m yellow cups and, once again, I stress that the riders and trainers need to know that the proper depth of cups are being used. The FEI needs to mandate by colour the depth of cups and if less depth becomes legal that those cups must be properly manufactured and colour coded. I will push that opinion in every walk and with the yellow cups Canadian venues get off the stick and provide them to their course designers.

Michel Ismalun is new to Course Discourse Canada, so we will give a small resume. Michel is a level 3 FEI course designer from France and has extensive experience throughout the world. He has worked in Canada, USA, South Africa, Egypt, Portugal, Switzerland and many other countries. He is also partnered with Frederic Cottier in the jump building company (ISCO). I have enjoyed his courses and look forward to seeing him back here next year.

This is the end of our second walk of the eastern Canada summer series and next week we will showcase Micheal Vaillancourt (CAN) at the Angelstone show grounds. Until next week, I am Dave Ballard.