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Derby Day At Spruce Meadows

Derby Day At Spruce Meadows

(SPRUCE MEADOWS, Calgary, AB): The 2012 Spruce Meadows "National" Tournament concluded on a blustery, very exciting day.

26,492 spectators braved the wind to cheer on their favourite competitors in the $40,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom. In a sudden-death style competition, 32 horse/rider combinations raced against each other until the final two remained. Robert Whitaker (GBR) emerged victorious, winning each of his five rounds aboard his 9 year old Warmblood gelding, Waterstone. Sunday rounded out a great week for Whitaker, who took home the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship. Points were awarded to riders in 4 competitions over the tournament, where Whitaker edged out American riders Richard Spooner and Kent Farrington for the gold medal. This is nothing new for the Whitaker family, with Robert’s cousin Ellen Whitaker (GBR) taking gold in 2011. Whitaker’s winnings for the tournament (his first at Spruce Meadows) totalled $52,890.

Harry Wilmot, President & COO, ATCO Structures and Logistics, presents the winner's cheque to Robert Whitaker (GBR). Photo credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.

ATCO Structures & Logistics Double Slalom
1- Robert Whitaker GBR Waterstone
2- Eduardo Menesez BRA Chanel
3- Isabella Salles BRA Princess Emily
3- Carla Diewert CAN Nippur de Lagash
5- Shannon Spencer USA Markos
5- Shoshana Weiss CAN Only Time
5- Molly Newsome USA Touch and Go
5- Vani Khosla USA Avance


The legendary Nexen Cup Derby got underway without a hitch, with 16 horse/rider combinations trying their hand at the famed course designed by Leopoldo Palacious (VEN). With 24 jumping efforts stretched over 1100 meters a clear round is very rare, with only 3 posted in nearly 120 attempts. Richard Spooner (USA) came closest with a single fault and time of 166.72 aboard his 14 year old Holstein gelding, Cristallo. After having amassed 17 faults previously in the competition aboard the 13 year old Warmblood Apache, Spooner returned to the ring counting on Cristallo. “With Apache, I rode terribly. So when it came to Cristallo, I made sure I was more concentrated” commented Spooner. “It was my competition to lose, because Cristallo was a machine today.” Along with the win, Spooner collected silver in the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship.

Kevin Reinhart, Interim President & CEO Nexen Inc. presents the winners cheque to Richard Spooner. Photo Credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Nexen Cup Derby  - Top 10
1- Richard Spooner USA Cristallo
2- Katie Prudent USA V
3- Lauren Tisbo USA Creme Brule
4- Femke Van Den bosch CAN Tom Tom
5- Robert Whitaker GBR USA Today
6- Callie Schott USA Wrigley
7- Richard Spooner USA Apache
8- Nick Dello Joio USA Geledimar
9- Leslie Howard USA Lennox Lewis 2
10- Richie Moloney USA Alsvid

Although the "National" tournament has concluded, the action continues at Spruce Meadows next week with the "Continental" Tournament. It includes the 2012 US Olympic team trials and the second leg of the CN Precision Series, the CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix on July 16th.

If you have any questions concerning this press release, please contact Spruce Meadows Media at (403974-4232 or email.