Palgrave, Ontario – The best riders from across the country will go head-to-head during this year’s Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, running September 19 to 23 at the CaledonEquestrian Park in Palgrave, ON. Whether it’s in the Hunter, Jumper or Equitation rings, the athletes and their four-legged stars of the sport are sure to shine.
Sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament features the $100,000 Caledon Cup, sponsored by Aviva Elite, Peel Maryborough, and RAM Equestrian. Comprised of three legs of competition held over three days, the $100,000 Caledon Cup is often referred to as the ‘triple crown of Canadian show jumping.’ Two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela will set the tracks in the grand prix ring.
Competition will also be fierce in the hunter rings, as Tournament once again plays host to the $10,000 Ontario Hunter Jumper Association (OHJA) Ultimate Hunter Challenge. This three-phase event is designed to highlight and reward young hunters competing in Ontario and is open to horses aged four through seven. The Ultimate Hunter title will be awarded to the overall high point winners in two age categories, four and five-year-olds and six and seven-year-olds, who exhibit excellence in conformation, movement and jumping.
In 2011, Darcy Hayes of Aurora, ON, and Karma 3E emerged victorious in the Four and Five-Year-Old Division of the $10,000 OHJA Ultimate Hunter Challenge.
“I started riding Karma at the June show in Palgrave last year,” said Hayes of Karma 3E, a bay Canadian Sport Horse gelding. “He was reserve champion at his first show, and champion at his second. I knew he was talented right from the start. He was sold after winning at Tournament last year and is now doing exceptionally well with his new owner in Quebec.”
Karma 3E is a product of the breeding program at KingRidge Stables in King, ON. Using some of the best bloodlines available in the sport of show jumping including Voltaire, Nimmerdor, Cor de la Bryere and Darco, KingRidge prides itself on producing quality Canadian-bred horses, many of which go on to compete at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament.
“The KingRidge breeding program has proven to be very successful,” noted Hayes, who has been riding for Seymour and Gloria Epstein’s KingRidge Stables since May of 2011. “The hunters I have ridden for KingRidge have all performed very well, winning a number of big events.”
Those mounts include In Your Dreams 3E, an eight-year-old chestnut Canadian Sport Horse mare by Double Diamond, who, under Hayes, was the Combined Hunter Champion at the 2011 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
“She was named the best Canadian-bred horse at the Royal last year as well,” said Hayes proudly. “We’ve already won two events in the Canadian Hunter Derby series this season, and will likely be competing in the Combined Hunter Division at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament this year.”
Hayes will also be bringing another one of KingRidge Stables’ horses to the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, Judgment Day 3E. The seven-year-old grey Canadian Sport Horse gelding, also by Double Diamond, was previously shown in the Jump Canada Young Horse Series with veteran Canadian Show Jumping Team member Hugh Graham of Schomberg, ON.
Graham, who is Vice President of Operations and Head Trainer at KingRidge Stables, can often be seen competing on home-bred horses in the show jumping ring. At the 2011 Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, Graham and Executive Privilege 3E, a 12-year-old grey Canadian Sport Horse gelding, won the $20,000 Aviva Elite/Peel Maryborough Phase I, which serves as the opening leg of the $100,000 Caledon Cup. The pair had previously won the $100,000 CSI2* World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix during the 2009 event.
The high caliber of horses competing at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament is just one of the many things setting the annual international show jumping event apart.
“Management really makes Tournament much more of an event than your average, every day horse show,” explained Hayes, who has been competing at the Caledon Equestrian Park for more than two decades. “They host a number of series finals and don’t have all of the smaller divisions. That really helps in making it a step above the rest when it comes to the level of competition.”
She continued, “The decorations in the hunter ring also get a little more exciting, and new jumps come out just for that show. The horses get a chance to show in different rings, which is great. Last year my five-year-old went into the main ring, which he hadn’t done before, and jumped better than he ever has before.”
In addition to riding several of KingRidge’s horses at the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, Hayes will also be bringing one of her own, Smile. She will compete with the seven-year-old Oldenburggelding in the Pre-Green Hunter division while her daughter, Madison, will show Smile in the Adult Amateur Hunters.
If a name could predict the outcome, Hayes will be wearing a smile at the conclusion of this year’s Canadian Show Jumping Tournament.
For more information on the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, please visit http://www.equiman.com/csjt/.