Rachel Cornacchia and Valkyrie De Talma were victorious in the $35,500 Tractorland Cup CSI2* at Royal West 2018 with a quick ride in the jump off of 32.17 seconds.
“She [Valkyrie De Talma] is incredible, so brave and I can put complete trust in her,” explained Cornacchia, “Being on top of the podium feels great – unexpected but great.” Second place was awarded to Jim Ifko and Un Diamant Des Forets with 33.31 seconds. Yann Candele jumped a tidy round with a time of 34.53 on Granite S ending up third to complete a very exciting first week to Royal West 2018.
A field of 32 entries challenged, the highly respected, Werner Deeg’s tough course. Only nine combinations jumped the 14-jump course clear to make it to the jump off. “Deeg did a great job tonight – I think he is quite a genius! When I walked the course I thought everything rode straightforward and I found it didn’t ride at all like I thought it was going to. Good for him to be able to set a track like that, ” said Ifko.
$25,000 Canadian Hunter Derby (3’3” and 3’6”) Round 2 + Overall
Brent Balisky riding Class Act claimed both the $25,000 Canadian Hunter Derby Sponsored by Salentein Wines win tonight as well as the Canadian Hunter Derby Western Finals title. “[Class Act] was good here last year, he has a lot of knowledge – very handy,” said Balisky, “It was a difficult course, in the sense of being a hunter course and being handy. My strategy was to keep some composure and maintain a hunter round first and then a handy round.”
“The facility here is to be commended. It is very horse friendly and horses like it here – they even jump better in my opinion,” Balisky responded when asked about Royal West.
Austin Krawitt and Scirocco 91 scored a 104 leading the class as the top junior and were awarded second place. Madison Williams jumped a beautiful round with a score of 102 on Cortina.
The Derby Whisperer makes his Calgary Debut at Royal West
Kristjan Good, the Derby Whisperer from Ontario, made his way to Calgary for his first Royal West. “I love it, I like everything about it,” said Kristjan when he was asked about his time at Royal West, “[The Royal West Team] is very accommodating, no matter what I or my horses may need – they’re always there.” Good brought three horses to Royal West – Diamo Blue, Salvo RSF and Stakko Grande W – to compete in the Canadian Hunter Derbies.
Diamo Blue, an Oldenburg stallion, and Good won the $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby on Friday. The pair started off the 3’6” section of the derby and scored 105, holding onto the lead for the entire class. “My derby horses brought me to Royal West as a practice for The Royal,” explained Good who qualified five different horses for Canadian Hunter Derby National Finals in Toronto, “The ring and courses are both nice, all of my horses have been good – which helps.”