Chile’s Samuel Parot continued his recent winning streak by adding the $132,200 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping qualifier at the CSI3* Royal West in Calgary to his growing list of grand prix victories. Already with one North American League win under his belt at the Sacramento International Horse Show in September, Parot partnered again with Atlantis (Andiamo x Royal Bravour L) to deliver the fastest clear of 39.23 seconds in a three-man jump off.
Following their win in Sacramento, the successful pair also notched up a CSI4* win at the Del Mar International Horse Show before Parot and his horses made their way to Calgary. During the ten days of the Royal West, Parot on Atlantis and his two other mounts, Couscous Van Orti (Nabab de Reve x Cash) and Tailormade Anna Chacca (Chacco Blue x Andiamo), made a clean sweep of the top three places in an early speed class. Parot then won three more speed classes ahead of his win in the FEI World Cup™ qualifier.
“My horse is very fast, very careful, and I saw from the first rider in the jump off that it would be very easy for my horse to make the better time,” Parot said. “The course was very technical and for this, there were only three clears.”
“In the jump off, Atlantis is a little excited,” he added. “In the first round, he’s quiet and jumps so good. He’s very fast, and he likes the jump off.”
“It’s very important [that I do well in the North American League],” said Parot. “I jump for this league and not for the South American League and I think with this win, I have a very good position [to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final]. I think with the two wins that I have a very good chance.”
Parot and his horses will travel from Calgary to their home base in Wellington, Florida, where the horses will have time off and a few more shows before Parot competes in the last two East Coast qualifiers in Wellington and Ocala in February.
The technical and challenging course designed by Werner Deeg (GER) kept nineteen riders from faultless first rounds. But in addition to Parot, seasoned Canadian competitors, Yann Candele and Jill Henselwood, jumped two double-clear rounds to finish second and third, respectively, both aboard unfamiliar horses.
Candele’s runner-up result came aboard Granit S (Faust Z x Graf Grannus), a 10-year-old gelding on loan from John Anderson, the Royal West Chairman, and one that Candele had only ridden since Monday. “John [Anderson] tried to bring me here for quite a while, but with my schedule it was difficult and at the end, I had an opening,” Candele said. “So I took on the offer and came at the beginning of the week and had a little ride with the horse and for whatever reason, we matched because the horse is great and really trying and that’s why we’ve had a great week.”
“You just go day by day,” he continued. “I came on Monday night, very late. I rode the horse a little bit Monday on the flat, jumped him, and it was good chemistry. It was already clear on the first day, and after you go through the process, repeat the same thing: flat him every day, and he jumped clear actually through the whole week. It’s just a sign of a fantastic horse who’s trying his heart out and accepted my riding so that’s all it is. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the horse that makes what happened to me this week.”
Henselwood also rode a fairly new mount, Farfelu du Printemps (Action Breaker x Darco), in the Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifier after she decided that her initial choice, Quidam Blue (Quidam’s Rubin x Come On), wasn’t fully up to the task this week.
“Farfelu is a new acquisition for a 19-year-old Canadian that I train,” Henselwood said. “She’s in engineering at Queen’s [University] so she’s tucked in with a full course load, and I have Farfelu so that was good planning. I didn’t really know what to expect. He’s got some good results from his Swiss rider, up to 1.55 [meters] and I’ve ridden him now for a few weeks. I kept inching up the bar, and my responsibility is to make sure that I develop him more as a girl’s ride and to protect him. So to go to the World Cup, normally I would have done the stallion, but he was a little bit off form this week so I thought, ‘Yeah, Farfelu should try.’ And then actually, ‘I think Farfeleu’s going to win, a lot.’”
As the rails dropped through the night’s rounds, riders quickly realized the challenging course demanded precise timing and decisions at every step. “I think the course was very technical tonight,” Henselwood said. “The jumps came up very fast. Obviously there were only three clean, but there were quite a few with four faults.”
“Werner is a fantastic course designer and we’ve used him for numerous events at our place,” said Anderson, also a competitor and 5th place finisher in the evening’s class. “And of course, he was the course designer last year at Royal West. He knows the ring and he pays attention to all the horses that compete over the ten days. He gradually builds the horses to peak and then at the final event today, he sets the bar high and challenges us all. The jumps came up very quickly, you had to be on your game all the time, you didn’t have a lot of room to rest in this particular round and it showed. The cream rose to the top.”
With a triple combination, a double combination, and tight turns in the indoor space, rounds saw a variety of rails drop. But in particular, fence 12, off a short turn, caused some heartbreaking four faults, just one jump away from the course’s end.
“Who cares about three cleans,” Werner said, in response to how he reacted as the designer to the low number in the jump off. “It was, for me, a fantastic final. You can’t always talk about how many clear rounds [in relation to a good course].”
1. Atlantis (Samuel Parot), CHI, 0 faults/39.23 seconds (JO);
2. Granit S (Yann Candele), CAN, 0/41.58 (JO);
3. Farfelu du Printemps (Jill Henselwood), CAN, 0/44.17 (JO);
4. Worlds Judgement (Lisa Carlsen), CAN, 4/72.44;
5. Terrific (John Anderson) CAN, 4/72.69;
6. Tomtom (Femke Courchaine), CAN, 4/72.97;
7. Roulett (Marion Ostmeyer), GER, 4/73.27;
8. Nirvana de Terlong (Vanessa Mannix), CAN, 4/73.34.