Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 top LaFarge Cup 1.50m at Spruce Meadows

5 July - The Spruce Meadows 'North American' Tournament continued with wins for two of this summer's top riders as well as an exciting first for a young up-and-comer in the International Ring on Friday. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Fine Lady 5 topped the $50,000 LaFarge Cup 1.50m, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Chin Quidam VDL won the $33,500 Pepsi Challenge 1.45m, and Wilton Porter (USA) and Diamonte Darco were victorious in the $33,500 Friends of the Meadows Jumper 1.45m.

 Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela is the course designer in the International Ring for the week and set some challenging tracks on Friday. In the $50,000 La Farge Cup, Palacios saw 25 entries with five clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Eric Lamaze and Artisan Farms LLC's Fine Lady 5 got the win with the only double clear round in 53.16 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC's Freestyle de Muze were clear over the jumps and finished with one time fault in 57.68 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) and his own and Susan Heller's d'Ulien van de Smeets had the fastest jump-off time of 46.63 seconds, but incurred four faults to finish third.

 Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare by Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch, are already on their third international victory this summer in a brand new partnership that solidified quickly.

 "I didn't know her very much before I came here, so I really got to know her on this summer tour," Lamaze stated. "What I found out about her is that she is absolutely 100% reliable. She really wants to stay off the fences. She gets a little excited and moves right to left very quickly sometimes, so it took me a little bit to adjust to her, but she's a total class horse for the 1.50m division. Who knows what else is in the future for her, but at this height I feel like I'm on the very best horse I can have for this."

 Fine Lady came to Artisan Farms when Lamaze needed a horse to fill the 1.50m speed classes in his string of top mounts, and the purchase has proved to be an excellent investment. Although they have only done a few jump-off rounds together, Lamaze knew he could trust his horse completely.

 "It was wide open, and she's really careful," he stated. "The double was the trick to jump after the long gallop from one to two. I knew if McLain was to be clear, I was going to have a harder night. He had an unfortunate four faults, so things became a little bit easier. With one time fault to beat, I felt pretty good about things, but you never know about things in this sport. You could have the first jump down, the last fence, a light rub and it comes down. It's not because all you have to do is go clear that it works every single time. I'm very happy with the result. I felt that I was on the right horse to accomplish this mission."

 "The great thing about this mare is that she is really fast, and she goes fast, but you can always push," Lamaze added. "That's why she is so good. Great horses, it doesn't matter how fast you get to the fence, if they're asking for leg when you get there, they are very competitive horses. In the jump-off tonight, I didn't really have to hold her back. She always asks for more leg. I just sort of maintained a rhythm that I thought would be under the time allowed, and that's all I had to do."

 After another great win, Lamaze looks forward to jumping Fine Lady 5 in Saturday's $85,000 TD Cup 1.50m. He will also compete in the $210,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup 1.60m with Powerplay.

 Final Results: $50,000 LaFarge Cup 1.50m

1 FINE LADY 5: Hanoverian / M / 11 Forsyth x Hauptstutbuch

ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/0/53.16

2 FREESTYLE DE MUZE: Belgian Warmblood / G / 9 Lord Z x Cento

RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/1/57.68

3 D'ULIEN VAN DE SMEETS: Belgian Warmblood / M / 11 Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Darco

MCLAIN WARD (USA), Susan Heller & McLain Ward: 0/4/46.43

4 INDIANA 127:Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Indoctro x Voltaire

ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Hollow Creek Farm: 0/4/46.81

5 CALYPSO: Belgian Warmblood / G / 12 Orlando x Denver

EMILIE MARTINSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 0/4/55.55

6 HH WHISKY ROYALE: Zangersheide / G / 9 Wonderful Van't Beugelhof x Kannan

QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 1/72.09

7 LA BAMBA: Swiss Warmblood / M / 9 Lordanos x Chameur

ANTONIO CHEDRAUI (MEX), Antonio Chedraui: 1/72.65

8 CALVIN KLEIN: Swedish Warmblood / G / 10 Cardento x Feliciano

JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), Millar Brooke Farm: 1/74.71

9 CZARDAS 30: Hanoverian / S / 11 Contendro x Grannus

KIRSTEN COE (USA), Ilan Ferder: 1/74.91

10 ZANDER: Dutch Warmblood / G / 10 Cantos x Saygon

MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward & Grand Road Parters LLC: 4/68.23

11 UTOPIA: Dutch Warmblood / M / 13 Ircolando x Notaris

JOHN PEREZ (COL), John Perez: 4/69.41

12 BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF: Belgian Warmblood / M / 13 Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Pachat II

ANDREW WELLES (USA), Peter Welles: 4/69.84

 Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.