When a rider who earned two gold medals and victory in some of the top grand prix classes in the world aboard the great Sapphire states, “I do not think I have sat on a horse like this,” it’s really saying something.
Last to go in a blazingly fast 11-horse jump-off, McLain Ward knew he’d have to pull out all the stops to win.
Lucky for him, Rothchild, or “Bongo,” knows just how to pin his ears, grit his teeth and dig in. “The horse really came through strong to the last fence because he had helped me out a little bit. It was a hard question to ask him,” Ward said.
So, for the second year in a row, Ward and Rothchild emerged victorious in the $210,000 CP Grand Prix during the Continental Tournament at Spruce Meadows.
“I can honestly tell you that I never thought I’d win this grand prix again,” Ian Millar admitted. “I won it twice before, and that was a long time ago. The sport has changed so much. I’m a little more mature than I was. These young people go plenty fast, and they’re really, really good. To go up against them is no easy task. The afternoon just seems to fly by. It happened so fast, and the tension is incredible. It’s a heck of a payday. It’s just a thrill beyond words.”
Ben Maher takes us behind the scenes to visit his top horses, Cella and Urico, at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alberta.
Maher, 30, recently earned the top spot in the Longines World Rankings list, having just been a member of Great Britain's PSI European Championship (Denmark) gold-medal team, and earning individual silver there as well.
Pieter Devos’ first trip to the Spruce Meadows Masters didn’t start out terribly well.
On the first day of competition, he and his mare Candy took a bad fall, with Devos’ leg between the horse and a pole. While Candy was unhurt, Devos was concerned he’d broken his leg—it was so swollen he couldn’t even get his boot on for a few days.
But he’s not leaving Calgary, Alberta, with anything but great memories. He and Candy topped the $1 Million CN Grand Prix today, Sept. 8, scoring a second consecutive victory for his home country of Belgium.
When Hans-Dieter Dreher trotted into the International Ring at Spruce Meadows today, Sept. 7., he had plenty of pressure on his shoulders. After two rounds of jumping, his team lay in a three-way tie for the win in the BMO Nations Cup, and he was the German representative to a jump-off to determine his country’s medal. Belgium’s François Mathy had gone for broke and ticked a single rail, but Dreher had France’s Penelope Leprevost at his heels.