Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta, Canada – June 17, 2023 – This week’s feature competition, the $700,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5*, presented by Rolex brought thousands of fans to Spruce Meadows for a beautiful day of top international show jumping. Twenty-nine horse/rider combinations challenged the 500m track designed by FEI Course Designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER). Athletes had to complete 13 of obstacles (16 jumping efforts) all under a time of 75 seconds.
While the course was challenging and the time was tight, there would still be a jump off. Two riders both finished on a single time fault leading to a jump off to determine the victor. Canadian veteran Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and young Lillie Keenan (USA) of the United States went head to head against the clock.
Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm`s 13-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Farmer) put the pressure on posting a quick, clear jump off with a time of 45.82 seconds.
Mario Deslauriers (CAN) followed on Emerson, but they were not fast enough to to catch Keenan posting a clear round and time of 46.25 seconds.
Despite not having the win, Canada did manage to put two of their own on the podium as Kara Chad (CAN) and Quidamo F`s two time penalties in the first round were more than enough to secure them bronze honors.
Winner`s Circle – Lillie Keenan (USA)
“I’m so grateful that Spruce (Meadows) has not changed their style, having huge grass rings because that’s really what’s the most natural. I think horses come out of here (Spruce Meadows) better. One of the most special things about Spruce Meadows is that you have the atmosphere and a crowds that is rooting for every single rider that goes into the ring, and they truly love horses – that’s really what makes our sport so special. This is the biggest win of my life.”
Final Results – $700,000 RBC Grand Prix of Canada CSI 5*
1) Lillie Keenan (USA) & Fasther – 1 / 0 – 45.82
2) Mario Deslauriers (CAN) & Emerson – 1 / 0 – 46.25
3) Kara Chad (CAN) & Quidamo F – 2 – 76.60
Source: Press Release (edited) from Spruce Meadows Media
Photos: © Spruce Meadows Media / Mike Sturk / Dave Chidley / Tony Lewis