(SPRUCE MEADOWS, Calgary, AB): The 2012 Spruce Meadows ‘National’ kicked off with a cool but exciting day in the International ring. Top riders from around the world gathered to compete for their shot at victory.
A huge field of 80 horse/rider combinations came out to ride the Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course in the 1.45 meter Bantrel Cup. With 495 meters of track, 13 jumping efforts and only one round to prove themselves, the riders raced against the clock to take home their share of the $32,000. Daniel Bluman (COL) came out on top, riding the ten year old Dutch WarmbloodVichy, owned by Torrey Pines Stables. Seventeen year old Reed Kessler (USA) was just a second behind, not managing to beat Bluman’s time of 58.19. It was an exciting day for Bluman, winning his first competition in the International ring.
Daniel Bluman (COL) was on a roll on opening day, then capturing the $32,000 Enbridge cup. A field of 37 horse/rider combinations tackled the course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA). With 14 jumping efforts and 525 meters of track, 13 riders succeeded in moving into the jump off. Daniel Bluman and his 9 year old Warmblood mare, Sancha LS la Silla rode to victory going double clear in a time of 37.08 seconds. After the competition, Bluman gushed about the mare, saying “I could talk for hours about her, she’s always surprising me”. American Richard Spooner was disappointed in his round, saying “I should have watched Daniel go, then I could have thought to go a little bit faster”.
Although only 15 horse/rider combinations started the 1.60 meter ATB Financial Cup, the competition was fierce. Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the 540 meter course with 14 jumping obstacles, cutting the field down to 6 in the jump off. With three double clears, defending champion Kent Farrington (USA) came out on top with a time of 35.36 aboard Uceko, an 11 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding. When asked if this win helps his chance of being selected for the Olympic team, he responded “I don’t think so, but this horse has posted consistent rounds since the start of his career, so that helps”. The ATB Financial was the first leg in the Spruce meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship.
A prominent thought on riders minds are the Olympic trials being held during the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. With several talented up-and-coming riders and veterans on new horses, the five spots for each team will be up for grabs in the next two weeks here at Spruce Meadows. Reed Kessler of the USA is focusing on giving her best and hopefully being chosen for the Olympics, which will be just weeks after her 18th birthday. Kent Farrington is also eyeing a spot on the team, with plans to compete in the grand prix this coming Saturday. With only two spots open for the Colombian team, Daniel Bluman is confident that one of those spots has his name on it, especially after two back-to-back wins in the International ring today.
The competition continues tomorrow in the International ring, beginning with the ATCO Pipelines cup at 1:00PM.
Bantrel Cup – Top 10
1-Daniel Bluman COL Vichy
2-Reed Kessler USA Onisha
3-Yann Candele CAN Game Ready
4-Robert Whitaker GBR Waterstone
5-McLain Ward USA Rothchild
6-Susan Artes USA Zamiro
7-Beezie Madden USA Amadora
7-Rodrigo Lambre BRA Chepepe La Escondida
9-Meagan Nusz USA Dynamo
10-Nick Dello Joio USA Geledimar
Enbridge Cup – Top 10
1-Daniel Bluman COL Sancha LS La Silla
2-Richard Spooner USA Apache
3-Reed Kessler USA Cylana
4-Tiffany Foster CAN Victor
5-Robert Whitaker GBR Catwalk IV
6-Nick Dello Joio USA Notre Star De La Nutria
7-Richie Moloney USA Ahorn Van De Zuuthoeve
8-Federico Fernandez MEX Gitano
9-Darragh Kerins USA Lisona
10-Antonio Maurer MEX Eeckenrhoode S Uno Momento