Belinda Trussell Tops $20,000 Invitational Dressage Cup at 2015 Royal Horse Show®

 

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2015 /CNW/ - Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, won the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, on Thursday night, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show®, held as part of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in downtown Toronto, ON.

Hot off a team silver medal appearance at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games in July, Trussell and Anton returned to the competition arena to win in front of a home crowd.  With a technical program highlighted by a difficult one-handed piaffe-pirouette, the pair earned the top score of 77% from a panel of international judges to earn the title.

"Anton was great!" said Trussell of the 15-year-old German-bred gelding owned by her mother, Robyn Eames, and her husband, Mark Trussell.  "He was very electric, but he was with me.  It was so much fun!"

Having competed in front of a hometown crowd at the Pan American Games, Trussell was thrilled to once again perform in Toronto.  It also marked her second appearance at the Royal Horse Show®, having last competed in 2003 with Royan.

"I always want to win, and I really wanted to support the sport of dressage at The Royal," said Trussell, 44.  "Being a medalist and being in front of a home crowd was important to me, and it felt really great!"

Trussell was especially thrilled to be riding Anton, as the horse has returned to the sport following a two and a half year break due to a bone lesion.  She explained, "My veterinarian, Dr. Usha Knabe, brought him back for me. He is better than ever! At 15, he is reaching his prime."

As the winner, Trussell was presented with the Butternut Ridge Trophy, generously sponsored by Deborah Kinzinger Miculinic.

"To have Deb Kinzinger and Butternut Ridge supporting our sport is huge," said Trussell, who is now aiming for a berth at the 2016 Rio Olympics with Anton.  "They are making it exciting for us to come and compete."

Leah Wilkins, 28, of Amaranth, ON, impressed in her Royal Invitational Cup debut, and used powerful and dramatic music to highlight her Freestyle performance. Riding Fabian J.S., a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Maria Simpson, Wilkins earned a score of 73.375% to finish as the runner-up.  Canadian Olympian and 2013 Royal Invitational Cup competitor David Marcus flew in from Wellington, FL, to coach Wilkins at the Royal Horse Show®.

Crowd favourite Jacqueline Brooks of Mount Albert, ON, thrilled the audience with a moving freestyle performance aboard her 2012 Olympic Games partner, D Niro. Owned by Mary Brooks and Brookhaven Dressage Inc., D Niro is a 16-year-old grey Swedish Warmblood gelding. Brooks, who has been competing at the Royal Horse Show® since dressage was first introduced, finished third on this occasion with a final score of 73.208%.

Rounding out the top four was yet another Canadian Olympian, Evi Strasser of St. Adele, QC.  With a freestyle test highlighted by floating, expressive trot work, Strasser earned a final score of 70.667% riding Renaissance Tyme. The 12-year-old grey Oldenburg gelding recently made headlines when reigning Olympic and World Champion Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain rode him during a dressage demonstration at the Central Park Horse Show in September.

Equitation was also on the agenda at the Royal Horse Show® as the CET Medal Final, presented by Running Fox, took center stage on Thursday afternoon. Having claimed the Jump Canada Medal Final on Tuesday, November 10, Kassidy Keith of Duncan, BC, returned to the Ricoh Coliseum to dominate the 2015 CET Medal Final.  Keith was sitting second following the opening flat and gymnastic phase held Wednesday before topping the final jumping phase on Thursday afternoon. She piloted Wallabee, owned by Jolene Benham, to the top jumping phase score of 89 awarded by judges William Ellis of Ocala, FL, and Mike Rosser of Southern Pines, NC.  The top four riders were then called back for additional testing where Keith impressed yet again to claim the national title. Arora Peters of Aldergrove, BC, finished as the runner-up, Briana Ballard of St. Lazare, QC, took third, and Megan Champoux of Aldergrove, BC, rounded out the top four.

The $35,000 Brickenden Trophy International Jumper class was also held on Thursday and saw Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts riding H&M Legend of Love take the win for owners Gerald Nothurft and Ludo Philippaerts.  The pair topped a starting field of 20 entries as the fastest double clear following a five-horse jump-off.

To cap off the evening, Ireland's Conor Swail executed the best course to take the win in the $35,000 International Jumper Top Score Challenge. Riders formulated their own plan, earning points for each obstacle successfully cleared before deciding whether to jump the joker fence for an additional 200 points. Riding Ariana, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Susan Grange of Cheltenham, ON, Swail successfully cleared the joker to earn a total of 1230 points and take his second victory of the week in the international division.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit http://www.royalfair.org/horse-show.  To purchase Royal Horse Show tickets, please visit Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.ca/venueartist/131553/986584.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

$20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, Presented by Butternut Ridge
Grand Prix Freestyle – Thursday, November 12


Rider

Hometown

Horse

Score

1.

Belinda Trussell          

Stouffville, ON          

Anton                

77.000%

2.

Leah Wilkins           

Amaranth, ON              

Fabian J.S.         

73.375%

3.

Jacqueline Brooks

Mount Albert, ON

D Niro                      

73.208%

4.

Evi Strasser           

St. Adele, QC                

Renaissance Tyme

70.667%

$35,000 Brickenden Trophy International JumperThursday, November 12


Rider   

Hometown        

Horse     

Faults  

Time

1.

Olivier Philippaerts

Belgium              

H&M Legend of Love   

0:0 

30.61

2.

Conor Swail        

Ireland                     

Martha Louise

0:0    

32.04

3.

Erynn Ballard     

Tottenham, ON

Bart C      

0:0    

34.99

4.

Beezie Madden        

United States        

Vanilla             

0:4    

32.29

5.

Vanessa Mannix    

Calgary, AB        

Carolien VH Scheefkasteel

0:4   

35.12

6.

Sharn Wordley      

New Zealand    

Hickstead's Axel           

1


7.

Jonathon Millar        

Perth, ON            

Baranus         

2


8.

 Leslie Howard        

United States       

Utah             

4


9.

Reed Kessler  

United States     

Charity 33    

4


10.

Nicola Philippaerts      

Belgium         

H&M Harley vd Bisschop    

4


11.

Daniel Bluman       

Colombia     

Conconcreto Sancha LS      

4


12.

Jill Henselwood         

Oxford Mills, ON

Farfelu du Printemps     

4


$35,000 International Jumper Top Score ChallengeThursday, November 12


Rider    

Hometown                

Horse                                

Points

1.

Conor Swail         

Ireland        

Ariana          

1230

2.

Roberto Teran          

Colombia           

Farina             

1190

3.

Dermott Lennon    

Ireland              

Fleur IV      

1140

4.

Vanessa Mannix        

Calgary, AB             

Dooley's Deluxe       

1080

5.

Mclain Ward      

United States        

Carneyhaugh Manx      

1000

6.

Erynn Ballard       

Tottenham, ON

Hera van de Kouterhoeve   

1000

7.

Sharn Wordley         

New Zealand         

Famoso D IVE Z          

930

8.

Leslie Howard        

United States        

Backstory          

920

9.

Laura Kraut           

United States    

Andretti S      

840

10.

Olivier Philippaerts

Belgium   

H&M Challenge Vd Begijnakker

800

11.

Francois Mathy     

Belgium                 

Talisman De Mazure   

760

12.

Chris Sorensen   

Caledon, ON            

Wriomf            

590

About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto  For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit www.royalfair.org.

ATTACHED PHOTOGRAPHS
"Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, won the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, riding Anton on Thursday night, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show®."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

"Leah Wilkins impressed in her Royal Horse Show® debut to place second in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, riding Fabian J.S."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

"Kassidy Keith of Duncan, BC, scored an overall victory in the 2015 CET National Medal Finals on Thursday, November 12 at the 2015 Royal Horse Show®."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

"Conor Swail rode Ariana to the win for owner Susan Grange in the $35,000 International Jumper Top Score Challenge on Thursday evening, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show®."
Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography, www.benradvanyi.com

Photographs may be used only in relation to the above news item.
For high resolution photographs, please e-mail: jward@jumpmediallc.com.

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Conor Swail rode Ariana to the win for owner Susan Grange in the $35,000 International Jumper Top Score Challenge on Thursday evening, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show®. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151113_C5375_PHOTO_EN_544641.jpg

Image with caption: "Canadian Olympian Belinda Trussell of Stouffville, ON, won the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, riding Anton on Thursday night, November 12, at the Royal Horse Show®. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151113_C5375_PHOTO_EN_544643.jpg

Image with caption: "Kassidy Keith of Duncan, BC, scored an overall victory in the 2015 CET National Medal Finals on Thursday, November 12 at the 2015 Royal Horse Show®. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151113_C5375_PHOTO_EN_544645.jpg

Image with caption: "“Leah Wilkins impressed in her Royal Horse Show® debut to place second in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup, presented by Butternut Ridge, riding Fabian J.S.” (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151113_C5375_PHOTO_EN_544647.jpg

For further information: Jennifer Ward, Jump Media, Cell: (613) 292-5439, jward@jumpmediallc.com

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http://www.royalfair.org

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