The Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament proved its reputation correct for being one of the most challenging and respected tournaments in the sport of Show Jumping. The Tournament began its first day with an impressive entry of international athletes primed to test their skill in the famed International Ring.
The afternoon’s 1.60m event was won by Juan Carlos Garcia(ITL) who’s last visit to Spruce Meadows was in 2012. Happy to be back in the International Ring, Garcia praised his mount Gitano V Berkenbroeck, a Belgium Warmblood Stallion by Nabab de Reve. “This horse is very brave, no spook at all, good power, great head and this field is very good for him.” Garcia continued, “The courses are different then what I am used to, the time is quite short and the first round needs to be ridden more like a speed course. There is so much space and the grass field is unique and the jumps are quite wide which all comes into play.”
Arriving in the silver medal position, making his Spruce Meadows debut, was Henrik Von Eckermann of Sweden. Von Eckermann took Chacanno, a 10-year-old Chacco Blue gelding, into the winner’s circle with a fantastic double clear round just 0.25 seconds of Garcia’s pace. “This was my first time so I had heard rumors of how it could be, and with a very careful horse I didn’t know whether it would go well or not. It’s different from what we are jumping at home in Europe, but its nice – a nice course – the time was tight which is what I heard to expect when coming here so I needed to get going fast.”
Off to a great start at the ‘Masters’ Tournament, also enjoying, her Spruce Meadows debut was Luciana Diniz of Portugal. Luciana rode Winning Mood, an 18 year old Belgian Warmblood stallion, to the bronze medal position out of a 48 horse roster, with just nine returning for the jump off. Out of the six double clear performances, the top three were all within 0.32 seconds of each other. This all provided a thrilling jump off show down against the clock to launch opening day of the famed Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’.
Juan Carlos Garcia(ITL) hoists the Champions Trophy with Karl Rudd, President and CEO of Akita Drilling
Luciana Diniz Claims Victory in TELUS Cup With First Steps on International Ring
Today, Spruce Meadows victory was captured by Luciana Diniz (POR) out of a 63-horses starters under the clock tower in the ‘Masters’ opening event, the TELUS Cup.. Clear rounds were rare out of the large world class roster, with only ten returning for a fantastic afternoon jump off. Course Designer Leopoldo Palacios(VEN) set the challenging TELUS Cup course which set the early standard for what is sure to be an impressive week of top sport.
On her inaugural visit to Spruce Meadows, Diniz changed her plan original game plan with Fit For Fun and decided to test this morning’s 1.50m competition to try to solidify her qualification for this weekend’s CP ‘International’ Grand Prix. Diniz commented, “My victory began already yesterday when I arrived and truly fell in love with this place [Spruce Meadows] I woke up yesterday and decided I would go with a different plan than I first thought. I originally thought I would take Fit For Fun into the 1.60m competition, but my goal was to qualify for the Grand Prix and get the pressure off for the week.” The top three placings in the TELUS Cup will automatically qualify for Sunday’s CP International Grand Prix. Diniz continued, “I had a great feeling about my decision and luckily it seems my intuition was right.“
Following just fractions behind the winning jump off time at 39.69 seconds, was Canadian great Eric Lamaze aboard the impressive Oldenburg Gelding, Chacco Kid. Eric qualified two horses into the TELUS Cup jump off, both horses looked to be in fantastic form for this week’s events, though Lamaze opted not to take his second mount, the lovely 14-year-old mare Fine Lady, into the final round against the clock.
After producing such great results during the 2017 Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Sameh El Dahan (EGY), arrived to fantastic podium finish in the TELUS Cup with the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood WKD Diva. El Dahan was the third of four faultless score cards, also arriving just a hair behind first and second place finishers.
Luciana Diniz(POR) poses with Fit For Fun and Nimtaz Kanji, Director at TELUS Wise