Rowan Willis (AUS) & Everse W won the Sun Life Financial Derby CSI 5* last Sunday during the ‘North American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
Derby Day at Spruce Meadows is always a fan favourite as riders tackle the derby course designed by the late FEI course designer Pamela Carruthers (GBR). Defending champion Richard Spooner (USA) would not ride the derby this year, having retired his derby partner Cristallo (19 years of age) last year.
Nineteen horse/rider combinations would tackle the tough track in hopes of making it to the winners circle. Since its’ beginning, only 21 clear rounds have been posted in 689 attempts on this derby course and Sunday’s competitors looked to add to that. The rails were coming down throughout the course with many riders carrying forward eight or more faults as they crossed the finish line.
Australia’s Rowan Willis changed that as he and the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lexicon x Carthago) crossed the finish line with just one time-penalty, after going through the timers in 150.200 seconds.
Only 21 clear rounds have been posted in this derby, and that would not change last Sunday.
Andrew Kocher (USA) & Blaze of Glory II (Caretino Glory x Numero Uno) earned silver honors as the faster duo between the two combinations with four penalty-points, crossing the finish line in 142.760 seconds.
Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Ridley (Ustinov x Adiantus AS) finished third as the only other combinations with four penalty-points, registering a time of 144.750 seconds.
“All the hard work paid off and it was a great stage for it to pay off on.”
Full Results here.