Canadian National Team member Yann Candele captured a thrilling victory aboard the 11 year-old Oldenburg gelding Chaventyno, for day one of FEI competitions at the ‘Pan American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex.
It was an impressive international starting list of 56 athletes, who took to the stunning Meadows on the Green Ring for a great afternoon of top sport. The Cargill Cup 1.50m competition, set by Canadian Course designer Peter Grant, presented a test challenging both scope and efficiency from start to finish. With 17 notable combinations qualifying on clean score cards for the jump off, it was no doubt that an exhilarating second round against the clock was soon to follow.
With the advantage of going later in the jump off, Yann Candele found the winning track untouched by his opponents, stopping the clock at 44.43 seconds. Candele remarked “I made my plan for the inside turn when I first walked the jump off course, I came off of 11A,B with a lot of speed and got very close to the oxer – which ended up making for a bit of a funny turn but I got back in line and just kept going.” He continued, “when I first walked out of the ring I wasn’t sure that I would be all that much faster but after speaking with a few other riders it turned out to be a huge advantage.”
After a great start to the Spruce Meadows Summer Series on HH Callas, McLain Ward(USA) early to go in the jump off, set the time to beat on this impressive mare. With Candele’s unmatched inside track, Ward’s time to beat fell behind to finish 1.17 seconds from the win. Ward commented “I was very pleased with Callas today I think she jumped two spectacular rounds, I went early in the jump off – which I don’t always find to be a disadvantage you ride your plan.” Ward went on, “I originally thought that number fence two would come out so I didn’t look at that turn until I went in the ring. I thought about it for a stride and decided against it - I thought it would be too much start and stop. But Yann pulled it off and in the end it was a good 10 or 12 strides faster – which is significant.”
Last to go and finishing third in the Cargill Cup 1.50m was Kevin Babington(IRL) aboard Mark Q, a 15 year-old Irish Warmblood gelding. The pair finished the jump off test just 0.28 second off the pace of Ward. Babington stated, “going last in the jump off I had heard that Yann made the turn – but that it wasn’t easy. I jumped through the double and in the air I was thinking about it.” Kevin continued, “ I had to put on a little leg on the out of the combination so I knew my arc would be too far to make it happen – I just chickened out a little bit.”