Contenders Converge at Summer Fort Classic CSI3* 

Langley, BC – International competition at Thunderbird Show Park is a special occasion, and Kassidy Keith (CAN) dressed for it.

Keith and her CSI3* entry Havana received the Equi-Products Best Dressed Award, receiving a $100 gift card at Tuesday’s FEI jog for the CSI3* Summer Fort Classic.

Forty athletes presented 56 horses Tuesday afternoon. With seven nations represented, the group includes Tiffany Foster (CAN), who captured three of the six international classes on offer at last week’s CSI3* Summer Fort Welcome, including the CSI3* The Keg Grand Prix.

Foster, however will bring forward two new horses this week, while winning mounts Brighton and Electrique get some well-deserved rest. All three of her mounts are under the age of 10.

“I’ve got five [horses] that are nine and under, so it made really good sense, I thought, to do these two weeks here at Thunderbird,” Foster said. “This is an incredible place to develop a horse, and this is a really good level of jumping.”

After winning the MarBill Hill U25 1.40m last week, Brooke Morin (USA) will step up to the three-star division with NKH Carrido this week. She’ll be joined by her coach Kyle King (USA), who will bring forward the 12-year-old American Holsteiner, Odysseus.

Matthew Sampson (GBR) returns to tbird for the Summer Fort Classic after winning three FEI events in Langley last August. This year, he will bring forward a new mount in Equine America Ivanhoe GPH. The 10-year-old KWPN gelding joined Sampson’s string this summer.

Competition at the Summer Fort Classic CSI3* kicks off Wednesday with the CSI3* Happy Welcome 1.40m and the CSI3* George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m.

All classes in the Fort Grand Prix Arena stream live on tbird.ca.

Tickets are available for Saturday’s CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m and Sunday’s CSI3* ATCO Cup 1.50m at tbird.ca/tickets.

Same Result, Different Horse: Fitzgerald Wins Again in MarBill Hill U25 Grand Prix 1.40m

A day after topping the MarBill Hill U25 1.40m speed class with Pasquinelle, Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) led the victory lap again the MarBill Hill U25 Grand Prix 1.40m, this time with Coco du Houlbec Z.

Jumping double-clear over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) tracks, Fitzgerald came away a comfortable winner over Stella Chernoff (CAN), who finished both second and third aboard Connador (44.33 seconds) and Fay (8/41.66), respectively.

“This [week] has been crazy,” Fitzgerald exclaimed. “I didn’t ride the first round very well, but [trainer Lisa Carlsen] said that’s where [Coco and I’s] relationship came into play. She’s willing to do anything for me. She saved my butt, and I saved her butt [on course].”

In the jump-off, things went more smoothly, and the ride became more confident as the round unfolded. Coming around the turn to the final line, Fitzgerald could hear Carlsen shouting from the ingate, and she increased her pace another notch. It ultimately put her ahead.

“I saw the nice, flowing distance, and I just sat behind her, and she loves that. She knew it was a jump-off,” Fitzgerald said. “She was like, ‘Finally!’ I just love her so much.”

Fitzgerald and Coco have been partnered for the last three years, but their partnership took time to develop after importing the mare from France.

“We really struggled at the begging, and then I just accepted her for what she is, and she accepted me. And here we are.”

 $15,000 MarBill Hill U25 Grand Prix 1.40m

  1. Coco du Houlbec Z / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 0/0 43.05
  2. Connador / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch & Cattle Co Ltd / 0/0 44.33
  3. Fay / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch & Cattle Co Ltd / 0/8 41.66
  4. Ittolo / Jarne Francken / USA / Kerri Volek / 0/8 46.72
  5. Houdini / Alexis Goetz / CAN / Alexis Goetz / 3 85.69
  6. Face to Face / Dylan Munro / CAN / Jonathan Asselin / 4 75.28
  7. Fenelon WF / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Cheryl Keith / 4 76.36
  8. Capitale 6 / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses / 4 78.39
  9. Texas / Justine Cha / CAN / Christine Cha / 4 82.6
  10. Pasquinelle / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 8 80.47

Sampson and Elisa BJX Rise to the Occasion in ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.50m

Ten-year-old Oldenburg mare Elisa BJX has plenty of experience going against the clock. After all, she and rider Matthew Sampson (GBR) topped the Maui Jim Grand Prix 1.40m at the Summer Fort Welcome by nearly three seconds.

The mare is less experienced jumping the 1.50m height, but when Sampson entered the Fort Grand Prix Arena for the jump-off of the CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.50m, Sampson had a decision to make about how much he would chase the then-leading pace of Robert Blanchette (IRL) and Chardonnay.

Matthew Sampson (GBR) and Elisa BJX. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

He went for it, and the mare answered the call for an emphatic victory, crossing the timers of Anderson Lima’s (BRA) short course in 40.13 seconds. They kept a late charge from Karrie Rufer (USA) and Stern dei Foletti (41.18 seconds) at bay, ultimately relegating Blanchette and Chardonnay to third (42.15).

“I thought, ‘It’s not very often you get to be in a Grand Prix at a show like this in the jump-off,’” Sampson said. “She’s 10 years old, so she’s old enough to give it a go, and she just rose to it. That’s what good horses do.”

Elisa has proven to be a quick study. The mare jumped her first 1.50m track just two days ago in tbird’s CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup. Sunday, Elisa and Sampson were one of nine first round clears, with eight electing to return for the jump-off.

Matthew Sampson (GBR) and Elisa BJX. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

“She [jumped] 1.50m on Friday, and we had two mistakes, but she just learns. She’s clever,” Sampson said. “In the first round, she felt really good but a little inexperienced in places. In the jump-off, she felt amazing.”

Sampson first rode Elisa in Mexico—the home of owner Salvador Onate—before the mare joined his string in June at Spruce Meadows. Sampson credits a lot of their success to the month in between that circuit and his trip to tbird.

“It’s difficult to get to know the horses at the show when you’re trying to compete with them, because you don’t really get that time for them to get to know you and vice versa—to create that bond where she trusts me,” he said. “I think we’ve really got that now.”

Matthew Sampson (GBR) and Elisa BJX stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$100,000 CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.50m

  1. Elisa BJX / Matthew Sampson / GBR / Matthew Sampson / 0/0 40.13
  2. Stern dei Foletti / Karrie Rufer / USA / Morning Star Sporthorses / 0/0 41.18
  3. Chardonnay / Robert Blanchette / IRL / RTS LLC / 0/0 42.15
  4. Howard du Seigneur / James Chawke / IRL / Ramsay Equestrian / 0/0 42.69
  5. Uccello de Will / Joie Gatlin / USA / Oakland Ventures / 0/0 44.78
  6. Deejay / Braden James / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co. / 0/0 45.37
  7. Vittorio 12 / Capt. Brian Cournane / IRL / Capt. Brian Cournane / 0/0 47.96
  8. Chic D Emma Z / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / 0/8 44.91
  9. Castlefield Dream / Jules Cournane / IRL / Capt Brian Cournane / 0/WD
  10. Cunningham 4 / Christopher Lowe / CAN / Christopher Lowe / 3 88.50

Partridge and Chaperone ‘Go Big’ in Tidball Legacy Canadian Hunter Derby Open 3’6”

Quinn Partridge (USA) has a motto when it comes to hunter derby competition: “With the derbies, for me it’s always, ‘Go big or go home, and learn from it if you make the mistake.’”

Partridge rode Emma Lorimer’s Chaperone to top honors in the Open 3’6” section of the Tidball Legacy Canadian Hunter Derby, a qualifier for the Canadian Hunter Derby Final at the Royal Winter Fair. The pair’s winning score was 105. Verdict and Joie Gatlin (USA) finished second (104 points), with Light My Fire and Ashley Arnholdt (CAN) third (98).

The competition was held in a one-round format, judged as a hunter handy class with three components: a base score, high performance bonus for jumping high options and a handy bonus awarded at the judge’s discretion.

“The course designed for tonight had a lot of options. I think that’s always fun—not only for the rider, but also for the horse—because you can acclimate to what suits you and your horse best and show off some brilliance,” Partridge said. “He jumped in form, and that’s all you can ask of the hunters at the bigger derbies.”

Partridge utilized her horse’s strengths off the right lead to her advantage.

“I just came across fence seven with a little slice so that I could land and [continue] nicely for that inside, kind of direct eight [strides] to the vertical, which then gave you a nice tidy inside turn back to the trot jump. That was probably my favorite part of the course.”

Chaperone has been in Partridge’s stable for the past two years. Originally imported to be a jumper, he was sent to Partidge by Sarah Lambert of Langley-based Highland Farms when his potential for the hunter ring was identified. After success in the Green Hunter divisions, Partridge’s student Lorimer purchased the gelding. When Chaperone isn’t jumping derbies, he’s competing with Lorimer in the Junior Hunter division.

“You find that diamond in the rough,” Partridge said, “and by all means, [we] had a derby horse.”

Quinn Partridge (USA) and Chaperone stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$10,000 Tidball Legacy Canadian Hunter Derby Open 3’6”

  1. Chaperone / Quinn Partridge / USA / Emma Lorimer / 105
  2. Verdict / Joie Gatlin / USA / Alexis Meadows / 104
  3. Light My Fire / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 98
  4. Jembey van’t Eigenlo / Rodney Tulloch / CAN / Christine Maclean / 92
  5. Africa ZF / Samantha Smith / USA / Rachel Ash / 89
  6. VDL Iglesias / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Elizabeth Lawson / 88
  7. Avalon 280 / Kendra Murray / CAN / Kenda Murray / 87.5
  8. Easystreet / Taylor McManus / CAN / Thunderbird Show Stables / 80
  9. Ivanhoe F / Nyha Leclerc / CAN / Nyha Leclerc / 78
  10. Limited Edition / Justin Annandale / Drew Crosdale / 76.5

Cook Tops ‘Nail-biting’ CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m

Shauna Cook (CAN) had one hyphenated word to describe her win in the CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m: “nail-biting.”

After her first round with Caya in the uniquely formatted class, Cook was unsure whether she’d even make the second round, for which only the top 10 combinations return. Ultimately, she’d just qualify as the tenth best score of the round.

Returning first for the second round on a clean slate, she and her mount positively nailed Anderson Lima’s (BRA) shortened track. But Cook then had to wait nine rounds to see whether the effort would be good enough to win.

It was.

Cook and her mother Sheilagh Kelly’s Caya topped the CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m for the second week in a row, crossing the timers in an uncatchable 48.19 seconds. James Chawke (IRL) and Gamble, who qualified ninth, finished second (48.33 seconds), with Kyle King (USA) and Inferno BF third (49.88).

“I had that bit of an unlucky rail in the first round. The winning round worked in my favor this week, and we just snuck in, because she’s a quick horse,” Cook said. “It was a nail-biter. I wasn’t sure I was going to get in, and then I was like, ‘Well, I’ve got nothing to lose.’”

Not only did she have quickness on her side, but Cook also rode a most efficient track, where everything simply came up out of stride, leaving Cook feeling especially confident given her mare’s relative inexperience at the level. Caya jumped her first 1.50m track in Friday’s CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup 1.50m. Saturday, it was a celebratory scene at the back gate as Cook was joined by her trainer Gail Greenough, her longtime groom Candace McLaughlin and her daughter, Darby. Her parents were also in attendance.

“Today, she’s just in her zone,” she said.

Shauna Cook (CAN) and Caya stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$15,000 CSI3* Kubota Canada Winning Round 1.45m

  1. Caya / Shauna Cook / CAN / Sheilagh Kelly / 4/0 48.19
  2. Gamble / James Chawke / IRL / James Chawke / 4/0 48.33
  3. Inferno BF / Kyle King / USA / Richard Kirby / 0/0 49.88
  4. Casturano / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Meredith Ellis / 0/0 50.58
  5. Messi 10 / Uma O’Neill / NZL / Uma O’Neill / 0/0 50.75
  6. Chafleur / Laura Jane Tidball / CAN / Katie Harris / 0/0 55.97
  7. King-Boy / Rachel Fields / NZL / The Kehring Family / 0/4 51.1
  8. Indigo van de Muggenhoek / Zume Gallaher / USA / Zume Gallaher / 2/4 55.65
  9. Royal Dream-T / Mandy Porter / USA / Beth Bowlen / 0/4
  10. Larima / Katie Kehring / USA / The Kehring Family / 0/8 53.43

Fitzgerald Stands Alone at the Top in MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m

When Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) entered the Fort Grand Prix Arena with Pasquinelle, 12 of the 15 entries in the MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m had jumped, but none had produced a clear round over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 1.40m speed track.

Having already ridden the course once aboard Coco du Houlbec Z, Fitzgerald knew what she needed to do to improve, and she executed. She and Pasquinelle, affectionately known as “Todd,” not only jumped clear, but they would also finish the class as the only combination to do so. Stella Chernoff (CAN) and Connador finished second as the fastest four faulters (69.62 seconds), with Justine Cha (CAN) and Texas third (4/71.75).

“I know [Todd] so well, and I knew my plan, and I just rode the horse I knew I had,” said Fitzgerald, 25.

Fitzgerald and Todd have been partnered for nearly two years, and the “puppy dog”-like bay has been a shining light for his rider in the face of great loss. Fitzgerald’s former U25 mount Ceasar A passed away tragically when the gelding’s cecum—a storage site for water and electrolytes, located at the junction of the small and large intestines—ruptured in 2020. When trainer Dayton Gorsline began to search for a new mount for his pupil, international Irish show jumper Greg Broderick recommended Todd.

“He said, ‘I have [a horse] that I think might be perfect for her,’” Fitzgerald recalled. “And he was right.”

Fitzgerald initially leased Todd but ended up purchasing him outright before the lease finished.

“He came into my life, and it was kind of spooky how much we connected and how much he was like [Caesar A],” Fitzgerald said. “He’s everything I’ve ever wanted.”

Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) and Pasquinelle stand for the winner’s presentation with tbird CEO Jane Tidball. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$5,000 MarBill Hill U25 League 1.40m

  1. Pasquinelle / Emily Fitzgerald / CAN / Emily Fitzgerald / 0 72.33
  2. Connador / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Rach and Cattle Co Ltd / 4 69.62
  3. Texas / Justine Cha / CAN / Christine Cha / 4 71.75
  4. Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Gareth Graves / 4 72.51
  5. VIP Des Majuros / Carly Stevens / CAN / Grant & Susie Stevens / 8 67.33
  6. Coco du Houlbec Z / Emily Fitzgrald / CAN / Emily Fitzgrald / 8 69.62
  7. Ittolo / Jarne Francken / USA / Kerri Volek / 8 73.08
  8. Houdini / Alexis Goetz / CAN / Alexis Goetz / 8 73.4
  9. Naxos 27 / Dylan Jordan / CAN / Miram Ameli / 16 65.31
  10. Cella / Taylor Winther Blair / CAN / Taylor Winther Blair / 16 70.58

Morin Makes Moves in CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup

The youngest rider in the field led the victory lap in the CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup 1.50m Friday at Thunderbird Show Park, as 19-year-old Brooke Morin (USA) earned her first international victory with NKH Carrido.

The young rider bested a five-horse jump-off set by Anderson Lima (BRA), crossing the timers nearly two seconds best. The winning mark was 40.68 seconds. First to return for the short course, Jeffrey Fields (USA) and Sherlina Ale finished second (42.17 seconds), with Uma O’Neill (NZL) and Clockwise of Greenhill Z third (43.04).

Morin’s plan was simple: Commit to winning.

“My plan was definitely to go for it, to go as I [could] and to take the best turns I could to make my time better,” she said.

And if she needed any encouragement, she had the crowd’s backing. Her team chanted from the ingate at every opportunity to maintain her forward momentum.

“The crowd was very loud. I like that,” Morin said. “It definitely helped me, and it made [NKH Carrido] a little more excited I think also.”

Brooke Morin (USA) and NKH Carrido. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

Morin has been partnered with the 12-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion for the past two years and is finding her partnership at its strongest after jumping their first five-star 1.50m class this summer in Calgary. That’s made commuting between Langley, where trainer Kyle King (USA) is based, and her California home, easier.

“I feel super confident. That definitely helps, for sure,” she said. “I would say, the key for doing these big classes and wanting to win is being confident.”

The CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup offered the Jump For Uryadi’s Village initiative, in which individuals could pledge a dollar amount, and every time the Uryadi’s Village jump was cleared, that amount was donated to Uryadi’s Village, a permaculture-based village in Ethiopia for orphaned children. The cause is spearheaded by Jennifer Crooks and named after Crooks’ former top mount, Uryadi. More than $40,000 was rasied Friday at tbird for the organization. To learn more, visit UryadisVillage.org.

Brooke Morin (USA) and NKH Carrido stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

 CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup 1.50m

  1. NKH Carrido / Brooke Morin / USA / Strasburg Morin Inc / 0/0 40.68
  2. Sherlina Ale / Jeffrey Fields / Sahana Ganesan / USA / 0/0 42.17
  3. Clockwise of Greenhill Z / Uma O’Neill / NZL / Uma O’Neill / 0/0 43.04
  4. Lavallino Ter Klomp / Jennifer Waxman / USA / Lost Lake Farm LLC / 0/0 43.32
  5. Castlewood Dream / Julian Cournane / IRL / Capt. Brian Cournane / 0/4
  6. Chardonnay / Robert Blanchette / IRL / RTS LLC / 4 70.44
  7. Chess / Kyle King / USA / The Chess Group / 4 73.01
  8. Havana / Kassidy Keith / CAN / Cheryl Keith / 4 73.33
  9. Uccello de Will / Joie Gatlin / USA / Oakland Ventures LLC / 4 75.76
  10. Chic D Emma Z / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / 4 76.5

Gatlin Finds Winning Gear in CSI3* 1.35m

Joie Gatlin (USA) knows 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Koddac van het Indihof well, but until earlier this month, it had been more than a year since they’d been partnered as a horse-and-rider combination.

Gatlin is enjoying getting reacquainted with the veteran gelding, and everything came together for her with a win in the CSI3* tbird 1.35m.

The pair were more than three seconds best over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) jump-off track. Katie Kruger (CAN) and Chic Bonita 7 finished second (43.91 seconds), with Braden James (CAN) and GK Caamp third (44.36) in the five-horse jump-off.

“I got a good pace to the first jump and kept going to the second, bent out a little to the third [jump] and to the fourth vertical” Gatlin said. “I think my favorite part was my turn to the vertical-vertical double. He was right there with me. I landed and I just felt him there. I was super tight, and he really paid attention and jumped that good and then just stayed so smooth.”

Gatlin first scouted Koddac for U25 rider Chandler Meadows (USA) in 2020, and the pair jumped to success at the international level up to 1.50m. But as Meadows’ string grew and she began to travel more, she thought Koddac would be better suited with a west coast base, with Gatlin.

“Rob [Chandler’s father] and Chandler pow-wowed, and then we all decided that he’d come back out west [from Wellington, FL], and I would take the ride on him and see what we could do,” Gatlin said. “I think ultimately he would be for sale, but for now we’re just getting him in gear and jumping around and having some fun. He was awesome.”

Gatlin plans to remain at tbird for next week’s Summer Fort Festival CSI2* and appreciated the opportunity to have the international 1.35m division added to the show schedule.

“It’s super that they have the extra FEI divisions,” she said. “I think it’s really good for horses and riders to practice FEI and get their feet wet in the 1.35m. For us, it’s fortunate, because we’re kind of getting to know each other and rebuilding and getting some miles together. It’s a perfect division [for that].”

Joie Gatlin (USA) and Koddac van het Indhof stand for the winner’s presentation. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

$1500 tbird 1.35m

  1. Kodacc van het Indihof / Joie Gatlin / USA / Chandler Meadows / 0/0 40.68
  2. Chic Bonita 7/ Katie Kruger / CAN / Caledonia Stables / 0/0 43.91
  3. GK Caamp / Braden James / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 0/0 44.36
  4. WH Contiago / Madison Sproule / CAN / Madison Sproule / 0/0 47.41
  5. Quibbela Bee / Jenna Brownjohn / CAN / Natasha Muckova / 0/4 47.67
  6. Cameron Diaz 5 / Guillermo Obligado / ARG /Milberry Farm LLC / 1 82.05
  7. Quidamo F / Kara Chad / CAN / Kara Chad / 3 84.63
  8. Zamira Z / Isauro Flores / CAN / Isauro Flores / 4 79.82
  9. Nixon vd Bisschop / Bonnee James / CAN / Bonnee James / 4 80.5
  10. Cooper GT / Katrina Montinola / USA / Katrina Montinola / 8 78.08

Devrainne Gets First FEI Win in CSI3* tbird Challenge

Two jumps in to Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 1.40m track in the CSI3* tbird Challenge, Sebastien Devrainne (FRA) knew he had to reset. His mount, the 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding Carre D’as Lili was getting a bit strong heading toward the first combination on course, so he took a moment to regain some rideability.

It was only smooth sailing from there.

Devrainne would go on to jump one of just three double-clear rounds on the day to take the win, the first international victory of his career. His winning time was 45.62 seconds. Katie Kruger (CAN) and Goodwill VB finished second (47.22 seconds), with Kennedy Ellingson (CAN) and Coeur de Riccerole VG Z third (48.23).

“Everything kind of pretty much came up in stride in the jump-off,” Devarinne said. “I ended up just going along with the flow, going along with the stride and then just honestly by luck, it kind of paid off for me.

“It’s my first FEI win with [my horse], and the first for myself personally,” he added. “So it’s really fantastic.”

Devrainne has made all of his career international starts at Thunderbird, making his debut with a then 8-year-old Carre D’as Lili in the fall of 2020 after importing the bay earlier that year. In their time together, Devrainne has come to appreciate both a competitive partner and a kind companion.

“In the ring, he’s game on. He will get to the gate and get a little antsy, get a little ready-to-go. I kind of get him rolling and once he’s in the game, he’s looking up to whatever comes next,” he said. “Even at home, he knows when we jump, but he’s super easy to hack. He loves his stretching, he loves going around the property. On the ground, he’s a puppy dog. One of his tricks is that he’ll tilt his head and stretch his neck, asking for scratches.”

Devrainne went out on his own last fall, starting his own Devrainne Performance Horses and moving into a new barn in Kelowna, BC, earlier this spring. The move has quickly produced results.

“So far, I’m lucky that everything is falling into place really nicely.”

Sebastien Devrainne (FRA) and Carre D’as Lili. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders

 $8,800 CSI3* tbird Challenge 1.40m

  1. Carre D’as Lili / Sebastien Devrainne / FRA / Sebastien Devrainne / 0/0 45.62
  2. Goodwill VB / Katie Kruger / CAN / Caledonia Stables / 0/0 47.22
  3. Coeur de Riccerole VG Z / Kennedy Ellingson / CAN / Kennedy Ellingson / 0/0 48.23
  4. EZ Ace / Justin Prather / CAN / Justin Prather / Bradon Equestrian Ltd / 0/4 45.85
  5. Fair Katie VDH / Maddy Riddle / CAN / Brian Vander Helm / 0/4 47.31
  6. Marquis le Beau Courally / Claire Doty / CAN / Claire Doty / 0/8 49.19
  7. Aladin des Brimbelles / Lisa Carlsen / CAN / Jenna Lee Gottschlich / 0/9 60.9
  8. NKH Carrido / Brooke Morin / USA / Strasburg Morin Inc. / 0/WD
  9. Indigo van de Muggenhoek / Zume Gallaher / USA / Blue Gate Stables LLC / 2 77.47
  10. Larima / Katie Kehring / USA / The Kehring Family / 4 71.66

Chawke and Howard du Seigneur Find Their Competitive Edge in CSI3* George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m

James Chawke (IRL) stepped Ramsay Equestrian’s Howard du Seigneur up to the 1.45m height for the first time at last week’s Summer Fort Welcome CSI3*.

It took only a week for the pair to record a victory at the height—their first international win as a partnership. They topped Wednesday’s CSI3* George and Dianne Tidball Legacy 1.45m, the first FEI class of the Summer Fort Classic CSI3*.

Crossing the timers of Anderson Lima’s (BRA) speed track in 68.29 seconds, the pair set down a standard that simply couldn’t be caught. Jeffrey Fields (USA) and Sherlina Ale finished second (69.05 seconds), with last-to-jump Samara Henrichs Prat (CAN) and Peninsula Swanky third (70.69).

“He’s a really good jumper and very careful,” Chawke said of his mount. “Last week, I moved him up and down a bit. I jumped [the CSI3* tbird Speed 1.45m] and then did the 1.40m and [went a bit faster] with the hope that I could walk in today, and he could be good and competitive. He was a lot more competitive than I was expecting. He was so good.”

Chawke and the 9-year-old chestnut stallion have only been paired a short time, jumping their first classes in May. The horse’s owner, international Canadian show jumper Ali Ramsay made the match when asking Chawke for some feedback. Ramsay thought the two got along so well, she kept the partnership together.

“Ali has been a friend of mine for a few years, and she said to me, why don’t I jump a class or two and see what I thought,” Chawke explained. “We got along quite well, and she just said, ‘Why don’t [you] keep him a little while and see how things go?’ So, I took him to Spruce [Meadows], and he was great there, and then she went to Europe, so she left him with me.”

The partnership has quickly blossomed, with Chawke and Howard jumping to two runner-up finishes at the Summer Fort Welcome. This week, they broke through for a tally in the win column, putting the pressure on early in the class when jumping sixth in the order of 30 starters. Both Robert Blanchette (IRL) and Matthew Sampson (GBR) blazed the trail to come home quicker than the leaders, but rails kept them from atop the podium.

“The course kind of suited me a bit,” Chawke said. “[Howard] doesn’t have the biggest step in the world, so the lines kind of suited me, because you could run along a little bit. He’s really starting to figure it out and just follow me, which is nice. The last few lines were really tight, so I did one less [stride] the last two lines. He was quite good.”

The Summer Fort Classic CSI3* resumes Thursday with the CSI3* tbird Challenge 1.40m and the MarBill Hill U25 League 1.35m.

Tickets are available for the week’s feature, the $100,000 CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix, set for Sunday, Aug. 21 at 2pm PT.

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