American veteran Leslie Howard leapt to victory against a star studded entry on Saturday afternoon in the McDaniel & Associates Cup at the Spruce Meadows “Continental”. Riding her 11 year old Dutch bred gelding Utah, Howard engineered 2 clear rounds over the Bob Ellis (GBR) designed courses that took their toll on many of the 32 entries. Of the 32 first round starters 12 advanced to the jump off to join Howard. Over the 450 metre, 9 jump track that was set for the jump off, Howard was able to post the fastest clear to narrowly defeat fellow American, McLain Ward, by 3/10th of a second.
“He’s finally starting to get it,” said Howard of her big bay gelding. “He has been a bit of a project over the last five years but he now seems to be able to bring both his speed and his jump to the game. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
The former World Cup champion and two time Olympic medalist will now focus on the final day of the Spruce Meadows “Continental” and its culminating event the CN Performance World Cup. Today’s second place finisher, Mclain Ward, will saddle up his 11 year old gelding Altares for tomorrow’s big event and try to win his second Spruce Meadows grand prix of the season and a possible $50,000 bonus in the CN Precision Series.
For a complete tournament schedule visit the Spruce Meadows website at http://www.sprucemeadows.com/.
McDaniel & Associates – Top 10
1. Leslie Howard – USA – Utah
2. McLain Ward – USA – Vocas
3. Beezie Madden – USA – Leap of Joy
4. Michael Whitaker – GBR – Viking
5. Mario Deslauriers – USA – Cella
6. Caitlin Ziegler – USA – Valencia
7. Eric Lamaze – CAN – Coriana Van Klapscheut
8. John Pearce – CAN – Son of a Gun
9. Richard Spooner – USA – Apache
10. Leslie Howard – USA – Lennox Lewis 2