Welcome Wins Go to Gonzalez and McArdle to Start Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament

The first day of the Spruce Meadows 'Continental' Tournament featured two welcome competitions in the Meadows on the Green. The first was a $5,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m Welcome for the horses in contention to compete in tomorrow's $100,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™. Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Quilebo D Tillard took the win in the speed format competition. Abigail McArdle (USA) and Cosma 20 were fastest to win the second $5,000 Friends of the Meadow 1.45m Welcome.

The 'Continental' Tournament CSIO-W 5* runs June 12-16 and is host to the $100,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ on Thursday, June 13, as well as the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix CSI-W on Sunday, June 16. There will be complimentary admission and parking for spectators during the 'Continental' Tournament.

The opening competition had 43 entries going for speed over a course designed by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. It featured an option fence with the open water jump, which will only be used in the Nations Cup. Riding out of the eighth spot in the order, Gonzalez and Quilebo D Tillard, a nine-year-old Selle Francais by For Pleasure x Quat Sous that Gonzalez has owned for two years, stopped the timers with a clear round in 74.97 seconds. Christine McCrea (USA) and Wannick WH were second in 75.02 seconds, while Ian Millar (CAN) and Baranus were third with a time of 75.68 seconds.

Gonzalez has been very pleased with his up-and-coming mount that placed second and fourth in major competitions last week in the International Ring in the 'National' Tournament. “He's been really, really competitive,” he said. “He's been really consistent and I'm really happy with him.”

Gonzalez plans to show his top horse Criptonite in the $100,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ tomorrow, so he “took just a little bit of a chance with Quilebo.” He explained, “Everybody was training a little bit with their horses, so I just went in a nice rhythm and I was lucky to win the class.”

This is Quilebo's first year competing at Spruce Meadows. “I think he likes it!” Gonzalez smiled. “If everything goes okay in the week, he will jump the grand prix.”

Mexico will field two teams tomorrow and Gonzalez spoke about the great opportunity for the riders from his country. “Normally our country has a very small chance of going abroad and jumping these kinds of competitions. I think it's a super experience. I've been very fortunate to be able to do many Nations Cups for my country, but I think there are a lot of young people who need the experience before being exposed to Europe or a championship. I think it's a fantastic idea. I think it will be good for horses and riders,” he remarked.

He continued, “Normally in our country, riding is not so big of a sport. We are struggling to put one team together. But now we're able to put two teams together, so that just says the sport is growing and there is a lot of interest and a lot people wanting to be here. The ambience in the week is going to be very different with all the support of your friends and family and support of the team.”

The second Welcome competition had 46 entries. McArdle and Cosma 20, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare by Couleur Rubin x Stakkato owned by David McArdle, were quick in 67.27 seconds for their first FEI-level victory. Finishing in 68.15 seconds, Meagan Nusz (USA) and Waomi were second. Third place went to Jordan MacPherson (CAN) on Piccobello du Val de Geer in 69.48 seconds.

McArdle and Cosma 20, last year's North American Junior Young Rider individual gold medalists, started last week at Spruce Meadows in the open 1.40m division, where they won a competition, and moved up to the FEI division this week.

Of her plan today, she said, “I love showing out in the Meadows on the Green. It was actually a nice course for her because everywhere we didn't have to go crazy. We just went neat and did the numbers and that was able to get us the win in this class. She's naturally a very fast horse. I think fast, and it happens. We just wanted a fast, confident clean to bring us into the rest of the week.”

The 19-year-old from Chicago, IL, trains with Katie Prudent and they were successful last year at Spruce Meadows as winners of the 2012 CIBC Cup and the 1.40m Junior/Amateur Prix des Nations. “I know this mare inside and out. I've had so much success with her,” McArdle expressed. “She was a little green when we got her and I was little green, so it's been nice to progress and move up with her. It's a good feeling to be able to take it easy, go slow, and be consistent moving up.”

Along with the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ on Thursday, there will be the $35,000 Husky Energy Cup 1.50m in the Meadows on the Green and the $33,000 RSA 1.45m in the All Canada Ring.

Final Results: $5,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m Welcome

1. QUILEBO D TILLARD: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by For Pleasure x Quat Sous

ENRIQUE GONZALEZ (MEX), Enrique Gonzalez: 0/74.97

2. WANNICK WH: 2003 KWPN stallion by Heartbreaker x Joost
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/75.02

3. BARANUS: 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Balou du Rouet x Centauer Z
IAN MILLAR (CAN), The Baranus Group: 0/75.68

4. MAKAVOY: 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hors La Loi II x Ahorn

BEN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 0/79.17

5. POWER PLAY: 2004 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Limbus

ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/80.12

6. NEWTON DU HAUT BOIS: 2001 French Trotter gelding by Cumano x Quat Sous

CAMERON HANLEY (IRL), Eleonore Paschoude & Yves Bouvier: 0/80.26

7. VICTOR:  2002 KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur 
TIFFANY FOSTER (USA), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/80.60

8. CAREYES: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Converter x Landgold

PATRICIO PASQUEL (MEX), Patricio Pasquel: 1/81.27

9. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Polydor
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Grant Road Partners: 1/81.78

10. AMOR VAN DE ROSTAL: 2000 BWP gelding by Peter Pan x Nimmerdor 147
MAC CONE (CAN), Chadburn Holdings Inc: 1/82.50


Final Results: $5,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m Welcome

1. COSMA 20: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Couleur Rubin x Stakkato

ABIGAIL MCARDLE (USA), David McArdle: 0/67.27

2. Waomi: 2003 Dutch Warmblood mare by Lupicor x Boreas

MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/68.15

3. PICCOBELLO DU VAL DE GEER: 1999 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kannan x Skippy II


4. WILSON: 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Onze Fons x Monaco

BRENDA RIDDELL (CAN), Silverstar Farms: 0/71.60

5. JUMEX SPORT ARCHIMEDS: 2000 Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Quidam de Revee x Bon Ami

SOFIA LARREA (MEX), Monica Burrillo Eguia: 0/73.24

6. VODKA: 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Zortin x Lancelot

SUAN HORN (CAN), Kingsfield Farm: 0/74.22

7. PATER NOSTER: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Parco x Heartbreaker

JACLYN DUFF (CAN), Jaclyn Duff: 1/76.49

8. ZOJASPER: 2004 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Concorde x Jasper

KIRSTEN COE (USA), Ilan Ferder: 1/77.10

9. WEBSTER: 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Hemmingway x Bergerac

JENNA THOMPSON (CAN), Jenna Thompson: 1/78.55

10. ZEMILION: 2004 KWPN gelding by Emilion x Voltaire

NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Wembley Farms, Inc: 2/79.33

For more information on Spruce Meadows and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.