Friday: Evening Win for Amanda Derbyshire

Friday’s final competition on the International Ring was the RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m. Thirty-nine horse/rider combinations challenged German FEI course designer Olaf Petersen Jr.’s track, and ten of the eleven who posted clear rides in the first round elected to jump off.

While Conor Swail (IRL) thought he may have had it in the bag with a clear jump-off round in a time of 36.73 seconds, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire proved him wrong. Aboard the stallion Otto BH, Derbyshire sailed through the finish line, clear, in an extremely quick time 35.84 seconds.

“It’s a whole different ballgame out there [the International Ring]. Very much reminds me of Aachen and Hickstead ‒ big famous rings ‒ and it’s very special to ride in them,” said Derbyshire about stepping through the iconic Spruce Meadows Clocktower onto the International Ring.

Saturday: Fasther is Faster in the RBC Grand Prix

This week’s feature competition, the $700,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada, presented by Rolex, brought thousands of fans to Spruce Meadows for a beautiful Saturday of top international show jumping. Twenty-nine horse/rider combinations challenged the track designed by Olaf Petersen Jr., and while the course was challenging and the time was tight, there would still be a jump-off.

Canadian veteran Mario Deslauriers riding Emerson and 26-year-old Lillie Keenan of the United States with the appropriately-named KWPN gelding Fasther went head-to-head against the clock. Keenan put the pressure on, posting a quick, clear jump off with a time of 45.82 seconds. Deslauriers followed, but was not fast enough to to catch Keenan, posting a clear round and time of 46.25 seconds.

“I’m so grateful that Spruce [Meadows] has not changed their style, having huge grass rings because that’s really what’s the most natural. I think horses come out of here better,” remarked Keenan. “One of the most special things about Spruce Meadows is that you have the atmosphere and a crowd that is rooting for every single rider that goes into the ring, and they truly love horses ‒ that’s really what makes our sport so special. This is the biggest win of my life.”


Ian Millar and Marg Southern.

Ian Millar and Marg Southern enjoyed watching the competition together. (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)

Sunday: Darragh Kenny Takes ATB Cup

Mother Nature decided to add a little moisture into the mix for the final afternoon of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament and the ATB Cup 1.50m. With the rain not letting up, the FEI Ground Jury met and opted to change the type of competition from a Table A Jump Off to a Table A Speed.

Darragh Kenny (IRL) was unfazed by the change in conditions on the International Ring. Like a true Irishman, he braved the weather aboard Chic Chic and performed brilliantly, urging the stallion through the finish line clear in a time of 66.55 seconds. Kenny had also won the ATCO CSI2* Grand Prix aboard Vancouver Dreams earlier in the day.

“It was a great day, I haven’t been to Spruce in probably four or five years and it’s a fantastic facility. It [the rainy weather] didn’t really bother me. He’s [Chic Chic] very brave so I just went as fast as I could,” said Kenny on being back at Spruce Meadows and competing in the heavy rain.

Next up on the Spruce Meadows’ schedule is the ‘Pan American’ tournament, June 29-July 2. Canada Day, Saturday, July 1 will feature a full day of top international show jumping, live entertainment, family fun and a complimentary BBQ for the first 2,000 visitors. Throughout the day fans will be able to enjoy the Lord Strathcona’s Horse Musical Ride, performances by the Spruce Meadows Prairie Dogs, and visit the foals from the Name the Foal contest.

The final tournament of the Spruce Meadows summer season is the ‘North American’ CSI5*/2*, presented by Rolex, taking place from July 5-9, 2023.

Complete results here.

~ with files from Spruce Meadows Media