27 June-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.

Source: Press