Palgrave, Ontario – Having dominated the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, rode away with the Caledon Cup on Sunday, September 23. Candele won all three phases of competition comprising the Caledon Cup at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, ON, recently named the official equestrian venue of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
Candele won Thursday’s $15,000 Caledon Cup Phase 1 riding Carlotta Singular, and returned to the grand prix arena on Saturday to win the $35,000 Caledon Cup Phase 2 with Game Ready. In Sunday’s third and final phase, the $50,000 RAM Equestrian Caledon Cup Phase 3, Candele qualified both Carlotta Singular and Game Ready for the five horse jump-off.
Mac Cone, 60, of King City, ON, opened the jump-off with a clear performance in a time of 38.93 seconds riding Unanimous, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by The Unanimous Group and Southern Ways.
His 2008 Olympic silver medal teammate Jill Henselwood, 49, of Oxford Mills, ON, was next in the ring with New Idol Z. Henselwood has been riding the eight-year-old grey Zangersheide mare since last summer, and the pair recently stepped up to the grand prix level. They produced a clear round over Leopoldo Palacois’s shortened jump-off track, but their time of 40.85 seconds would leave them in fifth place in the final standings.
Riding a hot streak, Candele was next in the ring with Carlotta Singular, a 10-year-old Hannoverian mare. The pair were recently the traveling alternates for the Canadian Show Jumping Team at the 2012 London Olympic Games and used their experience to produce a clear round in a time of 37.08 seconds to move into the lead.
Erynn Ballard, 32, of Tottenham, ON, qualified her new mount, Quintello, for the jump-off. In only their second competition together, Ballard and Quintello were clear in a time of 39.50 seconds to take fourth place. A 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Quintello is owned by Francis Berger of Southshore Farm of Mont St. Hilaire, QC, and Tjeert Rijkens of Germany.
As the final challenger, Candele already had the win sewn up with Carlotta Singular, but that didn’t stop the hometown favourite from putting on a show for the crowd. With the 12-year-old Game Ready, Candele raced through the timers in 37.57 seconds. While it wasn’t fast enough to take over the lead, it did give the win to Carlotta Singular and second place to Game Ready.
“You have to be lucky to even get in the jump-off, and then having two experienced horses helps,” said Candele, 41, of his success with the horses owned by Susan Grange of Lothlorien Farm in Cheltenham, ON. “Both horses won here this week, and were expected to do well in the grand prix. I am thrilled that, even with the extra pressure we had on us, we were able to succeed.”
While Carlotta Singular won the $50,000 RAM Equestrian Caledon Cup Phase 3, Game Ready had the highest point total overall and was awarded the Caledon Cup, presented by the Kirton family in memory of their father, Gord Kirton.
“I would especially like to thank the Kirton family for their support of the Caledon Cup,” said Candele who has lived in Canada since relocating from France in 1999 to work for Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON. “I have been close friends with Kim Kirton and the Kirton family for many years since coming to Canada, and it was very special to receive the award from them.”
Candele continued, “It was great to win in front of a home crowd. By hosting the Pan American Games in 2015, Palgrave is going to attract more and more attention to our sport in the coming years, and it is great that the local community can start to become familiar with the big names in show jumping that compete at the Caledon Equestrian Park.
In addition to showcasing the best horses in the country, the CSI2* Canadian Show Jumping Tournament is held for the benefit of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. This year’s recipient, Hannah Smith, 10, of Cardston, AB, was granted her wish for a horse, presented by 2008 Olympic team silver medalists Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone. Following the $50,000 RAM Equestrian Grand Prix, Candele, as well as several other competitors, autographed their ribbons for Smith. Throughout the course of the weekend, several initiatives including the Jumping For Dreams luncheon, BBQ, and NationWide Auto Warranty Mechanical Bull Riding Challenge, raised funds and awareness for the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament’s long-time and very special charity partner.
For more information on the Canadian Show Jumping Tournament, including full results, please visit www.equiman.com.