The AKITA Drilling Cavalry Charge (1.50m) is the second competition of the four-part 2018 Speed Series Challenge at Spruce Meadows. The course designed by Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) was designed to fit in both the International Ring and the Meadows on the Green. During the first let at the Spruce Meadows ‘National’ presented by Rolex, Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) took first place followed closely by Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Karen Polle (JPN) who placed second and third respectively. All three riders started the AKITA Drilling Cavalry Charge today in hopes of bettering their series rank. Ultimately, John Perez (COL) would race his way to the winner’s circle aboard his 15 year old mare, Utopia, with a quick time of 77.43s. After two competitions of the Speed Series Challenge Coyle and Lambre are currently tied for first place in the series with 96 points.
Saturday afternoon of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* Tournament featured the Canadian Utilities Cup 1.50m. This competition was the final chance for riders not already qualified to qualify for Sunday’s Grand Prix. Forty horse/rider combinations would compete in the competition including last years co-champions Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Leslie Howard (USA) who tied for the win by 1/100th of a second in the jump off in 2017. Twelve combinations jumped clean in the first round to move onto the jump off. Coyle laid down a quick time, but Eric Lamaze (CAN) pulled out all the stops with his new mount Saura de Fondcombe to take the win for Canada with a time of 35.38s.
“None (Spruce Meadows competitions) are won easily – it takes more than you, it takes a great horse and staff behind you. I’m lucky to have that.” – Eric Lamaze (CAN)