Saturday of the Spruce Meadows 'Continental', presented by Rolex

June 10, 2023

Kent Farrington (USA) & Creedance with Kristi Beunder of Township Planning & Design Inc. © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Kent Farrington (USA) & Creedance With a Win

June 10, 2023 (Spruce Meadows) - It was a very “international’ final competition today on the North American Ring. In the Township Planning 1.50m competition, nine nations were represented by 23 riders - all hoping to take top spot.

Riders had to stay on pace of 400m/min in order to make the time allowed, and only two were able to get the job done. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Kent Farrington (USA) posted the only clear first rides in the competition and advanced to the jump off.

Both quick riders, Coyle was first up and knew he had to put the pressure on Farrington. However in spite of a lightning fast time of 37.71s, two rails had him finishing in second on 8 faults. Farrington now only had to go clear and made the jump off look easy, crossing the finish line with no faults and a time of 42.31s. This marks the former world #1’s first win of the 2023 Spruce Meadows FEI season.

The Township Planning 1.50m was the final competition ahead of tomorrow’s ‘Continental’ Grand Prix 1.60m and FEI level 4 Course Designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) has been setting the horses up for success all week. Starting as many do with a love for horses and riding, Azevedo never saw herself as a course designer early on.

FEI Level 4 Course Designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) (right) lays a rail on the North American Ring with FEI Level 3 Course Designer Cristina Larangeiro (POR) (left) assisting in the build at Spruce Meadows © Spruce Meadows Media/Ashley Jimenez

Following her career as a Grand Prix rider, Azevedo found a new passion when she began slowly working with course designers at a school she opened in Brazil. She had the opportunity early on to work with retired FEI level 4 course designer Linda Allen (USA) and over time, found herself wanting to do more.

FEI Level 4 Course Designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) © Spruce Meadows Media/Ashley Jimenez

Azevedo is currently the only female FEI level 4 Course Designer for show jumping and she credits the opportunities given to her from course designers she worked with in the past.

“The door is open for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. We  need to work together and continue to push (forward). I hope to see more female course designers in the next few years".” - Marina Azevedo (BRA)

Matthew Sampson (GBR) & Lord of London © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk
“Fan”-tastic Win in The Fantastic 4, 1.40m Competition

Thirty-five horse/rider combinations started The Fantastic 4 (1.40m) competition on the North American Ring earlier today. The first round of the competition featured 12 obstacles (15 efforts) that had to be navigated with no faults in under 71 seconds in order to make it into the jump off.

Twelve athletes representing eight nations completed the first round of competition clear and advanced to the jump off. Matthew Sampson (GBR) made a big splash at Spruce Meadows in his inaugural season in 2022. Sampson won over $430,000 in prize money and had 42 top 10 placings (17 wins). Today in The Fantastic 4 (1.40m) competition, he picked up his second win of 2023 aboard Lord of London. The pair posted the fast clear round in the jump off with a time of 36.49s.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley
From the Hitching Ring

Grooms are an integral part of the team behind the scenes ensuring the equine athletes are in top shape for competition while providing unmatched care. The first on site in the morning, and the last ones to leave - no detail is over looked when it comes to making sure the horses have all that they need.

As a partner of the International Grooms Association (IGA), Spruce Meadows is actively improving groom facilities on site and groom recognition during our tournaments.  

This year the FEI ‘Stable Lounge’ was constructed adjacent to the stabling facilities to provide grab and go necessities - like coffee and snacks - and a relaxation area for those directly involved with the horses to put their feet up.

Friday evening of the ‘Continental’ Tournament (June 9), Spruce Meadows also hosted a complimentary “Tacos & Tequila” night at the Time Faults Pub where grooms could come for a dinner and a beverage after a long day of competitions.

Grooms make sure everything is good for horse and rider © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

Another new initiative this year, during our FEI Tournament Season, the groom of the winning horse from the FEI 5* Grand Prix each will be recognized with a cash prize and prize pack presented by El Tequileño. The ‘Continental’ CSI5* Grand Prix take place tomorrow, Sunday, June 11.

Grooms help get horses to their respective rings in time for warm up and competition
 © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

Rupert Winkelmann (GER) & Quinn 33 © Spruce Meadows Media/Tony Lewis

The Best of the Rest

In addition to the North American Ring, the All Alberta and Chinook Rings hosted a number of competitions throughout the day ranging from 1.10m to 1.35m.

On the All Alberta Ring, designed by FEI Course Designer Tom Holden (IRL), victory belonged to Rupert Winkelmann (GER) riding Quinn 33 in the Halo Holdings 1.35m competition. The pair posted double clear rounds with a jump off time of 34.58s.

FEI Course Designer Florencio Hernandez (MEX) had three jump off competitions to build courses for today. The Friends of the Meadows 1.10m, The Friends of the Meadows 1.20m and The Crew 1.30m competitions all took place on the Chinook Ring. The rider’s below were able to make it to the jump off and post the fastest time in the jump off to seal their victories.

Catherine Harley (CAN) & Eltano II  winners of the Friends of the Meadows 1.10m 

© Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley

Shoshana Weiss (CAN) & IB Boomerang winners of the Friends of the Meadows 1.20m

 © Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley

Taylor Wood (CAN) & JoyRide winners of The Crew 1.30m

© Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley