Calgary, Alberta – Werner Deeg from Germany proved again why he is one of the most sought after course designers on the planet. With the $100,000 Synoil Grand Prix CSI2* on the line, he designed a masterful set of challenges for the field of 25 to tackle which was action packed from start to finish.
The spectators were in for a great afternoon of exciting competition and edge of their seat thrills at Anderson Ranch for the Rocky Mountain Classic II Tournament hosted by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.
A total of 17 jumping efforts, numbered 1 - 13, over a distance of 560 metres, featuring three combinations including a triple combination of triple bar in to vertical and oxer out. The course saw the riders gallop the full length of the Synoil Grand Prix field, having to ride efficiently or else the time allowed could sneak up on them. The conditions were ideal. A nice warm day with the cooling breeze off of the Canadian Rockies, the great turf and beautiful jumps, the field of 25 was trimmed to only 6 who mastered the course clear and within the time allowed.
The first rider out of the gate in the first round showed the rest of the field the course could be answered and that was the very talented duo of Jim Ifko and Dublin Street. They have been such great contenders over the past two weeks and always a threat.
Second clear was the sensation from Argentina Andres Rodriguez and Aberdeen 33. These first two (Jim and Dublin Street and Andres and Aberdeen 33) battled it out on Thursday with Andres emerging the victor. This was setting itself up to be a rematch and to see which one dominated with $100,000 on the line.
The other four to jump clear and always threats in the jump off were Tamie Phillips and Cristar, Lindsay Uyesugi and Oz 42, two time Olympian Jonathan Asselin and Showgirl and Andres Rodriguez again with his second mount Elatrice.
Jim Ifko was in the prime position to put pressure on the field as he walked into the ring. If he was fast and clean he would force the other riders to gamble and take chances, and he did just that. Being clear in a time of 50.34, the remaining challengers knew what had to happen, gallops fast but somehow leave all the rails in the cups.
Andres and Aberdeen 33 were next, with Tamie Phillips waiting at the gate having watched Jim and now studying the track Andres takes. Unfortunately Andres deviated from the jump off course on Aberdeen 33 and was eliminated, but he still had one final ride remaining to take on Jim.
Tamie Phillips and Cristar took to the field and took the lead with a clear round and a time that was just about one second faster than Jim. As Tamie played the waiting game and watched to see what the remaining three were going to do. Nobody could best her time.
“Jim has been fantastic on that horse all the last two weeks, he has won a class and putting down some really fast tracks, so I really studied and watched and saw him to all the lines and I tried to do all the same counts and just tighten it up, mostly to 4A which I thought that I did a pretty slick ride there.” noted Tamie after the competition.
“Cristar is such a talented horse, I have ridden a lot of talented horses but I do not think that I have ever had one like him.” expressed Tamie. “He is still young and it was a pretty challenging course for him, for sure the biggest he has ever jumped. He just rose to the occasion and tried his best, I was just thrilled.”
“I feel really fortunate to have Rocky Mountain Show Jumping in my back yard, it is such a great venue with fantastic footing. It allows me to bring along the young horses and seasoned ones as well. It gives them a wonderful experience to help develop them developing them into good Grand Prix horses.” stated Tamie. “Cristar came and jumped here in May and he was very good, but he just keeps getting better and better and just rose to the occasion here in the $100,000 Synoil Grand Prix.”
On hand to watch this great event was John Edwards, President and CEO of Synoil. “I thought that the class matched the weather and the facility, the competition was great and the winner deserved to win.” said John. “I think that the course designer all week has been putting together great tests for the athletes. I think that the right horse and rider won today.”
John Edwards is not new to this sport as his talented daughter soon will be a challenger in the Rocky Grand Prix. “Five years ago my daughter (Mackenzie Edwards) started here at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping in the 2’0” hunters with our first horse, and now we have been coming back every year. Mackenzie is riding in this same field, just not at this height yet. There is no doubt this is her passion and her plan is to be at this kind of facility and at the Grand Prix level soon. Probably about 2 years maybe a little bit more, but there is no doubt she is going to make it.”
“I thought that the competition was great today and think that Werner did a fantastic job with the course.” said Olympian and President of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping John Anderson. “But to have 6 in the jump off for the $100,000 competition I thought that it was a great results.”
“John Edwards has been a great supporter of ours, he stepped up to sponsor the Synoil Grand Prix. He has a very talented daughter and he has a keen interest in developing this sport.” noted John. “We are so pleased to have them, and if it wasn’t for sponsors like Synoil we couldn’t host events like this here at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.”
Rocky Mountain Show Jumping hosts its tournaments 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.
Competition continues next week at the Rocky Mountain Classic III, August 21 - 25, 2013.
Tamie Phillips and Cristar with David, John , Joyelle, Makenzie Edwards and Pedro Cebulka after her first place win in the $100,000 Synoil Grand Prix at Rocky Mountain Show Jumping during the Rocky Mounain Classic II.