With the Pan Am Games fast approaching, riders from multiple countries, including Uruguay, Argentina, the United States and Canada, took the opportunity to bolster get some additional experience in Canada by testing the FEI 1.45m course, set by Mexican course designer Oscar Soberon.
The fans came out in droves for Saturday’s $46,000 FEI Erin Welcome, presented by Albion Golf Cars. The Emily E. Clermont Memorial Ring, was in outstanding condition after being hit with huge amounts of rain earlier in the week, and ready to welcome a field of 21 horses.
On Thursday, Uruguayan rider, Nestor Nielsen Van Hoff put on a dazzling performance by winning the $10,000 Marco Products Modified Grand Prix, and the crowds were anxious to see if he could follow it up with a repeat performance on Saturday.
Soberon’s courses proved quite challenging for many of the Canadian riders, with only Elizabeth Bates (Wildfire) and Keean White (Sombrero Brimbells) making the jump-off along with seven other International riders, including Thursday’s Champion, ‘Prince Royal Z De La Luz’.
Of the first eight horses to go in Saturday’s jump-off, only one double clear performance materialized, belonging to Wellington, Florida native, Melissa Orlick-Zbierski, aboard ‘Vieki’ (45.81 seconds).
With the sun setting on the field and a crowd of South American supporters on their toes surrounding the in-gate, ‘Prince Royal Z De La Ruz’ and Nestor Nielson Van Hoff, galloped into the ring with a single purpose in mind, to repeat back-to-back victories in week two of Angelstone’s seven-week schedule.
Negotiating tight turns, and blazing across the expansive field, Van Hoff barreled down on Orlick-Zbierski’s pace setting time, crossing the mark at a time of 43.22 seconds to win by a full two seconds.
Rounding the packed grandstands for a victory lap, Van Hoff pumped his fist in the air to electrify the audience.
Taking the podium for the Champagne celebration were Van Hoff (Uruguay – first), Orlick-Zbierski (USA – second) and Soleau (USA –third). The Uruguayan anthem reverberated throughout the show grounds for the second time in the same week, with the dueling pianos taking their position in the center of the ring to round out an incredible night at Angelstone.
Action continues next week with the Headwaters Cup, before a break in the schedule for the Pan Am Games, followed by four action-packed weeks in August.
For more information on attending Angelstone as a spectator or competitor, visit www.angelstone.co
Full results here.