Calgary, AB, Canada – Mexico’s Antonio Maurer emerged victorious in Friday’s LaFarge Cup 1.50m during an exciting evening of competition at the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Galileo de Laubry, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cardento I x Askan de Lauzelle), gave Maurer the second win of his career in Spruce Meadows’ famous International Ring after almost a 15-year lull.
The ‘North American’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues through Sunday, July 10. Highlights include the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday and the Enbridge Classic Derby to conclude the week’s competition on Sunday.
Twenty-nine entries started over Santiago Varela’s (ESP) course for the LaFarge Cup Friday night with nine clear rounds. Three qualified entries chose not to return for the jump-off, where six continued on, and only two entries jumped double clear. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou set the pace with the first clear round over the short course in 47.94 seconds. They settled for second place when Maurer and Galileo de Laubry raced through the timers in 45.80 seconds, last to go, for the win.
Maurer also took third place honors, with one fence down in a very fast time of 43.27 seconds on his first jump-off mount, Fernanda Saad’s Magnus Jaen Mail. Jaclyn Duff (CAN) was close behind, with one rail down in 43.45 seconds to place fourth aboard her own Pater Noster.
Commenting on his victory, Maurer stated, “It has been a very good tour, and finishing the tour with the horses jumping like this is really exciting. I have not come into the International Ring in the golf cart as a winner for a very long time, so I am very happy. I can’t remember how long ago, but it has been a good 15 years since I last won here. It feels amazing. I was second yesterday, and I was beat by the last rider, and I almost cried. Today I was lucky, because I was the last one in the jump-off. It helped me. I already had one horse in the jump-off, so I knew the course, and how it rode. When I saw Molly’s time, I knew that I could be a little quieter, and not risk that much with my second one.”
Maurer purchased Galileo de Laubry in December of 2015, but took a fall and needed surgery on his collarbone shortly after, so he only started riding the horse about four months ago. “He was a hot horse, and I think the guy that I bought him from did a really good job getting the horse quiet, and not pushing him,” Maurer detailed. “He turned out to be a very nice and kind horse.”
Molly Ashe was happy with her second place finish aboard Cat Ballou, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassini II x Lacantus) that is coming into his own recently.
Speaking of her jump-off round, Ashe detailed, “I went for the slow clear tonight. We did not show the first week here this season because the horses had been off for a while and we had to get them up and running again. We started showing the second week in the Summer Series, and we threw him right in the grand prix, which was not fair. He got a little scared, so I am actually very pleased with the result tonight. It was a nice note to end on for him. He really came back from a bad place that we got him into. He really was a trooper and he felt really good tonight, so I was happy with that.”
Concluding an exciting night by remarking on what keeps him coming back to Spruce Meadows year after year, Maurer smiled, “This is an amazing place. They upgrade every year. It is amazing the way the riders are treated, and it is amazing the quality of the footing and the jumps. If you can walk the course and look at the little details on the jumps, how they are painted and how the poles are maintained, it is very impressive. The amount of work they have to put into everything here is incredible. If you get here tomorrow at 7 a.m., this whole place shines. To manage that with the amount of horses here takes a lot. This place is just different from any other venue. That brings you back always; everything is completely different here.
For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Final Results: LaFarge Cup 1.50m
1 GALILEO DE LAUBRY Belgian Warmblood / G / 10 / Cardento I x Askan de Lauzelle ANTONIO MAURER (MEX) Antonio Maurer: 0/0/45.80
2 CAT BALLOU Holsteiner / G / 9 / Cassini II x Lacantus MOLLY ASHE (USA) Louisburg Farm: 0/0/47.94
3 MAGNUS JAEN MAIL Argentine / S / 8 / Unknown x Unknown ANTONIO MAURER (MEX) Fernanda Saad: 0/4/43.27
4 PATER NOSTER Belgian Sport Horse / G / 14 / Parco x Heartbreaker JACLYN DUFF (CAN) Jaclyn Duff: 0/4/43.45
5 HETMAN OF COLOR J Belgian Sport Horse / G / 9 / Calvaro x Querlybet Hero CONOR SWAIL (IRL) Ilan Ferder: 0/4/46.65
6 HANNAH Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 / Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof MARIANO MAGGI (SWE) Jose Pablo Salgado: 0/8/43.58
7 CALIFORNIA 62 Holstein / M / 12 / Cassini I x Galant Vert ANDREW RAMSAY (USA) The California Group: 0/WD
7 SALAMERA DE LA NUTRIA Warmblood / M / 10 / Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire LUIS ALEJANDRO PLACSENSIA (MEX) Luis Gerardo Plascencia: 0/WD
7 WIN FOR LIFE Zangersheide / G / 10 / Winning Mood x Chatman CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA) Candy Tribble: 0/WD
10 LUFTIKUS S Warmblood / G / 12 / Levisto x Kolibri JENNIFER GATES (USA) JKG LLC 1/84.17
11 UTAH Dutch Warmblood / G / 15 / Andiamo x Jus de Pomme LESLIE HOWARD (USA) Utah Group: 4/75.85
12 VENENO Oldenburg / G / 8 / Chacco Blue x Baloubet du Rouet LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS) Liubov Kochetova: 4/78.57