Julia Madigan of Vancouver, BC, and Farfelu du Printemps won the $15,000 Ottawa Welcome Grand Prix on Saturday, June 22, at the Ottawa Welcome Horse Show, held June 19-23 at Wesley Clover Parks in Ottawa, ON.
A starting field of 24 entries contested the featured class of the Ottawa Welcome with seven horse-and-rider combinations jumping clear over the Nick Granat-designed course. Madigan was the first of the seven qualifiers to return for the jump-off, but she and Farfelu du Printemps’ clear time of 35.74 seconds would hold up through to the end to secure them the victory.
“I was confident in [Farfelu du Printemps], but you never know!” said Madigan, 22, of her jump-off round. “As the first rider, I hopefully put a little pressure on the other riders.”
Finishing in second with a time of 37.53 seconds was 2016 Rio Olympian Amy Millar of Perth, ON, aboard Ericson, owned by Millar Brooke Farm, and Ottawa’s own Christine Wiggins rounded out the top three with a time of 38.90 seconds riding her own Evalien.
The victory marks one of many for Madigan and the 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Action-Breaker x Darco), owned by John Madigan, that she has been partnered with for almost five years.
“He’s always a really quick horse,” said Madigan, who notably claimed the U25 Championship at the 2018 Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON, with Farfelu du Printemps. “He doesn’t jump with much margin over the jumps. He sees how high they are, and he’ll jump that high. So that makes him very fast compared to some other horses who sometimes put more effort in over the jumps.
“He’s jumped a lot, so he knows his job in the ring, and usually when I pick up the canter, I just try to get him in front of me so I have a good canter going to the first jump,” continued Madigan, who was quick to thank her trainer, Canadian Olympic team silver medalist Jill Henselwood, and Henselwood’s team at Juniper Farms in Oxford, ON, for her success on Saturday. “Then I just try to stick to my plan and hope that he’s going to leave the jumps up with me!”
Madigan also enjoyed a sixth-place finish in the $15,000 Ottawa Welcome Grand Prix with Dee Jee, owned by Juniper Farms. Madigan plans a return trip to Wesley Clover Parks for the remaining two weeks of the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments, including the CSI2* Ottawa International I and the CSI3* Ottawa International 3, to be held July 10-14 and July 17-21, respectively.
Find more information on all of the Ottawa Equestrian Tournaments online at www.OttawaEquestrianTournaments.com