Derby Day at Spruce Meadows National

The 2012 Spruce Meadows ‘National’ tournament concludes on a blustery, but very exciting day. 26,492 spectators braved the wind to cheer on their favourite competitors in the $40,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom. In a sudden-death style competition, 32 horse/rider combinations raced against each other until a final two remained.

Robert Whitaker wins the ATCO Structures and Logistics Double Slalom. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Robert Whitaker (GBR) emerged victorious, winning each of his five rounds aboard his 9 year old Warmblood gelding, Waterstone. Sunday rounded out a great week for Whitaker, who took home the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship. Points were awarded to riders in 4 competitions over the tournament, where Whitaker edged out American riders Richard Spooner and Kent Farrington for the gold medal. This is nothing new for the Whitaker family, with Robert’s cousin Ellen Whitaker (GBR) taking gold in 2011. Whitaker’s winnings for the tournament, his first at Spruce Meadows, totalled $52,890.

The legendary Nexen Cup Derby got underway without a hitch, with 16 horse/rider combinations trying their hand at the famed course designed by Leopoldo Palacious (VEN). With 24 jumping efforts stretched over 1100 meters, a clear round is very rare, with only 3 posted in nearly 120 attempts.

Richard Spooner (USA) came closest with a single fault and time of 166.72 aboard his 14 year old Holstein gelding, Cristallo. After having amassed 17 faults previously in the competition aboard the 13 year old Warmblood Apache, Spooner returned to the ring counting on Cristallo.

“With Apache, I rode terribly. So when it came to Cristallo, I made sure I was more concentrated” commented Spooner. “It was my competition to lose, because Cristallo was a machine today.” Along with the win, Spooner collected silver in the Spruce Meadows Canadian Show Jumping Championship.

Saturday Results

TransCanada winner Mario Deslaurier. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

The $60,000, 1.45 meter TransCanada Parcours de Chasse got underway with an international entry of 22 horse/rider combinations. With only one round to come out on top, Mario Deslauriers (USA) was the fastest to conquer the 600 meter Guilherme Jorge (BRA) course, which included 17 jumping efforts, including the south bank. The American veteran was close to being usurped by young Daniel Bluman (COL), but managed to hold onto first place aboard his 10 year old Dutch Warmblood Gelding, Whistler.

With the sun shining on the International Ring, 33 horse/rider combinations stepped in for the first leg of the CN Precision Series, the $200,000 1.60 meter CN Reliability World Cup Grand prix. Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) kept next week’s Olympic trials in mind, making things tricky enough that only 5 combinations returned for the jump off.

The course, which stretched 555 meters with 16 jumping efforts, proved difficult for most, but champion Kent Farrington (USA) sped through, double clear with a jump off time of 38.98. Farrington was pleased with his 11 year old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Uceko. “Jumping in this ring really suits my horse. With the big ring, he is really able to let himself go, and get up to speed.” Farrington commented.

Kent Farrington winner of the CN Reliability Grand Prix. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Always looking for ways to involve the community in the sport of show jumping, Spruce Meadows’ “Community Spirit: Show your colors” brought kids and clubs from all walks of life to the International Ring. Groups from all around the Calgary community gathered for the chance to watch international calibre competition, and bring their enthusiasm to the International ring.

The Calgary Dragon Boat Club took home the ‘Most creative’ prize, Polo cross Canada was deemed ‘Best Dressed’, and ‘Most Athletic’ went to the Calgary rage women’s football club. For groups under fifty people, ‘Most enthusiastic’ were the MJP academy of Irish Dance, while the ‘Most Enthusiastic’ group over fifty was given to the Trinity Christian School Grade 8 class. Conco Phillips, The Calgary Sun and CN made it all possible with $30,000 in prize money.

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This video highlights competition from the last day of the National. Results from Saturday and Sunday are below video.

TransCanada Parcours de Chasse Results – Saturday

1-Mario Deslauriers, USA, Whistler

2-Daniel Bluman, COL, Vichy

3-Yann Candele, CAN, Game Ready

4-Rodrigo Lambre, BRA, Chepepe La Escondida

5-Darragh Kerins, IRL, Hot Wheels

6-Andres Rodriguez, VEN, Remonta Eden

7-Leslie Howard, USA, Lennx Lewis 2

8-Beda Wachter, CAN, Voilastar

9-Callie Schott, USA, Wrigley

10-Tim Gredley, GBR, Unex Voske

CN Reliability Grand Prix Results – Saturday

1-Kent Farrington, USA, Uceko

2-Eric Lamaze, CAN, Derly Chin De Muze

3-Darragh Kerins, IRL, Lisona

4-Richard Spooner, USA, Cristallo

5-Richie Moloney, IRL, Ahorn Van De Zuuthoeve

6-Beezie Madden, USA, Cortes C

7-Robert Whitaker, GBR, USA Today

8-Leslie Howard, USA, Utah

9-Jennifer Crooks, IRL, SF Uryadi

10-Kirsten Coe, USA, Combina

ATCO Structures & Logistics Double Slalom Results – Sunday

1-Robert Whitaker, GBR, Waterstone

2-Eduardo Menezes, BRA, Chanel

3-Isabella Salles, BRA, Princess Emily

3-Carla Diewert, CAN, Nippur de Lagash

5-Shannon Spencer, USA, Markos

5-Shoshana Weiss, CAN, Only Time

5-Molly Newsome, USA, Touch and Go

5-Vani Khosla, USA, Avance

Nexen Cup Derby Results – Sunday

1-Richard Spooner, USA, Cristallo

2-Katie Prudent, USA, V

3-Lauren Tisbo, USA, Creme Brule

4-Femke van den Bosch, CAN, Tom Tom

5-Robert Whitaker, GBR, USA Today

6-Callie Schott, USA, Wrigley

7-Richard Spooner, USA, Apache

8-Nick Dello Joio, USA, Gledimar

9-Leslie Howard, USA, Lennox Lewis 2

10-Richie Moloney, IRL, Alsvid