Calgary, Alberta, Canada – September 04, 2021 – The 2021 edition of the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, took place on this sunny Saturday afternoon during the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ CSI5*, presented by Rolex, and it saw some of the toughest competition of the tournament so far. This is a legendary competition that has seen some incredible champions in the past, including Canadian favourites Ian Millar (CAN) with Big Ben, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) with Hickstead.
Out of the twenty-five horse/rider combinations that took to the ring for today’s competition, only 7 made it through to the jump-off. Each of the seven competitors were familiar faces in the International Ring, with Canadians Erynn Ballard (CAN), Tiffany Foster (CAN), and Ben Asselin making up part of the ranks. The course, set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA), featured 13 obstacles (16 jumping efforts) and a time allowed of 82 seconds. Notable obstacles included the open water, as well as a tricky triple combination heading into the final line that proved to be the most challenging aspect of the course for most of the athletes.
The jump-off was equally as challenging, with only 4 out of the 7 horse/rider combinations finishing clear. It was Kent Farrington (USA) and Gazelle‘s time of 40.91 seconds that secured the first place score, with Brazilian rider Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and H5 Quintol (Quintender 2 x Cento) in a close second with a time of 41.88 seconds.
The host nation saw one of their own secure the third-highest place on the podium. Erynn Ballard (CAN) rode Gakhir (Spartacus x Indorado) towards bronze honors backed by a penalty-free jump-off effort in 44.89 seconds.
This is not the first time that Farrington has won this competition, and with the performances that he and his horses consistently deliver in the International Ring, it certainly won’t be his last. In fact, today marks the fifth time that Farrington has won the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5*, as well as the second time that he’s won with the 15-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro).
“I bring a lot of young horses here so they get used to the grass, they get used to the long rails, and the impressive jumps. I think it helps them develop as horses,” Farrington said during the press conference following his win. “Gazelle I started bringing here when she was 8 (years old)… and she’s gone all the way through the ranks from the very beginning.”
Final Results – $500,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5*
1) Kent Farrington (USA) & Gazelle – 0 / 0 – 40.91
2) Eduardo Menezes (BRA) & Quintol – 0 / 0 – 41.88
3) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Gakhir – 0 / 0 – 44.89
Source: Press Release (edited) from Spruce Meadows
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk