Western Canadian Show Jumping Championships Conclude

Calgary, Alberta – Gary Brewster and Tamie Phillips were the final winners in the inaugural $25,000 Western Canadian Show Jumping Championships held September 1-4 as part of the Rocky Mountain Classic III show jumping tournament at Anderson Ranch in Calgary, AB.

Gary Brewster of West Vancouver, BC, won the gold medal in the 1.30m division of the Western Canadian Show Jumping Championships. Riding CinqueCento Z, an eight-year-old grey Zangersheide gelding owned by Okanagan Show Jumping Stables, Brewster delivered two clear rounds on the final day to finish the three days of competition with a final score of .77 faults.

“It was a very fun competition,” said Brewster. “When it is spread over three days, you had to be consistent. The format rewarded consistency. The course designer did a good job with the time allowed; you could not relax and play it safe or else you would have walked out of the ring with a lot of time faults.”

Brewster was extremely pleased with his victory, considering that his mount, CinqueCento Z, is lucky to be alive. While competing in Arizona, the horse ate oleander, a poisonous plant, and was operated on.

“I bought him as a six-year-old, but he missed his seven-year-old year because of a freak thing,” said Brewster, whose horses are based at Fairway Farms in Langley, BC. “He is getting back on track now and making up for his lost year. He’s very careful, and has a lot of heart. Especially in a competition like this, you see that he is very consistent.”

As for Anderson Ranch, Brewster noted, “It is my first time being to Anderson Ranch in a couple of years. We’ve had a great time, the horses really enjoyed the facility and they all jumped well. When John (Anderson) told me about the Western Canadian Championships, I said I would come and support it. John is working hard to come up with some exciting new ideas. He’s done a great job with the sponsorship and the presentation.”

Liz Ashton of Victoria, BC, took the silver medal with a three-day total of 6 faults riding Vibrance, her eight-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding. Calgary’s Jay Duke earned the bronze with a total of 9.21 faults riding Quiz Z.

Tamie Phillips of Strathmore, AB, won the 1.40m division of the Western Canadian Championships riding Dressman. Despite having a rail down in the final round, Phillips’ final score of 16.03 faults gave her the gold medal.

“I really liked the concept,” raved Phillips. “Instead of just ‘run and win,’ it promotes good riding and good horsemanship. I think people will be really excited to do this next year.”

Phillips has been partnered with Dressman, a feisty seven-year-old chestnut Hannoverian gelding, since purchasing him in January in Germany.

“I call him my little red rocket,” said Phillips, who was showing Dressman in the 1.40m division for the first time. “He’s a hot head, but he’s really brave and really fun! I really, really enjoy him. He is a fun horse to ride.”

A well-known local trainer, Phillips has also several students competing at the Rocky Mountain Classic, including Lynne Teasell who won the gold and silver medals in the 1.15m division.

“We’ve had a great summer,” Phillips said. “From the 2’6 hunters to the CSI Grand Prix riders, everyone can come out and have success, and have a good time. It’s been super fun. It is professional and well-run with beautiful jumps, and yet there is not so much pressure that it takes the fun away. That is what sets is apart from other show jumping venues – it still keeps the fun aspect! I have had clients here through week one to week three, and everyone has left with a sense of achievement.”

Calgary’s Kristy Yopyk moved up on the final day to claim the silver medal with a total of 18.19 faults riding Ravel while Germany’s Enrico Suessenbach took the bronze riding Grosso Gold with 21.71 faults.

Presenting sponsors of the inaugural $25,000 Western Canadian Show Jumping Championships were Cavalor, Starting Gate Communications, and Rocky Mountain Media. The Western Canadian Show Jumping Championships offered five divisions – 1.10m, 1.15m, 1.20m, 1.30m and 1.40m, with a total of $25,000 in prize money being distributed. Riders counted their scores over three days of competition held Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

The $25,000 Western Canadian Championships were introduced in 2010 by the Canadian Equestrian Development League and the Alberta Hunter Horse Society, two Alberta equestrian organizations formed to encourage and grow the sport of show jumping at the grass roots level.

“We are trying to showcase all levels of the sport, and offer different types of competition to grow our riders as horsemen,” said Trish Mrakawa of Calgary, who is a member of the Canadian Equestrian Development League. “We want to expose our riders to pressure situations, and reward consistency. I think that the Western Canadian Championships did that.”

The Rocky Mountain Classic III concluded the three-week Rocky Mountain Classic show jumping tournaments. RockyMountain 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.

Photos: Gary Brewster of West Vancouver, BC, and CinqueCento Z won the 1.30m division of the $25,000 Western Canadian Championships at Anderson Ranch in Calgary, AB.
Tamie Phillips (center) won the 1.40m division of the inaugural $25,000 Western Canadian Championships. Kristy Yopyk (left) claimed silver while Enrico Suessenbach earned bronze.
Photo credits – Cansport