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Bloodline diversity evident at Spruce Meadows Masters’

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Martin Fuchs riding Leone Jei to victory in the CPKC Grand Prix presented by Rolex – his first win in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping series

By Jean Llewellyn
Photography: Peter Llewellyn

The 2023 Spruce Meadows Masters tournament in Calgary was remarkable for its diversity of bloodlines in the Nations Cup as well as the CPKC Grand Prix presented by Rolex. Although, scheduled just days following the European Championships certainly impacted the entry list.

Large crowds witnessed a true Spruce Meadows spectacle as the often fickle Calgary weather behaved impeccably throughout – apart from an afternoon malestrom that interrupted competition for 10 minutes on the opening day when several fence rails were brought down by a gusty wind.

BMO Nations Cup

Spruce Meadows has enjoyed a long-time relationship with the Bank of Montreal – the traditional sponsors of the 1m60 Nations Cup which, on this occasion saw seven teams representing the United States, Sweden, Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Canada. Among the national stalwarts were some newer and younger rider names, all as equally talented as their peers, who provided an exciting two rounds. As usual, resident course designer Leopoldo Palacios created a stunning display, which added to a dramatic conclusion:
• 1. Ireland – Bertram Allen/Pacino Amiro; Daniel Coyle/Legacy; Denis Lynch/Brooklyn Heights; Conor Swail/Calciet EB Z
• 2. Germany – Hans-Dieter Dreher/Elysium; Kendra Claricia Brinkop/In Time; Jorne Sprehe/Hot Easy; Richard Vogel/Cepano Baloubet
• 3. Canada – Amy Millar/Truman; Tiffany Foster/Figor; Erynn Ballard/Gakhir; Mario Deslauriers/Emerson
• 4. Great Britain – Ben Maher/Exit Remo; Matthew Sampson/Equine America Ivanhoe GPH; Sameh El Dahan/WKD Toronto; John Whitaker/Equine America Unick du Francport
• 5. Belgium – Olivier Philippaerts/Le Blue Diamond v’t Ruytershof; Wilm Vermeir/DM Jacqmotte; Abdel Said/Arpege du Ru
• 6. United States – Natalie Dean/Acota M; Brian Cournane/Armik; Alessandra Volpi/Berlinda; Mimi Gochman/Celina BH
• 7. Sweden – Amanda Landeblad/For Killy; Fredrik Spetz/Flanagan; Evelina Tovek/Winnetou de La Hamente Z; Angelie von Essen/Alcapone des Carmille.
In terms of studbooks, the less traditional entry list notwithstanding, KWPN led the way represented by nine horses; followed by Selle Français (five); Zangersheide (three); Irish Sport Horse, Holsteiner, and Oldenburg (two apiece); Belgian Sport Horse, DSP[Bad-Wü], and ZfDP (each with one horse). The first question that perhaps springs to mind is whether KWPN is eclipsing Holsteiner in terms of breeding jumping quality, although it should also be noted that Selle Français is currently leading the latest WBFSH studbook jumping rankings for the 2022-2023 season, marginally ahead of Holsteiner, with Zangersheide third, and KWPN fourth. However, with fewer than 500 points separating these top four studbooks, it remains to be seen whether the leaderboard will change ahead of the September 30 deadline. Likewise, whether fifth-placed BWP – just 12 points adrift of KWPN – will ascend to a podium finish... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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