Toronto, ON (Nov 12) – It was another eventful day at the Royal as school groups streamed through the aisle ways and international competition continued across the fair. The afternoon show in the Ricoh was packed full of showjumping with the $35,000 International Jumper Brickenden Trophy and the CET Medal Finals.
In the Brickenden, Olivier Philippaerts took the number one spot aboard H&M Legend of Love, with a zero faults and a time of 30.61. In second was Ireland’s Conor Swail aboard Martha Louise with a clear round and a time of 32.04. Third was Canadian rider Erynn Ballard, aboard Bart C, with a time of 34.99.
American riders Beezie Madden, Leslie Howard, Reed Kessler, and Laura Kraut, took 4th, 8th, 9th, and 18th (respectively). Canadian Riders Vannessa Manix, Jonathon Millar, Jill Henselwood, Christian Sorenson, Mac Cone, Lisa Carlsen, and Ian Millar, took 5th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, and 20th (respectively).
Kassidy Keith, aboard Wallabe, took the top honours in the CET Medal overall results which followed the Brickenden on Thursday afternoon.
The evening edition of the Royal Horse Show started with another exhibition of sheer horsepower as the Clydesdale/Shire Six Horse Hitch filled the Ricoh Coliseum. If their size wasn’t impressive enough, the sheer glean coming off their super shiny wagons and harnesses was seriously enviable. Following the heavy horses was another set of driving classes, with the Hackney Pony Amateur Championship and the Hackney Horse Amateur World Champion class.
Then it was on to Dressage night at the Royal. After a Dressage demonstration led by Ashley Holzer, the last leg of the Royal Dressage Invitational Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, commenced with the Grand Prix Freestyle. This year there were four Canadian riders competing: Belinda Trussell, Leah Wilkins, Jacqueline Brooks, and Evi Strasser.
The first rider in the ring, to a swell of applause and cheers, was Olympian Evi Strasser of St. Adele (QC) aboard her horse Renaissance Tyme. With an expressive and .. ride aboard her stunning 12 year old grey gelding, Evi posted a score of 70.667%
Next into the ring was the 28 year old Leah Wilkins, making her Dressage debut at the Royal Horse Show with Fabian J.S. With a ride set to a score that reminded us very much of Game of Thrones, a complex pattern, and exquisite timing, her ride earned her a score of 73.375%.
Third into the ring was Royal Dressage regular Jacqueline Brooks aboard the grey Swedish Warmblood D Niro. Their ride earned them a solid score of 73.208%
Olympian Belinda Trussell, who took the top honors in the first leg of the Grand Prix on Wednesday night, was the last rider to take the ring. Riding her Toronto 2015 Pan Am mount and long time equine partner Anton, her technical and precise program earned her a score of 77% from the panel of international judges overseeing the nights competition. That score earned Belinda and Anton the top honors of the night, making her the winner of the $20,000 Invitation Dressage Cup.
From there it was on to one of the most entertaining showjumping competitions of the fair, the $35,000 International Top Score challenge. For this leg of competition there is no set course, and the rules are simple — you have a limited time to score as much points as possible, you could only take each fence twice, and at the end of your time you could take a chance at the Joker. If the Joker was jumped successfully, 200 points were added, and if you took a rail at that final fence — 200 points were deducted.
There were 13 riders in the field, representing 6 countries in total. As with all international showjumping at the Royal, it was a tough competition, and ultimate Ireland’s Conor Swail took the top prize with a time of 55.58 seconds and a total of 1230 points.
Roberto Teran (COL) aboard Farina took second, with a time of 57.32 and 1190 points.
Here’s the break down of the top 5 at last nights Gambler’s Choice:
- Conor Swail (IRL) & Ariana – 55.58 sec, 1230 points
- Roberto Teran (COL) & Farina – 57.32 sec, 1190 points
- Dermott Lennon (IRL) & Fleur IV – 53.43 sec, 1140 points
- Vanessa Mannix (CAN) & Dooley’s Delux – 54.75 sec, 1080 points
- McLain Ward (USA) & Carneyhaugh Manx – 54.31 seconds, 1000 points
Canadian rider Erynn Ballard, aboard Hera van de Kouterhoeve, took sixth with 1000 points and a time of 54.31 seconds. American riders Leslie Howard and Laura Kraut took 8th & 9th place, and Christian Sorensen (CAN) took 12th.