The Spruce Meadows International Ring is under final preparations to welcome the top riders and horses in the world for a week of action-packed competition from September 6-10, 2023. The stakes are high with 15 nations being represented and six of the top-10 ranked riders in the world ready to add their names to historic trophies.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ promises to not only be a testament to the global reach and allure of the sport of show jumping, but a destination for shopping, world-renowned artists, equine-inspired demonstrations, family fun and more!
Action on the International Ring
Starting on Wednesday, September 6, athletes will tackle tracks on the International Ring designed by FEI Level 4 course designer Leopoldo Palacios (VEN). Success early on in the week will help alleviate the pressure of a late qualification for the Suncor Winning Round (Saturday) and the CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex ‒ part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping (Sunday).
Friday’s competitions mark the final opportunity for those non-team riders to earn their way into Sunday’s Grand Prix with a strong finish in the Tourmaline Oil Cup (1.60m) which begins the WestJet Evening of the Horse. The light towers and spotlights roll onto the International Ring for the ATCO Electric Six Bar. The ‘how high can you go’ knock-out competition challenges athletes to test their horse power in hopes of being the last one standing and possibly break Jessica Kurten’s (IRL) 2.12m record set in 2004.
The Suncor Winning Round (1.50m) kicks off competitions on Saturday of the ‘Masters’. The top 30 riders from qualifying competitions earlier in the week will be on the order of go. The 2022 winner Matthew Sampson (GBR) is set to compete at the ‘Masters’ but will have to qualify to defend his title.
The International Ring will get an extra flare of “international” feeling Saturday afternoon with the BMO Nations’ Cup. Seven teams (Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, USA and Canada) will put their best foot forward looking to raise the historic trophy in victory. Sweden will do it’s best to repeat the results of 2022 but it could be any of the squads!
Sunday marks the final day of FEI competition at Spruce Meadows for the 2023 season and there’s no better way to cap it off then with the $3,000,000 CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex – part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Only the top 40 athletes qualified throughout the week get the opportunity to compete for a piece of the prize, prestigious title and to become the “live contender” in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The star-studded line up of competitors could feature a mix of several historic Spruce Meadows ‘International’ Grand Prix and/or Rolex Grand Slam event winners including 2022 Champion, Daniel Deusser (GER).
Who to Watch?
Harrie Smolders (NED-3), Martin Fuchs (SUI-4), Shane Sweetnam (IRL-7), Kent Farrington (USA-8), Ben Maher (GBR-9) and Conor Swail (IRL-10) feature as six of the top 10 FEI ranked* riders looking to add their names to some of the famous trophies at Spruce Meadows. In addition to this prestigious group, a host of other fan favourites will be making their way to Spruce Meadows with the goal of “jumping into history”.
There’s nothing like the cheering for the home nation and this year Team Canada is fielding some heavy hitters in anticipation of the Pan American Games in October. Fans can look forward to cheering on Tiffany Foster, Amy Millar, Erynn Ballard and Mario Deslauriers throughout the week and hopefully celebrating some thrilling victories.
For the first time since 2016 Great Britain will field at team in the BMO Nations’ Cup. The team consists of some strong players including Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher and the legendary John Whitaker – who’s Spruce Meadows resumé alone consists of multiple BMO Nations’ Cup and ‘International’ Grand Prix wins.
Other former ‘International’ Grand Prix winners include Daniel Deusser (GER), Steve Guerdat (SUI), Sameh el Dahan (GBR), Pieter Devos (BEL), Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and of course Scott Brash (GBR). Brash is still the only individual to have ever won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Kent Farrington (USA) and Martin Fuchs (SUI) are also among those planning to attend and have won multiple (though not consecutive) Rolex Grand Slam events outside of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.
There are so many great athletes joining us for this year’s ‘Masters’ CSIO5*/2* – who will you cheer for? Click HERE for a list of riders expected to compete at the 2023 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.
*as of August 23, 2023