Rockwood, Ontario — Angela Covert-Lawrence of St-Lazare, QC, captured victory in the $60,000 Grand Prix of Rockwood, presented by the Hudson’s Bay Company and Barry Cullen Chevrolet, on Saturday, October 1, at the inaugural Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament held September 27 to October 2 at Angelstone Farms in Rockwood, ON.
From an impressive starting field of 36 horses, eight jumped clear over the first round track set by course designer Pierre Jolicoeur in the all-weather ring. Angela Covert-Lawrence was the only woman in the jump-off field which also included Yann Candele of Caledon, ON, with three horses, as well as nine-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON, Canadian Equestrian Team veteran Hugh Graham of Schomberg, ON, Elliott Stone of Midland, ON, and Colombia’s Roberto Teran, who will represent his country at the upcoming Pan American Games.
As the final challenger in the jump-off, Covert-Lawrence knew exactly what she had to do to win. With Candele leading the standings with a time of 39.07 seconds, the pressure was on. Covert-Lawrence and Utan, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by The Eastwood Group, rose to the occasion. Cheered on by the crowd, the pair galloped around the shortened jump-off track, leaving all the rails in place before crossing the timers in 38.76 seconds to claim victory.
“Going in for the jump-off, I realized that Yann was holding down first and second, and Roberto was third. They were the only three that were clear,” explained Covert-Lawrence, 35. “The four faulters were all super fast, so I figured I had to take a shot. If I had one down and wasn’t fast, I would end up seventh or eighth.”
Covert-Lawrence continued, “Utan was jumping super, and I knew that I could take a chance. After my roll back to number six, the plank, I knew I was fast. There were only two jumps left, and when I landed off the second-last jump, everyone started yelling at me to go. Utan jumps really well off a gallop; he stays off the jumps. The way the class went, it totally made sense to take a shot. It was fun!”
For her victory, Covert-Lawrence earned $18,000 in prize money. She and Utan were also named to the Canadian Show Jumping Team that will represent Canada in the Nations’ Cup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in November. They were members of the Canadian Team for the same event in 2010, posting the best performance of any competitor from any nation.
The Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament was led by Show President Keean White and his organizing team, and although heavy rain was a factor at the inaugural event, it did not dampen the spirits of the competitors.
“They had really bad luck with the weather, but Keean and his team handled it better than anyone could have expected,” noted Covert-Lawrence. “We ended up with a sunny day for the Grand Prix on Saturday, and they worked hard all day to make sure the ring was in the best possible condition. The organizers were so helpful, and Keean was very accessible. The show was extremely exhibitor-friendly, and Keean went above and beyond to ensure that everyone had a positive experience. The overall atmosphere was great.”
Hunter riders also had an opportunity to step into the spotlight for the $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby, Presented by Manning Equine, on Sunday, October 2. A total of 26 entries took to the Grand Hunter Field, presided over by judge Ken Smith, to tackle the challenging course set by Rob Carey. Darcy Hayes of Aurora, ON, emerged victorious riding Moonshadow, owned by KingRidge Stables of King City, ON. Jeff Brandmaier aboard Knightwood Stables’ Rostom finished second while Carly Campbell-Cooper of Elora, ON, placed third riding Diplomat for owner Nicole Walker.
More than 7,200 people attended the inaugural Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament with spectators able to get close to the action in the intimate setting around the grand prix ring. On Friday night, competitors enjoyed a complimentary dinner and a live performance by the Test Icicles while more than 2,500 came out after the Grand Prix on Saturday for an Indian feast and concert by The Almost Hip.
Special thanks to Hudson's Bay Company, Seegmiller, Barry Cullen Chevrolet and Premier Equipment/John Deere for their title sponsorships in 2011.
In 2012, Angelstone will host four show jumping tournaments at Angelstone Farms, including three consecutive weeks from August 22 through September 9 as well as September 26 to 30. Two of the four tournaments will be sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), providing a valuable opportunity for riders to earn points in the Rolex World Rankings. More than $500,000 in prize money will be offered in 2012, including $300,000 in the Open jumper division and $50,000 in the Hunter Derby Series.
For more information about Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournaments, including free photographs and full results, please visit www.angelstone.co.
$60,000 Grand Prix of Rockwood
Presented by Hudson Bay Company and Barry Cullen Chevrolet
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Angela Covert-Lawrence St. Lazare, QC Utan 0:0 38.76
2. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Carlotta Singular 0:0 39.07
3. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Ariana 0:0 39.17
4. Robert Teran Colombia Niac Du Park 0:0 41.11
5. Elliott Stone Midland, ON Caprilli HSF 0:4 38.65
6. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Azzaro Van’T Hagenhof 0:4 39.74
7. Hugh Graham King City, ON Executive Privilege 3E 0:4 40.18
8. Ian Millar Perth, ON Dryden 0:31 64.09
9. Yann Candele Caledon, ON Game Ready 1
10. Beth Underhill Schomberg, ON Viggo 1
11. Elizabeth Bates Toronto, ON Marvelous 6 1
12. Francois Lamontagne St. Eustache, QC Unik Circa 4
Photos: Angela Covert-Lawrence riding Utan won the $60,000 Grand Prix of Rockwood, Presented by Hudson Bay Company, at the inaugural Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament held September 27 to October 2 in Rockwood, ON. Presenting is Keean White, President of Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament; Darcy Hayes riding Moonshadow won the $10,000 Canadian Hunter Derby, Presented by Manning Equine, on October 2 at the inaugural Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournament. Presenting is Al Manning of Manning Equine. Photo credits – Victoria Clermont