Friday of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament, presented by ROLEX was another fantastic day of sport at Spruce Meadows. It was highlighted by beautiful weather and a full day of great international sport and entertainment. Spruce Meadows’ resident professional Chris Surbey (CAN) was also able to bring home a win for the team in the RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m aboard Cavarola.
It was a brilliant evening for athletes, corporate partners and fans alike to sit out and enjoy the fresh Calgary air under a sunny and clear blue sky. The FEI 1.50m competition designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA) saw 27 entries through the clock tower, with 7 qualifying to carry on to a jump off against the clock. It was a great competition with top international stars like Pedro Veniss (BRA), Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Nicolas Pizzaro (MEX) returning to chase the title in tonight’s jump-off. Much to the surprise and delight of the enthusiastic fans, two Canadian athletes who are knocking a the door for a regular place on the Team Canada Nations Cup roster would finish in first and second place.
After his result in last night’s competition, Keean White once again scored a top three result with a second place finish aboard Z Diamanty, a 10 year-old Holstein mare who he has competed with for only 3 months. Following the competition White commented, “I only started riding her in the first week of March, she is owned by a great group of guys in El Salvador who started supporting us. I jumped her in the big class last night and she had an unfortunate rail down on the last fence. But today was a nice day, we bit of pressure on her this week, she hadn’t ever jumped the level she jumped over the last two days – so I wanted to come back tonight and jump and very nice class. Then in the jump off I could have been a bit quicker 1-2-3, but I think she’ll be a horse to win a lot of classes in the future.”
After nearly 5 years break from her last visit to Spruce Meadows Paola Amalibia Puig (ESP) jumped to a third place finish on her long time partner Prunella D Ariel. “I had been to Spruce Meadows before and it was a bit of a shock, I realized I arrived a little bit under horse power and I said to my self okay – for sure I want to come back to Spruce Meadows but when I do I want to have the horse power because that’s the way to enjoy Spruce Meadows, and that’s the way to have fun here – and I love it, I’m very grateful to be back and to have the horses I have to be here!”
Of course topping the podium and bringing the title home for Spruce Meadows was the talented Chris Surbey. “Its very special to win a class like this at Spruce Meadows, there is so much history here – its unbelievable, especially for Canadian riders – its something we all dream of doing one day and I was lucky enough to have done it tonight.” When asked where he found his edge over the competition, Surbey stated, “we revised our plan in the jump off the first line walked as a 7 or an 8 stride. I made 7 in the first round and I wasn’t sure I could make one less in 6 – so I planned for 7 and to make a short turn on the landing side – then as I was going to the gate actually Tiffany Foster said that was the only place where you could catch them. So I though oh what the heck, lets go for it.”
Click here for full results.