Wednesday: Sameh el Dahan and WKD Toronto Win on Opening Day
Meadows on the Green was ready to welcome equine athletes back to the turf to kick off the ‘Pan American’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Over 40 horse/rider combinations tackled the one round competition over the track designed by FEI course designer Gregory Bodo (FRA).
In The Herd 1.50m event, the 12-obstacle track had to be completed in a time of 75 seconds or less and while a number of riders did not keep on the pace, the top eight placings proved it could be done. Leading the victory gallop was Sameh el Dahan (GBR) and WKD Toronto, who posted the fastest clear round of the day in a time of 68.16 seconds.
“This is my favorite ring [Meadows on the Green]; my first Spruce Meadows grand prix win was here so it is always a very emotional ring for me. Obviously after three years not jumping [on Meadows on the Green], I think it jumped very good today and all the horses enjoyed it. My two horses jumped great on it. Great footing, flat, great set of jumps, so it’s always very exciting to jump at Spruce Meadows,” said el Dahan on his win.
Of the five Canadian entries in this large class, two placed top-10: Kyle Timm with the Rein family’s Casino Calvin (9th) and Mario Deslauriers riding Wishing Well Farm’s Bardolina 2 (10th).
Thursday: Kent Farrington Takes Canadian Utilities Cup 1.55m
The Canadian Utilities Cup 1.55m was the sole competition on the Meadows on the Green and the qualifier for Saturday’s Pan American Cup, presented by Rolex.
FEI course designer Gregory Bodo (FRA) set a first-round track that included both a double and triple combination. Seven pairs representing six countries passed all the tests to post clear rounds and advance to the jump off, including Santiago Lambre (BRA) aboard two of his mounts.
Matthew Sampson (GBR) led the jump-off and posted a quick clear round in a time of 37.44 seconds, putting the pressure on the remaining competitors. The leaderboard would see a couple of changes and prior to the final horse on course, Darragh Kenny (IRL) was leading the way. The final rider on course was Kent Farrington (USA) and he had been itching for a win all summer. Riding the beautiful Toulayna, Farrington galloped over the finish line clear in a time of 35.57 seconds to take the victory. Canada’s top finisher was Mario Deslauriers and Bardolina 2, who placed 6th.
“Feels as good or better than ever (footing on Meadows on the Green). It has kind of a stadium feel to it, so it’s a little bit different than the other rings – feels a little more contained. Still the same impressive jumps. Great sport and great conditions,” remarked Farrington on being back jumping on Meadows on the Green.
Full results here.
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~ with files from Spruce Meadows Media