Day 1 of the 'Continental', presented by Rolex

June 08, 2023

Santiago Lambre & J'Adore Van Het Klinkhof © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Day 1 Win for Brazil

June 8, 2023 (Spruce Meadows) - It was a beautiful day to start the 2023 Spruce Meadows FEI Tournament Season. Horses and riders from all over the world have arrived and are settled into what will be a month long stay here in the Alberta Foothills.

The Partners 1.50m competition was the final competition on the North American Ring this afternoon. Nine different countries were represented on the order of go, and all the athletes were looking to post fast clear rounds in this Table A, one-round, competition. The course designed by FEI Level 4 Course Designer Marina Azebedo (BRA) featured 11 obstacles (13 jumping efforts) and options over the liverpools.

It was a very green, white and orange leaderboard as Irish riders Daniel Coyle, Conor Swail, Darragh Kenny and Paul O’Shea placed second, third, fourth and fifth respectively - but it was Brazilian Santiago Lambre riding J'Adore Van Het Klinkhof who took the win. The pair posted a clear round with a time of 65.84s.

John Perez (COL) & Gigi-Carmen © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Good start to the summer for John Perez (COL)

The North American Ring hosts all of the FEI CSI5* competitions this week and to start it off, horses and riders competed in The Entourage 1.45m one-round against the clock. FEI Course Designer Marina Azebedo (BRA) laid out a 510m track that athletes needed to complete in 77 second or less. Spruce Meadows veteran, John Perez (COL), piloted Gigi-Carmen around the track with ease. The pair posted a clear round in a time of 68.30s, seven seconds faster than second place rider Darragh Kenny (IRL).

Matthew Sampson (GBR) & MGH Candy Girl © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley

All Alberta Ring

The Herd 1.40m competition on the All Alberta Ring kicked  the day at Spruce Meadows. Fifty competitors started the one-round competition   against the clock over the course designed by FEI Course Designer Tom Holden (IRL).

Matthew Sampson (GBR) had a phenomenal inaugural season at Spruce Meadows in 2022 and was ready to carry on right where he left off. Aboard MGH Candy Girl he bested the rest of the competitors posting a clear round in a time of 66.35s.  

Sutton Fresien (CAN) & Adare Ya To © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

Robert Blanchette (IRL) & Abra Kadabra vd Heide Z  © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

Hannah Rajotte & Firefly W © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

Chinook Ring

Over 110 horse/rider combinations stepped through the gate onto the Chinook Ring today. Three competitions took place with courses all being designed by FEI Course Designer Florencio Hernandez (MEX).

The Friends of the Meadows 1.10m was first up on the ring and it was a win for the Irish. Robert Blanchette aboard Abra Kadabra vd Heide Z were found themselves at the top of the leader board posting a clear round with a time of 66.52s.

Canada’s Hannah Rajotte bested the all in the next competition, the Friends of the Meadows 1.20m. Riding the Spruce Meadows owned gelding, Firefly W, the pair crossed the finish line clear in a time of 68.69s for a first place finish.

It was a large final competition on the Chinook Ring to cap off the day. Over 70 competitors entered the Friends of the Meadows 1.30m competition. Sutton Friesen (CAN) aboard Adare Ya To  was third into the ring and put down a clear round with a time of 64.61s. It was a long wait for Friesen but his time would hold and he made his first trip to the Spruce Meadows winner’s circle.

More Photos from Today

Santiago Lambre & J'Adore Van Het Klinkhof  © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

A little air time for Daniel Coyle & Jameson © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

A little bit of dust never hurt anyone © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley

Did you know the original Spruce Meadows Clock Tower now resides on the Rocky Mountain Ring © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley