Calgary, Alberta, Canada – The fourth day of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ CSI 5*, presented by Rolex, began with a gripping speed event in the International Ring. Spirits were high this morning, thanks to some beautiful weather and good competition, as athletes took to the field to challenge FEI course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio‘s (USA) 1.50m $36,900 AON Cup CSI 5*.
This particular course featured 12 obstacles (14 jumping efforts), and was over 500m in length. A fantastic effort was put in by all the horses and their riders, but it was Matthew Sampson (GBR) of Great Britain with Ebolensky who made it into the winner’s circle with a time of 63.95 seconds.
An impressive effort was also put in by Bliss Heers (USA) and Goodbye, who finished second with a time of 64.89 seconds, and Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Calypso des Matis in third with 65.13 seconds.
With less than 2 seconds separating the top three placings, Sampson must be pleased with the 12-year-old mare for getting him just where he needed to be to land a first place finish.
Competitions against the clock are an exciting feature at Spruce Meadows, and are a favourite both with riders and fans alike. In these competitions, jumping faults are converted into seconds added to your time, leaving the horse/rider combination with the fastest overall running time as the winner. It takes a very unique level of skill to navigate these courses while keeping the rails up, as the pressure demands riders to be more creative in their track and approach in order to shave seconds off of their time.
Final Results – $36,900 AON Cup CSI 5*
1) Matthew Sampson (GBR) & Ebolensky – 0 / 63.95
2) Bliss Heers (USA) & Goodbye – 0 / 64.89
3) Eduardo Menezes (BRA) & Calypso des Matis – 0 – 65.13
Source: Press Release from Spruce Meadows
Photo: © Spruce Meadows Media / Jack Cusano