David Arcand of Boisbriand, QC, led the victory gallop after winning the $25,000 Grand Prix held on Saturday, May 25, at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.

The Montreal-based professional brought out his top horse, Phil v/d Wezelse Heihoeve, for the second week of competition in the Ottawa Welcome tournament. The pair were one of six horse-rider combinations to jump fault-free over the first-round course set by Shane Wooley and advance to the jump-off.

Competing in Wesley Clover Parks’ All-Weather Ring, the six jump-off contenders returned hoping to take home the win, along with the winner’s share of the prize money. As the fourth jump-off challenger, Arcand laid down another clear round in a time of 36.71 seconds to move to the top of the leaderboard. When the final two riders failed to improve on his performance, the victory went to Arcand. Stephanie Bourassa of Laval, QC, who had finished third in last week’s $15,000 Julia MacAngus Memorial Grand Prix, was once again double clear to take second place riding Chrome d’Argouges while Ottawa’s own Karen Sparks also jumped double clear with Lugano, owned by Brookstreet Stables, to finish third overall.

“I’m very happy,” said Arcand, who purchased Phil v/d Wezelse Heihoeve when the Belgian Warmblood stallion (Cornet Obolensky x Mr. Blue) was a seven-year-old. “It’s been a lot of work with the stallion. Last year, I was trying to be too fast and had trouble in the jump-off, so I told myself it was okay to slow down and be second or third. I went fourth in the jump-off today and tried not to look too much at what the others were doing and just stick to my plan.

“I was able to go fast even when taking it a bit easy in some places,” continued Arcand. “I went slow between jumps one and two, then built up the speed as we went around the course. He’s a careful horse and, as a stallion, a bit more emotional. He’s a nine-year-old now but I have to be slow with him. I think he’s a horse that will get better when he’s 10 or 11.”

“Phil” had previously been campaigned in international Young Horse classes as a six-year-old by Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano prior to being purchased by Arcand. The Ottawa Welcome tournament marked the pair’s first show since returning to Canada, having spent the winter season competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Arcand, who operates Santos Stables in Boisbriand, QC, brought 12 horses to Wesley Clover Parks between his own and those owned by clients.

“I love the organization, the facility is amazing, and it’s not only one of my favourite shows but also one of my clients’ favourite shows,” said Arcand of competing at Wesley Clover Parks. “Every time I put it on the schedule, everyone wants to go. It’s one of my biggest shows customer-wise. We love to come here to Wesley Clover Parks and are looking forward to being back in July.”

Arcand and the Santos Stables team plan to return to Wesley Clover Parks for the Ottawa Summer Tournament I from July 3-7; the Ottawa Summer Tournament II from July 10-14; and the Ottawa National from September 12-15.

For more information on the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, visit HERE;  full results HERE.

$25,000 Grand Prix – Saturday, May 25, 2024
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Faults / Time

1. David Arcand / Boisbriand, QC / Phil v/h Wezelse Heihoeve / 0:0 / 36.71
2. Stephanie Bourassa / Laval, QC / Chrome d’Argouges / 0:0 / 37.31
3. Karen Sparks / Nepean, ON / Lugano / 0:0 / 37.95
4. Olivia Blaber / Ottawa, ON / Mauna Lani / 0:0 / 38.26
5. Marie Messier / Laval, QC / Chacco Mio Al Khair Z / 0:4 / 36.71
6. Jerome David / Saint-Lambert, QC / Lanicka / 0:4 / 40.54
7. Rayne Dubois / Ottawa, ON / Eristos de l’Heribus / 4
8. Paul Halpern / Saint Anne des Plaines, QC / 4
9. Jade Lalonde / Candiac, QC / Kapital Creation Z / 4
10. Maria Yzerman / Montreal, QC / Lazzaro / 4