Calgary, AB, Canada – The ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series had more exciting show jumping competition at the Meadows on the Green with Kent Farrington and Gazelle capturing the top prize in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m as the only clear round. Second place went to Kara Chad (CAN) on Bellinda, and third place was awarded to Peter Lutz (USA) on Robin de Ponthual.
The Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament runs June 15-19, featuring the Repsol Cup 1.50m on Saturday, June 18, and the highlight competition, the CP Grand Prix, on Sunday, June 19.
There were 35 entries that went to post in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m. The challenging course was designed by Luc Musette of Belgium and tested the riders with a tight time allowed, large heights, and technical distances.
Farrington and Gazelle, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro) owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, were the only ones able to stay clear with no jumping or time faults.
There were four with just one time fault: Kara Chad and Bellinda (74.45 seconds – second), Peter Lutz and Robin de Ponthual (74.50 seconds – third), Vanessa Mannix (CAN) and Quite Cassini (76.32 seconds – fourth), and Jennifer Gates (USA) on Pumped Up Kicks (76.62 seconds – fifth).
Kara Chad is one of Canada’s rising young show jumping stars, and it looks like Bellinda, a ten-year-old KWPN mare by Namelus R x Hors la Loi II, will be one of her top horses. Their partnership began just over a year ago when she found Bellinda with previous trainers Dick Carvin and Susie Schroer as a nine-year-old.
“I think she’s a super special mare,” Chad said. “We’ve been able to grow as a partnership over the past year. Last year this week I was doing the 1.40m just trying to get to know her. It’s really encouraging to come back and do one of the biggest classes at Spruce Meadows and do well in it. I know that we’re going somewhere, and we’re learning. I’m really happy.”
Chad and Bellinda were second to last in the first round of the competition, and when Chad saw the difficulty of the course, she focused on riding a clear jumping round. She explained, “My horse is naturally a little bit slow. She has a very lofty and scopey jump. I always have to think about the time and make up for that. After watching the course today and seeing how difficult it was, I really just focused on getting the jumps right and making sure that I was placing her properly and getting her prepared for the grand prix this weekend. I wouldn’t say time was on my mind as the most important factor, but for sure I should have thought about it a little more. I think it was good preparation. I think Bellinda is totally ready for the grand prix, and it’s just up to me.”
Farrington thought that today’s course could have been seen in a big grand prix. “You had a technical related distance to both combinations, which always poses a problem, and then you couple that with a short time allowed and some careful fences at the end, (and it) made it pretty difficult to jump clear under the time,” he said.
For Gazelle, Farrington was focused on the triple combination as a potential trouble spot. However, he was not very worried about the time allowed as he naturally rides fast and chooses places to make up time early so he can take his time at spots on course where he knows his horses may struggle.
“I thought the triple (combination) was a big ask,” he said. “A vertical, vertical, oxer always calls on their scope. I thought she handled that really well. That’s something earlier in the season that she struggled with in Florida, learning to jump the oxers in the combinations without jumping too high and then having the back rail. I’m very proud of her progress. She seems to be learning how to do that much better and more consistent. It’s really a good sign for me.”
Farrington did breathe a sigh of relief when he realized he did not have to jump off. “Yes, that’s always nice,” he said with a smile. “That hardly ever happens. You have to sit and watch the last half of the class, which is not always so fun, but it worked out for us today and we got to save her legs for the grand prix.”
Farrington brought Gazelle to the Spruce Meadows Summer Series for the past two years to gain valuable education for the talented mare, and he believes that Spruce Meadows is second to none in preparing horses for top competition.
He explained, “In general, the horses learn to really grow a bigger heart and big scope jumping on this field because they can carry a lot of gallop. The fences are so big and wide. You have some horses that just won’t accept it; they’re too careful. The ones that do accept those poles being extra wide, it makes them better (and) they learn from it. If they can jump this and can jump a big grand prix here, you can walk into almost any big grand prix in the world and feel comfortable and able to jump it.”
For more information and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.
Final Results: Scotiabank Cup 1.55m
1 GAZELLE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & Robin Parksy: 0/72.03
2 BELLINDA: 2006 KWPN mare by Namelus R x Hors la Loi II KARA CHAD (CAN), Stone Ridge Farms LLC: 1/74.45
3 ROBIN DE PONTHUAL: 2005 Selle Francais gelding by Elf D’or x Calypso D’Herbiers*Ecolit PETER LUTZ (USA), Katherine Gallagher & Michael Meller: 1/74.50
4 QUITE CASSINI: 2004 Holsteiner stallion by Cassini I x Quidam de Revel VANESSA MANNIX (CAN), Vanessa Mannix: 1/76.32
5 PUMPED UP KICKS: 2003 Brandenburg gelding by Levisto x San Juan JENNIFER GATES (USA), Jennifer Gates LLC: 1/76.62
6 CHICO 784: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by Cordalme Z x Sandro PHILIPP WEISHAUPT (GER), Madeline Winter-Schulze: 4/71.07
7 SINFONIE 168: 2006 Hanoverian mare by Satisfaction I x Don Juan VLADIMIR TUGANOV (RUS), Vladimir Tuganov: 4/71.87
8 PARKMORE LUX: 2005 Irish Bred gelding by Lux Z x Cool Corran Cool Diamond HANNA MAURITZSON (SWE), Ritz Fuente LLC: 4/71.96
9 LUCIFER V: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x Grandeur HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Jennifer Gates LLC: 4/72.27
10 TEDDY DU BOSQUETIAU: 2003 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Ogano Sitte x Albion du Chene Brule IAN MILLAR (CAN), Emily Kinch: 4/73.05
11 LIBERTY SON 2: 2003 German Sport Horse gelding by Clooney x Lord Z PHILIPP WEISHAUPT (GER), Ludger Beerbaum: 4/73.17
12 VEYRON: 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Conterno Grande x Heartbreaker BEN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 4/75.42