Calgary, Alberta, Canada – September 19, 2021 – The fifth and final day of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’, presented by Rolex, started with the Lafarge Grand Prix CSI 3* in the International Ring. It was an incredibly difficult competition which saw only 2 clear rounds from Ben Asselin (CAN) and Rowan Willis (AUS) out of the 18 horses and riders entered.
The course, designed by FEI course designer Peter Grant (CAN), featured 13 obstacles (15 jumping efforts) with a time allowed of 85 seconds. Many riders ended up with time penalties on their score, speaking to the efficiency with which the track demanded from the athletes. With Ben Asselin and Rowan Willis (AUS) being the only two to post clear rounds, the pair moved into the jump-off to compete for the first place finish.
Asselin took to the ring first for the 360m long jump-off which had a time allowed of 54 seconds. He managed to keep the rails up aboard The Freshman while laying down a fast time to beat of 41.92 seconds.
Rowan Willis (AUS) and Wellington Grey Goose entered the International Ring, intending to defeat Asselin’s score, though ended up catching a rail to land him with 4 penalties, placing them in the second position.
Final Results – $75,000 Lafarge Grand Prix CSI 3*
1) Ben Asselin (CAN) & The Freshman – 0 / 0 – 41.92
2) Rowan Willis (AUS) & Wellington Grey Goose – 0 / 4 – 42.50
3) Hilary McNerney (USA) & Chuck 27 – 1 – 85.98
Source: Press Release from Spruce Meadows
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media / Tony Lewis