Strong Summer Series start for McLain Ward

The Canadian Utilities Cup (1.55m) was the only qualifier Sunday’s Pan American Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Eighty-one horse/rider combinations stepped up to take on FEI Course Designer Alan Wade’s (IRL) technical track and hopefully earning their spot in the Grand Prix on Sunday.

Sixteen combinations were able to jump the first round of competition with no faults and advance to the jump off. Three riders, McLain Ward (USA), Pieter Clemens (BEL) and Mario Deslauriers (CAN) each carried two mounts into the jump off looking increase their odds of making it to the winner’s circle.

The pressure was on in the jump of with many riders pulling a rail in an attempt to post the fastest time. Ward’s first mount, Contagious, was fast and clear with a time of 42.58s taking him to the top of the leader board. Second last in the jump off, Ward came in with his second ride, Olympic mount HH Azur. He bested his own time by 1.52 seconds to secure a first and second place finish.

“It feels good. We (the riders) always talk about Spruce Meadows and how everyone here is always striving to be better, not only in the organization of the events but the facilities. Always looking to be one step better. That’s why you see all the best athletes from around the world trying to come here – that’s really a testament to what a great job they (Spruce Meadows) do here.” – McLain Ward (USA) on the changes to Meadows on the Green

Rising star Tanimara Macari (MEX) wins the U25 Friends of the Meadows Cup

The U25 Friends of the Meadows Cup was the final competition of the day on the Meadows on the Green and had twenty-two young competitors listed to start the competition. The one round competition tested the group who pushed themselves to jump clear as quickly as possible.

Mexico’s Tanimara Macari rode like a veteran as she piloted her partner Feminka over Alan Wade’s (IRL) track. Macari posted a clear round with a time of 65.12s to secure her first Spruce Meadows win.

Kent Farrington (USA) and Jasper win the Friends of the Meadows (1.50m)

Warm weather greeted horses and riders for day two of competition at the Meadows on the Green which started at 8:00AM with the Friends of the Meadows Cup (1.50m). Forty-Six horse/rider combinations stepped through the portal to challenge the 1.50m track set by FEI Course Designer Alan Wade (IRL). Twelve partnerships delivered fault-free rides in the first round and advanced to the jump off.

Over the shortened track, riders were having to take risks in an attempt to secure their place in the winner’s circle and for some the risk paid off. Kent Farrington of the United States and Jasper made it look easy jumping a clear round in a time of 32.36s – almost two seconds faster than Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) who would have to settle for second place.

Philipp Weishaupt (GER) wins the 1.45m Friends of the Meadows Cup

It was a busy day on the North American Ring. The final competition of the day was the Friends of the Meadows Cup (1.45m) and 76 horse/rider combinations took on the course designed by Quintin Maertens (NED). The competition was over one round and riders needed to have clear and quick rides for a chance on the leader board.

Philipp Weishaupt of Germany aboard the Coby had a clear round and time of 59.99s to take the well deserved win in the Friends of the Meadows Cup (1.45m).

Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) win the Young Horse Friends of the Meadows Cup (7 Year-Olds)

Following an evening of rain, Mother Nature seemed to have a change in spirits as the sun rose over the North American Ring to start day two of the ‘Pan American’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Twenty-three 7 year-old horses had a morning start to their day over a Two-Phase (Power and Speed) track designed by FEI Course Designer Quintin Maertens (NED).

Today’s 7 year-old win went to Nicolas Pizarro of Mexico aboard the Hanoverian stallion Cornet’s Adel PS.

There was a competitive field for the Young Horse Friends of the Meadows Cup (8 year-olds). Twenty-seven four-legged youngsters competed in the two-phase competition on the North American Ring. James Chawke of Ireland piloted the young Grasshopper to victory with a clear round and quick phase two time of 29.05s.

Complete results here.