Day two of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex brought over 200 international competitors onto the International Ring. With over 100 horses planning to start the 1.45m competitions. In the Friends of the Meadows Cup (1.45m), the United States would continue its winning streak from the day prior as Rich Fellers (USA) jumped to victory aboard Steelbi.
The ATCO Cup (1.45m) would bring forward seven clear rounds from the original 47 horse/rider combinations in the first round with four different nations represented. Canada’s Eric Lamaze would jump to victory with a clean jump off round and a quick time of 39.51s.
“When you come here [Spruce Meadows] you bring the best [horses], the best 1.45m, the best 1.50m and the best 1.55m,” said Lamaze on strategy, and winning at Spruce Meadows.
Age is Just a Number
The AON Cup (1.50m) was the final competition riders could use to qualify for Saturday’s Imperial Winning Round and the competition was fierce. Sixty-five horse/rider combinations started the competition with sixteen duos qualifying for the jump off round. Some of the top international riders including Kent Farrington (USA), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Patricio Pasquel (MEX) all qualified for the jump off, but it was young Hunter Holloway (USA) who put the pressure on and jumped to her first international victory at Spruce Meadows. At just 21 years of age, she proved she could compete at the top level of international sport.
“To have a win at Spruce Meadows today is so hounourable to me,” said Holloway on her inaugural International Ring win at Spruce Meadows.
A Second Win of the Day for Lamaze
The Progress Energy Cup (1.55m) was the last chance for riders to qualify for Saturday’s ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Grand Prix. The tough track was designed by FEI course designer Santiago Valera (ESP) and a tight time allowed of 79 seconds kept the clear rounds to a minimum. Only five clears were posted in the first round and advanced into the jump off. Richard Spooner (USA) and Patricio Pasquel (MEX) (Pasquel faster of the two) would both post clear round in the jump off while Juan Jose Zendajas (MEX) had the fastest time but a costly rail would keep him out of the podium. Olympic bronze medal team Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady were second last to go and as quick as could be with a time of 45.87s taking over the lead from Pasquel. Last into the ring was fellow Canadian and Spruce Meadows rookie, Francois Lamontagne but a time of 46.17s would land him in third place.
“I come here to win, the ranking points, the prize money, it’s all important,” said Lamaze.