Weather conditions were markedly improved for today’s opening competition of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament. While originally scheduled to start yesterday, snowfall, downed trees, and power outages pushed the start of all competition to Thursday at the ‘Masters’, the first instance of a complete day’s reschedule of competition in the 39-year history of Spruce Meadows tournaments.

There were three events on the Thursday schedule, with an increase in prize money to $210,000 for the CANA Cup 1.60m. Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala were the fastest for victory. Earlier in the day, Kent Farrington (USA) and Blue Angel sped to the win in the $50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m. Eric Lamaze (CAN) prevented a U.S. sweep of the day when he won the $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m with Fine Lady 5. All three competitions were changed to a speed format as well to help keep the footing in top shape for the rest of the week.

The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ runs through Sunday, September 14, with Saturday’s $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex – the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – as the feature competitions of the week.

The addition of $85,000 in prize money to the CANA Cup 1.60m (originally for the Finning Cup) made it even more competitive. The courses this week are designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela.

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Win $210,000 CANA Cup

The speed competition had 44 entries, with eight clear trips. Hough and Ohlala, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmlood mare by Orlando x Cardento owned by The Ohlala Group, were the only pair to break the 60 second mark. Their time of 59.901 took the top spot. Kent Farrington and Uceko were just behind in 61.331 seconds, while Kevin Staut (FRA) went into third place on a time of 62.961 seconds with Oh D’Eole.

Hough went third to last, and while she was able to see Farrington and other quick trips, she knew her plan for Ohlala’s way of going. “I actually have a plan for that horse from the moment I walk the course,” she confirmed. “It doesn’t normally change. She’s a really naturally fast horse across the ground, and always putting one more (stride) in is quicker than leaving one out with her. I stuck with my plan. I took a couple shots here and there, and I got a little bit lucky today.”

Ohlala has been a winner at the biggest show jumping competitions in the world, including a successful CHIO Aachen in July. “I think this is quite similar to Aachen. I have high hopes for the weekend; if I don’t screw up, I think she’ll perform really well,” Hough said.

While many were unsure what today would bring in terms of footing, the team at Spruce Meadows was praised by all of the riders. “Hats off to the team here,” Hough remarked. “I’m sure that they worked hours and hours and hours while we were all sleeping, snuggled up in our warm hotel rooms! You really never lose faith at a venue like this, with the crew that they have. You knew that one way or another they were going to pull off a fantastic competition, and they did.”

Hough added, “I think Leopoldo did a super job today, putting the fences in all the right places, having two 1.50m (events) and moving the fences. Everything that they needed to do today, they did, and they still had a great competition. It was unbelievable prize money on the first day of the competition; to jump for $210,000 over a Table A course, you don’t see that anywhere else in the world.”

“This week, my only doubt was to take out the snow!” Palacios said. “What is important here is the quality of the footing. This footing is fantastic and in great condition.”

Hough plans to ride Quick Study on the U.S. team in Saturday’s BMO Nations’ Cup and Ohlala in Sunday’s $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex

Farrington Flies With Blue Angel

Kent Farrington beat a starting field of 34 entries in the $50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m as the first event of the ‘Masters’. He and Blue Angel, a 12-year-old AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant owned by Robin Parsky, were quick in 52.886 seconds for the win. Second place went to McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z in 54.482 seconds, while Pieter Devos of Belgium was just behind in third place in 54.532 seconds on Echo D.

Farrington was pleased with the way Blue Angel started out and noted that her consistency is one of her strengths. “I think I brought a nice team of horses here. This is one of the most important shows of the year; it’s big money, it’s great atmosphere, and it’s one of the best venues in the world. I hope we have some luck for the rest of the week as well,” he said.

He was another to praise the job done in order to make competition possible today. “The footing was better than expected. Spruce Meadows is known for their staff and being able to put on great events regardless of what’s not the best weather,” he noted. “I think that really showed here, how strong their team is to be able to get all the snow off the field and still have it looking amazing today. I thought the ground was quite good, and I think that’s part of the level of excellence that you have here at Spruce Meadows.”

When asked if he thought he would be showing a day after the 25 centimeter (almost 10 inches) snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Farrington laughed, “I didn’t think we’d be showing (on Wednesday)! Yesterday looked pretty cold, so I was happy to stay inside. I thought, ‘Today is a day for a hot chocolate and a movie!’ I think the weather is going to keep getting better. That’s lucky for us.”

Lamaze Is Picture Perfect With Fine Lady 5

The $50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m had 35 entries, and 13 went clear, but it was Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, an 11-year-old Hanoverian mare by Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch owned by Artisan Farms LLC, who were fastest in 55.449 seconds for the win. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Cortez were second in 56.904 seconds, and Rich Fellers (USA) and Lux Lady were third with a time of 60.305 seconds.

Lamaze, who just came from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, said that Fine Lady 5 had a “laidback few weeks” before the ‘Masters’, but that she has been a solid competitor this summer. “In the summer I mostly used her as a speed horse,” he explained. He moved Fine Lady 5 up to 1.55m in Aachen and the 1.60m grand prix at the Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France. “She surprised me a little bit to her capability of jumping the height. She’s competitive, she’s fast, she’s careful. We all know that by now, but she can jump a big course,” he said.

Tomorrow’s schedule includes The Mercedes-Benz “Evening of the Horse” featuring the $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m followed by the $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar under the lights, the RCMP Musical Ride, and Band of the Welsh Guards playing live music to the fireworks display.

$210,000 CANA Cup 1.60m
1 OHLALA: Swedish Warmblood / M / 10 Orlando x Cardento
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 0/59.901
2 UCEKO: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Celano x Koriander
3 OH D EOLE: Selle Francais / M / 12 Kannan x Papillon Rouge
KEVIN STAUT (FRA), Haras de Hus: 0/62.961
4 VAN GOGH: Dutch Warmblood / S / 12 Numero Uno x Berstein
MARCO KUTSCHER (GER), Hengstenhouderij De Ijzeren Man B.V. & Stal Horn: 0/63.737
5 MYSELF DE BREVE: Selle Francais / M / 14 Quidam x Grd Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA), Eurl Top Stallions Compagny: 0/65.630
6 ADMIRABLE: Hanoverian / G / 14 A Jungle Princex Rhytmo
MARIE ETTER (SUI), Ecurie Galoubet: 0/66.121
7 LORO PIANA ONCE DE KREISKER: Selle Francais / S / 12 Papillon Rouge x Muget du Manoir
LUCIA VIZZINI (ITA), Philippe Le Jeune: 0/71.174
8 GOLDEN HAWK: Belgian Warmblood / S / 9 Vigo DArsouilles x Chin Chin
SHANE BREEN (IRL), P Sultan and Breen Equestrian Ltd: 0/71.288
9 TIC TAC: Belgian Sport Horse / S / 11 Clinton x Darco
LESLIE HOWARD (USA), Jane Clark: 1/72.414
10 UPPERCLASS: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Concorde x Indoctro
WILLIAM WHITAKER (GBR), Elisan AB: 4/60.861
11 CARLITO C: Belgian Warmblood / G / 12 Kannan x Unknown
OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Frans Jens: 4/61.300
12 DIAGHILEV: Warmblood / G / 11 Vangelis S x Handstretch
BILLY TWOMEY (IRL, Mr C T Payne: 4/61.308

$50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m
1 BLUE ANGEL: Warmblood / M / 12 Luidam x Ascendent
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 0/52.886
2 HH CARLOS Z: Zangersheide / G / 12 Chellano Z x Voltaire
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 0/54.482
3 ECHO D: Belgian Warmblood / G / 10 Orlando x Skippy II
PIETER DEVOS (BEL), Devos Stables: 0/54.532
4 FLEXIBLE: Irish bred / S / 18 Cruising x Safari
RICH FELLERS (USA), Harry & Mollie Chapman: 0/55.485
5 FOREVER D ARCO TER LINDEN: Belgian Warmblood / S / 9 Darco x Tenor Manciais
NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Ludo Philippaerts & Frans Lens: 0/55.693
6 MATADOR: Dutch Warmblood / S / 12 Indoctro x Corland
JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX), Jaime Azcarraga & Family : 0/56.280
7 CALADO 2: Holstein / G / 13 Calando x Landgraf
PHILIPP WEISHAUPT (GER), Gunther Stange Steinmetz: 0/56.451
8 CHIVAS Z: Zangersheide / G / 15 Cumano x Lord Gotthard
RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Richard Spooner: 0/57.555
9 VATSON SITTE: Selle Francais / S / 9 Cardento x Chelano Z
MARIE HECART (FRA), Oriel Seus: 0/58.951
10 FIRST CLASS VAN T ECCKELGHEM: Warmblood / G / 9 Balou du Rouet x Fainschnitt
DANIEL DEUßER (GER), Stephex Stables: 1/68.261
11 QUICK STUDY: Warmblood / G / 15 Quick Star x What A Joy
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laurie Davies Mateo & Meredith Mateo: 1/69.312
12 ELIE VAN DE KOLMEN: Belgian Warmblood / M / 10 President x Darco
MICHAEL WHITAKER (GBR), Michael Whitaker: 2/ 71.185

$50,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup 1.50m
1 FINE LADY 5: Hanoverian / M / 11 Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/55.449
2 CORTEZ: Belgian Warmblood / G / 12 Quick Star x Quito de Baussy
NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Philippaerts & Stal Lenses: 0/56.904
3 LUX LADY: Irish Sport Horse / M / 9 Lux Z x Master Imp
RICH FELLERS (USA), Harry & Mollie Chapman: 0/60.305
4 ROYALE DU ROUET: Warmblood / S / 9 Jeff D’Or x Kannan
BILLY TWOMEY (IRL), Mrs K Brown: 0/60.317
5 WKD PEPPERPOT: Irish Sport Horse / M / 12 Heritage Fortunus x Diamonds Are Trumps
SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Joanne Sloan-Allen & Sameh El Dahan: 0/60.588
6 FILOU D: Belgian Warmblood / G / 9 Querlybet Hero x Ahorn Z
NIELS BRUYNSEELS (BEL), Stal Bruynseels & Moerhoeve & Wuytack: 0/ 60.853
7 RADJA DARTEMIS: Selle Francais / G / 9 Diamant de Semilly x Galoubet A
ALAIN JUFER (SUI), Lutta Gian-Battista: 0/61.176
8 COS I CAN: Warmblood / G / 11 Olympic Lux x Harlequin du Carel
REED KESSLER (USA), Iron Works Partners: 0/61.193
9 ELASTIQUE VH EIKENHOF: Belgian Warmblood / G / 10 Toulon x Lys de Daimen
MARIE ETTER (SUI), Debost Colombine: 0/65.273
10 ROMIE: Selle Francais / M / 9 Airborne Montecillo x Airel du Bois
LUCIA VIZZINI (ITA), Starlight Sprl: 0/65.342
11 CORNADO II: Westphalian / S / 9 Cornet Obolensky x Acobat
CHRISTIAN AHLMANN (GER), Antonius Schulze Aueidiek: 0/65.692
12 FYLOE VH CLAEYSSENHOF: Belgian Warmblood / G / 9 Burggraaf x Unknown
DANIEL DEUßER (GER), Stephex Stable and Double H Farm: 0/67.454

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