Belgium's Francois Mathy topped the $34,000 International Jumper Top Score Challenge the "Gambler's Choice" Presented by MNP International
TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Dressage rocked the house at The Royal tonight, with the Grand Prix Freestyle portion of the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge part one of a fantastic double-bill which also included the $34,000 "Gambler's Choice" presented by MNP International.
Although Jacqueline Brooks (Cedar Valley, ON) and D Niro laid down the freestyle of the evening, and possibly a career-best score of 73.750% with that horse, Karen Pavicic's consistency across the two days of competition earned Don Daiquiri the overall title.
"Jacquie's test was a very well done freestyle with many good lines and a good pattern," commented Peter Holler, judge at C this evening. "Highlights for sure came in the piaffe and also in the trot."
Brooks' custom music included personalized segments from the Flower Duet from Delibes' Lakme; Les Miserables and Nessun Dorma; and suited her powerful, expressive gray, D Niro, to a T.
Surrey, BC, native Karen Pavicic finished the Freestyle in second tonight, but combined with her win yesterday, meant she would be the overall Champion with the accurate and methodical Don Daiquiri.
Their test this evening was nothing if not ambitious, from halt right into one-tempis into a canter pirouette; rocking away to crowd-pleasing One Republic, American Authors and Avicii.
"I am super proud of my horse," gushed Pavicic. "It was his first time in an indoor atmosphere like that, and he was really nervous. But he held it together really well and it's a great finish to the year."
Equally impressed were the judges, awarding Pavicic and Don Daiquiri 73.167% for their Freestyle.
"Karen's horse has a lot of energy and she had a lot of ideas in her test," said Holler of the final pair. "The music may not be to everyone's taste, but I found it fits the horse and rider really well. There is a lot of potential in this pair."
Jill Irving of Moncton, NB, rode Pop Art conservatively for those used to seeing "Poppy" in the winner's circle at The Royal, but put in a perfectly respectable test for a freestyle score of 70.458%. Irving is no stranger to winning at The Royal however, having multiple hunter championships under her belt before switching to dressage.
Britney Fraser (New Glasgow, NS), rode Countess to third with a score of 69.625%.
Part two of the evening introduced the fun and crowd-friendly "Gambler's Choice" class, presented by MNP International, where each jump is assigned a set value and the rider gets to pick their own course in hopes of amassing the top score. After their round each rider may opt to jump the "Joker" fence, in hopes of adding 200 points to their score. But if they are unsuccessful, they are 200 points the fewer.
Seventh in the ring was Ireland's Conor Swail, whose nimble mount Arista executed a right-angle turn twice to rack up the points. But in doing so, he ended up altering his plan of attack, which opened the door ever so slightly for Belgium's Francois Mathy.
"My course was a little ambitious and difficult," explained Swail, "and the first time I did the two tight angled jumps it took her a little by surprise. I was actually thinking 'Oh please leave the ground…' and then when she did - as she was gracious enough to do that - I was so startled that I lost my focus and went the wrong way! So when I regained my composure I continued with the course and she was fabulous."
Next in was Belgium's Francois Mathy, who built on the roll-back turn Swail executed over the 100 point MNP vertical at the north end of the ring (jumping it off the right lead on an angle, and then turning right around and jumping it again the other way) to amass an incredible 1140 points. He then successfully navigated the 200 point joker fence for a total of 1340 points.
"Even when you have a plan, sometimes it ends up in chaos," laughed Mathy. "If you have a fence down, the plan falls apart. You have to be lucky enough to not knock the poles down and good enough with your route to make enough points."
"I think the public really likes this kind of class, and it's nice because you can set your course toward what your horse can do, as opposed to a set course where you have to make your horse do what the course builder wants them to do." Mathy commented.
His mount Ornellaia, owned by HRH Princess Haya of Jordan, is just nine and earlier this year was still jumping in the 1.25m division.
"She's a bit of a special kind," explained Mathy, "She is very pretty but doesn't have the best conformation, but that doesn't matter because she really tries and fights and is really careful. She has improved so quickly this year it's remarkable."
Mathy, competing for his second time at The Royal, finished by saying "I just love it here, I think you can put me on the start list for next year as well!"
While the international scores have been relatively spread out so far this week, this afternoon's $34,000 International Class for "The Brickenden Trophy" saw the top five horses post jump-off times all within two seconds of each other.
American superstar Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, NY), who is hot off an individual bronze finish at this summer's World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, had the luck of the draw this afternoon going third to last in the jump-off.
"I watched Daniel Bluman's round on the TV in the schooling area," explained Madden, "and I thought 'I'm never going to beat that!' But as I was going, I thought I might be getting pretty close. It was a very fast class."
Tomorrow evening the Royal Horse Show welcomes the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open for International Jumpers as well as feature performer Guy McLean.
About the Royal Horse Show and 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair ~ The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, The 92nd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 7-16, 2014 in the Direct Energy Centre and Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. The Royal Horse Show CSI4*-W is just one of a handful of 'four-star' competitions in North America and was voted the top indoor horse show in North America by the North American Riders Group. To purchase tickets, request media accreditation, view competition schedules, LIVE webcasting, and for complete results please visit www.royalfair.org.
Attached Photos: Jacqueline Brooks rode her 2012 Olympic mount D Niro to the Freestyle title tonight in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: Mackenzie Clark for BenRadvanyi.com
Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri finished in second tonight but took the overall title in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com
Belgium's Francois Mathy guided Ornellaia to the win in the $34,000 International Jumper Top Score the "Gambler's Choice" presented by MNP International at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com
Ireland's Conor Swail is well on his way to re-claiming his Leading International Rider title, following his second place finish in the $34,000 International Jumper Top Score the "Gambler's Choice" presented by MNP International tonight, at the CSI4*-W Toronto, The Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com
$20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup Presented by Butternut Ridge - Freestyle to Music
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Percentage
1. Jacqueline Brooks/Cedar Valley, ON/D Niro/73.750%
2. Karen Pavicic/Surrey, BC/Don Daiquiri/73.167%
3. Jill Irving/Moncton, NB/Pop Art/70.458%
4.Britney Fraser/New Glasgow, NS/Countess/69.625
$34,000 International Jumper Top Score Challenge, The "Gambler's Choice"
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Score
1. Francois Mathy/Belgium/Ornellaia/1340
2. Conor Swail/Ireland/Arista/1270
3. Darragh Kenny/Ireland/Prof De La Roque/1230
4. McLain Ward/Brewster, NY/Zander/1210
5. Laura Kraut/Wellington, FL/Andretti S/1110
$34,000 "The Brickenden Trophy" International Jumpers
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Faults:Time
1. Beezie Madden/Cazenovia, NY/Coral Reef Via Volo/0:28.87
2. Daniel Bluman/Columbia/Believe/0:29.27
3. Conor Swail/Ireland/Game Ready/0:29.44
4. Nicola Philippaerts/Belgium/J'Espere Dream/0:29.83
5. Darragh Kenny/Ireland/Gatsby/0:36.04
Join the Conversation!
ALL MEDIA PLEASE NOTE: Due to the sold-out status of the horse show Saturday, November 15, please be advised your media pass alone will NOT gain you access to the Ricoh Coliseum. Contact Michelle for consideration if you will be covering the horse show Saturday the 15th. A seat ticket (journalists) or separate wristband (photographers) will be required for Coliseum access. Thank you.
Image with caption: "Jacqueline Brooks rode her 2012 Olympic mount D Niro to the Freestyle title tonight in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: Mackenzie Clark for BenRadvanyi.com (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141114_C5239_PHOTO_EN_8011.jpg
Image with caption: "Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri finished in second tonight but took the overall title in the $20,000 Royal Invitational Dressage Cup presented by Butternut Ridge at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141114_C5239_PHOTO_EN_8012.jpg
Image with caption: "Belgium’s Francois Mathy guided Ornellaia to the win in the $34,000 International Jumper Top Score the “Gambler’s Choice” presented by MNP International at the CSI4*-W Toronto, the Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141114_C5239_PHOTO_EN_8013.jpg
Image with caption: "Ireland’s Conor Swail is well on his way to re-claiming his Leading International Rider title, following his second place finish in the $34,000 International Jumper Top Score the “Gambler’s Choice” presented by MNP International tonight, at the CSI4*-W Toronto, The Royal Horse Show. Photo: BenRadvanyi.com (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141114_C5239_PHOTO_EN_8014.jpg
SOURCE: Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
For further information: Horse Show Press Chief: Michelle Dunn, AIPS / IAEJ, c. 905-464-3056, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org