Double Take! Team Ireland Takes the CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada—Again

It was deja vu in the $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada. For the second year in a row, Team Ireland jumped to the top of the leaderboard to close out the Odlum Brown BC Open CSIO5* tournament at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC.

Under a pristine blue sky and in front of a capacity crowd, the Irish Team led by chef d’equipe Michael Blake once again rose to the occasion, showcasing the incredible depth of their horse (and rider) power.

World no. 10 ranked rider Shane Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz led the charge, posting a pair of clear rounds. (The only other double clear on the day came from Canada’s own Erynn Ballard and Gakhir).

Daniel Coyle and upcoming mount Gisborne VDL were the drop score in the first round with 8 faults, but followed up with a clear in the second.

“I’m just getting to know the horse,” explained Coyle. “I have to learn how to ride him the best way for him. After I jumped the first round, I said to Michael, I need to do different strides [than we walked]. And Michael trusted that I knew how to get the best out of my horse. Thankfully, he jumped a beautiful round in the second round.”

Third to ride for the team, David Blake and Claude had a rail in the first round, but delivered Ireland’s third clear in the second, sparing anchor rider and world no. 8 Conor Swail and Nadal Hero & DB from having to jump in round two.

“Daniel and David didn’t cover themselves in glory in the first round [posting eight and four faults respectively],” said Ireland’s always competitive chef.

“Daniel, I said, you owe me one, so you better take care of that. And I got it [in the second round]. David spared Conor having to jump in the third round, and we were obviously of two minds as to who we were going to put in against the clock should it come to that.”

Finishing on a final overall score of just four faults, Ireland was tied with Canada until the final horse entered the Fort Grand Prix arena. With two foot perfect rounds from Ballard and Gakhir and a 4/0 from Mario Deslauriers and Emerson (Tiffany Foster and Hamilton were the drop score in both rounds on 9 and 4), it came down to Amy Millar and Truman.

If they could repeat their clear from round one, it would force a jump-off with Ireland. If they had so much as a time fault, Ireland would win. Unfortunately, Millar just touched fence six and it fell, giving Ireland the win.

Canada finished in second on a final score of eight faults, with the United States in third on a final score of 28.

“It was a sweet victory for us today because Canada had a really strong team,” said Michael. “We knew we would have to have a really strong team or else we couldn’t beat them. Thankfully, luck went our way today.

“I’d like to thank Chris and the Thunderbird team and I’d like to thank Longines because without them we wouldn’t have this great show we have today. To jump in the sunshine on this wonderful field, for me, it’s an honor.”

Added tbird President Chris Pack, “We couldn’t ask for better weather. We had a great turnout today. It’s tbird’s 50th anniversary. It was right down to the end and that’s all you can ask for any competition. We’re very appreciative of Longines and all the teams that came out to compete.”

Sunday’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada was the third and final leg in the North/Central America & Caribbean division of the 2023 FEI Longines Nations Cup™ series and the final chance for Canada, Mexico and USA to land a coveted spot at the Final in Barcelona this September.

Team USA finished the season with 280 points, winning earlier this year in Mexico and America. Sunday’s results leave Mexico and Canada tied on points (240), which is broken by the number of clear rounds jumped by each nation across the series. With seven clears, Mexico also secured their spot in the Barcelona Final.

$400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Faults

1. James Kann Cruz / Shane Sweetnam / Gizmo Partners LLC / 0/0
1. Gisborne VDL / Daniel Coyle / Ariel Grange Pine / 8/0
1. Claude / David Blake / Hollow Farm / 4/0
1. Nadal Hero & DB / Conor Swail / Mannon Farm 0/DNS

2. Hamilton / Tiffany Foster / The Hamilton Group / 9/4
2. Gakhir / Erynn Ballard / Esperanza Imports LLC & Ilan Ferder / 0/0
2. Emerson / Mario Deslauriers / Wishing Well Farm LLC / 4/0
2. Truman / Amy Millar / Millar Brooke Farm Ltd & Overlund / 0/4

3. Kalinka van’t Zorgvliet / Karl Cook / Signe Ostby / 8/0
3. Edocenta / Charlotte Jacobs / North Star / 8/4
3. Karlin van’t Vennehof / Lacey Gilbertson / Seabrook LLC / 16/8
3. Landon / Kent Farrington / Haity McNerney / 0/8

Third Time’s the Charm for King & Cerolino

American Kyle King is not accustomed to taking the ‘conservative clear’ — he’s only done it twice in his career and both times with Ilan Feder’s 10-year-old Holsteiner Cerolino.

On Saturday afternoon at Thunderbird Show Park, it was the smart strategy in the 1.50m CSIO5* Paladin Cup. As the final of six horses to take the field for Peter Holmes’ (CAN) jump-off track, King watched as rider after rider pulled rails at speed. He knew the assignment: leave the rails up and go quick enough to not amass too many time faults. For someone as hardwired for speed as ultra-competitive King, taking the ‘safe route’ does not come naturally.

“It’s the second time [taking the slow clear] has happened to me in my life and it’s been on that horse twice,” laughed King. “I almost blew it the first time in Thermal… [so] I was like, ‘Nah, I don’t want to be in this position again.’”

With no double clears on the leaderboard, however, the steady clear was the wise choice. This time Cerolino left the rails up, crossing the timers in a steady 48.38 seconds. Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Chattanooga took runner up position with four faults in 38.37. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Game Over settled for third with four faults in 39.39.

“[Cerolino] has a big, big stride, and so I can drop strides everywhere and he’s very agile. When I first started riding him I thought he was always going to be a little bit slow. But he’s not, especially in a field like this. Today was slow, but I was just trying to go clear. I thought he really tried for me and jumped super the second round.” 

Three of the six combinations to contest the short course had the ‘tbird Canoes’ jump down and when asked, King said he took extra care at the fence to ensure success.

“Even in the first round, I wanted to make sure I got really straight to it. It’s a little bit stuck in a funny position.”

Together for about a year, the pair has averaged 57% in clear rounds and top ten finishes at the 1.45m level in 2023 (Jumpr App).

“We bought him for one of my clients, who then ended up wanting to trade him out to another horse,” explained King. “While that was happening, Cerolino didn’t really do all that much. So [owner] Ilan Feder told me that I could produce him a little bit further… And he’s just been money ever since. He makes a cheque every show. He’s just really, really consistent.

“I’ve been a little bit unlucky this week —I should have won the other night. I had the time with one jump down. I had one jump down yesterday. It finally came out today.”

$38,500 CSIO5* Paladin Cup 1.50m

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Cerolino / Kyle King / USA / Ilan Ferder / 0/0 38.38
2. Chattanooga / Santiago Lambre / BRA / Hf Farms / 0/4 38.37
3. Game Over / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Ilan Ferder / 0/4 39.39
4. Chakkalou PS / Patricio Pasquel / MEX / Gestüt Lewitz / 0/4 41.92
5. Menko vd Wellington / Andrew Bourns / IRL / Andrew Bourns / 0/4 45.87
6. Zeusz / Santiago Lambre / BRA / Lévai Csilla / 0/4 47.72
7. Landon / Kent Farrington / USA / Haity McNerney / 3 86.51
8. Seringat / Patricio Pasquel / MEX / Ainhoa Manero / 4 77.23
9. Cadeau Z / Mandy Porter / USA / Risen Eq Holdings LLC / 4 81.26
10. Etundel de Marocy / Karl Cook / USA / Signe Otsby / 4 81.71

History and Hard Work Pay Off for Barisoff and Quincy in DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby 3’6”.

Patience paid off Saturday afternoon for Mariah Barisoff, who topped the $3,000 DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby 3’6” Open with her horse Quincy at Thunderbird Show Park’s Odllum Brown BC Open. 

The pair finished on a score of 102, just a half-point ahead of runners-up Ashley Arnold and Light My Fire (101.5). Sloane Betker and Crack finished third (101).

Trainer Eliza Hunt of Delta, BC-based Obsidian Hunter Jumper made a clean sweep of the podium, with riders taking first through third, as well as fifth.

The winning pair knows each other well but was light on recent experience. A recent nursing school graduate, Barisoff was making her 3’6” hunter derby debut; it was also her first show back after taking time off for school. She purchased Quincy as a green five-year-old in 2015, but the pair hasn’t competed a full season since 2019, when they ended the year making the trip to Toronto for The Royal Winter Fair and CET Medal Finals.

“This was our first show back at Thunderbird in my hometown, and this derby meant a lot to me,” Barisoff said. “I was quite nervous going in; we’ve been knocking the rust off a bit all week, and I was just hoping for a smooth round.

The pair received a base score of 85 points, adding 10 for taking the high options and an additional seven for handiness.

“I wasn’t going to do the inside option, but he was just behaving so well, and he really feels like a team player right now. So I gave it a go and it came out perfectly,” Barisoff explained.

Hunt attributed Barisoff’s success to extra time the rider had been putting into her preparation, improving the quality of her warm-up and hacking her horse in the mornings before competition.

“He’s a cheeky fella,” laughed Barisoff. “I’d describe him as a bit of a ‘jock.’ He knows he’s good at his job, and he doesn’t really want to practice. And because he’s an exuberant horse, he’s a very good jumper. But he keeps me humble. Even though you have a great round today, tomorrow might not be the same. He keeps me on my toes.”

Riding is in Barisoff’s blood. Her mother is a barrel racer and still competes today.

“My mom has ridden since she was 13,” said Barisoff. “When she got married to my dad, he bought a horse so they could go trail riding together. Once I came along, I kind of stole my dad’s horse and traveled with my mom. 

“I have a barn of Quarter Horses at home — Quincy is my only warmblood,” she continued. “So he lives at home with a barn full of rodeo horses! And me and my mom go through it together. We both take our flat lessons, and we go to our separate worlds. I love it.”  

$3,000 DIHP Canadian Hunter Derby 3’6” Open

Finish Position / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner  / Total Score

  1. Quincy / Mariah Barisoff / CAN / Mariah Barisoff / 102
  2. Light My Fire / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 101.5
  3. Crack / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 101
  4. VDL Iglesias / Quinn Partridge / USA / Effortless Equestrian Farm / 94
  5. St Martin’s Lane / Chloe Mache / CAN / Chloe Mache / 89
  6. Lexington 70 / Petra Pinkerton / CAN / Petra Pinkerton / 86
  7. Talaro PS / Philippa Melski / USA / Mila Anderson / 84
  8. Old Times LS / Samantha Smith / USA / Red Gate Farm / 83
  9. Cyclone Z / Elspeth Longridge / CAN / Elspeth Longridge / 72
  10. Corona OS / Charlotte Reeve / CAN / Charlotte Reeve / 68

Fairy Tale Ending for Shawn Casady & NKH Cento Blue in CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix

The stars aligned for Shawn Casady (USA) Friday afternoon at Thunderbird Show Park, as the 28-year-old recorded the biggest victory of his career with NKH Cento Blue in the CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix. 

It took nearly a third of the class for a clean round to materialize over Peter Holmes’ (CAN) track, and it was Langley, BC’s own Samantha Buirs to lay it down with Chic D Emma Z. Once she did, World No. 10 Shane Sweetnam (IRL) followed suit with Out of the Blue SCF. But a trend it was not.

While fences fell in relatively equal measure, the last fence, the Longines vertical (‘unlucky’ 13) fell seven times. Just two more clears joined the jump-off: Canada’s Kara Chad with Igor GPH and the last pair in the ring, Casady and Cento Blue.

First to return over the short course, Buirs had an unfortunate refusal, costing her a chance at victory. Sweetnam laid down a clean round to put the pressure on, stopping the timer in 43.05 seconds. Elimination befell Chad and Igor, it was all down to Casady.

According to Jumpr App, Casady and KNH Cento Blue have performed with 4 faults or less 80% of the time in 2023, so it was only a matter of time before they had their turn in the winner’s circle. Today was the day, as they posted a clean round in 42.46 seconds.

“I didn’t see Shane’s whole jump off,” Casady explained. “[I was] just wanting to be double clear and consistent. For a big horse, he covers so much ground. I think that’s kind of where we were. We snuck in.

“I could have been fourth at the worst and it would have been a good day. I was just I was so proud of him,” he continued. “We were walking up to the ring together, and he knew we had a big a big day ahead of us.”

Casady, who grew up catch-riding ponies, didn’t acquire the ride on Cento Blue until his owner, Erin Davis-Heineking had an unfortunate injury, requiring shoulder surgery. She asked Casady to take on the ride and sent her horse to California, where the new partnership immediately started to win. After being named the U.S. team alternate for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of the United States of America, Casady was encouraged to go on to Thunderbird.

For the past two weeks in Langley, Casady has been living and working out of his RV, grooming on his own and enjoying having the time to really get to know Cento Blue.

“He’s very food driven. He loves attention. And if you’re anywhere in the barn, he has his head out of his stall,” Casady described. “Every time you go near where there might be a snack, he looks over and wonders if you’re going to grab something for him. But he’s polite about it. He knows not to be rude.”

Perhaps it was that strengthened bond and more intimate familiarization with his mount that helped propel the pair to their biggest win yet—and inspired Casady to a moment of reflection.

“I know [that] in order to be successful, you have to believe in it and be confident. But I also know to be humble and to make sure I’m, you know, dotting the I’s and crossing my T’s,” Casady said. “I’m really grateful for all the effort that’s gone into [the journey] and the people and horses that have believed in me. It’s just a really special moment for it all to come together.”

tbird Pays Your Tab: Five Show For Free at BC Open

The tbird show office has become a most festive location on Friday afternoons. Thunderbird Show Park brought five entry fees to $0 to kick off the weekend at the Odlum Brown BC Open, as part of the “tbird Pays Your Tab” initiative.

During each of tbird’s 10 major show tournaments, five exhibitors are chosen at random to receive a free entry at the horse show. Throughout the course of the season, tbird will pay for a total of 50 entries. The milestone giveaways began at the April Season Opener and continue through the BCHJA Fall Finale in September.

This week’s lucky winners included Alicia Stein (Atlas RPH), Connor Dennis (Violette d’Amore), Lauren Esdale (Hilco), Joanne Lauzon (Columbia 27) and Sloan Betker (Canberre 59).

Every horse entered at tbird is automatically added to the draw each week. Check back in June and July to see who tbird picks up the tab for next!

Jordan Coyle and Ariso Find Mutual Respect the Key to Success in CSIO5* West Coast Cup

Like in any good relationship, there is always a certain amount of give and take. Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and Ariso have found their middle ground, taking the win in the CSIO5* West Coast Cup 1.45m Friday afternoon at tbird’s Odium Brown BC Open. 

Of 10 who qualified to jump the short course set by Peter Holmes, three—with their eyes set firmly on Sunday’s Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada—elected to withdraw; that left just seven to return. 

It quickly became apparent that some bold inside turns would be necessary for a winning outcome, but that also came with risks. The move ended up actually being costly for Brazil’s Santiago Lambre and Zeusz, who incurred two time penalties while getting “stuck” in the tight turning. Coyle and Ariso had the luxury of jumping late in the order, allowing Coyle to watch and adjust his plan. He ultimately elected to take a few inside turns and a few take outside turns, maintaining a strong, forward momentum to seal the victory.

“It’s funny: He’s very foot-fast, and this course didn’t really suit him,” explained Coyle of Elan Farm’s 12-year-old gelding. “If you had to go really fast, there would be places to leave out strides, but I didn’t feel we needed to go quite that fast today.

“My plan was actually to do the round that we did yesterday together [in the CSIO5* Nations Welcome 1.50m],” he continued. “We had a very good round; I did all the ‘leave-outs,’ and it was very fast, and he just pulled the last jump. So today I wanted to just give him a smooth round—still win, but not really run quite as hard.”

Clean and fast, they left all the jumps up and stopped the clock in 45.15 seconds—four-tenths of a second ahead of second placed Susan Horn (CAN) and Kirlo van den Bosrand. Vanessa Mannix (CAN) and Carmela Z finished third (45.78 seconds).

Partnered together since 2020, Coyle and Ariso won the CSI5* MLSJ Grand Prix at tbird last year and have a 67% clear rate at the 1.45m height in 2023, according to Jumpr App. Naturally fast and full of scope, 12-year old Ariso has been learning to slow down and have a little more respect for the task at hand.

“Ariso used to be quite strong, but he’s got much more respect now that he’s jumping up at the higher levels,” Coyle said. “Everything was so easy for him. He just thought he could do what he wanted, and that was that. And although most of the time it was true, I’ve caught up with him and try to be just a little bit smarter!”

$38,500 CSIO5* West Coast Cup1.45m
Place / Horse / Rider  / Country / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ariso / Jordan Coyle / IRL / Elan Farm / 0/0 45.15
2. Kirlo van den Bosrand / Susan Horn / CAN / Kingsfield Farm / 0/0 45.55
3. Carmela Z / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0/0 45.78
4. Cadeau Z / Mandy Porter / USA / Risen Eq Holdings LLC / 0/0 47.00
5. Zeus / Santiago Lambre / BRA / Lévai Csilla / 0/2 54.48
6. Atout des Trambles / Nicole Walker / CAN / Nicole Walker / 0/4 44.81
7. Oaks Casanova / Samuel Overton / AUS / Samuel Overton / 0/4 47.47
8. Gakhir / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Esperanza Imports, LLC & Ilan Ferder / 0/WD
8. Nadal Hero & DB / Conor Swail / IRL / Manon Farm / 0/WD
8. H-Lucky Retto / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia / MEX / Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia, P Dolfsma / 0/WD

Robitaille Gets Rolling With Ester de Maugre in CSI2* Friends of tbird 1.45m

Alison Robitaille’s (USA) familiarization with new mount Ester de Maugre has been one of experimentation.

A tack adjustment and the identification of a preferred grass surface proved to be the winning formula Friday at Thunderbird Show Park’s Odlum Brown BC Open. Robitaille and the quick-footed 9-year-old mare recorded the first international victory of their young partnership in the CSI2* Friends of tbird 1.45m.

The pair bested an 11-horse jump-off over Peter Holmes’ (CAN) shortened track. The winning time was 40.23 seconds. James Chawke (IRL) and Howard du Seigneur finished second (40.51 seconds), with Grant Seger (USA) and Yoghi Flp third (41.80).

“My horse is a very quick horse naturally,” Robitaille said. “I was surprised I took the lead when I landed from the last jump. I thought that I had pulled in too many places.”

At the recommendation of her coach Kent Farrington (USA), Robitaille acquired Ester de Maugre in December from Mark Bluman (COL), also the former rider of her top mount, Oakingham Lira. The forward-thinking mare prefers to do things her way, and at first, that proved to be a give-and-take situation with her new rider.

“We slowly got to know each other over the jumps. We tried some different bridles, and I wasn’t sure what to use,” Robitaille explained. “I asked Kent to ride her a bit for me when I was in Virginia with my kids, and when I came back, he made the suggestion for me with this blue pelham, which she really likes.

“She really likes to feel like she’s pulling me and in control,” she added, “and I like to feel like I have some sort of say of when we leave the ground. It’s been a little bit of a work in progress, but this seems to be working great.”

Alison Robitaille (USA) and Ester de Maugre stand for the winner’s presentation with tbird CEO Jane Tidball. ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

Holmes’ jump-off course included a vertical-oxer combination, set downhill, that plagued many pairs in the first round. In the jump-off, it again played a role and proved not to be an area where risk should be taken. Robitaille took a check to set up the element and let the mare carry her pace the rest of the way. According to Jumpr App, Ester de Maugre finishes on the podium 38% of the time at 1.45m.

“My plan was to line up [the first two fences], but not angle too much with the water jump in the background, and then open her up,” Robitaille detailed. “I wanted to slow down a little bit to the double, and then she was great.”

For Robitaille, competing at the top levels of the sport has been a balancing act, as she has built up a new string and determined to be a present mother for her two daughters, Ava and Zoe. She’ll leave Thunderbird at week’s end to attend Zoe’s middle school graduation and will take time away from the saddle in July to accompany her daughters on a family trip, complete with homework assignments and presentations relating to European artwork.

“I have a small string of three horses, so [the schedule] actually seems to take shape on its own,” Robitaille said. “I keep the thing that’s most important to me—my kids—at the very top of the list, and the horses and the rest sort of just fall into place.”

$38,500 CSI2* Friends of Tbird 1.45m
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults / Time

  1. Ester de Maugre / Alison Robitaille / USA / Alison Firestone LLC / 0/0 40.23
  2. Howard du Seigneur / James Chawke / IRE / Ramsay Equestrian Inc. /  0/0 40.51
  3. Yoghi Flip / Grant Seger / USA / Fox Lair Performance /  0/0 41.80
  4. Corner Pocket Z / Erynn Ballard / CAN / The Z Group / 0/0 42.44
  5. Jetouelle-S / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 5 Roosters / 0/0 42.50
  6. Florentine / Camilla Siekmann / USA / Seikmann Show Stables / 0/0 42.80
  7. Matonge of Colors / Nicole Walker / CAN / Nicole Walker / 0/0 43.93
  8. Caya / Shauna Cook / CAN / Sheilagh Kelly / 0/4 42.11
  9. McCaw Mynz / Katie Laurie / AUS / Carissa McCall / 0/4 42.19
  10. Caipirinha de Reve / Alicia Gadban-Lewis / CAN / Torrey Pines Stables / 0/8 47.38

Patricio Pasquel Opens Odlum Brown BC Open with a Win in CSIO5* Nations Welcome

A huge week of international show jumping kicked off at the Odlum Brown BC Open Thursday with speed being the name of the game for CSI2* and CSIO5* competitors all day.

In the feature class of the day, the $38,500 CSIO5* Nations Welcome, world no. 8 Conor Swail (IRL) was third in the ring of the 39-horse starting list and first to post a blazing round with Count Me In, stopping the clock in 60.80 seconds.

From there, the rounds were fast and they were clean, but sadly not in combination. America’s Shawn Casady came close with NKH Cento Blue (60.94) and then Swail and his second horse Casturano laid down a clear in 61.43 to move into third.

The class seemed all-but over. Then in came Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel with nine-year-old stallion Chakkalou PS — second to last in the group.

The pair put the pedal to the metal, shaving turns and strides off the Peter Holmes-designed 1.50m course. Stopping the timers in 60.40 seconds, they took over the lead with one to go. When Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and For Gold pulled a rail, it was Mexico’s win. Swail would have to settle for second (and fourth), pushing Casady into third.

“It’s his first 1.50m win,” smiled Pasquel, who took over the ride in Chakkalou PS’s 7-year-old year. “This is one we’ve tried to build up his confidence since I’ve had him and now I feel him ready to move up to the bigger stuff. You have to be patient.

“He’s coming along really well. He covers a lot of ground, which helps a lot. He is very fast and, to be honest, I didn’t know if I had [Conor] but when I looked and saw I did, I was pretty happy because he’s really fast! Any day you beat Conor Swail is a good day!” he laughed.

Show jumping heats up Friday with the CSI2* Friends of tbird at 8:45am, the CSIO5* West Coast Cup at 12:15pm and the marquee event of the day the $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix at 4:00pm. Tickets are available on

Fernandez Is First Again in CSIOJ* BB Equestrian Junior Grand Prix

A day after topping the podium in the CSIOJ* Junior Nations Cup at tbird, Federica Fernandez (MEX) finished on top again in the CSIOJ* BB Equestrian Junior Grand Prix, the final event of the Odlum Brown BC Open’s international division for junior riders.

Fernandez, 16, and Seltique bested a compact jump-off field that saw just three riders execute a clear first round over course designer Peter Holmes’ (CAN) 1.40m track. Riding immediately before her, Eric Krawitt (CAN) produced the first double-clear effort and set a stiff standard, crossing the jump-off timers in 43.78 seconds. Fernandez’s plan to best Krawitt involved utilizing her horse’s big step to do one less stride to the final fence, but ultimately, she’d have to call an audible.

“My jump-off was pretty exciting. After seeing [Krawitt], I knew I had to make a good time,” Fernandez said. “I was going to take a stride out to the last jump, but I couldn’t, so I pulled and had an extra stride. [My horse] is just very quick.”

Fernandez finished in 43.48 seconds to take the win, just three-tenths of a second ahead of Krawitt. Fernandez’s teammate Ana Sofia Legorreta Hernandez (MEX) finished third after retiring in the jump-off.

“[Seltique] has a huge stride, which is always beneficial, and he also turns very quickly,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez has been paired with 16-year-old Seltique for two years, and according to JUMPR App, the pair jump clear 43% of the time at the 1.40m height. The Selle Francais gelding is owned by her father Federico Fernandez—a three-time Olympic veteran for Mexico. While Federica was jumping in Langley, Federico was competing across the Atlantic in Madrid (ESP).

“He started me in the sport when I was small,” Federica said. “It’s been fun. I really enjoy jumping together.”

$3,500 CSIOJ BB Equestrian Jr Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Seltique / Federica Fernandez / MEX / Federico Fernandez / 0/0 43.48
2. Chicago CM / Eric Krawitt / CAN / Eric Krawitt / 0/0 43.78
3. Yoga Santa Rosa / Ana Sofia Legorreta Hernandez / MES+X / Patricio Pasquel / 0/RET
4. Matahari Hl / Leila Diab / USA / Leila Diab / 4 78.02
5. George Z.G. / Andrew Lopez / USA / Andrew Lopez / 4 78.54
6. Dammam O.L. / Ava Wong / CAN / Highland Farms / 5 80.11
7. Con Rouet / Xaviera Maurer Buch / MEX / Salvador Oñate Barron / 6 81.64
8. Uruaapan la Nutria / Rodrigo Castañeda de la Rosa / MEX / Jose de Jesus Castañeda Bañuelos / 21 80.52

Ireland Excels in CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada

Langley, BC – Ireland is at home at Thunderbird Show Park.

Chef d’Equipe Michael Blake’s squad has made the podium in every Nations Cup event since 2017, and they recorded a second win in that span Sunday at Thunderbird Show Park, running away with the 2022 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada.

“Every result here is special,” Blake said. “It took me a year to figure out how to win, but we haven’t been off the podium. We’ve had mixed teams here. We’ve had to cajole people onto teams here. But this year we prioritized this event.”

The four-man squad of Daniel Coyle (Legacy), Andrew Bourns (Seatop Blue), Shane Sweetnam (James Kann Cruz) and Conor Swail (Count Me In) positively dominated the feature event of the Odlum Brown BC Open and the only qualifier in the country for the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Finals in Barcelona (ESP) this fall. Coyle, Bourns and Sweetnam each contributed a clear round for their team, which put Ireland so far ahead in the second round that team anchor Conor Swail—tbird’s winningest rider—did not have to jump a second time. Ultimately, the group finished on a total score of 5. Mexico rallied in the second round to finish second (13 faults), with Australia third (22).

“Obviously we have got good depth, and I’m so lucky to have such a good bunch of people,” Blake said. “It’s very easy to drive a good car, and we’ve got one here.”

Ireland last won the event in 2018, and both Coyle and Swail were on that squad. In the years since, Coyle has placed among the top 10 individually at the European Championships, while Swail has risen to the fifth ranked rider in the world on the prestigious Longines rankings. Olympic veteran Sweetnam, riding exciting 9-year-old James Kann Cruz, and Bourns, with his family’s protege Seatop Blue joined the lineup for 2022 and produced the team’s best scores. Seatop Blue—scouted by Bourns’ family as a foal—produced just one of two double-clear rounds on the day, while James Kann Cruz had just a single time fault in the second round.

“My father is here, so it’s a real family affair,” Bourns said. “I have to say, [Seatop Blue] is just as part of the family as I am.

“[James Kann Cruz] probably could go and jump anywhere, but he’s still only 9, [and] he still has his green moments,” Sweetnam added. “He’s experienced without being too much so, and I thought this would be a good place [to step up].

For Bourns, avoiding complacency was the objective in the second round, when Ireland had two rails in hand. Mexico also added just one time penalty in the second round, but Ireland’s early lead was insurmountable.

“You’ve got to be careful—for me anyway—in the Nations Cup not to get too complacent in the second round. We had a great first round, but a lot of other teams got stronger in the second round,” Bourns said. “We had to come back just as strong.”

They didn’t let off the gas, and while it wasn’t the home team’s day, Canada’s fourth-place finish secured their qualification for Nations Cup Finals after their runner-up effort in Mexico in March. Mexico, who took a home win that day, also qualified, cementing themselves as divisions leaders.

“I thought America and Canada would bring the best they could up here,” Blake said. “This is very important. It’s the year of the [World Championships] for us, and this is a step well taken.”

A little rain on the expansive grass field that makes up tbird’s Fort Grand Prix Arena certainly didn’t hurt.

“If you knew it was going to be raining and on grass, I think Ireland would be a good bet,” said tbird President Chris Pack. “We’re very appreciative of all the teams that came, and especially Ireland, putting this as a priority.”

$400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Legacy / Daniel Coyle / IRL / Ariel Grange & Daniel Coyle / (4)/0
1. Seatop Blue / Andrew Bourns / IRL / Andrew Bourns & QBS Equestrian / 0/0
1. James Kann Cruz / Shane Sweetnam / IRL /Gizmo Partners LLC / 0/1
1. Count Me In / Conor Swail / IRL / Mannon Farm, Sandy Lupton / 4/DNS
Total: 5

2. Pia Contra / Nicolas Pizarro / MEX / Alberto Lavalle, Jose Pablo Cortina Cordero, Rocio Paola Barriga Colsa / 4/0
2. Victor Finn Dh Z / Eugenio Garza Perez / MEX / David Gatza & Monica Garza / 4/0
2. Babel / Patricio Pasquel / MEX / Patricio Pasquel / (12)/(4)
2. Hortensia van de Leeuwerk / Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane / MEX / Manuel Gonzalez Dufrane / 4/1
Total: 13

3. Django II / Katie Laurie / AUS / Katie Laurie / 1/6
3. Eurostar / James Arkins / AUS / Arkins Pastoral PTY Ltd., MT Farming Pty Ltd / 0/0
3. Dandy / Matt Williams / AUS / Hd Horses, LLC / (12)/7
3. Billy Guilder / Rowan Willis / AUS / Peter Moore, Rowan Willis / 8/(14)
Total: 22