Calgary, Alberta –Kyle King of Ocala, FL, kicked off the three-week Rocky Mountain Classic show jumping series by winning the $50,000 CSI2* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix on Saturday, August 20. The Rocky Mountain Classic show jumping tournaments are taking place at Anderson Ranch in Calgary, AB.
Course designer Werner Deeg of Germany ensured a thrilling jump-off when 10 of the 29 starters jumped his first round track clear to advance to the jump-off. King was the first rider through the gate with Capone I, and set a target time of 39.95 seconds that would prove unbeatable. In fact, King proved to be his own toughest competition when his other jump-off mount, Valentino, was clear in a time of 41.10 seconds for second place. Rocky Mountain tournament organizer, John Anderson of Calgary, AB, took third place with a time of 41.61 seconds riding Terrific.
“I went first and was a little conservative, but it turned out to be fine,” said King, who has been based at Anderson Ranch this summer. “They all had to chase me and it worked out. I had the class by a full second.” For King and Capone I, the $50,000 CSI2* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix marked the pair’s first competition since winning the $125,000 CN World Cup Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows “Continental” Tournament in June. “It was great for Capone because it was challenging enough, but it wasn’t so huge and he didn’t have to try too hard,” said King of the 15-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Contender. “He jumped solid and was right on form.”
Owned by Corinne Super of Langley, BC, Capone I has a storied past, having been involved in a lengthy trans-border custody dispute. After three years away from the sport, the breeding stallion was reunited with King in December of 2010. The pair quickly returned to their winning ways this season, claiming victories at such well-known venues as HITS Thermal in California, Calgary’s Spruce Meadows, and now at Rocky Mountain.
“He’s come into my life three separate times over the past eight years or so,” explained King. “He’s quite seasoned now, and I have to count my classes just because of his age. This is our one and only warm-up for the Spruce Meadows “Masters.” We’ll keep him fit and on form for the $1 million CN International. He’s in good shape and jumping well. I think he is as ready as he can be.”
Unlike Capone I, King’s second-placed mount Valentino is brand new to him. King had only ridden the horse twice before showing Valentino, owned by amateur rider Rene Walker, in the $50,000 CSI2* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix. “John had ridden him before and told me he was a nice horse,” said King, who was presented with $26,000 in prize money by Greg and Shelly Hilderman of G2 Financial Group after taking first and second place. “I was conservative in the jump-off, and he was great. He’s a naturally fast horse. And John was third, so it worked out well. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day, and there was a great crowd.”
As King has been based at Anderson Ranch this summer, he and Anderson have developed a symbiotic working relationship. “John has been fantastic to me up here this year,” said King, 36. “We’ve worked out a good little relationship together. He’s been giving me horses to show, and we’ve been selling a few. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I tell you what, the show is really growing. It is already a world-class facility, and there is nothing but improvements being made. It is nice jumping, and good prep for Spruce Meadows.”
Anderson, who was a member of Canada’s fourth placed team at the 1986 World Championships in Aachen, Germany, also recognizes the impact that King’s presence has had. “It’s been great to have Kyle here all summer; he’s brought a lot to the local area,” said Anderson. “He is a truly talented international rider, and it has been great for our young up and coming grand prix riders to be able to watch and learn from him. He’s even helped me out with my own horses and riding. Many of our riders here have stood up and taken notice of his abilities, and there is always a crowd watching him at the ring.”
Anderson’s third place finish with Terrific in the $50,000 CSI2* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix was the same result he had on Thursday in the $31,000 CSI2* Laramide Oil and Gas Grand Prix. From a starting field of 32, only four passed the first round test to advance to the jump-off. Anderson was first to go, posting a clear round in a time of 44.61 seconds with the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Foxdale Farm.
Sydney Greene, fresh off her appearance at the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championship in Lexington, KY, took almost four seconds off of Anderson’s time, stopping the clock at 40.67 seconds, but at the expense of a rail. She eventually finished fourth with Peninsula Emerald Lass, her aptly named eight-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare.
Beda Watcher of Innisfail, AB, had the next shot at the title, and moved into the lead with a clear round in a time of 41.81 seconds riding WH Carthago Sun III, his 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood stallion. It was short-lived, however, as Marshall Whyte of Cochrane, AB, had the advantage of being last to go with Quinlan, his 11-year-old Hannoverian gelding. All the rails were left in place, and when Whyte crossed the timers in 41.31 seconds, victory was his.
Marshall Whyte and Quinlan win the $31,000 CSI** Laramide Oil & Gas Grand Prix.
Top show jumping competition continues with the Rocky Mountain Classic II, running August 24 to 28. Featured events include the $31,000 CSI2* Eunice Krausert Memorial Grand Prix on Wednesday, August 24, the $25,000 Western Canadian Talent Squad Finals, Presented by Stone Ridge on Thursday, August 25, and the $50,000 CSI2* Friends of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping Grand Prix on Saturday, August 27.
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* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix – Saturday, August 20
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Kyle King Ocala, FL Capone I 0:0 39.95
2. Kyle King Ocala, FL Valentino 0:0 41.10
3. John Anderson Calgary, AB Terrific 0:0 41.61
4. Beda Watcher Innisfail, AB WH Carthago Sun III 0:0 42.87
5. Tamie Phillips Strathmore, AB Lerche 37 0:0 43.00
6. Lisa Carlsen Spruce Grove, AB Wold’s Judgement 0:0 45.35
7. Dominique Shone Langley, BC Ka Ching 0:4 42.20
8. Femke van den Bosch Red Deer, AB Tom Tom 0:4 43.32
9. Shannon Matthews Edmonton, AB Antares 0:4 45.09
10. Brenda Riddell Calgary, AB Monet 0:4 55.91
$31,000 CSI2* Laramide Oil and Gas Grand Prix – Thursday, August 18
Rider Hometown Horse Faults Time
1. Marshall Whyte Cochrane, AB Quinlan 0:0 41.31
2. Beda Watcher Innisfail, AB WH Carthago Sun III 0:0 41.81
3. John Anderson Calgary, AB Terrific 0:0 44.61
4. Sydney Greene Calgary, AB Peninsula Emerald Lass 0:4 40.67
5. Beda Watcher Innisfail, AB Voilastar 1
6. Tamie Phillips Strathmore, AB Lerche 37 1
7. Eric Martin Oakbank, MB Cumano 1
8. Femke van den Bosch Red Deer, AB Senorita 1
9. Kennedy Ellingson Calgary, AB Mantao 4
10. Dominique Shone Langley, BC Ka Ching 4
Photos: Kyle King of Ocala, FL, and Capone I won the $50,000 CSI2* G2 Financial Group Grand Prix on August 20 at the Rocky Mountain Classic I in Calgary, AB. Marshall Whyte of Cochrane, AB, guided Quinlan to victory in the $31,000 CSI2* Laramide Oil and Gas Grand Prix on August 18 at the Rocky Mountain Classic I in Calgary, AB. Photo credits – Cansport