Calgary, AB, Canada – The Spruce Meadows Summer Series continues with the ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament, and it was Eric Lamaze (CAN) who took home the first big win of the week in the Husky Energy Classic 1.50m with Check Picobello Z. Second place went to Tiffany Foster (CAN) on Brighton, while Sameh El Dahan (EGY) riding WKD Diva finished third. In the Wipro Cup 1.45m, Ray Texel (USA) rode Baldira to victory.
In the Husky Energy Cup 1.50m, there were 11 clear rounds and six double clears out of 38 entries that competed over a course designed by Luc Musette of Belgium. Setting the early leading time as the second to go in the ring, Sameh El Dahan and WKD Diva were clear in 42.39 seconds, which would hold up for third place.
Seven horses later, it was Lamaze and Check Picobello Z, a ten-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Cardento x Orlando) owned by Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, that flew around the jump-off. Coming around the last turn, Lamaze picked up the pace even more with an electric gallop to the final vertical. They brought the winning time down to 39.10 seconds, shaving more than three seconds off of El Dahan’s time.
Lamaze could not sit easy though, knowing that Artisan Farms teammate Tiffany Foster was next in the ring on Brighton.
“Everybody did eight (strides) from one to two, and then six across, and the run to the liverpool (fence) was quite important,” Lamaze recounted. “I saw something really wild, distance-wise, and then I saw something more conservative and I backed up to conservative. He’s not a great turner still, so I had to be cautious around to the double (combination). I didn’t see Sameh go, but I knew Tiffany was after me and that horse is very fast, so I had to step it up. I saw the opportunity at the second to last fence, to take [a stride] out and take a risk. Once that worked out, I thought, ‘Well, why not keep it going? Go for broke!’”
Foster and Brighton made a valiant effort, but were slower in 40.35 seconds for second place. Fourth place went to Luis Alejandro Plascencia (MEX) and Salamera de la Nutria, who finished in 43.36 seconds. Elizabeth Gingras (CAN) and Avalon 280 were fifth with a time of 45.84 seconds. Lamaze gave credit to Check Picobello Z for making the effort to keep the last jump up.
“The horse helped me out, to be honest. It’s luck; in the end it just comes down to the effort from the horse,” he said. “We’re going at speed to verticals that probably aren’t meant to be jumped clean. Some of the horses react well (at speed), and some get lost a bit. I love the horse for a lot of reasons, but I always felt that I could never be fast because he’s a little mouthy and needs guidance. I’m so happy.”
Lamaze started with “Pico” three years ago when he was purchased from Ilan Ferder, but an injury last year set the grey gelding back. Starting up in Florida this winter, Lamaze was pleasantly surprised that he picked up where he left off.
“I was so sad last year that he did get hurt. I felt like that if I had the complete year, I would have a 1.60m horse with all the experience,” he remarked. “Now I have a 1.60m horse that is still lacking a bit of experience. It’s a good upcoming horse for me; I like him. When you have a horse that you produce jumping at this level and going fast when you didn’t think [that], it’s a lot of fun. It’s a fun part of the sport.”
The Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament continues on Friday, June 17, with a full day of competition, including the Friends of the Meadows U25 Cup, Altagas Cup 1.45m, and Scotiabank Cup 1.55m.
For full results and schedule, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Final Results: Husky Energy Classic 1.50m
1 CHECK PICOBELLO Z: 2006 Zangersheide gelding by Cardento x Orlando ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC & Torrey Pines: 0/0/39.10
2 BRIGHTON: 2006 KWPN gelding by Contender II x Quick Star TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/0/40.35
3 WKD DIVA: 2007 Dutch Warmblood mare by Balourado x T Hors La Loi II SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Joanne Sloan Allen: 0/0/42.39
4 SALAMERA DE LA NUTRIA: 2006 Warmblood mare by Diamant de Semilly x Voltaire LUIS ALEJANDRO PLASCENCIA (MEX), Luis Gerardo Plascencia: 0/0/43.36
5 AVALON 280: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Arpeggio x Potsdam ELIZABETH GINGRAS (CAN), Erickson Halina Group Syndicate: 0/0/45.84
6 RUBENS LS LA SILLA: 2006 SLS stallion by Rebozo LS La Silla x Cash VANESSA MANNIX (CAN), Vanessa Mannix: 0/0/47.36
7 TINO LA CHAPELLE: 2007 Selle Francais gelding by Mylord Carthago x Verdi JUAN JOSE ZENDEJAS (MEX), Alejandro Zendejas: 0/4/41.07
8 GRAFTON: 2006 Selle Francais gelding by Calvaro x Vondeen CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/4/42.33
9 PARKMORE LUX: 2005 Irish Bred gelding by Lux Z x Cool Corran Cool Diamond HANNA MAURITZSON (SWE), Ritz Fuente LLC: 0/4/43.56
10 CASSINJA S: 2006 Dutch Sporthorse mare by Carinjo x Cassini I CHARES JACOBS (USA), CMJ Sporthorse, LLC: 0/4/48.02
11 HH CONRAD: 2005 Holsteiner stallion by Con Air x Locato QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/30/72.52
12 BALARINA 3: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou de Rouet x Sandro Song ANTONIO MAURER (MEX), Mario Onate: 1/74.38