Calgary, Alberta – June 29, 2019 – The Canadian Utilities Cup 1.55m was the only qualifier Sunday’s Pan American Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Eighty-one horse-and-athlete combinations stepped up to take on FEI Course Designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) technical track in hopes of earning their spot in Sunday’s grand prix.
Sixteen combinations were able to jump the first round of competition with no faults and advance to the jump off. Three riders, McLain Ward (USA), Pieter Clemens (BEL) and Mario Deslauriers (CAN) each carried two mounts into the jump off looking increase their odds of making it to the winner’s circle.
The pressure was on in the jump of with many riders pulling a rail in an attempt to post the fastest time. Ward’s first mount, Contagious, was fast and clear with a time of 42.58 seconds taking him to the top of the leader board. Second last in the jump off, Ward came in with his second ride, Olympic mount HH Azur. He bested his own time by 1.52 seconds to secure a first and second place finish.
“It feels good. We (the riders) always talk about Spruce Meadows and how everyone here is always striving to be better, not only in the organization of the events but the facilities. Always looking to be one step better. That’s why you see all the best athletes from around the world trying to come here – that’s really a testament to what a great job [Spruce Meadows] does here,” said Ward on the changes to Meadows on the Green
Earlier in the morning, warm weather greeted horses and riders to commence day two of competition at the Meadows on the Green which started at 8:00 a.m. with the Friends of the Meadows Cup. Forty-Six horse-and-rider combinations stepped through the portal to challenge Wade’s 1.50m track. Twelve partnerships delivered fault-free rides in the first round and advanced to the jump off.
Over the shortened track, riders were having to take risks in an attempt to secure their place in the winner’s circle and for some the risk paid off. Kent Farrington of the United States and Jasper made it look easy jumping a clear round in a time of 32.36 seconds – almost two seconds faster than Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) who would have to settle for second place.
Canadian Utilities Cup 1.55m
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. McLain Ward / HH Azur / USA / 0 | 71.62 / 0 | 41.06
2. McLain Ward / Contagious / USA / 0 | 71.63 / 0 | 42.58
3. Brian Moggre / MTM Vivre Le Reve / USA / 0 | 73.71 / 0 | 43.07
4. Conor Swail / GK Coco Chanel / IRL / 0 | 73.38 / 0 | 43.10
5. Pieter Clemens / I Am Moerhoeves Star / BEL / 0 | 72.42 / 0 | 43.49
6. Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane / Hortensia Van De Leeuwerk / MEX / 0 | 74.51 / 0 | 43.87
7. Mario Deslauriers / Amsterdam 27 / CAN / 0 | 75.26 / 0 | 46.04
8. Federico Fernandez / Davidoff / MEX / 0 | 75.94 / 0 | 47.87
9. Jennifer Gates / Capital Colnardo / USA / 0 | 75.71 / 0 | 49.22
10. Patricio Pasquel / Babel / MEX / 0 | 73.18 / 4 | 42.40
11. Pieter Clemens / Cuidam / BEL / 0 | 73.43 / 4 | 47.12
12. Lillie Keenan / Fasther / USA / 0 | 74.92 / 4 | 48.67