Two-time Olympian Daniel Bluman of Israel opened international show jumping competition at the Royal Horse Show with a win in the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 7, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in Toronto, ON.

In addition to Bluman, top show jumping athletes representing Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States, and the home nation of Canada contested the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday afternoon, opening five days of international competition at the Royal Horse Show.

Upon successfully completing the ‘power’ phase of 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge’s track, those who were clear from the 23-horse starting field advanced to the ‘speed’ portion where the fastest time won. Riding Apardi, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Corland x Kannan) owned by Simhon – Schwitzer – Bluman, Bluman posted a time of 26.48 second over the speed course to take the win over Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, who stopped the clock in 27.42 seconds aboard Thalys Z, owned by The Thalys Group.

Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden finished third in 28.11 seconds riding Coach for owner Abigail Wexner, while Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts took fourth on H&M Harley VD Bisschop in 29.74 seconds for owners Ben Beevers and Ludo Philippaerts. First on course, Ireland’s Conor Swail rounded out the top five, stopping the clock at 29.99 seconds riding GK Coco Chanel for owner and fellow international show jumping division competitor, Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, who placed eighth in the class with Chemas.

“The Royal is one of my favorite horse shows of the year,” said Bluman, 27, who will pilot three horses in the international division at this year’s Royal Horse Show. “The atmosphere is fantastic, and I don’t think there is an indoor event like it anywhere else in North America. I came on a late invitation several years ago and I loved everything about it, so I put it on my calendar and try to come every year.”

“I have had the ride on Apardi since 2013; he is a fantastic jumper with a lot of quality and scope,” continued Bluman of his 2016 Rio Olympic mount that is an active breeding stallion, having sired over 150 foals to date. “He is a little green in the mind, but now that he is entering into his later years, it is going to be the best time in his career. He is a horse with all the talent and can jump at the top of the sport.”

International show jumping is highlighted by the $150,00 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto on Wednesday evening, November 8, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show. The event is a qualifier for the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France, next April. The start list is a who’s who of sport with Kent Farrington of the United States, the number one rider in the Longines World Rider Rankings, a heavy favourite to win. He will face stiff competition from defending champion McLain Ward, also of the United States and currently ranked number two in the world, who is defending the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto title aboard his 2017 FEI World Cup™ Champion mount, HH Azur.

$35,000 International Jumper Power & Speed – Tuesday, November 7
1. Daniel Bluman Israel Apardi 0:0/26.48
2. Erynn Ballard Tottenham, ON Thalys Z 0:0/27.42
3. Beezie Madden United States Coach 0:0/28.11
4. Nicola Philippaerts Belgium H&M Harley VD Bisschop 0:0/29.74
5. Conor Swail Ireland GK Coco Chanel 0:0/29.99
6. Ali Ramsay Victoria, BC Casino 0:0/30.19
7. Shane Sweetnam Ireland Main Road 0:0/30.50
8. Vanessa Mannix Calgary, AB Chemas 0:0/30.85
9. Andrew Kocher United States Navalo de Poheton 0:0/32.16
10. Tiffany Foster North Vancouver, BC Brighton 0:1/36.05
11. Hardin Towell United States Lucifer V 0:1/37.93
12. Daniel Coyle Ireland Fortis Fortuna 0:4/26.52