The Masters 2004

Another Fantastic Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows, southwest of Calgary, Alberta, is a magical place.  In early 1975, the facility opened its doors to the world and has never looked back.  Ron and Marg Southern, along with daughters Nancy and Linda, had a dream to create an international show grounds out of a 300-acre feed lot.  There have been highs and lows along the way, as there is with any business, but the former always outweighed the latter.  In 2002, Spruce Meadows earned L’Annee Hippique’s title of Best Event Show Jumping Outdoors.  It is a title well deserved.  In 2004, $5.4 million in prize money was awarded at the Spruce Meadows’ Tournaments.

I first attended The Masters in 2001 and I hope to continue to attend this incredible show on an annual basis.  Everything about The Masters is special, from the manicured lawns and spectacular flowers (four metric tonnes of flowers are flown in from the Netherlands for The Masters each year), to the totem poles and charming bronzes sculptures of children at play.

If gardening isn’t your thing, you can always go for a the horse power and test drive a Jeep/Chrysler/ Dodge product.  Or perhaps sit down and enjoy the entertaining Spruce Meadows Prairie Dogs, sponsored by Kozy Shack Puddings (don’t forget your free sample!).  Or how about shopping?  The Equi-fair features all things equine from books to art to tack to feed and covers 100,000 sq. ft.  The Marketplace offers unique gift items including jewelry, candles, clothes, woodwork and hats. 

Seeing as how the world’s best show jumpers are gathered at Spruce Meadows, perhaps you are looking for something with international flare?  The BP Festival of Nations is open every day, offering food, music and shopping from your choice of twelve nations.  I can personally recommend the perogies from the Polish pavilion, sausage rolls and double Gloucester cheese from Great Britain and Purdy’s ice creams from Canada!

I know, enough already about the “fringe benefits” and on with the show!

Wednesday, September 8

The Spruce Meadows Masters kicks things off with competition in the All Canada Ring.  The first class of the day was the $5000 Royal & Sunalliance 1.30m Welcome.  Forty-two horses took on the challenge with Mark Leyton from Newfoundland, Canada and his own mare, Nairobi, taking the win.   Leyton, a student of Jill Henselwood’s, only recently began showing at this level. Calgary’s own Mika Buckwold on her chestnut, Belgian gelding, Huxley, were in reserve.   In the $8500 Gienow Windows & Doors 1.40 m Table A, American Nicole Simpson (celebrating her birthday) of Hidden Valley, California with El Campeon’s Tosca took the red.  Tosca, a Belgian mare by Casch, led from the second slot with a clear at an unbeatable time of 67.35.   Young Mark Leyton, riding Nairboi once more, entered the ring as Simpson left, and ended up taking the blue with a time of 69.13.

The final class of the day in the All Canada Ring was the $10,000 Bantrel Welcome.  There were twenty-five entries from across North America.  Early in the going Polyfax, a Westphalian stallion ridden by Roberto Teran (of Columbia but a resident rider for King Ridge Stables in King, Ontario) took the lead with a fast clear.  However, fellow King Ridge rider, Hugh Graham and Promise, previous winners of the Chrysler Leading Canadian at The Masters, jumped into the lead with a clear and a time of 63.44, which would prove unbeatable

At 1:00pm sharp, competition in the International Ring began with the $25,000 Cinergy Cup.  Forty-six of the best horse and rider combinations in the world took part.  Course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela was the designer.  With 38 years of experience, he would be able to provide the kind of courses that make a rider think!  Much to the delight of the fans, Captain Canada, Ian Millar, and his Olympic mount, Promise Me, posted the first clear.  A few rides later and veteran Frenchman, Michel Robert, and his own Selle Francais gelding, Galet d’Auzay, posted a steady, clean trip.  Roberts’ score seemed to set off a chain reaction and clear rounds came in quick succession from speedy Americans Rich Fellers (McGuinness) and Beezie Madden (Conquest II), as well as Wim Schroeder from the Netherlands with Eurocommerce Vancouver.

Nick Skelton and one of Lisa Hale’s lovely stallions, Arko III, left the jumps untouched but picked up two time faults on their way round.  Teammate Michael Whitaker and Portofino 63 did the same, as did American Clare Bronfman with Irco Sun.  Germany’s Christian Ahlmann and Coester, a gray Holsteiner by Calato, picked up a heartbreaking 1 time fault.  Jaime Guerra of Mexico, who resides and trains in the Netherlands, and Splendid VD Hefferink also went clean but slow, for an eventual 9th place finish.

Lauren Hough and Clasiko looked splendid as always, but also picked up 2 time faults.  American Mary Soland and RMW Lorenz, went for and achieved a steady clear.  Kim Farlinger, who is in her first year of grand prix competition (and what a year it has been!) started her first visit to The Masters off on a high note, posting a clear round at a decent time, good enough for 4th place.  Farlinger’s coach, Jill Henselwood, also went clean but at a slower pace with Juniper Farms’ Special Ed.   Beezie Madden returned with her second ride of the afternoon, her Olympic ride, Authentic, and matched Conquest’s score, although they couldn’t match the chestnut’s fabulous time.  At the bottom of the order, Jennifer Crooks, who rides for Ireland although she lives and trains in Portland, Washington, joined the eleven faultless others. Ludo Philippaerts and Tauber VH Kapelhof gave the final fence a good rap, bouncing the rail in its cups, but all was well for a final placing of 2nd to that great speed horse, Conquest II.

With barely a break in the action, it was time for the $30,000 Finning Welcome, one of the qualifiers for the $1 million CN International.  Thirty horses came forward.  Megan Lamaze and Chardo were first in.  They posted a smooth, clear round but picked up a tough 1 time fault.  At a competition like Spruce Meadows, 1 time fault is all it takes to send you back to the barns.  Robert Smith, son of legendary show jumper Harvey, and Marius Claudius, a powerful Irish stallion, had the first true clear at a stunning time of 69.655, almost 20 full seconds faster then Lamaze.  The course would prove to suit the British riders, seeing four finishing in the top seven. 

Philippe le Jeune of Belgium riding Karioka de Follee and, once again, Ian Millar for Canada riding In Style, both posted clear rounds but not near fast enough to catch the leader, Robert Smith.  Nick Skelton, whom it is so wonderful to see out of forced retirement and competing once more, was riding Russell, a grey holsteiner stallion by Corofino.  Russell is deceptively fast, and one can never count Skelton out.  The pair took 1 full second off Smith’s time, moving them into 1st place.  Scott Smith, from North Yorkshire in England, a veteran of eighteen Nations Cup teams, and former pupil of Nick Skelton, was determined to keep up the side.  He and Cabri d’elle, also jumped clean with a time good enough for 4th.  The only rider to stop the Brits from a clean sweep was the master himself, Ludger Beerbaum of Germany and Gladdys S, with whom he won his eighth German Championship earlier this year.  Their clear at a time of 69.772 was good enough for 3rd.

Thursday, September 9

The All Canada Ring was up and running at 8:00am with the $5000 Canadian Utilities Cup.  Spruce Meadows’ own Prowler SM, ridden by Irishman Jon Garner, took the win.  Second place went to the last rider in the class, Sarah Ballou of Grass Valley, California riding her own Shannondale Truman, an Irish gelding.   This class was followed by the $15,000 Akita Drilling Cup.  Canadian Eric Lamaze with a new ride, Tinka’s Lady, thrilled the crowds with his normal fast jump off style.  In 2nd place was Andrea Strain of Langley, British Columbia with Cappucino.  The final class for the day was the $15,000 AON Reed Stenhouse Table A jumper.  Roberto Teran and Polyfax, 2nd on day one of The Masters, improved by one to take the win.  In 2nd was Canadian Cathleen Calvert, who lives and trains in La Jolla, California, with Major Bubbles, an Irish mare who isn’t keen on making her way into the ring, but very eager to go upon arrival!

In the International Ring, at 12 noon, the prestigious $25,000 Prudential Steel Cup took place.  Many entries just couldn’t make the time, accumulating 1 time fault each.  Eight of the thirty-five moved on to the jump off, including Eric Lamaze with another new ride, Lorrain Z, a Belgian mare by Lord Z.   First back was Rodrigo Pessoa (much to the delight of his very vocal fan base at Spruce Meadows) with Harry Potter, an Oldenburg gelding by Quickstar.  They were putting in a beautiful, precise clean when the rail at the penultimate fence came down.  Ludger Beerbaum with Champion du Lys put in a textbook round, moving into the lead.  Leslie Howard and It’s Cruising, an Irish gelding that made more fans each time he entered the ring, took two rails, dropping to 7th.  Wim Schroeder of the Netherlands with Eurocommerce Berlin, a holsteiner stallion by Cassini (the same sire as Canadian Mac Cone’s Cybella), also had an awesome ride but couldn’t catch Beerbaum on the clock.  Robert Smith with Mr. Springfield smoked around the course, surpassing Beerbaum, taking and keeping the lead.  American Lauren Hough (Casadora), Koen Vereecke of Belgium (Sarah de St. Pierre) and Eric Lamaze of Canada (Lorrain Z) filled out the rest of the top eight placings.

The final class of day two was the $35,000 Cana Cup, the other qualifier for the $1 million CN International.   Thirty-one competitors came forward with just five going clear in the first round.  The course was tough with fence 7, a huge oxer, 8, a liverpool and 9, a square oxer all proving difficult.

Once again, the Brits dominated, with Nick Skelton and Robert Smith both in the jump off.   Skelton and Russell were first back, riding in under the famous Spruce Meadows clock tower to his signature “Austin Powers” theme music.  They posted a very fast time, but picked up faults at 5a.  Philippe Le Jeune of Belgium with Kashmir VH Schuttershof, a Belgian stallion by Nabab de Reve, faulted at 5b as well as the last.   Michael Robert of France, who has competed for over 20 years at Spruce Meadows, was next.  Robert and Galet d’Auzay were foot perfect and would take the win, his first at Spruce since 1982.  Christian Ahlmann (GER)and Coester, gave 5a a good rap but were unscathed, and posted the only other double-clear to finish 2nd.  Robert Smith and Marius Claudius finished up in 3rd.

Friday, September 10 – The Encana Night of the Horse

Friday at The Masters is the Encana Night of the Horse.  In the All Canada Ring, competition began at 10:00am with the $6000 Canadian Utilities Cup.  Even with the cold temperatures, the stands were full of spectators from the beginning.  The riders really seemed to figure the course out and almost 50% proceeded on to the jump off.   It was Calgary’s own Tani Anderson riding Maya, a 6-year old Dutch warmblood mare, who would take the red ribbon.  Mika Buckwold, also of Calgary, and her own Huxley took the reserve spot.  The $13,000 Weyerhaeuser Cup was also hotly contested with Cathleen Calvert and Prinzess 315 taking the win.  California girl, Nicole Simpson, with El Campeon’s Tosca had to settle for 2nd place. 

The final non-FEI competition in the All Canada Ring for The Masters was the $25,000 Phillips, Hager and North Barrage.  Twenty-three competitors started, with nine moving on.  Eric Lamaze and Pulque, a grey gelding by Concorde, put in a double clear with an incredible time of 41.86.  Roberto Teran and Polyfax placed second, also clear but almost three full seconds slower than Lamaze and Pulque.  .

As for the International Ring, the Evening of the Horse began with the $100,000 Encana Cup.  Thirty-eight horses were put forward, with thirty returning to the barn after their first round.  Britain’s Scott Smith returned with Landwind 19.  This pair had led off the competition however a refusal at the planks (6) and faults at the Encana vertical dropped them to 8th.   Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Lorrain Z, a Belgian mare by Lord Z, were next.  They brought the crowds to their feet with a clear at a competitive time of 47.970.  American Anne Kursinski shattered Lamaze’s time but picked up faults at fence 6.  Molly Ashe and Cocu, formerly ridden by Mac Cone and Leslie Howard, were next.  Cocu seems more settled with Ashe and had a terrific clean go, moving past Lamaze and into the top spot. 

Jessica Kurten from Ireland performed a beautiful turn back from the double to the Encana vertical, but faulted elsewhere.  Rodrigo Pessoa, entering under the clock tower as his video played on the jumbo-tron above, is always dangerous in a jump off.  He and Baloubet du Rouet, his Selle Francais stallion by Galoubet, put in an amazing round.  If juniors could watch this jump off round on video, they would learn just how to do it!  The round was economical, smooth and quiet.  Not a rail was touched and the time of 39.95 would be unbeatable.  Norman Dello Joio and Quriel (5th) and Meredith Michaels Beerbaum and Check Mate 4 (7th) rounded out the top placings.

The fans were still buzzing over the Encana Cup when the winners of the incredibly popular Name the Foal contest were introduced.  Each year, Sun Media sponsors a contest in which people are invited to name three of the lovely Hanoverian foals bred at Spruce Meadows.  Tens of thousands of entries are submitted from around the world.  The winners are treated to an all expenses paid trip to The Masters, an opportunity to meet “their” foal, receive a stall plate and other lovely gifts from the organizers.   The winners for 2004 were Rebecca Monahan of Ireland (“Rialto”), Cody and Cory Colwell of Calgary, Alberta (“Eros de Saltant”) and Stacey Davis of New Jersey, USA (“Palladium”).

The highlight of the evening for many people is the $40,000 Atco Electric Circuit Six Bar.  The format is simple, with riders proceeding down a line of verticals, each slightly higher than the previous, with the final fence the highest of all.  In 20004, it came down to two riders, Jessica Kurten (IRL) and Jaime Guerra (MEX).  Of twenty-five entries only there two cleared the round 4 height.  They conferred and decided to share the 1st place cheque.  However, both agreed to attempt the record of 6’ 11”.   Guerra’s ride, Royal Beach Cupid, put on the brakes but Kurten and Castle Forbes Libertina sailed over, putting their names in the record books and earning a bonus of $10,000.

Saturday, September 11 (“Holland Day”)

The International Ring got going at 11:00am with the $75,000 BP Cup.  The course is long in distance, the fences not as big as in a grand prix but just as testing, and includes the Derby Bank (the highest in the world), a dry ditch, road crossing and other unique obstacles.  The time allowed was 102 seconds and, as a speed class, jumping faults would be converted into time faults.

The first four riders collected four faults a piece (two having trouble with the bank), but Jaime Guerra (MEX) still had a competitive enough time to lie in first place.  American veteran rider Hap Hansen, a competitor at Spruce Meadows since the late 1970s, and His Horse posted the first clear but his time still wasn’t good enough to pass the Mexican.   Clare Bronfman, a former amateur/owner until 2000, when she set her sights on riding in the grand prix ring, also went clean and with a time of 90.252, moved into the lead. 

The next half dozen entries all had troubles, many with the infamous bank.  Nicole Simpson’s El Campeon’s Landstreicher, slid down on his bottom, tipping onto his side while his rider rolled safely away.  Cathleen Calvert’s Friponnier II negotiated the bank itself but refused the vertical at the bottom.  Michael Whitaker withdrew Fleur 195 from the competition after a “no” from the experience mare.  Lauren Hough and Casadora were eliminated after two very definite refusals.

Ludger Beerbaum and Champion du Lys, a grey stallion by Laeken, put on a lovely display of show jumping and moved into 1st , going fast and clean at 87.490 and bringing the almost 50,000 spectators  to their feet.  Beezie Madden and the ever popular, handy speed specialist, Conquest II chased Beerbaum’s time, giving it a great effort good enough for 4th in the final standings.  Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts and the young stallion Tauber VH Kapelhof were next.  They motored around the course, the horse looking comfortable and happy, to cross the finish at 87.475, shaving just fractions of a second off of Beerbaum’s time.  Others tried to catch them but only one came close, Richard Spooner from Burbank, California.  Spooner and Bradford put in the fastest time of the day at 80.751 but with faults at 10a and 11, finishing up in 3rd.

The $250,000 BMO Financial Group Nations Cup was next.  Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, U.S.A., Netherlands and Germany were all fielding teams.  Riders started out over a vertical of rails depicting the Union Jack.  Swinging right, they took a vertical followed by an oxer.  Left past the spectators on the lawn, and back up the ring to a square oxer at four.   Riders then had to gallop their horses for the almost 14’ of open water (5), followed by the Canada planks.   The planks were followed by a double combination (7a,b) of oxer to vertical.  This entire line would ride surprisingly well.  Turning right, riders took a vertical then crossed the ring over a big triple bar (the Ireland fence) followed by a testing triple of vertical, two strides, vertical, one stride, to an oxer.  This combination would account for 48 faults in the first round.   The triple was followed by the famous (or infamous) bike fence, which always catches out a few, and the final fence, decorated with ancient Greek coins in honour of the Athens Olympics.

The first round went well.  Germany, with Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann, Lars Nieberg and Ludger Beerbaum finished on 0 faults, throwing away Ahlmann’s 4-fault round.  The United States, with Mclain Ward, Alison Firestone, Richard Spooner and Beezie Madden carried only 4 faults forward to round two.  Belgium and Great Britain were on 16 faults each, Canada on 17, and Netherlands (with only three riders, Wim and Gerco Schroeder and Albert Zoer) on 28.

In round two, fence 10c still caused the most trouble, but 7a, 11 and 12 also posed a challenge.  Belgium, with Philippe Le Jeune, Koen Vereecke, Jos Lansink and Ludo Philippaerts managed a clear (Lansink and Turbo R) but still finished with a two round score of 32 faults.  This would tie them with Great Britain (Robert Smith, Scott Smith, Mark Armstrong, and Nick Skelton) for overall 4th.   Canada had a terrific second round with clears from Eric Lamaze and Tempete VH Lindehof and Ian Millar with Olympic mount Promise Me.  Carrying 8 faults from round two, their final score of 25 faults would put them in 3rd.  The United States, with just one less fault than Canada, would finish 2nd with the Olympic champions, Germany, taking the top spot.

Sunday, September 12 (“British Day”)

At 10:30am, in the All-Canada Ring, the new $75,000 Molson Cup (an FEI competition) took place.   This was the final in the inaugural Molson Six Pack Series.  There were thirty-four entries from around the world.  First in was Molly Ashe with Concerto, a Holsteiner stallion by Contendor.    They gave the final fence a good rattle, but it stayed up.  91.36 was the time and the challenge was set.  Rich Fellers and McGuinness, and Irish bred gelding by Cavalier Royale, shattered Ashe’s time, posting a slick 82.77, good enough in the end for 3rd. 

Fifth in the ring was Beezie Madden with Conquest II.  Like Concerto, Conquest II rapped the last fence but left it up.  Their time of 80.59 would prove unbeatable.  Roberto Teran of Columbia and Polyfax gave it their all and finished on 85.39, for 4thplace.   Mclain Ward and Quickstar II put in a great four-fault performance for 5th and Canadian favourite, Hugh Graham, and Promise, a grey Belgian mare by Pion, were clean for 6th.  Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa had set a good pace on Harry Potter but, ironically, had fence 7, sponsored by a Brazilian beer, down for four faults and an adjusted time of 89.63.  Richard Spooner, who won parts 3 and 5 of the series, had an unfortunate round with Bradford, finishing well out of the money.

Leading into the feature class was the not-to-be-missed Parade of Nations.  Riders from each country rode their horses around the International Ring whilst the bands played.  Music and pageantry is a big part of Spruce Meadows.   The Queen’s Division Minden Band, from Bassingbourn, England were absolutely fabulous, as were  The King’s Own Calgary Regiment, the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, the HMCS Tecumseh Naval Reserve Band and the award winning Calgary Stetson Show Band.  The Sam Steele Scouts, Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) Mounted Troop, members of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry Mounted Troop, all took part in the parade, as did the winners of the Telus Battle of the Breeds: Team Appaloosa.

After the fabulous parade, the fans were hyped up even more for the $1 million CN International.  The top riders of the world were at Spruce Meadows, each getting just one chance to win this most coveted of titles.  Forty-three would begin, with the top twelve moving onto Round Two.

Leopoldo Palacios’s course was not exactly a walk in the park.   As is the norm with Palacios’s courses, the time of 101 seconds would be tight.  The course began over a green and white oxer, followed by a bright orange and white vertical.  Turning left, riders took the “France” oxer  then jumped a 5’ 2” CN vertical into the gathered crowds.  Making a sharp left, riders took the “Italian” oxer, followed by a beautiful oxer decorated with elegant, ornate gazebos.  Another vertical was followed by the open water  (13 ½’), after which riders faced a triple of vertical, oxer, vertical.  Swinging left past the clock tower, riders were faced with another vertical followed by a big oxer, measuring 5’ in height and 6’ 1” in width.  Another left turn to a vertical, followed by a double of triple bar to oxer, and finishing the course over the Canada planks standing at 5’ 3”.  Fences 1 through 6 rode well, fences 7 to 14 proved incredibly challenging.

The first rider of the afternoon was Britain’s Robert Smith and Mr. Springfield.  To the joy of the crowds celebrating British Day at The Masters, they went clear!   Could the course be easier than it looked?  A resounding “no” would prove the answer as the next twenty-three riders collected anything from 4 to 25 faults, and even elimination.  The triple would account for 80 faults and one rider described it as “…a blur.”  Sheila Burke and Caya had a fantastic four-fault ride as did Anne Kursinski with Eros and Gerco Schroeder with Eurocommerce Monaco.  By the time Clare Bronfman entered the ring, the sunny morning weather had given way to clouds and pouring rain.  After faults at fence 3 and a refusal at 6, she wisely called it a day.

Philippe Le Jeune (BEL) and Karioka del Follee had spectators sitting on the edge of their damp seats, but a plank at the last was enough to keep them from the final twelve.  Scott Smith (no relation to Robert or Harvey) wins the award for the most dramatic fall of The Masters when he did a complete somersault flip over Cabri D’Elle’s head at fence 4.  Horse and rider were both fine.  Canadian Eric Lamaze and Tempete VH Lindehof matched Le Jeune’s round, foot perfect until the last, much to the disappointment of the spectators (although the fans at Spruce Meadows cheer loudly for everyone, appreciating good horsemanship in general).

Canadian Harold Chopping and the big black mare, Kathleen, were also putting in a superb round but were caught out at the penultimate fence, 13b.  Ian Millar, like his teammates, had a case of four-faultitis, taking a rail at fence 7.  With twenty entries to go, he was the fastest of the four-faulters, but this would soon change.  Ireland’s Jessica Kurten and Quibell followed Millar and soundly beat his time with a very fast go.

Twenty-fifth in the ring, Ludo Philippaerts and Parco, half brother to Philippaerts’ BP Cup winner, posted the second clear of the afternoon.   He was followed by the Netherland’s Wim Schroeder and Eurocommerce Berlin, who made it three.    Germany’s Lars Nieberg and Lucie 55, who won Top Hanoverian of The Masters, looked terrific and picked up only four faults at fence 11.  Michael Whitaker and Portofino 63 were also looking spot on when the Canada Planks caught them out at the last. 

Nick Skelton, always a favourite at Spruce Meadows, had a beautiful round on Arko III, a ten year old Oldenburg stallion, to join the elusive group of clear-rounders.   A handful of four-fault rounds followed until Marco Kutscher of Germany and Montender 2 entered the ring.  Kutscher, coached by Ludger Beerbaum, and Montender 2, a Dutch stallion by Contender, didn’t touch a rail and it was now five clears in round one.  His teammate, Meredith Michaels Beerbaum followed with Shutterfly, a Hanoverian gelding, and matched his score.   Another member of Team Germany, Christian Ahlmann and Coester, a grey holsteiner gelding, was the only rider to fault at fence 2.  However, their very swift pace would see that they qualified for round two as one of the fastest four faulters.

The fortieth entry, Jos Lansink and the stunning holsteiner stallion, Cumano, cantered into the ring in sunshine.  The lovely stallion by Cassini didn’t touch a rail and added his name to the list of those carrying on.  Favourites Ludger Beerbaum with Gladdys S and Rodrigo Pessoa with Baloubet de Rouet would take the last two spots for round two.

Round two had a time allowed of 79 seconds with the biggest challenge, a triple of oxer, oxer, vertical at the end of the course.  First to return was Beezie Madden (USA) with Authentic, her Olympic ride.  They put in their usual stylish performance with only one rail, at 10b, for a two-round total of 8 faults.  Jessica Kurten (IRE) and Quibell were next.  Their round started out well but fell apart after a rail at fence 8 for a second round total of 17 faults.  Germany’s Christian Ahlmann and Coester would record the only perfect round, finishing on a score of 4 faults in total to take the lead.  His teammate, Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, didn’t have such luck, with a refusal at fence 2 and faults at the triple.

Britain’s Nick Skelton returned with Arko III.  The lovely stallion barely touched fence 6b but luck wasn’t with them and the rail slowly fell to the ground.  Ludo Philippaerts and Parko had troubles all around while Wim Schroeder took a swim in the liverpool, causing elimination.
Jos Lansink proved why he was an Olympic gold medallist and a World Cup Champion by going clean with Cumano.  There was audible disappointment from the fans when the announcer stated that the pair had accumulated 1 time fault.  Although perfection is preferred, they were still in 1st .

Robert Smith, the lead off clear from Round One, returned with Mr. Springfield.  Their second round was just as superb as the first.  Unfortunately, a rail at 10a would drop them to a final 3rd place.  Marco Kutscher of Germany with Montender 2 rubbed fence 5, but it stayed.  However, they rubbed 6a, and it didn’t.  Ludger Beerbaum returned with Gladdys S, a 12-year old Westphalian mare.  Their round was terrific and fans were wondering could Beerbaum pull off a second CN victory in 3 years when 10b came tumbling down.  The final challenger, the number one rider in the world, Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil, entered to loud screams from his many (and mostly) female fans. 

Pessoa and the very experienced Baloubet du Rouet, started out well.  However, an unfortunate bad slip on the turn coming into fence 4 was all it took.  Four faults there and at fence 9, left Pessoa in 8th and Jos Lansink and Cumano as the winners of the $1 million CN International for 2004.
Results – CN International – Sunday, September 12, 2004

1st Cumano   Jos Lansink (BEL)  Jean Van Der Linden
2nd  Coester   Christian Ahlmann (GER) Marion Jauss
3rd Mr. Springfield  Robert Smith (GBR)  J. McCloskey
4th Gladdys S  Ludger Beerbaum (GER) M. Winter-Schulze
5th Montender 2  Marco Kutscher (GER)  Alexander Beerbaum
6th Arko III  Nick Skelton (GBR)  Lisa & John Hales

For full results, visit www.sprucemeadows.com

THIS JUST IN…congratulations to Eric Lamaze on winning the $100,000 Canada Cup at the Tournament of Champions in Palgrave, Ontario.  Lamaze won the final leg of the Cup riding Pulque, owned by Stacey Krembil.  However, he won the overall title with Tempete VH Lindehof, owned by Lamaze’s Torrey Pines and Ashland Stables.  The Tournament of Champions Horse Show is an exceptional competition with the charming, fun atmosphere of a fall fair.  There are activities for the entire family.  Tournament of Champions is a major supporter of the Children’s Make A Wish Foundation and, for the sixth time, awarded a pony to a child, making their dream come true.  For more information, visit www.tournamentofchampions.ca

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