Although the weather was occasionally disruptive, the 2012 Spruce Meadows "National" Tournament was a huge success. Riders from all around the world arrived at Spruce Meadows well in advance to begin their training for Wednesday’s competition start.
Wednesday was all about Daniel Bluman (COL). He took home two back to back wins: the $32,000 Bantrel Cup as well as the $32,000 Enbridge Cup. The $32,000 ATB Financial cup, which was the first competition in the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship, saw Kent Farrington(USA) jump to victory with his Olympic hopeful Uceko.
Daniel Bluman aboard Sancha Ls La Silla. Photo credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Thursday brought rain, sun and victory to Richard Spooner (USA), McLain Ward (USA), and Reed Kessler (USA). The $32,000 ATCO Pipelines Cup saw Spooner and his mount Billy Bianca ride into the winners circle. Ward and Pjotter Van De Zonnehoeve took home the $32,000 Prairie Mines & Royalties Cup despite Ward recently coming back from a severe knee injury. Concluding Thursday’s FEI schedule, 17 year old Kessler won the $35,000 Spectra Energy Cup aboard Cylana.
Reed Kessler and Cylana, winners of the Spectra Energy Cup on Thursday. Photo Credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
The Americans dominated in the International Ring on Friday. In his second win of the week Richard Spooner took home the $35,000 ATCO Midstream Challenge aboard Chivas Z, while Beezie Madden, Olympic medalist for the US in both 2004 and 2008, rode to victory in the $35,000 RBC Capital Markets Winning Round with Mademoiselle.
Richard Spooner, winner of the ATCO Pipelines Cup and the ATCO Midstream Challenge. Photo credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
Grand Prix day at Spruce Meadows went off without a hitch. Before the big event, Mario Deslauriers (USA) took home the TransCanada Parcours de Chasse riding Whistler. After the Parade of Nations, the International Ring was set for the first major Grand Prix of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, the CN Reliability World Cup Grand Prix. After a fierce battle Kent Farrington (USA) emerged victorious aboard Uceko, taking the first leg of the CN Precision Series.
Kent Farrington and Uceko jumping to victory in the CN Reliability Grand Prix. Photo Credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
With the sun shining, crowds came out in droves on Sunday to watch the ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom, where Robert Whitaker (GBR) beat out 31 competitors for the champion’s title. It was another good day for Richard Spooner, who blew his competition out of the water in the $175,000 Nexen Cup Derby. While Katie Monahan-Prudent (USA) was second, sitting on 9 faults, Spooner posted a clear jumping round, with a single time fault. Also on Sunday, the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Champion was crowned. Robert Whitaker (GBR) took home the prize, which is nothing new in his family: his cousin Ellen Whitaker was the champion in 2011. This is a huge achievement for Whitaker, who is at Spruce Meadows for the first time.
Robert Whitaker took home the ATCO Structures & Logistics Double Slalom trophy as well as the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping] Championship. Photo Credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
It was an exciting week for sponsors, athletes and fans alike. Spectators were able to enjoy Family Fun Night courtesy of Pepsi and Superstore. Families were able to grab a hot dog and drink, visit face painting booths and enjoy pony rides. On the weekend, clubs and community groups from around the city put on their best show and joined Spruce Meadows for the "Community Colors; Show Your Spirit" initiative, where crazy costumes and loud cheering could earn local groups up to $5,000.
Hopefuls brave the rain to show thjey community spirit. Photo Credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.
The Spruce Meadows action continues this week, with the "Continental" tournament, which includes the final 2012 US Olympic team trials and the second leg of the CN precision series, the CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix.
SEEN AND HEARD DURING THE 2012 SPRUCE MEADOWS “NATIONAL”
“I’ve always dreamed about going in on the golf cart to the far end, and lifting the check and the trophy”–Reed Kessler, 2012 Spectra Energy Cup Champion
“It’s great to finally be here, it’s a fantastic place. I’ve had a couple of seconds, but it’s great to finally have a win here.”–Robert Whitaker, 2012 ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom Champion
“Spruce Meadows suits my horses. In the big ring they can let go and really jump.”
-Kent Farrington, 2012 CN Reliability Grand Prix Champion
“It’s always great to win at the best venue in the world”
-McLain Ward, 2012 Prairie Mines & Royalties Cup Champion