Katie Laurie (AUS) and McCaw MVNZ First in the Francis Family Cup

Friday of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’, presented by Rolex, started with a victory by Australia’s Katie Laurie in the International Ring. The Francis Family Cup, a 3* competition, was not Laurie’s first win with her 10-year old gelding, McCaw MVNZ, at the 2021 Spruce Meadows September Series. The pair previously won the ATCO Challenge during the week of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’, presented by Rolex, two weeks ago.

Today’s course was designed by FEI course designer Joey Rycroft (CAN), and it featured 11 obstacles (14 jumping efforts). A large percentage of riders qualified for the jump-off, including many Canadian riders: Hannah Rajotte, Carla Diewert, Tiffany Foster, Stephanie Valdes, and Samara Heinrichs Prak.

The jump-off had a time allowed of 48 seconds over a 300m track, and it required riders to really press for a quick time in order to finish at the top of the leaderboard. Laurie’s clean round and time of 37.29 seconds launched her into first place, where she managed to hold down her position for the remainder of the jump-off as none of the other riders were able to match her time. James Brennan (IRL) came very close, with a time of 38.53 seconds for second place, and Carla Diewert (CAN) finishing in third place with a time of 38.71 seconds.

Nayel Nassar (EGY) Takes Third Win in International Ring This Season

Leading the victory gallop around the International Ring during the Spruce Meadows 2021 September Series is starting to become a habit of Nayel Nassar’s (EGY). On Friday of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, Nassar claimed his third victory in the ring of this year, this time in the Scotiabank Cup aboard the 16-year old gelding, Oaks Redwood.

After conquering Peter Grant’s (CAN) 12 obstacle (15 jumping efforts) course, Nassar moved into the jump-off along with Katie Laurie (AUS), Eduardo Menezes (BRA), Rowan Willis (AUS), Zoe Conter (BEL), and McLain Ward (USA). The jump-off course had a time allowed of 50 seconds, though a fast time was not something any of the riders struggled with. Quite a few rails came down in the jump-off, with Menezes, Laurie, and Nassar being the only three clear. It was Nassar’s time of 36.42 seconds that pushed him into that first place position.

“He was outstanding today, I really asked a lot from him in the jump-off and he answered all my questions,” Nassar said of his partner, Oaks Redwood. Nassar also told reporters about the pressure he feels whenever his rides are followed by McLain Ward. “I knew I had done enough to really put the pressure on him. Obviously McLain’s always fast. I knew that the only way that I’d beat him is if he knocked a jump down, and luckily that happened today.”

Nassar competes again in tomorrow’s ATB Winning Round, as well as the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

Results here.