Toronto, Ontario, Canada – November 11, 2022 – Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) made his Royal Horse Show CSI 5*-W debut one to remember by claiming victory in the $138,000 Big Ben Challenge CSI 5*-W on Thursday night, November 10, as part of the 100th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
It was a battle from start to finish as U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (USA) and Landon, a nine-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Comilfo Plus Z x Quadrillo), were the first horse-and-rider combination to post a clear round over Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt’s (FRA) challenging track.
Colombia’s Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) ensured the packed house would be treated to a jump-off by also jumping clear before Canadian Olympians Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Amy Millar (CAN) added their names to the list. Three-time Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Nicholas Dello Joio (USA), as last to go, made it a six-horse jump-off.
As the first rider back in the Coca-Cola Coliseum to tackle the jump-off, Kent Farrington (USA) put the pressure on those still to come by producing a slick clear performance in 34.15 seconds.
None could match his time until the final challengers, Dello Joio and Cornet’s Cambridge, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Balou du Reventon x Cambridge 8) owned by The Berry Group LLC, stopped the clock fault-free in 32.53 seconds.
Farrington had to settle for second, while Mario Deslauriers (CAN) produced the fastest four-fault round riding Bardolina 2, a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Clarimo x Landos).
“This is probably my favourite show that I’ve done so far, and I’ve only been here for two days!” said Dello Joio. “It’s just next level; it’s a real show. All 24 riders that are here [in the international division] can win on any given night. Everybody has earned their right to be here.
“The last time I came here was when I was a kid and my dad was showing, and my only memory is the cinnamon rolls,” laughed Dello Joio, 33, who is the son of U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Norman Dello Joio. “That was the highlight of my trip here last time, and this win tops it!”
Speaking of his winning mount, Dello Joio said, “It’s hard to put into words but there’s something about him; his personality and just the feeling you get when you’re on him. If you watch him jump, he’s not an extravagant jumper or flashy, but as I say all the time, you can’t beat a smart horse, and he is by far the most intelligent horse that I’ve ever been around.”
Dello Joio will look to cap off his stellar week in the highlight class of the Royal Horse Show CSI5*-W, the highly anticipated $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto CSI5*-W, which will take place in front of a packed house of over 7,000 people on Saturday evening, November 12. Riders will be looking to earn valuable qualifying points toward the 2023 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final taking place in Omaha, Nebraska, next April.
This year’s Royal Horse Show CSI 5*-W showcases the very best in horse sport with an elevated CSI5*-W rating from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Friday night’s featured event is the $75,000 Royal Centennial Cup Speed Challenge. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of the 100th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horse-show.
The Royal also offers numerous hospitality experiences that sell out quickly. The Royal Terrace is available for VIP and corporate hosting while the Coliseum’s Sky Suites offer stables and groups their own private suites. New for 2022, the Tanbark Club offers an upscale luncheon buffet on select days. Visit www.royalfair.org/hospitality/ for more details.
Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto.
Final Results – $138,000 Big Ben International Challenge CSI 5*-W
Rider / Nation / Horse / Faults / Time
1. Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) & Cornet’s Cambridge – 0 / 0 – 32.53
2. Kent Farrington (USA) & Landon – 0 / 0 – 34.15
3. Mario Deslauriers (CAN ) & Bardolina 2 – 0 / 4 – 34.72
Source: Press Release (edited) from Jump Media for the Royal Horse Show
Photo: © RHS / Ben Radvanyi Photography