Spruce Meadows Wednesday Recap

Wednesday Winner, Patricio Pasquel (MEX)

The Bantrel Cup (1.55m) was the first qualifier of the week for athletes looking to compete in Saturday’s RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex and the competition was fierce. 30 entries were posted on the start list to take on course designer Peter Grant’s (CAN) track, including 2017 Bantrel Cup wining combination Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Cita who were looking for a repeat win.

Patricio Pasquel (MEX) wins the Bantrel Cup with Babel © Spruce Meadows Media

It was a truly international competition as ten riders representing Japan, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Israel, Mexico and the United States jumped clear in the first round to qualify for the jump off. Australian rider Rowan Willis elected to to not jump off leaving nine contenders vying for first place. Extra pressure was on the line as the top three finishers in this competition qualify for Saturday’s RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex. It came down to last year’s RBC Grand Prix champion Patricio Pasquel (MEX) and Eric Lamaze (CAN) who were the final two to go but for first but a single rail would cost Lamaze the win.

With his eyes now set on defending his title in the RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex, Patricio Pasquel (MEX) plans of giving his winning mount Babel a break until then.

“He (Babel) really likes it here, he always come in and does a great job,” said Pasquel.

Challenge accepted – Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) comes out on top

The ATCO Challenge 1.50m launched the start of the season for International Ring show jumping with competitors taking on the track in this Table A speed competition. Great Canadian athletes including  Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster, Mario Deslauriers and Jonathan Millar were all looking for the win and to see the Canadian flag raised during the renowned Spruce Meadows presentations ceremony.

Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) winner of the ATCO Challenge and Brian Shkrobot, Senior Financial Officer, Global Pipelines & Liquids Business Unit, ATCO ©Spruce Meadows Media 2018.

With well known speed masters such as Richard Spooner (USA) and Daniel Coyle (IRL) in the order of go, rising to the top would not be easy. It was not enough for this competition to just go clear, you had to be fast. Eduardo Menezes (BRA), Ben Asselin (CAN) and Francisco Pasquel (MEX) are just a few of the riders that would post clear rounds but it was Brazil’s Rodrigo Lambre riding Chapilot who would rise to the top.

With a quick time of 58.05s, not even fellow Brazilian rider Eduardo Menezes would catch Lambre. “I couldn’t have asked for a better day” said Lambre about his ride as he stepped into the winners circle. Eduardo Menezes and Richard Spooner would come in second and third place respectively with Canada’s Ben Asselin coming in fourth.

Lambre shared: “It’s good to win, but it’s really good to win here.”

Rich Fellers (USA) Starting Off With a Win

Rich Fellers (USA) Starting Off With a Win. ©Spruce Meadows Media 2018.

We “jumped” in to the 2018 Summer Series with great show jumping action throughout the grounds for day one of the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ presented by Rolex. The day started early for FEI riders competing in the Recon Metal Cup 1.45m on the North American Ring. 62 horse/rider combinations stepped into the ring to compete over course designer Tom Holden’s (IRL) track where riders did their best to be as fast (and clear) as possible. It would be veteran rider Rich Fellers (USA) aboard his Irish Sport Horse mare Lux Lady who would take the first FEI win of the ‘National’ tournament.