Well-Deserved Win for Bliss Heers
Saturday afternoon of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex, brought sixty-six horse/rider combinations into the Meadows on the Green for the Canadian Utilities Cup (1.50m). The technical track by FEI Course Designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) tested the riders over thirteen obstacles (sixteen efforts) including three double combinations and two liverpools.
Six riders representing five nations posted clear rounds advancing to the jump-off. Darragh Kenny (IRL) was first to go and put the pressure on posting a clear ride and quick time of 37.71s. Second-last to go was Bliss Heers (USA) and she laid it all on the line. Jumping a clear round, she posted a time of 36.68s to take the lead. It came down to the wire with world number one Steve Guerdat (SUI) last to go and he was just off the pace, posting a clear round and a time of 36.82s to take second place.
“This is really quite emotional for me. A year ago I broke my back and now to win at Spruce Meadows and to beat two Olympic champions is very special,” said Heers of her first career win at Spruce Meadows.
Beezie Madden (USA) Wins the AKITA Drilling Cavalry Speed
The AKITA Drilling Cavalry Charge (1.50m) marked the second leg of the Alberta Power Speed Challenge. This series gives riders the opportunity to ride the same course in four different competitions over the 2019 Summer Series. The horse/rider combination with the best overall ranking over all four competitions wins the Alberta Power Speed Challenge.
The course was designed by FEI course designer Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) and made to fit in the International Ring and Meadows on the Green without any alteration to the track. This week thirty-nine horse/rider combinations tackled the track looking to move up the standings in the Alberta Power Speed Challenge.
With five horses left to go, Kent Farringon (USA) was sitting at the top of the leader board with a quick time of 77.33s. Beezie Madden (USA) stepped into the ring looking to best her previous week’s time of 79.29s that had landed her in fourth place. Madden’s 9 year-old mare Jiva quickly settled into the course and the pair knocked two seconds off their time to land on 77.23s – taking them to first place.
“She’s (Jiva) a very careful horse and sometimes a little shy when going fast over a lot of impressive fences out here. This (Alberta Power Speed Challenge) as been really good for her building her bravery and it showed today.” – Beezie Madden (USA) on her horse Jiva in the AKITA Drillling Cavalry Charge.
A Second Win for Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX)
The North American Ring had a full schedule Saturday of the ‘Continental’ CSI5* Tournament starting with the one round Friends of the Meadows Cup (1.45m) in the morning. FEI Course Designer Tom Holden (IRL) laid out the track that thirty competitors put forth their best effort in an attempt to make it to the winner’s circle.
Arturo Parada Vallejo (MEX) was on point today aboard the eight year-old Zangersheide gelding, Cassidy Z. The pair put forth a clear quick ride with a time of 67.30s making it their second win of the 2019 Spruce Meadows Summer Series.
Full results here.