Ben Asselin, Francois Lamontagne, Tamie Phillips and Jenn Serek made their Canadian senior team debut at the Nations’ Cup in Buenos Aires, ARG, and the CSIO4*-W Buenos Aires at Haras El Capricho, from November 7-11, 2012.
Competing in the Nations’ Cup held on November 10, the Canadian rookies finished tied for second, with a two-round total of 12 faults, with Team Argentina 2.
As the lead-off rider, Calgary, AB, native Serek, 29, rode Eleonora, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood owned by the Shin Shin Group, to eight faults in the first round and improved with only four faults in the second.
Second in the ring for Canada was Phillips, 39, of Strathmore, AB, who rode Lerche 37, her own 10-year-old Holsteiner mare. The pair had four faults in the first round and were clear in the second.
The youngest member of the team was Asselin, 18, of Calgary, AB, with Rush, Attache Stables’ 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, scoring two four fault rounds.
Riding Undergroud des Hauts Driots, Ferme Lamontagne’s eight-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding, Lamontagne, 28, of St. Eustache, QC, was the team’s anchor riding with two perfect, fault-free rounds.
“I was very pleased with our second place finish in the Nations Cup in Argentina,” said Mark Laskin of Langley, BC, the Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d’équipe. “Our horses and riders were very consistent over the two rounds, in what turned out to be an exciting and very close competition. This tour continues to be a great jumping in point for our up-and-coming team riders.”
“I’m sure all of our first time team members benefited tremendously from the experience. I would like to give a special mention to Francois Lamontagne for his double clear performance, one of only three on the day,” added Laskin.
First place in the Nations Cup was awarded to the United States with a total of four faults. Team Argentina 1 rounded out the top four with a total of 14.
Asselin and Rush also placed fourth in the Buenos Aires Grand Prix Ericsson/Copa Peugeot on November 11. The pair had four faults in the jump-off, in a time of 44.89, to finish in fourth place out of 34 starters over the course designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge. Also with four faults in the jump-off, in a time of 48.51 for sixth place, were Serek and Eleonora. Both Lamontagne and Phillips incurred four faults in the first round.
At the warm-up competition, held at San Jorge Village the week before, Lamontagne on Undergroud des Hauts Driots won the first class of the show. Out of 48 entries, Montagne crossed the timers in a fault free jump-off time of 36.71, two seconds faster than veteran Argentine Olympic rider Justo Albarracín.
This Argentinean show jumping tour is made possible through Sport Canada’s ‘Own the Podium’ program, a national sport technical initiative designed to help Canada’s summer and winter athletes achieve podium success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
A Nations’ Cup is the only competition in show jumping where riders, in teams of four, compete as a country. The top three scores from each team are counted towards the final result of the two-round competition.
There are only two Nations’ Cup events held annually in North America – the $75,000 FEI Nations’ Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, and the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in September.
Complete details about the competition may be found at www.haraselcapricho.com
The Spanish Tour is supported by Chef d’équipe Mark Laskin and Stable Manager Darren Roberts; off-site support is also provided by Jumping Coordinator, Jennifer Mahoney, Jumping Program Support, Ashley Raaymakers as well as Team Manager, Karen Hendry-Ouellette.