Calgary, CAN – October 24, 2017 – The second week of international competition kicked off Tuesday night with a speed class, the 1.45 m $35,000 Friends of Rocky Mountain Cup, Presented by Pure North and Sponsored by Mermac Construction, Volker Stevin and NSI Scapes. While competition was more intense than the first week with many Americans and Canadians arriving in Calgary from the FEI World Cup Qualifier in Del Mar, California, this past weekend, the results remained the same as last week – Daniel Coyle and Fortis Fortuna took the win in the first night of competition.
Going fourth in the order of go out of 38 starters, Coyle was so smooth in his inside turns and gallops between fences, the crowd was sure that he would be surpassed. However, after holding their breath time after time with the likes of Andy Kocher, Beth Underhill, Lauren Crooks, and Hardin Towell – they saw a tight five to a narrow plank come down time after time and inside turns go awry leading to more conservative rides later in competition.
Fellow Irishman Conor Swail looked like he might catch him, first setting the pace with CK Coco Chanel, who eventually finished fourth, and then later on with two-time winner from the first week, Flower, who finished third in Tuesday’s competition.
The one to make Coyle hold his breath, however, was Jim Ifko. Ifko, who was second twice last week to Conor Swail, blazed around the course with daring angles and the fastest time with the 9-year-old stallion Un Diamant des Forets (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge). An unlucky rail at the plank, kept him out of the top position, but his sheer speed kept him in second place over a dozen clear rides.
“I walked the line and chose to do a galloping four strides. However, after watching the entire class do a tight five strides, I convinced myself to do that instead. It wasn’t the right ride for my horse – I wish I had done the four strides,” said Ifko.
Coyle, who jumped his first grand prix (clean!) at age 12 in Ireland, is based in Toronto, Ontario, and Wellington, Florida. He jumped the 12-year-old bay mare Fortis Fortuna (Quidam de Revel x Carthago) to the win, and also posted a clear ride on Cita, an 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro).
Coyle, 22, plans to jump both horses in Thursday night’s qualifier to be prepared for Saturday Night’s FEI Longines FEI World Cup™ Qualifier on Saturday night. Riders are striving to represent their home country in the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Finals in Paris, France, in April.
The class brought new sponsors to the sport of show jumping and Royal West. James Wallace of Volker Stevin brought both colleagues and clients to their first show jumping event. “I had no idea how fast they would go. It was really exciting,” said Wallace. Darren Bailey of Mermac Construction also joined Royal West for the first year as sponsor and after the thrilling competition is excited to continue the partnership.
$35,000 Friends of Rocky Mountain 1.45m CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Time (before faults added)
1. Fortis Fortuna / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 58.24
2. Un Diamant des Forets / Jim Ifko / CAN / 59.89 (55.89)
3. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / 61.45
4. Flower / Conor Swail / IRL / 62.18 (58.18)
5. Thalys Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 63.42 (59.42)
6. Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 63.83
7. Columbcille de Reve / Lauren Crooks / USA / 64.97 (60.97)
8. Dereusa S / Femke Courchaine / CAN / 66.66 (62.66)
9. Brise CR / Tayah Sobie / CAN / 66.87 (62.87)
10. Navalo de Poheton / Andrew Kocher / USA / 66.92 (58.92)
11. Andiamo vh Kapelhof Z / Kyle King / USA / 67.03 (59.03)
12. Count me In / Beth Underhill / CAN / 68.10
For full results, click here.
Royal West Tuesday Competition Wrap-Up
Serenity Enders and Torino topped the 1.00 Open Jumper. In the $500 1.10m open jumper, Thoroughbred Smooth Criminal and Alicia Gadban prevailed. James McDonald and Crime Star de Tiji Z won the 1.10 Jr/Am Jumper. Carla Diewert and Classic took the 1.15 Open Jumper. The 1.20m Jr/Am Jumper was won by Rachel Cornacchia and Ubiko. Kyle King took 1st and 2nd in the 1.30m Open with Coco Chanel and Christian, respectively. Jaclyn Duff won the 1.40m Open sponsored by Camelot Stabls with Venus du Gue.
Ireland Takes All! Conor Swail & Flower Win $35,000 Tractorland Cup and Daniel Coyle Wins Overall in Week One
The first week of competition of Royal West saw unprecedented divisions sizes, competition, and spectators. At its conclusion, the top earners of week one were Conor Swail, Jim Ifko and Daniel Coyle.
In Friday’s $35,000 Friends of Royal West Challenge Cup, Presented by Truman Homes, with an exciting jump-off with 15 horses, Ireland’s Conor Swail and the 12-year-old mare Flower blazed to the win double clear in 37.05 seconds. Swail dared the other riders, going first in the jump off, with inside turns and fast gallops on CK Coco Chanel. His clear round jump-off and fast time kept others chasing the clock and incurring rails in the process.
“I have more experience with Flower going fast in jump-offs – I’m still getting to know Coco Chanel in the jump-off. It was tight and fast on [Coco Chanel] and I honestly wasn’t sure I could beat it, but Flower and I have been in that situation before and I knew I could trust our partnership,” said Swail.
It looked like the time would hold until Calgarian Jim Ifko entered the ring on his 9-year-old stallion Un Diamant des Forets (Diamant de Semilly x Papillion Rouge). With only Swail and Daniel Coyle coming behind him, he showed an opening in the course, stopping the clocks at 37.35 seconds.
“It is so great having this level of indoor competition right here in Calgary,” said Ifko. “My horse jumped so well and it is great to be up on the podium in this company,” he continued.
Coming right after Ifko, Swail guided Flower, who was also 2nd in Thursday’s $35,000 Speed class, to masterful turns, including a crowd-whistling gallop to the final fence. Thursday’s winner, fellow Irishman Daniel Coyle caught rails chasing the clock after clear first rounds with both his mounts Cita and Fortis Fortuna.
The course, designed by Werner Deeg (GER), Peter Holmes (CAN), Chris Jones (CAN), and Eric Hasbrouck (USA), was off to a slightly auspicious start when the first four riders – Swail, Jeff Campf, Kyle King, and Laura Jane Tidball all jumped clear rounds. However, a dearth of clear rides followed and spectators had to wait until the 20th in the order – Lauren Crooks and Valentino d’Elte to produce the fifth clear round.
The 36 starters attempted the course, which consisted of 12 fences and 15 jumping efforts tested scope and adjustability throughout. Early in the course, an imposing liverpool oxer-to-oxer line of three long strides from fences 4 to 5 away from the in-gate elicited much strong riding. The most rails, however, were caught in the one-stride to two-stride triple combination 6ABC. The vertical-oxer-vertical saw all three fences fall roughly equivalently, with several horses bringing down two and a couple bringing all three rails down with them.
Late to go in the jump-off of Saturday’s $35,000 Tractorland Cup, Jim Ifko and his striking stallion Un Diamant des Forets took the lead with a fast, clean, and applause driven jump-off. For the second night in a row, he walked out of the ring to watch Conor Swail and Flower stop the clock a hair earlier.
In a more technical course for the Saturday night crowd with brand new jumps and an imposing cut-out wall across the middle, the third night of 1.45 competition saw some fatigue and the 12 jump – 14 effort course. Six combinations advanced to the jump-off – Lauren Crooks on two mounts, Ifko, Swail, Vanessa Mannix, and Thurday’s winner Daniel Coyle.
“The course was relatively tough – I thought it was a nice course again, but for some reason it proved a little bit more difficult,” said Swail. “In the jump-off, Jim put it up to me tonight again and I honestly thought I was a little bit luckier. She’s such a good horse – she was a wee bit tired after three days in a row and we kept her as happy and focused as we could.”
“I was thrilled with my horse. All week long my horse kept improving and improving. I thought he jumped the best tonight of all three classes. Coming into the jump-off with Conor behind me, I knew what I was in for, but rode as fast as I could. I left a little bit of a gap in a few turns and competing with Conor is always tough,” said Ifko.
The Mannix family had a big night all around – Vanessa Mannix is a co-owner of Swail’s mare Flower, she represented Canada in international show jumping competition and her brother in international polo competition. On a young horse, 28-year-old Vanessa Mannix took 3rd in the $35,000 Tractorland Cup with her 8-year-old bay mare Cantika (Catoki x Luxano).
“I’m really lucky to have my mare here – I’ve been riding her for about a year and early in her career jumping FEI ranking classes. I couldn’t be happier – she is so game and so careful. It was a great experience and it’s an honor to be in this company and showing in my hometown,” said Mannix.
In the $25,000 Canadian Hunter Derby 3’3”/3’6” Sponsored by Salentein Wines, 26 professionals, amateurs, and juniors vied for the top call. Rodney Tulloch and Google took the top call with a round that harkened back to hunters of another era. His stylish gallop was maintained and rhythm perfectly even through every handy turn and related distance. At only 7 years old Google is proving himself as a trusty three ring mount for owner Stephany Powers and Open Hunter and Derby contender for Tulloch.
Tulloch praised the opportunity Royal West gives the riders from his Landmark Training. “It’s so exciting to be showing right downtown and get to bring everyone – children and adult clients, new horses, and let everyone experience the best of indoors,” he said.
After winning Friday night’s $10,000 class and placing 3rd, 4th, and 12th tonight with Class Act, Easystreet, and Candyland respectively, Brent Balisky won the Hunter Derby Series Award for 2017. Balisky plans to bring his hunters next to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto to contest in Canadian Hunter Derby Finals.
In the 1.10 Royal West Canadian Championship, 12-year-old Eric Kyle Krawitt and Wellington won with a clean sweep – winning all four jumping rounds individually, as well as the overall competition. Krawitt said, “It was a very fun and challenging four rounds of competitor over three days at the Royal West, I am honored to be able to compete here at such a nice facility. My horse Wellington jumped amazing and I couldn’t be more thrilled to win all four phases in this company.”
In the 1.20m Royal West Canadian Championship, again a young rider prevailed over the professionals, juniors, and amateurs. Anya Bereznicki, 13 years old, and her Diazella were 5th in the Speed Class on Day 1, won Day 2, and earned 3rd in today’s competition. Their jump-off for the Challenge Cup sealed the win. Bereznicki said, “ Coming up from third overall, I knew I had to be clean and fast in the jump off. I was determined to make it a smooth round as well. My horse and I have a special connection and in pressured situations and Diazella wanted to win today.”
In the 1.30m Royal West Canadian Championship, Carla Diewert and Cogito won after close results throughout and an exciting jump-off. Diwert and Cogito earned acclaim at 2016’s Royal West for tying for 1st in the $10,000 Costume 4-bar class, clearing an impressive 1.85m!
Hunter Championships were crowned to: Castell & Ashley Arnoldt (Junior Hunter 3’6”), Danika & Jenna Oxland (Modified Hunter 3’3” and Jr/Am Hunter 3’3”), and Easystreet & Brent Balisky (Combined Working Hunter).
In the Young Horse Championships, Sunday winners were: Fabel & Jaclyn Duff (7 Year Old), Gameboy & Femke van den Bosch (6 Year Old), Laredo & Lindsay Beadle (5 Year Old), and Inferno BF & Femke van den Bosch.
$35,000 Friends of Royal West Cup presented by Truman Homes 1.45m CSI2*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Flower / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 62.12 / 0 | 37.05
2. Un Diamant des Forets / Jim Ifko / CAN / 0 | 64.85 / 0 | 37.35
3. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 63.94 / 0 | 38.92
4. Escudo’s Triumph / Kyle King / USA / 0 | 67.44 / 0 | 39.68
5. Valentino d’Elte / Lauren Crooks / USA / 0 | 65.19 / 0 | 40.32
6. Valkyrie de Talma / Rachel Cornacchia / CAN / 0 | 63.15 / 0 | 40.34
7. Wordsworth II / Jeff Campf / USA / 0 | 65.05 / 0 | 41.00
8. Count me In / Beth Underhill / CAN / 0 | 62.65 / 0 | 42.03
9. Concetto Son / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / 0 | 67.07 / 0 | 42.83
10. Catinka / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 | 64.32 / 0 | 43.67
11. Columbcille de Reve / Lauren Crooks / USA / 0 | 63.82 / 4 | 40.84
12. Breemeersen Imoretto / Claire Doty / USA / 0 | 62.79 / 4 | 42.38
For full results, click here.
$35,000 Tractorland Cup 1.45m CSI2* – Royal West International Challenge Phase 3
Presented by MG3 Holdings & Tamie Phillips
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Flower / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 68.91 / 0 | 34.97
2. Un Diamant des Forets / Jim Ifko / CAN / 0 | 68.65 / 0 | 36.29
3. Catinka / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 | 69.47 / 0 | 38.99
4. Columbcille de Reve / Lauren Crooks / USA / 0 | 67.00 / 4 | 36.01
5. Valentino d’Elte Lauren Crooks USA 0 69.04 sec 4 37.28 sec
6. Cita / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 0 | 70.42 / 14 | 50.12
7. Thalys Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 4 | 64.45
8. Karamell / Julia Stanley / CAN / 4 | 64.55
9. Edison P / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 4 | 66.21
10. Wordsworth II / Jeff Campf / USA / 4 | 67.04
11. Peninsula Vertigo / Samara Heinrichs / CAN / 4 | 67.33
12. Eos van de Donkhoeve / Kathryn Dafoe / CAN / 4 | 68.67
For full results, click here.
$25,000 Canadian Hunter Derby 3’3”/3’6” Overall
Place / Rider / Horse
1. Rodney Tulloch / Google
2. Erynn Ballard / Enchanted
3. Brent Balisky / Class Act
4. Brent Balisky / Easy Street
5. Bill Ulmer / Beach Drive
6. Kendra Best / Cousteau
7. Tracey Epp / Solo Dinero
8. Kristin Russell / Helios
9. Carly Stevens / Corona OS
10. Emma Woo / Notable
11. Brittany Turner / Cinquecento Z
12. Brent Balisky / Candyland