Watch: Farrington's Grand Prix win and other classes at opening of 2018 Spruce Meadows season

A corner of the International Ring at Spruce Meadows
Credit : Spruce Meadows (Facebook)

Monday 11 June - 09h51 | Ian Clayton

Watch: Farrington's Grand Prix win and other classes at opening of 2018 Spruce Meadows season

The opening tournament of the 2018 Spruce Meadows Summer Series, the National CSI 5*, wrapped up Sunday near Calgary, Alberta, Canada after several days of elite Show Jumping in diverse weather conditions. The United States’ Kent Farrington and Gazelle won Saturday’s Grand Prix while Canada’s Lisa Carlsen and Parette were second. The home nation’s top pair Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 just missed out on getting into the jump-off, albeit with a typically lightning fast time in the first round. 

 - Watch: Farrington's Grand Prix win and other classes at opening of 2018 Spruce Meadows season

Credit : Spruce Meadows (Facebook)

Competition kicked off last week, with classes taking place on Peter Grant’s courses across the Chinook, All Canada, North American and iconic International Rings. Spruce Meadows senior vice-president Ian Allison told the Calgary Herald that approximately 30,000 spectators watched the action on Saturday, while 10,000 braved the rain on Sunday.

“We had a wonderful start to the 2018 season,” Allison said. “Even though Environment Canada did get it right with (Sunday’s) forecast, it didn’t dampen the level of the sport, the quality of the competition,” Allison said. “Of course, it impacted our crowds for sure, but for the few thousand that were out (Sunday), they were treated to some really, really wonderful sport.”

For video overviews of the event courtesy of Spruce Meadows, see below. Some of the winners this week include Mexico's Patricio Pasquel and Pomerol, Brazil's Eduardo Menezes and Carushka 2, and Rodrigo Lambre and Chapilot, Ireland's Daniel Coyle and Tienna and the United States' Richard Spooner and Quirado RC. Japan's Karen Polle also had a good weekend, including a third place finish in the 1.60 m RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex on With Wings. In fact, Polle was only one of three riders to go clear in the first round and advance to the jump-off, alongside Okotoks, Alberta's Carlsen and World No.5 Farrington. 

But it was Farrington and his 12-year-old mare who best combined a faultless round and fast time on this occasion, stopping the clock in 49.94 s, ahead of Carlsen's 54.72 s. 26-year-old Polle followed in Lamaze's footsteps in her jump-off round, with the fastest time but four faults. 

Over the coming weeks, the Continental (June 13–17), Pan American (June 26–July 1, Canada Day) and North American (July 4–8) competitions will unfold at Spruce Meadows, before the Masters later this year in September.

“We’ve got some good momentum to start the summer series,” Allison told the Herald. “The Spruce Meadows National is now complete and we’ll move through our summer series. Horses will continue to arrive from around the world. We’ve got about 1,000 horses on the grounds from 18 nations, and that will continue to grow right through the end of the North American. We have wonderful Canada Day celebrations out here for July 1, which will feature not only sport but full family entertainment and an evening concert and those types of things, so we’re looking forward to that." Videos below by Spruce Meadows TV.

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