The opening day of the 2015 Royal West tournament kicked off with a remarkable triple in the $35,000 Stone Ridge 1.45 m Royal West International Championship Phase One. Chile’s Samuel Parot has been one of the hottest riders of late, winning the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League in Sacramento. And the stylish Chilean stayed hot, finishing with the three top rides of the night. Starting out of the first spot, he captured first aboard his 13-year-old bay gelding Cous Cous van Orti scorching the course in a blazing 64.60 seconds. Parot then rode his second mount, Atlantis, his winning mount in California, to the second-place finish, making his way around in 64.77 on the 12-year-old bay. Then Parot spurred his third mount, Tailormade Anna Chacca, a 10-year-old bay, to third place in a time of 67.20. He says it was a matter of he and his horses getting comfortable with the Agrium’s surroundings. “When I brought my horses here from California, they were a little spooked at first coming indoors,” said Parot. “But they are comfortable now, and I’m glad I let John (Anderson) talk me into coming to Calgary.”

Top Canadian in the 37-entry field was Jill Henselwood aboard Farfelu du Printemps, a 10-year-old bay, who finished fourth in 67.30 seconds. Henselwood also captured seventh on Quidam Blue. “Sam reminded me of Ian Millar with that performance,” said Henselwood. “He was really laying it down. But that’s good, he raised the bar for all of us.”

In fifth was Canada’s Elizabeth Gingras aboard Avalon at 70.71 seconds. John Anderson grabbed the sixth spot riding Terrific in 71.92. When told that Parot was still getting comfortable on the surface at the Agrium, Anderson joked, “If he gets much more comfortable there won’t be anything left for us. We just have to step up our game.”

Thursday’s results count towards the big final on Saturday as the riders compete in the 1.45 m Royal West International Championship final for $35,000.

The $9,000 Royal West Championship went to Marion Ostmeyer on Beausoleil, followed in second place by Chelsea Walsh abroad Phlush and Vanessa Mannix in third on Dressel.

In the afternoon’s 1.15 m $1600 Jump Alberta, Phase 1 of the Royal West Canadian Championship, Henselwood took first place aboard Cracking with a time of 69.43 seconds. She was followed by Lynne Stephenson on PBM Coriano’s Best FWB (71.47 sec.) and Madison Hilderman on Kenzo (73.54 sec.).

In the 1.2 m $2300 Jump Alberta, Parot easily defeated the field in 62.51 secs. aboard Sun Power Z. Jill Henselwood on Nickie Mill AER was second at 65.97 secs. with Kyle King aboard Cash third (66.31 sec.). The 1.10 m Jump Alberta was won by Femke Courchaine in 59.96 sec. with Kelsey Bretin on Ebano in second (61.08) and Jenna Lee Gottschlich aboard Zidane B third.