Ottawa, Ontario – A last minute decision landed Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, in the winner’s circle for the $32,000 Brookstreet / Competitive Jumpers.com Open Welcome held Thursday, August 19, at the CSI2* National Capital Show Jumping Tournament in Ottawa, ON.
A mid-afternoon thunderstorm before the competition, sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and scheduled for 5 p.m., made Covert-Lawrence indecisive about competing with her young mount, Utan.
“Utan is my young horse, and this is his first year jumping FEI Grand Prix competition, so right up until I was two horses away from going in the ring, I still wasn’t sure I was going to go,” explained Covert-Lawrence.
Covert-Lawrence was one of seven riders to jump clear over the first round track set by course designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico. She was also in the enviable position of being the final rider to contest the shortened jump-off track, knowing exactly what she had to do to win with Utan, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Her time of 35.80 seconds was quick enough to take over top spot from Ainsley Vince of Milton, ON, who had stopped the clock in 36.11 seconds riding Frieda.
“I didn’t go in planning to win, but after I jumped the first three jumps, I knew I was at least on target for the time, so I went for it,” said Covert-Lawrence, 34, who claimed $9,000 in prize money for her victory, presented by Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien and Brookstreet representative, Karen Sparks. “I am really happy. He couldn’t have been better. This is the horse’s biggest win.”
Vince, 34, settled for second with Frieda, her nine-year-old German-bred mare.
“When I came out of the ring, I knew I was beatable,” said Vince. “I didn’t go in thinking I could win in that group of horses given Frieda’s age and inexperience. She’s a strong personality, but she’s also a fighter, and that’s what makes her so great in the ring.”
Yet another female competitor, American Olympic team gold medalist Leslie Howard of Westport, CT, took third place with Raimond W after turning in a time of 36.68 seconds while nine-time Olympian Ian Millar riding Star Power, the winners of last Friday’s $10,000 Open Welcome, settled for fourth this time around after stopping the clock in 36.85 seconds.
David Arcand, 21, of Montreal, QC, placed fifth in a time of 38.32 seconds riding Santos Utopia while Perth’s Jonathon Millar, the pathfinder on the jump-off track, was sixth in 39.43 seconds riding a new mount, Always Cullohill. Mario Deslauriers, who was recently named to the United States Equestrian Team for the upcoming World Equestrian Games, turned in the fastest jump-off performance with a time of 34.69 riding Vicomte D, but a four-fault penalty for a fallen rail left him seventh.
The two-week National Capital Show Jumping Tournament continues on Friday with the $15,000 ATCO Jumping Derby. Saturday brings the $118,000 Angelstone Productions Grand Prix, Presented by Brookstreet, and the Blue Rodeo concert, beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets for Saturday’s event are available through www.CapitalTickets.ca. Both events will be televised on Rogers.
Competition begins each morning at 8 a.m. and is open to the general public. Admission is $10 per person on Friday, parking included. Tickets for Saturday’s $118,000 Angelstone Productions Grand Prix, Presented by Brookstreet, and Blue Rodeo concert featuring Staggered Crossing are $58.50 per person and can be purchased at www.CapitalTickets.ca. On Saturday and Sunday, admission to the horse show is free, excluding the Grand Prix and Blue Rodeo concert.
For more information on the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments, please visit www.hayesco.ca.
$32,000 Brookstreet/CompetitiveJumpers.com Open Welcome – Final Results
1. Angela Covert-Lawrence St. Lazare, QC Utan 0:0 35.80
2. Ainsley Vince Milton, ON Frieda 0:0 36.11
3. Leslie Howard United States Raimond W 0:0 36.68
4. Ian Millar Perth, ON Star Power 0:0 36.85
5. David Arcand Montreal, QC Santos Utopia 0:0 38.32
6. Jonathon Millar Perth, ON Always Cullohill 0:0 39.43
7. Mario Deslauriers Bromont, QC Vicomte D 0:4 34.69
8. Sarah Johnstone Toronto, ON Leonidas 4
9. Francois Lamontagne St-Eustache, QC Anton 4
10. Paul Halpern St. Lazare, QC Rolls Royce 4
Photo: Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, won the $32,000 Brookstreet/CompetitiveJumpers.com Open Welcome held Thursday, August 19, at the CSI2* National Capital Show Jumping Tournament in Ottawa, ON. Photo Credit – Yavuz