Calgary, Alb. – June 6, 2019 – Day two of competition at the Spruce Meadows National in Calgary, Alberta saw top FEI CSI5* competition once again return to the famed International Ring. Thursday’s events wrapped with the $137,500 ATB Financial Cup, the qualifier for Saturday’s $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada Presented by Rolex. A total of 62 combinations passed through the clock tower to aim to be in the top 50 to put their name on the roster for Saturday afternoon. In the end, it was Beezie Madden and Darry Lou who walked away the winners.
The Peter Grant (CAN) designed track tested horses and riders over fences set at 1.55m. Riders had to be sure to land from each fence and gallop away, as it quickly became clear that time would play a factor in who advanced to the jump off. Rails fell in a number of places, but the triple combination and a liver pool set under a square, airy oxer accrued the most faults.
In the first round, 13 riders walked away with zero faults, and nine riders picked up only one time fault, eliminating them from a chance at the jump off but keeping them in the top 50 for Saturday’s grand prix. Fourth to go in the order, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Babalou 41 produced what would become the elusive clear round, and it would be 20 more rounds until Kara Chad (CAN) and Corona guaranteed a jump-off for the class.
At the end of the first round, Rowan Willis (AUS) with Blue Movie and Diablo VII, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chacco Kid, Beezie Madden (USA) with Coach and Darry Lou, Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Babel, Phillip Weishaupt (GER) and Asathir, Scott Keach (AUS) and Fedor, Paola Ambilibia Puig (SPN) and Julieta, Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina 2, Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Alamo all added their names to the list of riders set to return for a shot at top honors.
Kenny and Babalou 41 set the pace, going first in the jump-off and crossing the timers in 47.55 seconds. The lead changed hands a few times as riders finished just fractions of seconds faster than the last combination. As the last pair to go, Abigail Wexner’s Darry Lou and Madden posted the winning time of 46.11 seconds. Guerdat and Gerardo Pasquel’s Alamo ultimately earned second place with their time of 46.31 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Willis and Diablo VII with a jump-off time of 46.95 seconds.
Competition at the Spruce Meadows National continues through Sunday, June 9. The highlight of the week, the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada Presented by Rolex, commences on Saturday, June 8th at 1:00 p.m in the International Ring.
$133,700 ATB Financial Cup
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Darry Lou / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 79.35 / 0 | 46.11
2. Alamo / Steve Guerdat / SWI / Gerardo Pasquel / 0 / 80.29 / 0 | 46.31
3. Diablo VII / Rowan Willis / AUS / 0 / 81.01 / 0 | 46.95
4. Fedor / Scott Keach / AUS / Southern Cross Equestrian / 0 / 80.79 | 47.00
5. Babel / Patricio Pasquel / MEX / Patricio Pasquel / 0 / 81.71 / 0 | 47.18
6. Chacco Kid / Eric Lamaze / CAN / The Chacco Group / 0 / 78.40 | 0 47.36
7. Babalou 41 / Darragh Kenny / IRL / Jack Snyder / 0 / 79.34 / 0 | 47.55
8.Asathir / Philipp Weishaupt / GER / Abdullah Salem S Bahamdan / 0 / 78.98 / 0 | 48.38
9. Coach / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 81.48 / 0 | 49.01
10. Bardolina 2 / Mario Deslauriers / CAN / Wishing Well Farm LLC / 80.96 | 0 | 49.61
11. Julieta / Paola Ambilibia Puig / SPN / Federico Fernandez / 0 / 81.63 / 0 | 55.01
12. Carona / Kara Chad / CAN / Torrey Pines Stable / 0 / 79.74