Andres Rodriguez and Fifty Fifty 111. (Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
International competition concluded on Wednesday with the $34,000 Bantrel Cup, held over a 1.50m speed track, with 46 starters and eight clear rounds. Tenth in the order, Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises LLC’s Fifty Fifty 111 sped to the lead in 63.92 seconds and held on to the end for their first win in Spruce Meadow’s International Ring.
Conor Swail was the runner up in 64.31 seconds with Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque. Brazil’s Rodrigo Lambre was first to go and placed third overall with his time of 66.25 seconds riding Mario Onate’s Charielle.
Rodriguez has owned Fifty Fifty 111, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood (Action Breaker x Major de la Cour), since the mare was five years old. He purchased the horse from Eric Lamaze and brought her up through the levels. ‘Fifty’ has continued to develop and Rodriguez started the season with the goal of competing her in the derbies at Spruce Meadows this summer. With a win on the field to start the Series, he looks forward to Sunday’s first derby competition.
“I really wanted to win a competition in the big ring this year. We brought ten horses and I brought a few good horses that I thought could do it. To win on the first day is an amazing feeling,” the rider said of his victory. “We have been training for the derby. It is actually going to be my first derby in my career, but we have practiced everything and the way she jumped today, if she keeps jumping like that Sunday might be a great day.”
“She just keeps developing and she keeps surprising me, so why not?” Rodriguez continued. “From that generation of horses born in 2005, I had six horses, and when they were seven we cut down to four. She was not the most talented of all of them, but the one thing she had was that she always wanted to do everything right. There were more talented horses in the pack, but she was always trying to produce clear rounds and she ended up being the best by far.”
Fifty Fifty 111 will now rest up for the derby on Sunday while Rodriguez competes his other top mounts. For the summer overall, his main goal is preparation for the Pan American Games that will qualify teams for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“You can feel the Pan American ambience in Spruce Meadows right now. Everybody is trying to put their teams together here,” Rodriguez noted. “I think for the first time really the Venezuelan team is working together. We are all on the same page and we are all really trying. We agreed that the best plan was for all of us to go to Spruce Meadows together as a team to try to get our horses comfortable. We knew we were going to have good footing and good courses. It is the best training we can get before we go there. It is very important for us because Venezuela has never jumped as a team in an Olympic Games. For any athlete, the Olympics are as high as you can get, so we are really trying to make that happen.”
Also competing on Wednesday, Leslie Howard (USA) earned the first international win of the week in the All Canada Ring this morning. Howard guided her own and Peter Howard’s Lennox Lewis 2 to victory in the $8,000 Thompson Family Cup 1.45m, a one round speed course set by USA’s Anthony D’Ambrosio. Mexico’s Antonio Maurer finished second aboard Everado Coronado’s Portena. Brazil’s Rodrigo Lambre and Mario Onate’s Melbourne placed third.
The Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, continues on Thursday featuring the $34,000 ATCO Pipelines Cup 1.50m, the $34,000 Westmoreland Coal Cup 1.50m, and the $85,000 ATB Financial Cup 1.55m.
Final Results: $34,000 Bantrel Cup 1.50m
1. $8,500 FIFTY FIFTY 111 Belgian Warmblood / M / 10 Action Breaker x Major de la Cour ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Arao Enterprises LLC: 0/63.924
2. $6,800 SIMBA DE LA ROQUE Schwaben / G / 9 Kannan x Allegreto
CONOR SWAIL (IRL) DARRAGH CROSS DOWN Susan Grange: 0/64.319
3. $5,100 CHARIELLE Oldenburg / M / 9 Chacco Blue x Argentinus
RODRIGO LAMBRE (BRA) MONTERREY Mario Onate: 0/66.251
4. $3,400 ATLANTIS Zangersheide / G / 12 Unknown x Unknown
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI) WELLINGTON, FL Samuel Parot: 0/66.751
5. $2,380 SRI ALADDIN Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Quasimodo z x Burggraaf
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA) HOUSTON, TX Amalya Investments: 0/69.132
6. $1,870 BALOUS DAY DATE Warmblood / M / 10 Unknown x Unknown
MOLLY ASHE (USA) WELLINGTON, FL Louisburg Farm: 0/69.340
7. $1,360 WHIN WHIN Dutch Warmblood / M / 12 Phin Phin x Elcaro
RODRIGO LAMBRE (BRA) MONTERREY Mario Onate: 0/69.911
8. $1,020 BRIGHTON / G / 9 Contendro II x Quick Star
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN) SCHOMBERG, ON Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/71.061
9. $1,020 HEROS DE PAPIGNIES Z Zangersheide / S / 11 Heartbreaker x Ahorn Z
KIRSTEN COE (USA) ROYAL PALM BEACH, FL Alejandro Zendejas: 1/72.196
10. $850 DUTCH AMOURETTA Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Dutch Capitol x Wellington
BRENDA RIDDELL (CAN) CALGARY, AB Silverstar Farms: 1/73.138
11. $850 CALVIN KLEIN Swedish Warmblood / G / 11 Cardento x Feliciano
JONATHON MILLAR (CAN) PERTH, ON Millar Brooke Farm: 2/77.275
12. $850 ANTON Warmblood / G / 11 Marlone x Orville
JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX) MEXICO CITY Jaime Azcarraga & Family: 2/79.214
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service