It’s World Cup Finals Week! We’re thrilled to be profiling the new faces heading to Omaha this year, and we couldn’t be more excited for these riders taking their first crack at glory. We’ll be bringing you exclusive profiles on as many rookie pairs as possible, so keep checking back to learn more about the competitors you’ll see making their World Cup Jumping Finals Debut.
Name: Christopher Surbey
Qualifying Division: NAWSL
Surbey and Chalacorada sailing over the fence with ease. Photo courtesy of Spruce Meadows.
Canadian rider Christopher Surbey has been battling the horse bug from a young age, but he only really stepped up into the FEI elite this year. After several years of showing in the Grand Prix ring, his boldness in the arena was noticed by the staff at Spruce Meadows who brought him on as a rider for the past two and a half years.
Surbey has always been an effective and successful rider, but in this business, an insightful and supportive benefactor can be the tipping point to opening a rider’s career. Such is the case with Christopher and Spruce Meadows’ President Linda Southern-Heathcott, whose generosity has allowed him to show on a larger scale with better horses.
In 2016, Surbey represented Canada at his first Nations Cup in Slovakia where the team finished on top, but arguably his biggest win of the year came at the Enbridge Derby at home in Calgary, where he took the top spot by being one of only 19 clear rounds in the Derby’s history aboard Linda’s mare Quetchup de la Roque.
Christopher’s best qualifiying scores came at the Sacramento International, where he placed third on Arezzo, The Calgary Stampede where he again took the yellow aboard Chalacorada, and finally a top ten finish at Deeridge Farms aboard the latter, who will be his mount for the final.
Chalacorada, or “Chocolate” is a 15-year-old Holsteiner mare also owned by Spruce Meadows and the pair have been representing Canada and Spruce Meadows well. Surbey told the Inside Rein earlier this month that the mare is extremely talented, a hair quirky, full of blood, and loads of character. In order to help the feisty mare go around her best, he has adapted to riding her in a hackamore.
#TeamSpruceMeadows athlete Chris Surbey and Chalacorada have finally arrived to Omaha, NE for the 2017 #FEIWorldCupFinals event kicking off tomorrow! Chris and Chocolate – as she's affectionately called – have qualified as the first of two fellow countrymen to represent #Canada in the finals. Please join us in wishing the best of luck to this great partnership. #BackOnTrackCanada #RideToOmaha #SpruceMeadows #GameFace #TheBestKindOfChocolate #canada150
While Surbey has less experience at the 1.60m level than many of his competitors, the 2016 season full of five-stars didn’t seem to slow him down, and in fact allowed Surbey and his string seemed to rise to the occasion.
With a spicy mare, Surbey’s own passion and talent, plus the support of his team at Spruce Meadows, Surbey and Chalacorada are bound to go in and put their best foot forward at the World Cup. Add to that a little 30th birthday luck on Friday, and you never what might happen!
Go Christopher, and Go Jumping.