Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Canada – September 4, 2022 – Today marked the final day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI 5* & 2*, presented by Rolex. Throughout the week riders qualified for the final event, the $400,700 Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by Rolex. Twenty horse/rider combinations representing 8 nations tackled the track set out by FEI Course Designer Anthony d’Ambrosio (USA). Each hoping to pass all the tests and qualify for the jump off.
Seven of the athletes made it to the jump off including 2022 Spruce Meadows Summer Series Grand Prix winners Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Matthew Sampson (GBR). O’Shea riding his 2022 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Grand Prix winning mount, Imerald van’t Voorhof, laid down the quick clear ride in the jump off with a time of 38.00 seconds.
Matthew Sampson (GBR) knew the time to beat but today, aboard Ebolensky, could only catch O’Shea, not beat him. The British rider and the 13-year-old grey Royal Dutch Sport Horse (Dutch Warmblood) mare (Clinton x Heartbreaker) posted the exact same time of 38.00 seconds flat in the jum-off and for the first time in Spruce Meadows history, there would be two winners of a 5* Grand Prix.
The 1.60m contest was a thriller right to the wire with the third-place partnership of Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Babel (Billy du Lys x High Flyer) finishing only four-hundredths of a second (38.04 seconds) off the mark set by the two combinations that shared first place.
“We love Spruce Meadows, to be able to jump in the big grass fields before next week (‘Masters’ CSIO5*) and have this result – it builds confidence” – Matthew Sampson (GBR) on his win today and heading into the ‘Masters’ CSIO5*.
“This is a big Grand Prix in itself, I’m very happy to be here and have this opportunity ahead of next week” – Paul O’Shea (IRL) on his shared win in the Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix, presented by Rolex.
Final Results – $400,700 Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by Rolex
1) Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Imerald van’t Voorhof – 0 / 0 – 38.00
2) Matthew Sampson (GBR) & Ebolensky – 0 / 0 – 38.00
3) Patricio Pasquel (MEX) & Babel – 0 / 0 – 38.04
Source: Press Release (edited) from Spruce Meadows Media
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk