Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments to Feature Increased Prize Money and More FEI World Ranking Classes in 2014
For Immediate Release
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Calgary, AB, Canada – May 17, 2014 – Spruce Meadows looks forward to welcoming many of the world's best horses and riders to their Summer Series tournaments in 2014, beginning June 5 and continuing with five tournaments through July 13. The tournaments have a 7% increase in prize money this year, featuring four 5* events and more opportunities to earn important FEI World Ranking points.
Spruce Meadows is home to some of the most prestigious and popular show jumping events in the world, and it is the only place in the summer to get this kind of money and points. Large numbers in entries are expected, and the caliber of riders will be fantastic. In addition to top prize money and the opportunity to gain world ranking points, riders will also look forward to the chance to help their countries qualify for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Final.
Olympic Gold Medalist Eric Lamaze of Canada will be competing at Spruce Meadows throughout all five weeks of the Summer Series and is planning on bringing more than 20 horses to show. Lamaze looks forward to the increased prize money in the big divisions as well as the improved category for FEI World Ranking points.
“Obviously, it’s great!” Lamaze proclaimed. “The sport is at a very high level, and the increase in prize money is well-suited to the level of competition. In Calgary, you can move up your world ranking tremendously when you have 45 world ranking classes within a period of five weeks. I don’t think you even have that in Europe.”
Eric Lamaze and Powerplay during the CANA Cup at the Spruce Meadows Masters 2013.
Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Services.
All of the 1.55-1.60m division events have a minimum of $85,000 in prize money, which puts them into the next highest category for ranking points, an increase from last year.
The Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments start with the 'National' CSI 5* Tournament presented by Rolex on June 4-8. Competition that week will feature the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex on Saturday, June 7, as well as the $210,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup 1.50m Derby on Sunday, June 8. The $85,000 ATB Financial Cup 1.55m will be held Wednesday, June 4, and the $85,000 Spectra Energy Cup 1.55m will be the highlight on Thursday, June 5.
Spruce Meadows is committed to helping develop a new generation of ‘Derby’ horses. They invite all athletes nominating in the FEI divisions to consider entering the $210,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup 1.50m Derby and the $210,000 Cenovus Energy Classic 1.50m Derby to appreciate its unparalleled competitive experience and reap some of its well-deserved rewards. In 2014, the Derby’s heights and widths will be more inviting. All riders who complete the course will be presented with $5,000.
Jonathan Asselin and Showgirl on the derby bank.
Photo © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
The ‘Continental’ CSIO 5* Tournament will run the following week from June 12-15, featuring the $125,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by Scotiabank on Friday, June 13, and the $210,000 CP Grand Prix on Sunday, June 15. The $85,000 Husky Energy Classic 1.50m will be featured on Thursday, June 12, and the $85,000 Talisman Energy Cup 1.50m will be the highlight on Saturday, June 14.
Spruce Meadows is host to one of only three Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ events in North America, which will be a qualifier for countries in the region hoping to attend the series final in Barcelona, Spain, in October. Since less than five teams are invited to the qualifier at Spruce Meadows, the countries from this region can have two teams, which is a great development opportunity for Canada, USA, and Mexico, without having to travel all the way to Europe.
Lamaze explained that all of the summer shows, along with the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, will be great help to the Canadian team as they prepare for this year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).
“Calgary has always been the best preparation you can do for a major games,” Lamaze stated. “In the last few major championships, as far as I can remember, the Canadian riders standing on the podium competed at Calgary as part of their preparation. Spruce Meadows is a high-level facility with high-level competition. It’s great preparation.”
The winning Irish team in last year’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™.
Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Services.
In addition to the great prize money, increased level of FEI World Ranking points, and excellent preparation for WEG, Lamaze also looks forward to the opportunity to show in a fantastic venue while bringing along some young horses and riders.
“We have several young horses that are going, and I really look forward to their development,” he noted. “People think that Calgary is all about the grand prix level, but we are also bringing young horses and young riders. The experience they gain in Calgary helps them to become something special in the future.”
The summer competition continues with three more weeks following a break after the 'National' and 'Continental' Tournaments. The 'Canada One' CSI 4* Tournament is next on the schedule on June 26-29, featuring the $125,000 ESSO Imperial Oil Challenge 1.55m competition on Sunday, June 29.
The 'North American' CSI 5* Tournament will be held July 2-6, featuring the $210,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 5. The $210,000 Cenovus Energy Classic 1.50m Derby will be the highlight on Sunday, July 6. There will also be the $85,000 Sun Life Financial 'Reach for the Sun' 1.55m competition on Wednesday, July 2, and the $85,000 Progress Energy Cup 1.55m on Thursday, July 3, as well as the $85,000 TD Cup 1.50m on Saturday, July 5, and the $85,000 Enbridge Cup 1.50m on Sunday, July 6.
Concluding the summer tournaments, the 'Pan American' CSI 5* Tournament will run July 10-13, featuring the $400,000 Pan American Cup presented by Rolex on Sunday, July 13.
As always, Spruce Meadows also offers a full schedule of events for junior and amateur jumper riders. Make your plans to visit Spruce Meadows this year and see the best show jumping action in the world!
Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.