Eric Lamaze of CAN riding Coco Bongo. (Photo © Spruce Meadows media Service).
Following a week-long break from competition, Spruce Meadows’ Summer Series continues this week with its ‘Canada One’ CSI 4* Tournament. International competition began on Thursday with three contests featured in the Meadows on the Green. Eric Lamaze (CAN) won the highlight $34,000 Cargill Cup 1.50m in the afternoon. Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) and Eric Navet (FRA) topped the two $34,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m competitions earlier in the day.
The ‘Canada One’ Tournament features over $431,000 in prize money with top horses and riders from around the world competing in eight FEI sanctioned events through Sunday, June 28. The weekend’s headlining events are the $34,000 WestJet Cup, the $34,000 Duncan Ross Cup, the $34,000 CIBC Cup, the $34,000 West Canadian Cup, and the $126,000 Imperial Challenge.
Peter Grant (CAN) is the international course designer in the Meadows on the Green for this week’s ‘Canada One’ Tournament. In Thursday’s $34,000 Cargill Cup 1.50m, Grant saw 27 entries, with nine advancing to the jump-off and five double clear rounds.
Eric Lamaze and Artisan Farms LLC’s Coco Bongo led the way in 43.67 seconds. Paulo Santana (ESA) and Taloubet finished second in 44.31 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Chaqui Z took the third place prize in 44.54 seconds. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) guided Frans Lens’s Bisquet Balou to fourth place in 46.16 seconds, and Nina Fagerstrom (FIN) jumped into fifth place aboard Finca Horses, Inc.’s Flower in a time of 48.61.
Coco Bongo, a ten-year-old Rheinlander stallion (Caretino x Calido), was originally purchased as a mount for Artisan Farms’ young rider Caitlin Ziegler. Ziegler showed the horse throughout 2014, but when he started to show his quality, it was decided that Lamaze should take the horse to the next level. The rider began competing Coco Bongo this winter and gives the stallion high praise.
“I like him because he really tries to leave the fences up,” Lamaze remarked. “He is very careful and he is very scopey. He is not always predictable; sometimes he will back up to something that you are not expecting him to, but I am getting to learn a lot about him here. I think by the time he leaves Spruce Meadows he is for sure going to be a better horse.”
“It is lovely to ride a horse with that quality,” Lamaze continued. “With all of these skinny fences and planks, your odds improve a lot when you have a horse this careful, and he is careful every time out. He is a horse that consistently tries to leave the rails up and he is a horse that has the scope to do big things.”
Coco Bongo was competing with Great Britain’s Daniel Neilson before Artisan Farms bought him. He then jumped at the 1.45m level with Ziegler last summer.
“We thought it was a lovely horse for Caitlin, but right from the very beginning he showed way more quality than we expected,” Lamaze noted. “I felt he needed to do some bigger classes, so we made a switch. I really like him.”
Coco Bongo has had some good results since starting with Lamaze, but the rider is taking his time to develop the horse a little more.
“I have a lot of respect for how careful he is, so I do not want to risk taking it too fast,” Lamaze explained. “The jump-off two weeks ago was the first time that I really asked him to go fast, so I learned that he can actually move fast. That is why I am picking these 1.50m competitions, to try to get into these jump-offs and ask him to go quick. He is so careful that I am always a little bit timid to really send him fast in the 1.60m or the 1.55m. This is a great height for him to learn to be quick. Today I went faster than I even thought he could go, so I was happy.”
Final Results: $34,000 Cargill Cup 1.50m
1. $8,500 COCO BONGO Rheinlander / S / 10 PRH Caretino x Calido ERIC LAMAZE (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/43.67
2. $6,800 TALOUBET Dutch Warmblood / G / 15 Baloubet de Rouet x Quidam de Revel PAULO SANTANA (ESA) WELLINGTON, FL Paulo Sergio Mateo Santana, Filho: 0/0/44.31
3. $5,100 CHAQUI Z Zangersheide / S / 9 Chacco Blue x Quilana Z SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL) WELLINGTON, FL Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/0/44.54
4. $3,400 BISQUET BALOU Warmblood / S / 10 Balou du Rouet x Polydor NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) GRUITRODE Frans Lens: 0/0/46.16
5. $2,380 FLOWER Belgian Warmblood / M / 10 Bon Ami x Randel Z NINA FAGERSTROM (FIN) CUMERLAND, ON Finca Horses Inc: 0/0/48.61
6. $1,870 PEPPERPOT Irish Sport Horse / M / 13 Heritage Fortunus x Kilkenny Trup TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/4/42.78
7. $1,360 BALDIRA Oldenburg / M / 10 Baloubet du Rouet x Carthago RAY TEXEL (USA) SANTA ROSA, CA Mirador Equestrian: 0/4/44.55
8. $1,020 BREITLING LS Warmblood / S / 9 Quintero x Accord II BEEZIE MADDEN (USA) CAZENOVIA, NY Abigail Wexner: 0/4/45.42
9. $1,020 CHALLENGE VD BEGIJNAKKER Zangersheide / G / 13 Chellano Z x Palestro VD Begijnakker NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) GRUITRODE Bart Keisse: 0/4/48.16
10. $850 FORTIN Zangersheide / G / 10 Unknown x Unknown ANTONIO CHEDRAUI (MEX) MEXICO DF Antonio Chedraui: 1/77.17
11. $850 IZZY MIAKI Swedish Warmblood / G / 11 Casa Grande x Cardento GUSTAVO RAMOS (MEX) MEXICO Gustavo Ramos: 1/80.45
12. $850 ORBETELLO Oldenburg / S / 12 Orlando x Landgraf I
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA) NEW YORK, NY Hampton Farms LLC: 4/72.25
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service