Jaclyn Duff, 25, of Edmonton, AB, won the Jump Canada Talent Squad Final on Saturday, November 3, at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show. The 10-day international equestrian competition is held as part of the 90th edition of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair from November 2-11 in Toronto, ON.
Held over two days, the Talent Squad Final competition opened on November 2 with the $8,000 Alfred Rogers National Talent Squad Series Championship, Phase I, where Duff and her 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Pater Noster, finished in third in the opening speed competition.
The pair returned to the Ricoh Coliseum the following day to finish second in the $10,000 Alfred Rogers National Talent Squad Series Championship, Phase II. With the most points over the two days, Duff was declared the 2012 National Talent Squad Final Champion.
“I actually just got Pater Noster in the middle of September, so this is our second horse show together,” said Duff, who rides with Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood. “He is an amazing horse and I am very thankful that my parents bought him for me. I would not be here without my parents’ support and the support of the great team at Juniper Farms.”
Karina Aziz, also 25, of Hamilton, ON, claimed the Reserve Champion title riding Cordia de Laubry, Iron Horse Farm’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. Finishing in first place in the more heavily weighted Phase II class, earned the duo the honour.
“My horse was amazing,” said Aziz, who rides with 10-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar. “Winning the Phase II of the Talent Squad Final meant that I have accomplished one of my goals, and that all our training has paid off. I have wanted to win a Talent Squad class at the Royal for many years.”
The Jump Canada Talent Squad Series is a means of recognizing up-and-coming riders who are preparing to enter the grand prix ranks and gives them a platform to demonstrate their ability to become future members of the Canadian Equestrian Team.