Two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes topped the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Division of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series held during the first week of the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments held August 10 to 14 at the Nepean Equestrian Park in Ottawa, ON.
Hayes of Orangeville, ON, captured victory in the Seven and Eight-Year-Old Division riding Riva.  The seven-year-old Canadian Warmblood mare owned by Summerhill Farm was one of three entries to advance to the jump-off over the course designed by Catsy Cruz of Mexico.  Hayes and Riva again jumped clear, stopping the clock in 41.90 seconds to take the win.
Bred by Jennifer Rogers of Uplands Farm, Riva carries impressive bloodlines.  Her sire is Rio Grande, Eric Lamaze’s former grand prix mount, while her dam is Diva, ridden by Hayes at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  With two international show jumping horses as parents, Hayes has similar hopes for Riva.
“We had to work out a few kinks with her,” explained Hayes.  “She’s really coming along nicely now; she’s exactly like her mother.  She’s a little bit of a runaway, but has the scope of both her parents.  I bought her mother when she was seven coming eight, and Riva is a little more mature now than Diva was at that age.”
Of the future, Hayes says, “We’re going to make her into the best horse she can be.  I truly believe she has grand prix potential and hopefully someday we will be able to represent Canada.”
Finishing second was Damiro van ter Notelaere, ridden by Jeff Brandmaier for owner Knightwood Stables of Guelph, ON.  The pair also went clear in the jump-off, but their time of 43.91 seconds placed them behind Hayes and Riva.  The eight-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood gelding is by Lambada van Berkenbroeck out of Ramira van ter Notelaere.
Four faults in the jump-off meant a third place finish for Greg Kuti and Argento, owned by Chor-Be Farm of Schomberg, ON.  Bred by KingRidge Stables of King City, ON, the eight-year-old grey Canadian Sport Horse gelding is by Jamestown and out of an Aerobic Z mare. 
Jonathon Millar of Perth, ON, guided Alazan to victory in the Six-Year-Old Division.  The pair put in the only double clear performance of the class to secure the win.  Alazan is a chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding bred by David and Janice Baikie of Arva, ON, and now owned by Millar Brooke Farm.
“He has such a fighting character,” said Millar of Alazan, who is sired by Contango and out of a Goodtimes mare.  “It’s great when the horse goes into the ring and wants to do as well or better than you do.”
Millar recognizes the importance of bringing along Canada’s next group of potential grand prix horses.
“It’s really important to take things slowly with them,” he explained.  “You have to be very mindful of their maturity, both mentally and physically.  You have to open every door you can to keep developing these young horses.  Great horses don’t just grow on trees; they have to be brought along carefully.”
Paul Halpern of St. Lazare, QC, rode Empire 181 to a second place finish.  The pair had the last fence down in the jump-off to finish with four faults.  Owned by Wynbrook Farm of Vars, ON, the grey Hannoverian gelding is by Embassy I and out of a Foxhunter mare.  Empire 181 was the Eastern Region Five-Year-Old Champion in the 2010 Jump Canada Young Horse Series. 
Four of six horses jumped clean in the opening round of the Five-Year-Old Division to advance to the jump-off.  All four horses were again clear in the jump-off with Johan Letimonier laying down the fastest time.  He stopped the clock in 34.48 seconds aboard Selma de la Batia, a selle francais mare owned by DK Masterson Holdings.
“It was great for her to have a win today,” said Letimonier, who is the son-in-law of Jay Hayes.  “She’s still green so to do the jump-off with the liver pool and this height of fence and still perform as well as she did, that says a lot.  This is only her third show so that shows you how special this horse is.”
By Jazz Band Courcelle and out of a Quartz du Vallon mare, Selma de la Batia was purchased as a four-year-old in Switzerland.  Letimonier will continue to compete with Selma de la Batia in the Jump Canada Young Horse Series before turning the reins over to her future rider, 16-year-old Amy Masterson.
“I think it’s even more nerve-racking watching someone else ride her than competing myself,” said Masterson, who has been competing in the 1.10m, 1.15m and 1.20m divisions this season.  “I am really hoping to be able to start riding her this winter, but for sure I will be on her before the end of the 2012 show season.”
In another family connection, Jonathon Millar’s younger sister, Amy Millar, crossed the timers in 37.54 seconds to take second place riding Fine Time M.  The bay Canadian Sport Horse mare was bred by Millar Brooke Farm of Perth, ON, and is owned in partnership with Ann Mathews.  She is by Fine Line and out of a Prospector’s Halo xx mare.
Finishing third with a time of 42.37 seconds was Robert Krcmar of Mississauga, ON, riding La Fleur, a Holsteiner mare owned Jacqueline Wickens of Port Credit, ON.  By Nekton and out of a Lorentin I mare, La Fleur was bred in Germany.
The purpose of the Jump Canada Young Horse Series is to encourage the development of young show jumping talent and to give Canadian breeders additional incentives to breed superior show jumping prospects.  Competing on a level playing field, the horses are divided according to age and jump at a level suited to their development.  This careful development allows the horses to gain valuable experience and advance to the higher levels of show jumping competition with confidence.  The Jump Canada Young Horse Series also gives prospective buyers for the hunter and jumper markets an opportunity to view a large group of prospects in a competition setting.
The 2011 Jump Canada Young Horse Series is truly national in scope with competitions being held from coast to coast.  The National Young Horse Finals will take place at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament held from September 21-25 in Palgrave, ON.
For more information on the Jump Canada Young Horse Series, please visit 
National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments I – Ottawa, ON

Seven and Eight-Year-Old Division
            Horse                                       Owner                                     Rider
1.         Riva*                                       Summerhill Farm                     Jay Hayes
2.         Damiro van ter Notelaere        Knightwood Stables               Jeff Brandmaier
3.         Argento*                                 Chor-Be Farm                         Greg Kuti
4.         Monsieur Taloubet                  Elizabeth Bates                       Ainsley Vince
5.         Barretta*                                 Cimarron Farms                      Kelley Robinson
6.         Ruby Tuesday*                       Mill Creek Stables Inc.           Robert Donaldson
7.         Lino                                         Allison Zlepnig                       Allison Zlepnig
8.         Troy*                                       Heidi Harris                            Johan Letimonier 

Six-Year-Old Division
            Horse                                       Owner                                     Rider
1.         Alazan*                                   Millar Brooke Farm                 Jonathon Millar
2.         Empire 181                              Wynbrook Farm                      Paul Halpern 

Five-Year-Old Division
            Horse                                       Owner                                     Rider
1.         Selma de la Batia                    DK Masterson Holdings         Johan Letimonier
2.         Fine Time M*                          Millar Brooke Farm                 Amy Millar
3.         La Fleur                                   Jacqueline Wickens                 Robert Krcmar
4.         Capi Rossi                               Mikali Farms                           Allison Moore
5.         Briljant                                    North Point                             Johan Letimonier
6.         Evora*                                     Lindsay Dolman                     Pamela MacMartin 
NOTE – The star * beside a horse’s name denotes that it is Canadian-bred.