Caledon, Ontario – James Chawke (IRL) won the $100,000 Grand Prix CSI 3*, presented by RAM Equestrian, to close out the CSI 3* Classic at Palgrave Phase 2 show jumping tournament held May 22 to 26 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Caledon, Ontario, Canada.
The $100,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* was held on Sunday, May 26, in a two-round format that saw the top 13 horse-rider combinations return for a second round. At the end of the second round, three had maintained a clear score sheet over the tracks set by American course designer Ken Krome (USA) to force a jump-off. Chawke had left all the rails in place with two mounts, Grasshopper and Skara Glen’s Presence, while Jonathon Millar (CAN) of Perth, Ontario, Canada, qualified Daveau for the tie-breaker.
Chawke, who hails from County Laois, was the first to return for the jump-off and concentrated on jumping a third clear round with Grasshopper, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Phin Phin x Cartano) owned by Stonepine Stables Ltd. of Calgary, AB. His clear round in a time of 48.94 seconds put the pressure on Millar, 44, who rose to the challenge by guiding Daveau, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Glennridge) owned by Millar Brooke Farm of Perth, Ontario, Canada, home fault-free in a time of 45.96 seconds to move into the lead.
Chawke still had one more shot at victory, however, and took the necessary risks to stop the clock in a time of 43.04 seconds riding Skara Glen’s Presence.
“I went first on Grasshopper; he is only eight so I just wanted to be clear and put a little pressure on Jonathon and maybe he would make a mistake, which he didn’t,” said Chawke of his jump-off strategy. “Conor [Swail] had watched Jonathon for me and told me what I needed to do. Skara Glen’s Presence is 11 and more experienced so I went bit faster and, luckily, it was good enough to win.”
Making the win even more impressive, Chawke has only been paired with Skara Glen’s Presence for two weeks.
Ross Millar congratulates James Chawke (IRL) aboard Skara Glen’s Presence as the winner of the $100,000 Grand Prix CSI3*, presented by RAM Equestrian.
“This is only my fifth class with him, and my third FEI class,” said Chawke of the 11-year-old Canadian-bred Holsteiner gelding (Contendro x Nekton) owned by Skara Glen Stables. “He’s a very friendly and cheeky fellow in the stable. When it comes time to go in the ring, he knows his job and wants to do it. He’s careful and quick, and I just have to stay out of his way.”
Caledon Equestrian Park, host of the equestrian events for the 2015 Pan American Games, was the first venue that Chawke competed at when he came to Canada. Now, it has become the site of his first CSI3* Grand Prix victory.
“This is the first place I ever showed at when I came to Canada,” said Chawke, 31, who works alongside fellow Irishman, Conor Swail, and Canadian Show Jumping Team member, Vanessa Mannix (CAN). “It’s an incredible place. The facilities are fantastic, it has big rings, and everyone here is so nice and willing to do whatever you need.
“Thank you to the horse show and the sponsors, and to my sponsors and everyone involved in the win today,” concluded Chawke.
Final Results – $100,000 Grand Prix CSI3* , Presented by RAM Equestrian
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / R1 Faults / Jump-off Penalties / Time
1. James Chawke (IRL) & Skara Glen’s Presence – 0 / 0 / 0 – 43.04
2. Jonathon Millar (CAN) & Daveau – 0 / 0 / 0 – 45.96
3. James Chawke (IRL) & Grasshopper – 0 / 0 / 0 – 48.94
4. Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Charming Force B – 4 / 0
5. Susan Horn (CAN) & Balintore – 0 / 4
6. Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Edison P – 0:4
7. Jonathon Millar (CAN) & Bonzay – 4 / 0
8. Kelly Soleau-Millar (USA) & Cacharel – 4 / 0
9. Beth Underhill (CAN) & Count Me In – 4 / 0
10. Amy Millar (CAN) & Ericson – 4 / 0
11. Amy Millar (CAN) & Truman – 4 / 4
12. Vanessa Mannix (CAN) & Catinka 25 – 4 / 4
Source: Press release from Jennifer Ward / Starting Gate Communications for Caledon Equestrian Park
Photos: © Ben Radvanyi Photography
Categories: CSI 3*