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Vive La France on Opening Day at Spruce Meadows

Vive la France on Opening Day at Spruce Meadows

Opening day of the 2012 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament lived up to all expectations.

Fifty-three horse/rider combinations from nine nations took to the International Ring for top spot in the 1.50 meter Akita Drilling Cup. Over the 500 meter course designed by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) with 14 jumping obstacles, it was Richard Spooner (USA) that topped the field riding his 13 year old Warmblood gelding, Apache. Spooner is pleased with Apache, saying things are starting off well for him. “I got lucky, and everything just fell into place for me. My horses are in great shape, so I have high hopes for the rest of the week”. With the win, the reigning Spruce Meadows North American Champion qualifies for the $1,000,000 CN International on Sunday.

Richard Spooner (USA), winner of the Akita Drilling Cup. Photo credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.


Akita Drilling Cup - Top 10
1- Richard Spooner USA Apache
2- Beezie Madden USA Coral Reef Via Volo
3- Harrie Smolders NED Regina Z
4- Ludo Philippaerts BEL Denver Vant Goemanshof
5- Jur Vrieling NED VDL Emmerton
6- Nicole Philippaerts BEL Diebrich De Kalvarie
7- Hans Dieter Dreher GER Magnus Romeo
8- Nayel Nassar EGY Raging Bull Vangelis S
9- Jeroen Dubbeldam NED BMC Utascha SFN
10- Ashlee Bond USA Cadett 7

It was also a sweet return to the International ring for Jerome Hurel (FRA). After being a part of the three rider team that took home the 2011 BMO Nation’s Cup, Hurel and his 10 year old Selle Francais stallion OHM de Ponthual took home the 1.60 meter Finning Cup. Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) designed the course, which stretched over 480 meters and featured 14 jumping obstacles. In her first International win at Spruce Meadows since 2010, Brianne Goutal (USA) took second place aboard the 11 year old Selle Francais stallion Nice de Prissey. Goutal was thrilled to be back competing in Calgary this year. “It’s always an amazing competition,” she commented after her second place finish. “The horses love it, it’s great sport and the turf is always impeccable. It’s always a pleasure to come back to Spruce Meadows”

Andy Fraser, President of Finning Canada, presenting the winners' trophy to Jerome Hurel (FRA). Photo credit: Spruce Meadows Media Services.


Finning Cup -Top 10
1- Jerome Hurel FRA OHM De Ponthal
2- Brianne Goutal USA Nice De Prissey
3- Ian Millar CAN Star Power
4- Hans Dieter Dreher GER Embassy II
5- Shane Breen IRL Balloon
6- Reed Kessler USA Cylana
7- Robert Whitaker GBR USA Today
8- Jur Vrieling NED VDL Bubalu
9- Olivier Philippaerts BEL Cabrio Van De Heffinck
10- Jennifer Crooks IRL SF Uryadi


The excitement of the "Masters" continues tomorrow on the International Ring, with the ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup starting at 11:30am, followed by the CANA Cup at 3:00pm.

If you have any questions regardng this press release please contact Spruce Meadows Media at (403)974-4232 or email.