PHOTOS by Quinn Saunders
WORDS by Catie Staszak
The 2022 Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament CSI5*/CSI2* added a second week to September competition in Calgary ahead of the coveted ‘Masters,’ which will feature the $2,500,000 CN International Grand Prix—part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
With preparation in mind for many riders, there was still a five-star Grand Prix to be won, and Sunday’s CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix 1.60m put an exclamation mark on a week with palpable excitement.
Quinn Saunders captured some of the magic and all of the emotion:
For the first time in Spruce Meadows history, there were two winners of a CSI5* Grand Prix. Matt Sampson (GB) and Paul O’Shea shared the win in the CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix 1.60m, crossing the timers of Leopoldo Palacio’s (VEN) course in identical times of 38 seconds flat.
The day was a theme of “twos,” as Sampson took a second victory in the CSI2* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix 1.45m. This time, his winning mount was the exceptionally quick Curraghgraigue Obos Flight. The winning jump-off time, again, was 38 seconds. Now that’s consistency—as is running your win total to four. Sampson also took wins with Fabrice DN and Evora BJX on Thursday and Saturday, respectively, at the Continental.
World No. 10 Kent Farrington (USA) has all but become synonymous with Spruce Meadows. He returned to the venue to win the CSI5* Friends of the Meadows Jumper 1.50m with the venerable 16-year-old Gazelle and finish second in the CSI2* Friends of the Meadows Grand Prix 1.45m with the exciting 8-year-old Electrique. This is undoubtedly a mare for the future!
Nayel Nassar (EGY) completed his week with a pair of wins. He took an opening day win in the CSI5* Friends of the Meadows 1.55m speed competition with Coronado before topping the CSI5* 1.50m jump-off competition with his Olympic and World Championships partner, Igor van de Wittemoere.
Who else could be spotted at Spruce Meadows ahead of the ‘Masters’?
Tiffany Foster (CAN) showed some appreciation for Hamilton after a double-clear effort and top five finish in the CSI5* Grand Prix.
Rowan Willis took a win in the Friends of the Meadows Jumper 1.45m with Wellington Grey Goose.
Who doesn’t love a pop of color? Kyle King (USA) and Gipsy de L’epinette couldn’t be missed in the All Alberta Ring!
Patrcio Pasquel (MEX) and his special homebred Babel added to their resume with a win in the CSI5* 1.55m division.
World No. 4 Conor Swail took a 1.40m win aboard newer mount, Clear Concept.
Spruce Meadows is a venue founded on tradition. It all continues at the Masters, which will feature seven out of the world’s 10 top-ranked riders, including 2022 FEI World Championships individual gold medalist Henrik Von Eckermann (SWE) and silver medalist Jerome Guery (BEL).
The Masters runs September 7-11. Watch the action live on ClipMyHorse.tv.
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