Nick Dello Joio and Contiki. (Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
Also competing on Thursday, USA’s Nick Dello Joio captured his first ever win in Spruce Meadows’ International Ring. The 26-year-old rider jumped Coker Farm’s Contiki to victory in the $34,000 Westmoreland Coal Cup 1.50m. Out of 27 starters, nine advanced to the jump-off, where the pair completed the fastest of six double clear rounds.
Jaime Azcarraga (MEX) guided Matador to second place honors in 39.57 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) stopped the clock in 39.92 seconds to earn the third place prize with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park, and Conor Swail finished fourth in 39.97 seconds on Susan and Ariel Grange’s Grafton.
“I am thrilled,” Dello Joio smiled following his win. “My horse was great and I could not be happier with him. He was great yesterday. He was a little bit fresh, but still managed a good clear round and was tenth. Today, I had a hard rub at the in of the combination, but luck was on my side.”
“The jump-off really suited him,” Dello Joio continued. “It was not a lot of tight turns. It was a lot more of an open gallop, and he covers the grounds so quickly and he is such a fast horse that it was great.”
Contiki, a nine-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Contendro x Calido I), has had other top finishes in Toronto and Wellington with Dello Joio and also showed in Old Salem in preparation for this summer’s competition.
Commenting on where the win ranks in his career, the rider stated, “It’s up there. Spruce Meadows is my favorite venue in the world. It is by far the best venue in the world and to be able to win in the main ring is great. I have knocked on the door a few times, but never pulled it off, so it was great to do it in such a fast jump-off with so many good riders right behind me. Second, third and fourth place were three of the best in the world, so it felt good. It is also nice to get a win early. It puts you at ease a little bit and now we can kind of relax and carry on with the rest of our summer series here.”
Thursday’s competition also featured FEI competition in the All Canada Ring in the morning with a course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA). Eduardo Menezes (BRA) was the winner of the $8,000 Omega Alpha Cup 1.45m aboard his own Catalina. The pair topped a two-horse jump-off over Mario Deslauriers (USA) with Lisa Deslauriers’ Scout de la Cense. Reed Kessler (USA) finished third on one time fault aboard Kessler Show Stables’ KS Stakki.
The Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament, presented by ROLEX, continues on Friday with two features in the International Ring. Competition will begin in the afternoon with the $35,000 Encana Cup 1.45m followed by the $35,000 RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50m.
Final Results: $34,000 Westmoreland Coal Cup 1.50m
1. $8,500 CONTIKI Swedish Warmblood / G / 9 Contendro x Calido I
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA) WELLINGTON, FL Coker Farm: 0/0/38.89
2. $6,800 MATADOR Dutch Warmblood / S / 13 Indoctro x Corland
JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX) MEXICO CITY Jaime Azcarraga & Family: 0/0/39.57
3. $5,100 ROSANA DU PARK Schwaben / M / 10 Kannan x Ukase
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/39.92
4. $3,400 GRAFTON Selle Francais / S / 9 Calvaro x Vondeen
CONOR SWAIL (IRL) DARRAGH CROSS DOWN Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/0/39.97
5. $2,380 ATLANTIS Zangersheide / G / 12 Unknown x Unknown
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI) WELLINGTON, FL Samuel Parot: 0/0/40.86
6. $1,870 VERDI Warmblood / G / 13 Andiamo x Libero H
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Verdi Group: 0/0/41.23
7. $1,360 PEPPERPOT Irish Sport Horse / M / 13 Heritage Fortunus x Kilkenny Trup
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/4/37.42
8. $1,020 ATLANTIS T Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Padinus x Guidam
BRIAN MORTON (CAN) LANGLEY, BC Grafton Farm: 0/4/45.02
9. $1,020 AGAMEMNON Swedish Warmblood / G / 14 Briar x Unknown
ALEC LAWLER (USA) ATHERTON, CA Alec Lawler: 0/17/59.18
10. $850 CHECK PICOBELLO Z Zangersheide / G / 9 Cardento x Orlando
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 1/79.17
11. $850 EMILIE DE DIAMANT AS / M / 10 Unknown x Unknown
JACK HARDIN TOWELL JR. (USA) CAMDEN, SC Jennifer Gates: 1/79.55
12. $850 FORTIN Zangersheide / G / 10 Unknown x Unknown
ANTONIO CHEDRAUI (MEX) MEXICO DF Antonio Chedraui: 1/82.91
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service