Local Rider Dominates at National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments

Ottawa, Ontario – Ottawa’s own Kelley Robinson dominated Thursday’s competition at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments taking place at the Nepean National Equestrian Park in Ottawa, ON.

In addition to winning the 1.35m competition riding Caberlay, the 27-year-old athlete also placed third and sixth with two other mounts.

The first rider to tackle the course set by Mexico’s Catsy Cruz was Robinson’s former coach, Olympic team silver medalist Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON, who had a rail down with New Idol Z.  Robinson was next into the ring with Caberlay and jumped clear to advance to the jump-off.  Leaving all the rails in place in a time of 47.01 seconds, none who followed were able to catch Robinson’s time.

“I went semi-fast in the jump-off, and I don’t know how that happened!” said Robinson, who was surprised that her time held up for the win.  “I didn’t feel like I was going that fast, but my horse has such a huge stride that he covers the ground quickly.”

Robinson has been riding Caberlay, an eight-year-old Hungarian Warmblood gelding, for the past two years.  She also placed third riding Cayotee after jumping clear in the jump-off in a time of 49.33 seconds, and sixth with Barretta after having one rail down in the jump-off.

Second place went to another local competitor, Natalie Bova of Ashton, ON, who was clear in the jump-off in a time of 47.68 seconds riding Belafonte.

After training with Henselwood for more than a decade, Robinson struck out on her own, opening Cimarron Show Stables in Russell, ON, with her husband, David Robinson.  Robinson has brought 10 horses to compete at this year’s National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments, including seven that her students will ride under her watchful eye.

For Robinson, having an international show jumping competition in her backyard is a dream come true.

“It is amazing,” said Robinson.  “There are lots of competitions in Toronto and Quebec, but for Ottawa, this is it.  No one ever gets to see me compete, so here in Ottawa, I get lots of fans.  I had a lot of fans here today, actually.  And it is even better for my students.  It is great for the kids.  Their friends and families can see them compete.  It is very exciting for them.”

The National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments provides the only opportunity all year for show jumping fans to see such famous competitors as nine-time Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON, and his 2008 Olympic Silver medal teammates, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone.

“There are a lot of people in this area, and we need a show like this,” said Robinson.  “It just keeps growing.  There are a lot of farms, and a lot of horse people in the area.  The location is easy for everyone to get to; it is right there off the 417, so everyone knows it.”

While the competition expects to welcome approximately 30,000 fans over the course of its two-week run, having an event of this caliber in the Ottawa area is even more attractive for the competitors.

“We need competitions like this,” said Robinson, who began riding at the age of 10 at summer camp.  “Other than Spruce Meadows out in Calgary, we don’t have any other big shows like this with a big grass field.  The ring is huge, the course designers are incredible, and it has a great atmosphere.  It is amazing, I love competing here.”

Other winners in Thursday’s event include Lauren Hayes of Orangeville, ON, who rode Sweet Leonie to victory in the 1.25m competition and also placed third riding Zidane, owned by D.K. Masterson Holdings.  Her student, Sophia Sigler of Ottawa, ON, placed second with Jungle Jack.

Toronto’s Susan Horn rode Phenix de Coquerie to victory in the 1.10m Junior/Amateur competition while 16-year-old Mikala Chesler of Orangeville, ON, won the 1.30m Junior/Amateur competition riding Masquerade.  In the final competition of the day, Miranda Travers-Cavill of Claremont, ON, emerged the winner with Col de Rousset.

Approximately 500 horses will compete during the two weeks of competition, running August 10 to 14 and August 17-21 at the Nepean National Equestrian Park, conveniently located at the 417 Queensway and Moodie Drive.  The first week of competition features the $10,000 NationWide Open Welcome on Friday and the $10,000 Peel Maryborough Mutual Insurance Company/Henry Equestrian Insurance Brokers Ltd. Modified Grand Prix on Saturday, August 13, followed by the $5,000 Broccoli Hill Hunter Derby.  The $25,000 Hayes Co. Grand Prix will be held at approximately 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 14.

The second week of competition, running August 17-21, will see two-time Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela acting as course designer on the grass grand prix field.  Highlights include the $10,000 Ottawa Rental & Supply Ltd. Open Welcome on Friday, August 19, and the thrilling $10,000 ATCO Jumping Derby on Saturday, August 20.  The grand finale is Sunday’s $75,000 CSI** Brookstreet Grand Prix, sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

For more information on the National Capital Show Jumping Tournament, please visit www.hayesco.ca.

1.35m Jumping Competition – Thursday, August 11, 2011
Rider   Hometown    Horse    Faults   Time
1.   Kelley Robinson   Ottawa, ON  Caberlay   0:0   47.01
2.   Natalie Bova   Ashton, ON   Belafonte  0:0   47.68
3.   Kelley Robinson   Ottawa, ON   Cayotee   0:0    49.33
4.   Heather MacInnis    Burlington, ON   Shine of Light    0:0    50.40
5.   Elizabeth Gingras    Edmonton, AB    Bordino    0:0   52.60
6.   Kelley Robinson   Ottawa, ON   Barretta   0:4  48.25
7.   Jay Hayes  Orangeville, ON   Riva   0:8  43.85
8.   Ainsley Vince    Milton, ON   Monsieur Taloubet   4
9.   Jill Henselwood   Oxford Mills, ON   New Idol Z   4
10. Jennifer Sarsfield   Canning, NS  Famous   4

Photo: Local favourite Kelley Robinson of Ottawa, ON, pictured here riding Cayotee, won the 1.35m show jumping competition held Thursday, August 11, at the National Capital Show Jumping Tournaments in Ottawa, ON. Photo Credit – RedRibbonPhotography.com