Kent Farrington (USA) and Gazelle Win RBC Grand Prix
Fans were treated to great international sport in the RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Thirty-four top international horse/rider combinations stepped forward into the International Ring to take on FEI course designer Peter Grant’s (CAN) 590m track – something he had been preparing since early this year.
Twelve nations were represented in the International Ring, but it was Canada’s Lisa Carlsen who would post the first clear round of the competition. Over ten rounds would pass before another clear was posted and it would be 26 year old Karen Polle of Japan aboard With Wings that would guarantee us a jump off. With only five horses to go there were still only two clears, but some of the best were about to step into the International Ring including last years’ winning pair, Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Babel. A couple rails in the later half of the course would knock both Pasquel and Eric Lamaze (CAN) out of the running, but former world number one Kent Farrington (USA), who won this event back in 2015, posted the third clear round of the day.
Carlsen would be first to take on the jump off track and laid down a clean ride to put the pressure on Polle and Farrington who followed. Polle was next and put down a time of 48.52s but a rail in the combination. Farrington was the last to go and knowing just how fast he had to be put in a clear round with a time of 49.94s taking the win in the 2018 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex.
“It’s never dumbed down here, if it’s a five star Grand Prix, it’s built to a five star Grand Prix. ” – Kent Farrington (USA)
Juan Jose Zendejas (MEX) Wins the TransCanada U25 Winning Round
There was a great list of international talent qualified for the TransCanada U25 Winning Round on day four of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ CSI5* presented by Rolex. It was just a coincidence, but 25 horse/rider combinations would step froward into the International Ring for this exciting U25 competition. As a winning round competition, these riders, while obviously wanting to be clear, only needed to finish in the top 10 of the first round to come back for the Winning Round.
Five riders would post a clear round in round one while the remaining top 10 finishers would post time faults, but no rails, moving to the Winning Round. Ben Asselin (CAN), Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) and Juan Jose Zendejas representing Mexico all carried two horses into the Winning Round. It would come down to Guerreiro and Zendejas for top spot and Zendejas left nothing behind. “I had to give it a try” stated Zendejas about his winning ride.
“It’s an honour to win here” – Juan Jose Zendejas (MEX)
For complete results from the National, click here.