Rising Star Elena Haas and Ogue Bt Special Win the 1.50m and Sets Her Eyes on Saturday’s Big Event After Last Weeks Near Miss

A Happy Haas: Elena Haas (USA) takes the Friends of the Meadows 1.50m with Ogue Bt Special.

July 03, 2024 (Spruce Meadows) — An overjoyed Elena Haas, of the USA, celebrated winning today’s Friends of the Meadows 1.50m ahead of tomorrow’s qualifier for Saturday’s Grand Prix, where the 21-year-old is aiming to top the podium after a near-miss on the weekend.

Haas, originally from Oakland, California, came second to Matthew Sampson (GBR) in Sunday’s Pan American Cup Grand Prix. Tomorrow, Haas will have a double shot at possible Grand Prix glory, with two horses entered into the Jayman Built Cup qualifier in anticipation of Saturday’s ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix, the biggest event of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series.

“We definitely have our eyes set on the Queen Elizabeth Cup,” said Haas, who will compete tomorrow with Westphalian gelding Claude, as well as Belgian Warmblood Koss Van Heiste.

“It’s the class I’ve looked forward to jumping for a long time, so hopefully we’ll get a shot at it. Hopefully all goes well with the qualifier tomorrow. We’ll be in good form for that.”

This evening, all of Haas’s praise went to today’s champion Irish Sport Horse Ogue Bt Special, who only began competing in CSI5* events last month, during the ‘National’, presented by Rolex. “I felt very much in rhythm with him today,” Haas said. “He’s been jumping great here. I felt confident to go out and give it our all today. I’m so thrilled with how he jumped. He delivered for sure.”

Haas and Ogue Bt Special completed today’s 540m course, thought up by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela, in 70.73s. Second place finisher Lillie Keenan, also of the USA, ended the 12-obstacle, 14-effort course in 73.16s, while Amy Millar (CAN) and Christiano came third at 74.73s.