The ATCO Classic took place under beautiful conditions today at Spruce Meadows. This true speed competition,where faults are converted into time,was the first leg of a four part series in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
The course was designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela who was tasked with creating a competition track that would fit in both the famed International Ring and Meadows on the Green ring. The 12 obstacles set on the field were all made up of Canadian inspired jump material, a collection obtained by Spruce Meadows throughout the decades.
Winner of the competition, McLain Ward (USA), rode with his usual poise and composure and yet produced the most efficient time with Tina La Boheme, a 10 year-old Selle Francais mare owned by Susan Heller.
With 61 total entries starting to compete, the competition was split into two phases where both first and second place finishers fell in the order of go. Ward commented after his win, “It’s great for this Mare to win the class today, she’s up and coming – she has a bit of a special story, she was owned by a very dear friend of my family’s, Arty Hawkins, he passed away last year and my god mother bought him out. So she’s quite a bit more of a special horse to me and it’s a lot of fun to have some success on her.”
When asked about the conditions and his plan of attack on the International ring today Ward said, “You know, as the footing began to dry up, it got a little bit more slippery there at the end, but not bad for sure. I didn’t feel that really affected either one of my horses in the competition today. I should have taken a different route with HH Carlos to the double on the side, I should have gone around the flag pole like I did with Tina, so that was a mistake. Then at the ATCO Jump – I didn’t want to take to hard of a cut on the back side because those standards are quite wide and funky – I’ve done that to my knee already.”
With a stellar week so far, Daniel Coyle (IRL) continued his top results streak with a second and third place finish in the ATCO Classic. The difference between first and second place was an astonishing 0.01 seconds to finish behind Ward. Simba De La Roque, an 11 year-old Selle Francais Gelding was the first horse to carry the young Irishman to the finish line holding on to that upper finishing time for nearly the entire competition as sequence three in phase 1. The second horse for Coyle in Phase 2 was Cita, an 11 year-old Holstein Mare by Casall. Coyle plan of attack for the course was consistent on both horses as he arrived to the finish with Cita only 0.33 seconds behind himself to take home both silver and bronze in the opening series event.
The ‘National’ Tournament, presented by ROLEX is now complete, but there is so much more great show jumping sport to come with next week’s ‘Continental’ Tournament, beginning on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. This event is complimentary all weekend long and we invite you and your family to come out and enjoy the events on the Meadows on the Green Ring.
Click here for full results.
Edited press release: Spruce Meadows