When there’s a Will there’s a Way: Simpson and Archie Bunker Win at Spruce

Only two of 45 starters mastered the course in today's $100,000 CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows. In the end it came down to experience, as Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Will SimpsonOnly two of 45 starters mastered the course in today's $100,000 CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows. In the end it came down to experience, as Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Will Simpson

Story originally posted by Horsecity.com Staff

Only two of 45 starters mastered the course in today’s $100,000 CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows. In the end it came down to experience, as Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Will Simpson (USA), stayed the course in the jump-off to take the second leg of the CN Precision Series.

Course designer Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), was challenged to build a difficult test for a field of the world’s best riders. "This week is always difficult for me," said Palacios. "Today’s course was very tough, it’s my job to challenge the horses and the riders," added the master course designer.

It was New Zealand rider, Katie Mcvean, who first cleared the course, proving it was possible even after Olympic Champion, Eric Lamaze’s (CAN) one time fault round. Mcvean put down a perfect round on her 8 year-old mare, Delphi.

The next clear round was posted by Simpson, with his 11 year-old Oldenburg gelding, Archie Bunker. The pair followed Mcvean perfectly, forcing a jump-off. It would come down to two over a shortened course for the second leg of the CN Precision Series.

For Canada’s Eric Lamaze, who won the first leg of the CN Precision Series, the CN Reliability Grand Prix at the "National," it was easy to keep the time fault in perspective. "I think the course was excellent," said Lamaze. "Leopoldo raises the level of the sport and the horses, that’s the way it’s got to be at Spruce Meadows," continued Lamaze, adding, "but the time was a little short."

It wasn’t short for Simpson and Mcvean who faced off over a shortened jump-off course. First in was the New Zealand native, she pulled two rails, leaving the door wide open for Simpson.

"It’s almost the kiss of death for me having rails to play with," said Simpson. Today it worked in his favour, as he came across the finish line with just four faults. That was good enough for the win the CN Performance World Cup Grand Prix. "Archie can jump great," said Simpson. "He loves it here," added today’s champion.

CN Performance Grand Prix Results

1-Will Simpson, USA, Archie Bunker
2-Katie Mcvean, NZL, Delphi
3-Eric Lamaze, CAN, Hickstead
4-Karen Cudmore, CAN, Ceonto
5-Pablo Barrios, VEN, G&C Quick Star
6-Rodrigo Pesoa, BRA, HH Rebozo
7-Beth Underhill, CAN, Top Gun
8-Federico Fernandez, MEX, Zorro
9-Keri Potter, USA, Rockford I
10-Nicolas Pizarro, MEX, Crossing Jordan

Spruce Meadows continues their 35th Anniversary season next week with the beginning of the "Skyliner" Tournament. The "Skyliner" highlights junior/amateurs as the FEI riders take a well deserved week off.

For a complete tournament schedule visit the Spruce Meadows website at www.sprucemeadows.com.