Spruce Meadows (July 7, 2022) - The first day of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' CSI5*/2* Tournament is underway and the Pepsi Challenge 1.55M was the final competition on the International Ring for the evening. Thirty-four horse/rider combinations took on the 480 metre track designed by FEI Course Designer Peter Holmes (CAN). Riders had to jump a clear first round less than 72 seconds in order to qualify for the jump off.
Ten of athletes representing five countries qualified for the jump off. Veteran rider Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) was the first into the jump off aboard Carquilot and put the presser on the rest of the riders by laying down a quick clear ride in a time of 42.25s. The ride was good enough for first place marking Pizarro's first win in the International Ring.
"I had a feeling that he (Carquilot) needed to jump here (Spruce Meadows). It's a place where horses learn, very rarely you see a horse give up, its tough for them it's tough for us, but it's very good sport. It puts me in a good place to go and jump anywhere." Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) on competing at Spruce Meadows.
The top 5 horse/rider combinations from this competition have qualified for the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9, 2022.
The Jayman BUILT Cup 1.50M started off competitions on the International Ring for the day. Fifty-four athletes entered the one round competition against the clock looking to post the fastest clear ride and make it to the winner's circle. The course, designed by FEI Course Designer Peter Holmes (CAN) was 532m in length and needed to be completed in under a time allowed of 81s.
It was a big field of top international athletes, but it was local rider Jim Ifko (CAN) aboard Un Diamant des Forets who could not be caught. Ifko laid down an incredibly fast time (almost 3 second faster than second place) of 66.37s that was not to be caught.
The top five placed riders from this competition are now qualified for the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9, 2022.
Show jumping competition started early on the North American Ring for day one of the tournament. Over 85 competitors were ready to tackle the course in the Friends of the Meadows 1.30M laid out by FEI Course Designer Anthony d'Ambrosio (USA). Riders needed to have a clear fast round in order to make it into the ribbons. It came down to tenths of a second, but Nayel Nassar (EGY) aboard Jiminy Cricket had the fastest clear ride with a time of 59.02s.
The Horseware Ireland Cup 1.40M was the second competition of the day on the North American Ring. There were 81 horse/rider combinations started in the one round, against the clock, competition. Matthew Sampson (GBR) aboard Evora BJX was up to the challenge and bested them all with a clear round in a time of 59.91.
The final competition for the day on the North American Ring was the Friends of the Meadows 1.45M. This time riders needed to jump a clear first round in order to advance to the jump off. Six of riders passed that first round test to advance to the jump off. Susan Horn (CAN) was able to lay down the only clear ride in the jump off securing her place in the winner's circle.
Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Jiminy Cricket win the Friends of the Meadows 1.30M
© Spruce Meadows Media/Jack Cusano
Bottoms up! Horse and rider clear a fence on the North American Ring
© Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley
Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) with a look of determination.
© Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk
Susan Horn (CAN) had the only clear in the jump off of the Friends of the Meadows 1.45M
© Spruce Meadows Media/Dave Chidley