There was something for everyone on day eight of the Royal West. The highlight was another stirring win by Chile’s Samuel Parot in the $35,000 CSI3*-W Spirit of the West Cup at the Agrium Western Events Center.
On a night that produced just two clear runs, Parot guided the bay 13-year-old gelding Couscous von Orti in a blazing 61.19 secs. with just 4 penalty points. It was Parot’s fourth win during the Royal West after accepting a recent invitation from Royal West president John Anderson to compete.
Parot’s winning performance was enough to edge the only clean rider from the podium. Canada’s Yann Candele took Sombrero Brimbelles, a 9-year-old chestnut stallion, around the challenging course in 65.80 seconds.
Third place was grabbed by Jill Henselwood aboard the bay 10-year-old gelding Farfelu du Printemps. Henselwood also had a clean run, but her 95.16 second round featured a lengthy delay as Quidam Blue was reluctant in navigating a jump.
Topping the evening was the drama of the $10,000 The Horse Store Four Bar competition. All eleven horses cleared at 1.35 m, eight horses made the next height of 1.55 m.. With the bar at 1.65 m, it was whittled down to 6 horses. The fourth round took it up to 1.77 m and took the field down to three at 1.92 m.
Tracy Epp on Falco Union, Katz Piller on Chilando and Andrea Strain on Killossery Kruisey took on the Calgary indoor record height. In a display of courage and skill, all three made the height first time around. App and Strain decided to call it a night, leaving it to Pillar to give it one last go at 1.97 m.
She and Chilandro sailed over with no problem, winning top spot to a rousing cheer from the Agrium fans— and a $2000 bonus. “I was thinking about you inviting me,” she told Anderson. “I knew if it was you jumping you’d have done the higher height. So I gave it a go.”
Earlier in the day, it was Halloween costumes galore in the $5000 1.10 m EK Sporthorses Costume Speed Derby. The aptly named Lucky Boy, with Kaylie Martinoff aboard took top honours. Kaylie found the pot ‘o gold wearing her leprechaun costume. Jada Wagner on Bali from Cali took second and a clown Katz Piller took third on Benjamin Button.
Heading into Saturday’s dramatic finish with the $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Calgary Royal West president John Anderson proclaimed himself satisfied with the progress of the second-year event.
“We’re trying to create a new indoor jumping tradition here in Calgary with the help of the Longines people,” said Anderson. “The competition has been exceptional and we know fans in the city will make this an annual highlight of the sports calendar.”