Friday: Conor Swail and Count Me In Win Feature Competition
Friday’s feature event was the 5* 1.45m competition on the North American Ring. Twenty-four horse/rider combinations took on the track built by FEI course designer Anthony d’Ambrosio (USA). Of those, only seven posted clear rounds and qualified for the jump-off with only six choosing to take on the jump-off track in hopes of making it to the winner’s circle.
It was another battle of the Irish between Conor Swail and Darragh Kenny, but today it was Swail aboard Count Me In who would claim victory, posting the fastest clear round in the jump-off with a time of 37.57 seconds. Top Canadian was Kara Chad riding Igor GPH, who placed third.
Saturday: Canada Day Win for Kent Farrington
The Spruce Meadows grounds were buzzing with activity as the crowds arrived to celebrate Canada Day and watch the ‘Pan American’ Cup, presented by Rolex. Riders qualified earlier in the week to jump in the $435,000 feature competition and FEI course designer Gregory Bodo (FRA) was going to make them work for it.
Bodo’s first-round track included a triple combination, double combination and open water. Six combinations passed all the tests of round ones. First to tackle the jump-off was Kyle Timm (CAN) who had to play the waiting game after going second in round one. Aboard Candar Mail, Timm posted a quick clear round in the jump off with a time of 45.61 seconds. The pressure was on and former world #1 Kent Farrington (USA) was the only one able to catch Timm. Riding the quick gelding Landon, the pair sailed over the finish line in a time of 42.36 seconds to take the victory. Paul O’Shea (IRL) rounded out the top three with four faults in the jump-off and a time of 41.07 seconds aboard Imerald van’T Voorhof.
“We had a super crowd with it being Canada Day, so that that brought a little extra energy to the day of competition.” said Farrington. “I think this is a really special ring [Meadows on the Green]; different feel than the International Ring, but it still feels like important venue. A great experience for the horses and it was an awesome competition today.”
Sunday: Matthew Samson Victorious; Another Win for Swail
The sun was out for the final day and the West Canadian Cup, presented by WCD, was the lone competition on the International Ring. The top 35 riders, representing 11 nations, who qualified earlier in the week, were ready to step through the clock tower in hopes of making it to the winner’s circle.
In this jump-off competition, nine riders answered all the questions asked by course designer Bodo in the first round. Matthew Sampson (GBR) has been knocking at the door for a big win all summer and he had been saving this bay mare, Elisa BJX, for this competition all week. The pair had to hunt down Conor Swail (IRL) and Gamble who posted a fast clear round in the jump-off with a time of 40.21 seconds and with a push over the final fence Sampson stopped the clock at 39.48 seconds, taking the victory. Sole Canadian in the top 10 was Vanesa Mannix on Valentino d’Elte, who placed 8th.
“Coming into this year I didn’t have the horses in quite as good of form as I could have, but they’re getting there now. That’s the great part about this place [Spruce Meadows] to bring the horses on,” said Sampson.
The Friends of the Meadows 1.50m competition was the final 5* event of the ‘Pan American’ tournament. Twenty-seven competitors took on d’Ambrosio’s track, with six combinations advancing to the jump-off. It was Ireland’s Conor Swail riding Count Me In who posted the fastest clear round in a time of 34.10 seconds to take the victory. Three Canadians logged top-10 results in this class: Vanessa Mannix riding Carmela Z (4th), Kyle Timm and Casino Calvin (7th) and Jim Ifko with Un Diamant des Forets (8th).
The final tournament of the Spruce Meadows summer season is the ‘North American’ CSI5*/2*, presented by Rolex, starts next week and runs from July 5-9, 2023.
Full results here.
~ with files from Spruce Meadows Media