Justin Prather and Winny Boy
Calgary, CANADA – June 24, 2012 - - Sunday marked another dreary day at the Spruce Meadows Skyliner tournament, but everything was looking a whole lot sunnier for local boy Justin Prather, who wrapped up the amateur-only tournament with a win in the $15,000 Birchcliff Energy Junior/Amateur Barrage 1.40m.
Riding Bradon Construction Ltd.’s aptly named Winny Boy, the 18-year-old defeated the other 11 entries by posting the only clean round across the soggy and difficult track, set by American designer Anthony D’Ambrosio.
The rain and mud posed no problem for the small Dutch warmblood gelding, who raced to the finish flags in a tidy 72-seconds flat.
“It was tough out there,” exclaimed the young Canadian rider. “I had a few good rubs – I definitely got a little lucky. But he’s a good little horse, and he tries his heart out.
“It was wet, but Spruce Meadows always has good footing. It’s managed well, and the (course builders) are good about moving the jumps around – it wasn’t a problem for me.”
Prather’s win wraps up the 1.40m competitions for the Skyliner tournament – a week of show jumping dedicated solely to amateur riders. He’ll be returning to the competition arena with Winny Boy during next week’s Canada One tournament.
Falling victim to the clock was runner-up, Mexico’s Claudia Lorenza O’ Farrill, who chalked up an otherwise clean ride aboard Victor Hugo O’ Farrill’s, Pekin St Denis. O’ Farrill piloted the Selle Francais gelding over the 16 jumping efforts and to the wire in 78.25 seconds – just a fraction over the time allowed of 78 seconds.
Achieving the fastest of the four-fault rounds was Saree Kayne of Santa Monica, California. Riding her own horse, Saphir 270, the rider conquered the track in 73.91 seconds, but pulled an unfortunate rail at the final fence on course. The pair ended the class in third position.
Fourth place went to another Calgary-based rider, Amelia Vernon. Aboard her horse Tarnot, the up-and-coming young equestrienne dropped a single rail on course, finishing in 74.03 seconds. Connecticut’s Ashley Baker landed in fifth position with S & L What Nou after pulling a rail at the last fence. The pair crossed the wire in a time of 76.22 seconds.
Hayley MacKinnon took home sixth-place honors for her four-fault round aboard Class Action, while Mexico’s Luis Alejandro Plascencia ended the class in seventh place after piloting Copacabana to a five-fault round. Molly Graham of Canada ranked eighth for her five-fault round with Powerscourt.
Ranking ninth was American rider Taylor Alexander, who pulled two rails on course with her mount, Vicky. And rounding out the top-10 placings was another American rider, Greer Hindle, who racked up eight faults aboard Viper P.
The Canada One tournament – the fourth week of the five-week long Summer Series – kicks off next Thursday with the $60,000 Akita Drilling Cup 1.60m. With the professional riders back in the Spruce Meadows’ competition rings, it’ll likely make for some stellar sport.