Calgary, Alberta –Eric Martin of Oakbank, MB, scored victory in the $50,000 CSI2* Friends of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Grand Prix held Saturday, August 27, at Anderson Ranch in Calgary, AB. Manitoba athletes won both of the major competitions held at the Rocky Mountain Classic II show jumping tournament. Hayley Alfonso of St. Andrews, MB, posted the only clear round to win the $31,000 CSI2* Eunice Krausert Memorial Grand Prix held August 24 before Martin claimed his victory to make it two for two for Manitoba.
“We like Alberta money,” joked Martin, who pocketed $15,000 for his win.
Course designer Werner Deeg of Germany set a track that produced 11 clear rounds from a starting field of 24. The crowd was treated to an exciting jump-off that saw five horse-rider combinations leave all the jumps in place in an effort to win. In the end, it was Martin with the seven-year-old stallion Kumano who succeeded in doing it in the fastest time, 45.43 seconds. “I just tried to be as smooth as I could,” explained Martin. “I have a good turn of foot; he’s fast through the turns.”
Martin makes the 16-hour journey to Calgary twice a year to compete at the Rocky Mountain Show Jumping tournaments. Having competed at the May events, he was back for the Rocky Mountain Classic series in August. “They always have fabulous courses and good course designers,” said Martin, who competes alongside his wife, Danae Martin. “The facility gets better all the time. There have even been improvements since we were here in May.” Between his own horses and those of clients, Martin had six horses competing during the Rocky Mountain Classic II.
“We have a circuit back home that builds up to the 1.30m level,” said Martin. “There is a lot of good young talent in Manitoba, and showing there is a cost-effective way to get started. Then we come here and step up another level. Our students come here and have 50 horses in their class, and they stack up well.”
As for Kumano, the seven-year-old Oldenburg stallion by Kannan was breeding until the end of July, and then switched his focus back to the competition arena. “He’s a very quiet man, but he loves the game,” said Martin of the horse he owns in partnership with Jan Ash Gross. “He’s quiet but when you start going to the first jump in the warm-up, he wakes up. In the ring, it is game on. Very few horses love it as much as he does.”
Strathmore’s Tamie Phillips did her best to keep the win in Alberta, taking second and third in the final standings. Leading off the jump-off with her veteran partner Lucas, Phillips posted a clear round in a time of 45.71 seconds while her younger mount, Lerche 37, stopped the timers in 46.84 seconds.
“I knew that with Lucas I was going to have to lay it down, but I also knew that I would have to be clear to stay in it,” explained Phillips, who was crowned the Western Division Talent Squad Champion earlier in the week. “With Lerche, I just tried to go faster. To the first five jumps, she was super-fast, but then she started looking around and lost her focus a bit at the end. She’s learning, though. For how long the jump-off course was, it was amazing how close the top times were.”
Young rider Dominique Shone of Pitt Meadows, BC, impressed with a clear round in a time of 46.86 seconds riding Ka Ching while Calgary’s Jay Duke and Grappa were also clear in a time of 48.33 seconds for fifth place. John Anderson of Calgary, AB, had the fastest time of the jump-off, 44.40 seconds, but a rail on the floor left him sixth with Terrific.
Anderson is also the tournament organizer of the Rocky Mountain Classic, and all of the show jumping tournaments organized by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping at Anderson Ranch. “The weather was fantastic, which always helps a competition to be successful, so thank you Mother Nature!” laughed Anderson. “This week was all about the Talent Squad, and we were dumbfounded by how successful it was. For the Friends of Rocky Mountain Grand Prix, we wanted to recognize and thank all of our exhibitors and trainers that have supported us throughout the year, and hosted a dinner for over 200 people, compliments of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping. It was a great week.”
Anderson continued, “Each year that goes by, I am more and more thankful for the venue that has been in our family for so many years but, most of all, I am thankful for all the exhibitors, trainers, and owners that continue to show their support.”
Show jumping competition continues at Anderson Ranch with the Rocky Mountain Classic III taking place August 31 to September 4.
Rocky Mountain Show Jumping is one of Canada’s premiere show jumping destinations. Its tournaments are held at Anderson Ranch in Calgary’s south end, a world-class facility featuring permanent stabling for 300 horses and a grass grand prix field complete with natural obstacles. For more information on Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, please visit www.rmshowjumping.com.
$50,000 CSI2* Friends of Rocky Mountain Grand Prix – Saturday, August 27
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Eric Martin Oakbank, MB Kumano 0:0 45.43
2. Tamie Phillips Strathmore, AB Lucas 0:0 45.71
3. Tamie Phillips Strathmore, AB Lerche 37 0:0 46.84
4. Dominique Shone Pitt Meadows, BC Ka Ching 0:0 46.86
5. Jay Duke Calgary, AB Grappa 0:0 48.33
6. John Anderson Calgary, AB Terrific 0:4 44.40
7. Marshall Whyte Cochrane, AB Quinlan 0:4 45.08
8. Jim Ifko Calgary, AB Peninsula Vertigo 0:4 45.16
9. Beda Wachter Innisfail, AB WH Carthago Sun III 0:4 46.81
10. Lisa Carlsen Spruce Grove, AB Cuba Libre 0:4 47.68
11. Hayley Alfonso St. Andrews, MB Lennox 157 0:retired
Photos: Eric Martin and Kumano won the $50,000 CSI2* Friends of Rocky Mountain Grand Prix on August 27 at the Rocky Mountain Classic II in Calgary, AB. Photo credit – Cansport