Although the Spruce Meadows Masters ended with the $1 Million CN International as a perfect finale, many people (myself included) are still riding high on the pure excitement and exhilaration it provided.
No one could have asked for better weather and it was fantastic to see record crowds- 255 204 for the entire tournament- coming out to witness some of the best competition the sport has to offer.
And really, no one could have asked for better results either.
The story of this tournament?
Lamaze, Lamaze, Lamaze, Lamaze.
There is a reason why he is still at number one in the Rolex Rankings. He had a lamazing tournament not only on Hickstead, but on Coriana as well.
Here is a summary of his tournament:
Wednesday: 4 faults in the Akita Drilling Cup with Coriana and a win on Hickstead in the Finning Welcome- $10 500
Thursday: Win on Coriana in the ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup- $12 000
Friday: 4 faults in the Encana Cup with Coriana for 8th- $2 700
Saturday: Win on Coriana in the Suncor Energy Cup- $24 000 and double clear on Hickstead in the BMO Nation’s Cup, Canada finishes 2nd (Team prize money- $75 000)
Sunday: Win on Hickstead in the CN International- $325 000 + $50 000 bonus + $10 000= $385 000 + Mercedes-Benz for a year
With this week’s wins, Lamaze’s career earnings at Spruce Meadows now sit at $3,356,572.
Watch Eric Lamaze and Hickstead Winning Ride at the $1 Million CN International
I also wanted to rewind a bit and revisit the the results from Sunday’s CN International. In second place (prize money of $200 000) it was Niels Bruynseels (BEL) on the 10 year old mare Nasa, and in third (prize money $100 000) it was nineteen year old Martin Fuchs (SUI) on the 15 year old gelding Principal 12. A huge congratulations to both of these men as they rode fantastically and really put the pressure on Eric and Hickstead.
Another thing I never got to was the RCMP Musical Ride! This was the first time I saw it in person and it was truly amazing (and entertaining!). Seeing those horses and riders perform the intricate patterns is awe inspiring, even more amazing when you consider that a lot of the RCMP members had no previous riding experience. I did take pictures, but from ground level it is hard to capture what they are doing so if you ever have the chance to go see them performing, do!
Anyway, I got the press release in my inbox saying that 62 horses boarded the Spruce Meadows Boeing 747 charter flight destined for Frankfurt today and the rest (including Hickstead) will depart over the next couple days on other charter flights and by ground. So Calgary has said its goodbyes to the best horses and riders in the world for another year, but I can confirm that we are already looking forward to 2012!