Calgary, Alberta: Day Two of the 2015 Royal West tournament delivered a second consecutive day of exhilarating competition, this time of a different nature. Capped by a nail-biting jump-off in the $35,000 Synoil Royal West International Championship, PHASE 2, 1.45 m, Keean White took the top spot after his first ride of the jumpoff proved too fast for any of the competitors to catch.
On opening night during Phase 1, Samuel Parot took the three top spots in a clean sweep. It would take something special to equal that. Then eight mounts — ridden by seven Canadians — rode their way into a tense jump-off that came down to the final ride to determine the top three of PHASE 2.
White’s first ride in the jump-off, a blazing ride of 38.32 seconds a bay mare Carrera Van Het Westleven Z, set a pace the rest of the competitors tried and failed to catch. White attributed his lucky charm to an unconventional source: trash talk, “I know after I ran my last horse, Ali asked me how many strides I did the last jump so I told her nine so she would think eight is forward. But I actually did eight so she could have done seven to beat me.”
The second spot came down to the wire as the final rider, Ali Ramsay, bumped Laura Jane Tidball from the second spot and denied her two spots in the top three. Ramsay’s ride aboard eight-year old Belgian bay Hermelien vd Hooghoeve of 38.83 seconds gave the crowd a thrilling finish. “When I’’m going for it, I’m always going for the win.” , said Tidball. When asked how it felt to give the crowd an exciting ending she quipped at White’s expense, “Yea…but I was hoping to be first. Especially with all the trash talk.”
With shades of Parot’s performance the previous evening, Laura Jane Tidball nearly took both the second and third spots, but placed third aboard Liam with 39.82 second run. She also took fourth aboard Prim' De Lairaud with 40.95 seconds. The lone international rider in the jump-off, Ireland’s James Chawke, took fifth aboard Triskel De Kerliven with a ride of 42.58 seconds.
In a nail-biter, Jill Henselwood took the fastest ride of the jump-off at 38.31 seconds — .01 seconds quicker than White — aboard Quidam Blue, however, a fault bumped her out of the top spot and into fifth. Bringing up the rest of the field in the jump-off were, in order, White on Sombrero Brimbelles, Canadian Erynn Ballard on Hera van de Kouterhoeve and John Anderson on Granit S.
When asked about the representation in the jump-off by Canadians, Rocky Mountain Show Jumping President and fellow competitor, Anderson said, “It’s always good to help your fellow Canadian rider. Hosting international events like this allows riders to earn world-ranking points. I’m happy to have the jump-off dominated by the Canucks.” Despite a dominating performance the evening before, Parot was unable to move into a top spot on either of his two rides, Tailormade Anna Chacca and Cous Cous Van Orti, and placed tenth.
Earlier in the day, the $2,300 Jump Alberta Royal West Championship PHASE 2, 1.20 m was won by Beda Wachter on WH Campari with a time of 33.35 seconds followed by Bailey Ritchie Harding on Vienna T. at 33.39 seconds, and in third Chelsea Walsh on Mercury at 33.95 seconds.
The $1,600 Jump Alberta Royal West Championship PHASE 2, 1.15 m was won by Jada Wagner on Bail From Cali took first in a time of 33.43 seconds, Jill Henselwood on Crackin took second at 33.46 seconds followed by Laurel Chad on Quenza Du Soutrait came third at 34.98.
The $1,300 Jump Alberta Royal West Championship PHASE 2, 1.10 m was won by Megan Schlosser on Cassina St. Kriru Z at 27.05 seconds, Lynne Stephenson came second on Camona 3 at 29.46 seconds, Hannah Maley on Papya at 30.68 seconds.
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