Eric Lamaze (CAN) and 'Hickstead' in the QEII Cup

The end of the North American tournament also marked the end of the Spruce Meadows summer series. Many riders are now off to the States and Europe to compete out the rest of the summer before returning to Spruce Meadows in September for the Champions Welcome and the Masters.

Over the past 5 weeks of competition, $2,930,200 has been awarded in prize money with countless rounds from internationally ranked riders in 1.60m classes to juniors and amateurs in the 1.00m classes.

This biggest winners include McLain Ward (USA), Leslie Howard (USA), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Ian Millar (CAN), Richard Spooner (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Shane Sweetnam (IRL), Rich Fellers (USA), and Mario Deslauriers (USA)…just to name a few.

Notable efforts include that of Karter Duke (CAN) on her pony ‘Jewel’ in the Double Slalom going head to head with Kent Farrington and the history Caitlin Ziegler (USA) made by being the youngest (16) rider to win an FEI event in Spruce Meadows history. These both provide fantastic promise to the future of the sport and the continuing success of North American riders on the world stage.

McLain Ward had a great summer series with a number of big wins on a variety of great horses.

Now let me give you a little rundown of the Champions Welcome and a little tournament called the Masters that are both coming up at the beginning of September.

The Champions Welcome takes place September 1-4th and is basically a warm-up/acclimation tournament for horses and riders arriving for the Masters. Saying that, there is a World Cup qualifier, so it is expected to be well attended.

The Masters, as many of you probably know, is the largest tournament Spruce Meadows hosts and it is one of the richest in the world with prize money totalling $1,990,300. This year it takes place September 7-11th. Points of interest include the $350 000 BMO Nations Cup, the Telus battle of the breeds, the Mercedes-Benz Evening of the Horse, and of course, the $1million CN International as the finale on Sunday afternoon.

Here is Eric Lamaze and ‘Hickstead’ winning the CN International in 2007 just to give you an idea of the magnitude of the course and level of competition:

I find it entertaining the way they talk about ‘Hickstead’ then, compared to now. That was his rise to fame really, and he just kept on going. The little horse that could…certainly, if not the best, one of the best in the world today.

Anyways, that’s all I have! It was really fun covering the summer series and I hope that everyone enjoyed it. It was a great experience being able to go down into the ring with the ‘big boys’ (aka the professional photographers with cameras and lenses 10x the size of mine) and have the opportunity to take some good photos….well I tried anyways, some turned out!

I will leave you with one more reminder:

Name us to win a trip to Spruce Meadows! Entires must be in by July 31st!

 

More information about the Name the Foal Contest and entry methods can be found on the Spruce Meadows website.

Also, keep an eye on the Horse Junkies United Facebook page as I will start adding pictures from the Skyliner and North American soon!

Thanks for reading 🙂

* since the latest Facebook/Wordpress update, we’re having (annoying) technical issues with the “like” button…If you like this post, please press “share” instead. Many thanks! 🙂