Pedro Veniss (BRA) aboard For Felicia in the ATCO Founders Classic.
The ATCO Founders Classic 1.50m was the first competition held in the International Ring on Thursday with a win for Brazil’s Pedro Veniss aboard Hermann Theiss’s For Felicila. Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) set the track for 52 first-round starters, with 11 advancing to the jump-off, and six double clear rounds. Veniss and the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (For Pleasure x Espri) clocked the winning time of 42.53 seconds.
USA’s Andrew Ramsay took second and fourth place honors, finishing in the runner up position with The Doodle Group’s Cocq a Doodle in a time of 43.05 seconds, and placing fourth aboard The Stranger Group’s Stranger 30 in 43.70 seconds. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt jumped into third place with his time of 43.57 seconds riding Catokia 2. Olivier Robert took the fifth place prize for France riding Quenelle du Py through the timers in 43.80 seconds. Nigel Coupe jumped the final double clear round in 44.22 seconds to place sixth aboard John O’Halloran’s Jubilee III for Great Britain.
Veniss began riding For Felicila in January this year and described his winning mount as a lovely horse, adding, “She is really fast in the jump-off and she was very good today.”
He continued, “The first round was good. The time was a bit tight, but she jumped great. Then in the jump-off, I tried to go as fast as I could, and she was amazing. She has a really big canter, so I think I did less strides than the others to the last jump for sure, and maybe from one to two also.”
Veniss traveled to Spruce Meadows for the first time in 2015 when he was a part of the winning team for Brazil in the BMO Nations’ Cup and also placed third in the $1.5 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, aboard his top mount Quabri de l’Isle. The pair also recently jumped for Brazil at the Olympic Games on home soil in Rio.
“The grand prix is the goal. The prize money is really high, so we have the best riders in the world, but I think I have a really good horse that loves that ring,” Veniss noted. “He jumped beautiful here last year and was very good in the Olympic Games, and he jumped very good today, so he feels ready.”
While Quabri de l’Isle takes on the major tracks in Saturday’s BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $2 Million CP International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, this weekend, Veniss will jump For Felicila again in Saturday’s Suncor Winning Round competition.
His win with the mare on Thursday not only secured his qualification for the grand prix, but was also his first individual win ever at Spruce Meadows.
“This is my first win here, so I am very happy,” Veniss acknowledged. “This is a top show. I came here for the first time last year and we won the Nations’ Cup and I was third in the Grand Prix, and every week I have been thinking about coming back to Spruce Meadows.”
Final Results: ATCO Founders Classic 1.50m
1 FOR FELICILA Hanoverian / M / 11 / For Pleasure x Espri
PEDRO VENISS (BRA) Hermann Theiss: 0/0/42.53
2 COCQ A DOODLE Dutch Warmblood / M / 9 / Nolan R x Niagara
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA) The Doodle Group: 0/0/43.05
3 CATOKIA 2 Westphalian / M / 9 / Cambridge x Silvester
PHILIPP WEISHAUPT (GER) Philipp Weishaupt: 0/0/43.57
4 STRANGER 30 Hanoverian / G / 10 / Stakkato x Cheenook
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA) The Stanger Group: 0/0/43.70
5 QUENELLE DU PY Anglo Arab / M / 12 / Tresor du Remon x Ryon d’Anzex
OLIVIER ROBERT (FRA) Olivier Robert: 0/0/43.80
6 JUBILEE III / M / 12 / Wolken Tanz II x Wanduss
NIGEL COUPE (GBR) John O Halloran: 0/0/44.22
7 DAIMLER Dutch Warmblood / G / 8 / Canturano x Lupicor
WERNER MUFF (SUI) Muhlebach Marlis: 0/4/44.65
8 QUIWI DREAM Holstein / S / 11 / Quidam de Revel x Contender
HANS DIETER DREHER (GER) Holgur Blum: 0/4/45.16
9 HANNAH Belgian Warmblood / M / 9 / Dulf van den Bisschop x Kashmir van Schuttershof
MARIANO MAGGI (SWE) Jose Pablo Salgado: 0/4/45.45
10 CELESTE 26 Holstein / M / 12 / Casall x Landgraf I
NADJA PETER STEINER (SUI) Katharina Peter: 0/4/45.47
11 BABEL Warmblood / G / 9 / Billy du Lys x High Flyer
PATRICIO PASQUEL (MEX) Patricio Pasquel: 0/8/44.65
12 HELLO GUV NOR Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 / Diamant De Semilly x Papillion Rouge
SCOTT BRASH (GBR) Lady P Harris & Lady P Kirkham: 1/74.37
Source and Photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services