Great Britain’s William Whitaker and Upperclass took to the stage on Thursday, September 12, for the $210,000 Tourmaline Cup. Whitaker bested a jump-off field of only five competitors from a starting field of over 50 horses.
Leopoldo Palacio’s first round course took its toll on many of the horses and riders who attempted to jump a clean round.
The fences were light, airy and many were set on flat cups and so the mildest touch would bring them down. The starting field was narrowed down to Whitaker whose time of 46.01 seconds beat out second place finisher Marc Houtzager (NED) riding Sterrehofs Uppity (46.64).
On his heels claiming third was Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Ohlala (47.10), the combination that won the $210,000 CANA Cup the previous day. Following Hough was Daniel Deusser (GER) on two horses. First Class Van T Ecckelghem had the fastest time of 44.28 seconds but four faults for a rail down put them fourth. Deusser had two rails down with Fyloe VH Claeyssenhof, so that pair ended up fifth.
While the snow that had blanketed the ground in the previous days was nearly gone the bitter cold that brought that snow remained. Yet a nice crowd weathered the storm to watch as Whitaker stopped the clocks in the fastest clear round to claim the victory and a check for $70,000 (CAN).
Whitaker, who hails from a family of well-known horsemen, was clearly thrilled with his win. “This is a show that has always been on my bucket list,” he remarked.
“Here with such impressive jumps and a lot of atmosphere a lot of the horses aren’t used to it. I was glad to have him come in here and adapt to it so quickly,” he added.
While many fell victim to the constantly changing weather, which would be clear and sunny one moment, and then snowing or raining the next, Whitaker seemed unfazed.
“I’m from Yorkshire where the weather constantly changes,” he remarked.
It hasn’t been easy for the team at Spruce Meadows to keep the grounds and the footing in the arena in good condition but they’ve managed to pull it off. Like so many of the other riders, Whitaker appreciates all their efforts to create great sport and safe conditions for the horses and riders.
“The team here has done a fantastic job. When I looked out my window Monday and Tuesday I thought there was no way, but they have done a fantastic job. The footing out there is unbelievable. It’s really really impressive,” he concluded.
Competition continues Sunday with the featured class on Saturday being the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup and on Sunday’s the $1.5 Million CP International, presented by Rolex – the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Hopefully Mother Nature will be kind to the Spruce Meadows “Masters,” which continues with prize money that sets a record for horse shows. For more information, go to www.sprucemeadows.com. To view more photos from this week go to http://www.dianaderosa.com/gallery3/index.php/Spruce-Meadows/2014.
Final Results: $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m
1 UPPERCLASS: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Concorde x Indoctro
WILLIAM WHITAKER (GBR), Elisan AB: 0/0/46.01
2 STERREHOFS UPPITY: Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Guidam x Epilot
MARC HOUTZAGER (NED), Stoeterij Sterrehof : 0/0/46.64
3 OHLALA: Swedish Warmblood / M / 10 Orlando x Cardento
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 0/0/47.10
4 FIRST CLASS VAN T ECCKELGHEM: Warmblood / G / 9 Balou du Rouet x Fainschnitt
DANIEL DEUßER (GER), Stephex Stables: 0/4/44.28
5 FYLOE VH CLAEYSSENHOF: Belgian Warmblood / G / 9 Burggraaf x Unknown
DANIEL DEUßER (GER), Stephex Stable and Double H Farm: 0/8/47.07
6 HH COPIN VAN DE BROY: Belgian Warmblood / S / 12 Darco x Brown Boy
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 1/87.15
7 CORNADO II: Westphalian / S / 9 Cornet Obolensky x Acobat
CHRISTIAN AHLMANN (GER), Antonius Schulze Aueidiek: 1/87.25
8 MYSELF DE BREVE: Selle Francais / M / 14 Quidam x Grd Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA, Eurl Top Stallions Compagny: 1/87.40
9 TALOUBET: Dutch Warmblood / G / 14 Baloubet de Rouet x Quidam de Revel
PAULO SANTANA (BRA), Paulo Sergio Mateo Santana, Filh: 4/83.56
10 BLUE ANGEL: Warmblood / M / 12 Luidam x Ascendent
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 4/84.06
11 CARLITO C: Belgian Warmblood / G / 12 Kannan x Unknown
OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Frans Jens: 4/84.87
12 CORTEZ: Belgian Warmblood / G / 12 Quick Star x Quito de Baussy
NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS (BEL), Philippaerts & Stal Lenses: 4/85.05