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And the Oscar Goes To…
Sameh El Dahan! It was a sweet, sweet victory for Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan in the CP Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows. After quite a few “close but no cigar” finishes over the last two weeks at Spruce with multiple 2nd and 3rd places, Sameh El Dahan was finally able to clinch his first CSI5* Grand Prix win at Spruce Meadows. Out of 32 starters, only 2 riders jumped off: Sameh El Dahan and USA’s Charlie Jacobs. Beezie Madden (USA) finished in 3rd with just a single time fault. That is a big win in very good company for Dahan.
El Dahan was thrilled with 13 year-old Suma’s Zorro: “Leopoldo [Palacios, the course designer] didn’t leave anything to chance – there were big oxers, tall verticals, short time allowed – but my mare can cope with all of that because she has that quality. She also has a big heart, she really tried her heart out at every jump and she really made it happen for me.”
You Go, Glenn Coco
You go, Daniel AND Leslie? It is not often that you see an exact tie in equestrian sports, but for Daniel Coyle and Leslie Howard, it did indeed happen. 23-year-old Coyle (IRL) on Tienna and 61-year-old Howard (USA) on Donna Speciale tied exactly with a jump off time of 36.44 seconds, making them both the champions of the 1.55m Canadian Utilities Cup at Spruce Meadows on Saturday.
The International ring at Spruce Meadows is known to be one of the most challenging rings in the world and course designer Leopoldo Palacios took no prisoners in the Canadian Utilities Cup. 64 horse/rider combinations were set to compete on the order of go. Of those 64 pairs, 9 pairs did not show and 5 pairs retired. Beezie Madden, Kevin Babington, Samuel Parot and Karen Polle were among the scratches. It appears that Saturday was not the day for some of the sport’s best and brightest.
Francois Lamontagne Is Two for Two at CSI** Headwaters Cup
Francois Lamontagne was on fire at the CSI** Headwaters Cup at Angelstone Tournaments in Rockwood, ON. Lamontagne and his mare, Chanel Du Calvaire, thrilled the crowd when they won the $35,000 1.45m FEI Open Welcome on Thursday, June 15 by only one hundredth of second. With a jump off of 41.53 seconds, Lamontagne and Chanel Du Calvaire took the win over Susan Horn and Lillyfee (41.54 seconds). Running with Thursday’s momentum in the Saturday night FEI Headwaters Cup Grand Prix, Lamontagne delivered a blazing fast jump off of 33.07 seconds to nudge Hugh Graham’s time of 33.63 seconds out of the lead and take the victory once again on Chanel Du Calvaire.