Calgary, Alberta – June 15, 2017 – The Opening day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament presented a three-man showdown with World #1 ranked rider Kent Farrington (USA) taking the champion’s title in the Husky Energy Cup.
Only three riders of the 46 total starting entry would master the first round course set by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela which presented intricate turns, tight distances and delicate fences. An intense jump off followed with riders representing Uruguay, Canada and the USA qualifying to test their horses speed and agility.
Kent Farrington aboard his agile, careful and consistent 16 year-old grey gelding Uceko would prove his deserved World #1 ranking once again at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, challenging the defending champion of the 2016 Husky Energy Cup, Canada’s Eric Lamaze aboard Coco Bongo.
When Farrington(USA) was asked how he manages his grey gelding, He answered, “Well that’s easy, I plan his year around Spruce Meadows, then a pick and choose the other shows for him around it. I tend to show him very little and I like to go to the places he likes – he loves the grass, and he has always done well here.” When commenting on the course tonight, Kent mentioned, “Leopoldo is known for his tight time allowed and I think that played a big factor today, a couple very delicate fences and when you jump to try and make the time you tend to run into mistakes.”
Arriving close behind Farrington for second place was fan favorite, Eric Lamaze(CAN), aboard the horse he won this competition on last year, Coco Bongo. It had been a little while since fans had seen the partnership in the competition ring, Lamaze commented, “Coco Bongo had quite a bit of time off, he is now an ex-stallion, a gelding, so we have been bringing him back slowly. He is a very careful horse and with Kent was in the running, I know Coco Bongo is not an overly fast horse – if I push him too much to go fast he becomes too careful and starts to jump too high. So I was just looking to ride a fairly careful jump off and I’m very happy with his result.”
After a great early result for Uruguay’s Juan Manuel Luzardo in the 1.45m competition finishing second he continued a fantastic Thursday at the ‘Continental’, with a third place finish in tonight’s 1.50m Husky Energy Cup. Luzardo stated, “It is only my second year competing at Spruce Meadows, so I am really happy to be able to compete with this calibre of riders. I’m thrilled with my horse; he doesn’t have much experience jumping this height especially at CSI5* level shows – so I’m really happy to be in this position!”
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