Lauren Esdale of Seagrave, ON, won the $10,000 Brookstreet Hotel Modified Grand Prix on Sunday, July 10, to close out the first of two weeks comprising the Ottawa Summer Tournaments at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.
The feature event on Wesley Clover Parks’ expansive grass field, Sunday’s Modified Grand Prix attracted 18 entries vying for victory over the track set by Brazilian course designer Marina Azevedo. The time allowed proved to be challenging with 11 entries exceeding the 84-second time allowed. For two of those entries, Paul Halpern of Saint Anne des Plaines, QC, riding Cornet S Lady and Ottawa’s Christine Wiggins and Cabaliero 2, a single time fault would prevent them from moving forward to the jump-off.
The third and fourth riders in the ring, Frank Hendriks and Mackenzie Wray, respectively, had no such trouble and jumped clear within the time allowed. Later in the order, Esdale also jumped clear to make it a three-horse jump-off.
Hendriks of Carleton Place, ON, was the first rider back to challenge the shortened jump-off track. Aboard Checkin Me Out, a flashy 12-year-old gelding owned by Mike McKenna, Hendriks rode a smooth and efficient round and stopped the clock in 48.74 seconds.
With a jump-off time of 47.01 seconds, Wray of Loretto, ON, proved the time could be caught. However, two fallen rails for would eventually leave the 23-year-old in third place with Coconut, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare (Conmiro x Centadel) owned by Makim Holdings Inc.
As the last to challenge, Esdale would determine the final standings. When all the rails stayed in place and the scoreboard flashed a time of 47.81 seconds, victory went to the 20-year-old rider and Hilco, a 10-year-old grey gelding owned by Pauline Esdale.
“It feels amazing, I couldn’t ask him to be any better, he was absolutely perfect the entire time,” said Lauren Esdale following her win. “I purchased Hilco from The Ten auction when he was seven years old. He was meant to be a sales horse but a few months after we owned him, I loved him so much I decided to keep him. I couldn’t ask for a better partner. I think he’s going to be very special for me.”
Training with Looking Back Farm of Tottenham, ON, Esdale also placed third in Saturday’s $50,000 Steel-Craft Grand Prix riding another mount, Viamdios d’Avril, a 13-year-old grey Selle Francais mare (Diamant de Semilly x Fol Avril) also owned by Pauline Esdale.
“I haven’t been jumping here in Ottawa since I was doing the CET Medal and 1.10m classes so it feels really nice to be back and doing the bigger classes,” said Lauren Esdale, 20, who last competed at Wesley Clover Parks in 2018. “I love grass and appreciate the opportunity to show on grass here. It’s nice to have that option in Ontario. Hilco gets such a nice flow on grass; he has a big stride and bounces off the grass and it’s a lot of fun. I thought the courses all week were well set and had a really nice flow to them. All of my courses were very enjoyable to ride.”
Lauren Esdale will continue to enjoy Wesley Clover Parks’ grass grand prix field when the second week of competition gets underway from July 13 to 17. Competition highlights for the Ottawa Summer Tournament 2 include:
- Thursday, July 14 at 4 p.m.: $20,000 Soltek Open Welcome
- Friday, July 15 at 3 p.m.: $10,000 CHDS Horseware Open Hunter Derby
- Friday, July 15 (following the Hunter Derby): $1,000 CHDS Junior/Amateur Hunter Derby
- Saturday, July 16 at 2 p.m.: $50,000 RBC Grand Prix
- Sunday, July 17 at 2 p.m.: $10,000 Mark Motors Group Modified Grand Prix
Spectators are invited to enjoy the competition at Wesley Clover Parks. Tickets may only be purchased in advance online here and will not be sold at the gate. Additional spectator information can be found here.
Livestreaming coverage from the Grand Prix field will also be available from Thursday through Sunday here.
For more information on the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, visit www.OttawaEquestrianTournaments.com.
$10,000 Brookstreet Hotel Modified Grand Prix
1. Lauren Esdale / Seagrave, ON / Hilco / 0:0 / 47.81
2. Frank Hendriks / Carleton Place, ON / Checkin Me Out / 0:0 / 48.74
3. Mackenzie Wray / Loretto, ON / Coconut / 0:8 / 47.01
4. Paul Halpern / Saint Anne des Plaines, QC / Cornet S Lady / 1
5. Christine Wiggins / Ottawa, ON / Cabaliero 2 / 1
6. Chloe Parker / Ashton, ON / Armaged’ick / 5
7. Sophia Nihon / Perth, ON / Serena / 6
8. Beatrice Daviault / St. Damase, QC / Levaro Z / 7
9. Kelley Robinson / Russell, ON / Foolproof / 8
10. Colleen Loach / Dunham, QC / Vermont / 9