Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta, Canada –June 11, 2023 – The final day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* & CSI 2*, presented by Rolex Tournament was ready to commence when the winds rolled in and brought with them some noticeable smoke from the Alberta wild fires. Immediate attention was brought to the situation in consultation sport federation guidelines, the FEI Veterinary Commission, health experts and data analysis of both the Air Quality Index and Air Particulate concentration. The data, and the experts, agreed that competition could continue with no additional health risks to either human or equine athlete.
The ‘Continental’ CSI5* Grand Prix, presented by Rolex was the final competition and capped off a great week of show jumping. Athletes had to navigate the track designed by FEI Level 4 Course Designer Marina Azevedo (BRA) and clear 13 obstacles (16 jumping efforts) in under a time of 85 seconds.
After the first round of competition, four competitors passed all the tests and posted clear rounds, advancing to the jump off.
First up was Canada’s Mario Deslauriers (CAN)aboard the reliable Bardolina 2. The pair put in a steady clear in a time of 51.22s. This put the pressure on the remaining three competitors. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Arna ‘T Kruisveld were up next and carried a quicker pace, coming through the finish line in 47.53s clear and moving into first place. Lillie Keenan (USA) quickly followed on Fasther but could not match the time and moved into second with a time of 48.46 seconds.
Last into the ring was John Perez (COL) aboard GiGi-Carmen. Perez, a Spruce Meadows veteran, won a 5* Grand Prix earlier this year in Xalapa, Mexico was ready to add a big Spruce Meadows win to his resume. The big, bay, mare jumped brilliantly and carried Perez through the finish line clear in a lightning fast time of 45.32s to secure the win. This was Perez’s first Spruce Meadows 5* Grand Prix victory.
“The facility (Spruce Meadows), the footing, the jumps, the atmosphere – everything is fantastic here” – John Perez on being back at Spruce Meadows for the 2023 FEI Tournament Season.
Final Results – $435,000 Continental Grand Prix CSI 5* presented by Rolex
1) John Perez Bohm (COL) & Gigi-Carmen – 0 / 0 – 45.32
2) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Arna ‘T Kruisveld – 0 / 0 – 47.53
3) Lillie Keenan (USA) & Fasther – 0 / 0 – 48.46
Source: Press Release from Spruce Meadows Media
Photos: © Spruce Meadows / Media Mike Sturk / Dave Chidley