Twenty horse/rider combinations from eleven nations started the RBC Capital Markets Cup to round out Friday’s competitions in the International Ring. The technical 1.50m track was navigated without error by five of the riders who produced clear rounds and advanced to the jump off.

Mexican rider Nicolas Pizzaro was first into the jump off and laid down a clear steady round with a time of 50.06s putting pressure on the remaining competitors. The lead was short lived as Darragh Kenny (IRL) rose to the occasion with a clear jump off round and a time of 44.33s – fast enough to secure first place.

“The first round course was tough, there wasn’t so many clears but it was a good jump off my horse really felt on point. I’ve only had him (Romeo 88) for five months but I think the sky is the limit.” – Darragh Kenny (IRL) on his horse Romeo 88.

American Madison Goetzmann jumps to victory in Petronus U25 Winning Round

Sunshine briefly peeked through the clouds onto the International Ring during the Petronas U25 Winning Round. Young riders (aged 25 or younger in the calendar year) competed over the course set by FEI Course Designer Peter Grant (CAN) with the top 10 scores or all clears of round one advancing to the winning round.

Only two riders managed to post clear rides in round number one, Madison Goetzmann (USA) and Jonas Vervoort (BEL) would be the last two to enter the ring in the winning round, giving them the chance to see the other competitors tackle the course.

“It has always been a dream of mine to hoist a trophy in the International Ring – for that ton finally come true it’s a very humble feeling” – 19 year old Madison Goetzmann (USA) on winning the 2019 Petronas U25 Winning Round.

Spencer Smith (USA) wins the 2019 ATCO Challenge

Despite challenging weather, 39 horse/rider combinations jumped the 2019 ATCO Challenge (1.45m). Nine clear rounds were posted by eight nations – two of them belonging to Canadian favourite Eric Lamaze.

The jump off began and the rain continued to fall, but that didn’t slow the riders down. World #1 Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Swedish rider Mariano Maggi both posted quick clear rides only tenths of seconds off from each other at 40.13s and 40.60s respectively. Spencer Smith of the United States was the only one to break the 40 second mark with a time of 39.44s to clinch first place.

“This is a very special place (Spruce Meadows). If you can win here, you can win anywhere.” – Spencer Smith (USA) on winning the 2019 ATCO Challenge.

Wet Weather Doesn’t Stop the Youngsters

Friday morning’s first competition in the International Ring brought 63 young horses out to test their skills against FEI Course Designer Peter Grant’s (CAN) two phase competition track. Riders had to jump the first eight obstacles clear before continuing into the speed phase of the course – obstacles nine to fourteen.

One of the last riders to go was veteran Rich Fellers of the United States and the speedy 8 year-old Balboa SH. Fellers piloted the grey gelding to victory with a quick time of 33.46s.

Full results here.