Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park. (Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
The final competition on Thursday was the $50,000 Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m with a win for Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Rosana du Park. Twenty-six entries contested the first round course, with six moving forward to the jump-off and four double clear rounds.
Lamaze and Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park, a ten-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Ukase), soared to the win with a clear round in 42.48 seconds, last to go.
Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) finished second in 44.57 seconds aboard Ludo Philippaerts’ H&M Quenzo de la Roque. McLain Ward (USA) and Double H Farm & Francois Mathy’s HH Azur finished third with their time of 45.04 seconds, and Brian Morton (CAN) and Grafton Farm’s Atlantis T placed fourth in 49.32 seconds.
Lamaze and Rosana finished second two days in a row during last week’s ‘Canada One’ Tournament, but this time they had the advantage of going last in the jump-off.
“You cannot complain about being second at Spruce Meadows. I would take second any day, but in the other jump-offs I did not get to go last,” Lamaze noted. “Going last is always an advantage. You know exactly what you have to do and you know you have nobody behind you that can beat that time. A lot of these jump-offs, if you go earlier, you really have to risk everything because there is so much speed behind you and great riders. Going last is a big advantage in any competition.”
While he was waiting for his turn, Lamaze heard what was happening and knew what he had to do.
“They said that McLain went quite fast and then Nicola took the lead from him,” he detailed. “Rosana is really quick across the ground, so one to two was a good opportunity to make up some time, which I felt that I did. You could only go around the playpen to go to the Sun Life oxer, but I thought I was for sure on the inside track to the double. Then I did six strides, which I’m sure most people did. I do not think anybody risked five. Then I knew I was pretty close (to Nicola’s time). If I was not ahead, I was at least close. I just needed to not knock down the second to last jump and try to secure that turn. At the end, I saw a really forward distance and Rosana was really kind to me to make the effort that she did. I ended up quite far from the last jump, but that kind of gave me a little rhythm to finish up.”
Just ten years old, Rosana du Park started showing last year with Carly Anthony, and Lamaze took up the ride at the end of the summer. He spoke of how much she has improved this year and even throughout this series.
“Last year I struggled a bit with her here. It was her first time at Spruce Meadows. One of my riders, Carly Anthony, rode her here at the beginning and then I took her on at the end and I was not sure where she fit,” he remarked. “Then we came back this year and she has been great. I am a great believer that when you leave here, you know what you have and for sure the horses you came with are going to be improved. I think I came here with good horses and I am going to leave with better horses. This really tells you where you are.”
The ‘North American’ Tournament continues on Friday featuring the $50,000 LaFarge Cup 1.50m and the $34,000 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m.
Final Results: $50,000 Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.50m
1. $16,500 ROSANA DU PARK Schwaben / M / 10 Kannan x Ukase
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/42.48
2. $10,000 H&M QUENZO DE LA ROQUE Selle Francais / G / 11 Kannan x Jasmin
NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) GRUITRODE Ludo Philippaerts: 0/0/44.57
3. $7,500 HH AZUR Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 Thunder Van de Zwohoeve x Sir Lui
MCLAIN WARD (USA) BREWSTER, NY Double H Farm & Francois Mathy: 0/0/45.04
4. $5,000 ATLANTIS T Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Padinus x Guidam
BRIAN MORTON (CAN) LANGLEY, BC Grafton Farm: 0/0/49.32
5. $3,000 FIFTY FIFTY 111 Belgian Warmblood / M / 10 Action Breaker x Major de la Cour
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Arao Enterprises LLC: 0/4/43.11
6. $2,250 VICTOR Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Elmshorn x Grandeur
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Torrey Pines & Artisan Farms: 0/4/43.71
7. $1,500 BELLINDA Dutch Warmblood / M / 9 Namelus R x Hors La Loi II
KARA CHAD (CAN) CALGARY, AB Stone Ridge: 1/80.16
8. $1,250 BRIANDA Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Lupicor x Landeur
ALI WOLFF (USA) NEW ALBANY, OH John Wolff: 1/81.29
9. $1,000 FANANKA A Belgian Warmblood / M / 10 Chin Chin x Kannan
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Emanuel Andrade: 1/81.48
10. $1,000 BIJZONDER Dutch Warmblood / G / 9 Acodetto x Quite Easy
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL) WELLINGTON, FL Sweet Oak Farm: 4/76.83
11. $500 BON JOVI / G / 9 Verdi x Corland
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Emanuel Andrade: 4/76.88
12. $500 CLEAR ME Holstein / M / 10 Clearway x Contender
EDUARDO MENEZES (BRA) CARLSBAD, CA Ilan Ferder & Tal Milstein: 4/78.14
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service