A cleverly designed course by Leopoldo Palacios claimed more than a few unexpected scalps in the first round of the 1m60 $75,000 CANA Cup, including Harrie Smolders riding Bingo du Parc (Mylord Carthago HN x Diamant de Semilly), Pius Schwizer with Vancouver de Lanlore (Toulon x Le Tot de Semilly), and Olympic team and individual World Champion Henrik von Eckermann riding Nababette Z (Nabab de Reve x Gaspar).
Of the five combinations completing round one with zero faults Kevin Staut (FRA) decided not to return for the jump-off with Visconti du Telman, as did Daniel Bluman (ISR) with Ladriano Z (Lawito x Baloubet du Rouet) – perhaps looking ahead to save their horses for Sunday's mega pay-out Grand Prix.
Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) was, therefore, first to go in a three-horse jump-off riding Le Blue Diamond van't Ruytershof (Plot Blue x Diamant de Semilly) – but turned away from fence three after the stallion slipped on the tight turn, resulting in a four-fault refusal and a slow time of 52.81.
Daniel Deusser and the Selle Français stallion Bingo Ste. Hermelle (Number One d'Iso x Diamant de Semilly) suffered no such problems, but finished with four fault after lowering a rail, leaving the door open for Irishman Connor Swail riding the Hanoverian Count Me In (Count Grannus). The pair romped home in 43.46 seconds to top the podium in the final class on the opening day of the Spruce Meadows Masters', in which the predominance of Semilly products has been marked by their performances.