LB Convall leaps the water fence under Philipp Weishaupt
Philipp Weishaupt’s classy stallion brushes off losing a shoe in the warmup to land the grand prix, and Beezie Madden spearheads the victorious American team
PHILIPP WEISHAUPT won the exceptionally valuable CP International grand prix, supported by Rolex, with the only double clear of the class.
The genial German 32-yearold, who collected showjumping’s richest prize of $1million (£625,000) for his victory, was riding the grey 10-year-old stallion LB Convall, on whom he won the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen in 2016.
“To be double clear here is really special — there’s nothing tougher than this,” said Philipp. “Convall was outstanding. He makes my job so easy, and it’s so much fun to ride him that you wouldn’t believe it.
“He has plenty of character — he needs to know I am the boss, but he is such a cool horse.”
There were eight clears from the 42 starters in the first round. Course-designer Leopoldo Palacios Jugo produced a huge, varied track with fences up to 1.68m, and the final line of an enormous treble to an upright caught out many of the favourites, including Scott Brash, winner of this class in 2015 and 2016, with Ursula XII on what might be the mare’s final appearance.
Twelve riders went on to the second round — the fastest fourfaulters going first. Number one off the blocks was Eric Lamaze, and he punched in a determined clear with one time-fault on
Fine Lady 5. But after him the rails came crashing down with regularity. Until Philipp’s round, it looked as though it might be won with four faults.
LB Convall lost a shoe in the warm-up for this round, so actually jumped a few horses later than he was drawn — and Philipp admitted he benefitted from McLain Ward, who dropped the middle pole of the treble on HH Azur, advising him to hold for an extra stride.
LB Convall clonked the third fence, tall rails with a water ditch behind, hard — and then as Philipp checked him going into that troublesome treble, he virtually halted a stride out.
The Holsteiner has such power and athleticism, however, that he pinged through as though on elastic. They soared over the final fence, a 1.70m oxer, with air to spare.
Last to go was Portugal’s Luciana Diniz with the elegant chestnut mare Fit For Fun 13, who had proved she was on top form by winning the first international class of the week on Wednesday. It was theirs to lose and the mare flew round until the very last fence, where Luciana decided to go on four rather than five strides from the infamous penultimate “bicycle” jump, and Fit For Fun 13, tipped the top of the oxer.
“It was completely my fault — I changed my plan,” said Luciana. “But this was meant to be Philipp’s day, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with my horse.”
McLain Ward had to settle for third. HH Azur isn’t really suited to the unique demands of Leopoldo’s grand prix track, which is completely different in look and feel to most modern European courses, and the American rider said wryly: “Leopoldo crunches you with the time, then makes the distances short.”
In answer, the course-designer said: “It’s a fine line when you play with the horses’ limits, but they all stepped up beautifully today.”
After collecting the second Major victory of his career
Philipp will head to CHI Geneva in December on his quest for the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping and the €1million (£910,750) bonus for the rider claiming three Majors in a row.
MADDEN LEADS USA TO NATIONS CUP VICTORY
AMERICA’S queen of showjumping, Beezie Madden, clinched the win for the USA in the BMO Nations Cup. It came down to a nail-biting jump-off between Beezie and Brazil’s Pedro Junquiera Muylaert after both teams finished on eight faults.
Victory for Brazil, who won the Hickstead Nations Cup, would have been a fairytale, as their first rider, Eduardo Menezes, had fallen off Quintol in the first round and was carried off in an ambulance. He refused medical attention and wanted to jump in the second round, but “concussion protocols” prevented him.
His three team-mates — Pedro Junqueira Muylaert (Prince Royal Z MFS), Yuri Mansur Guerios (Babylotte) and Pedro Veniss (Quabri De L’Isle) rose to the occasion and all jumped clear to whoops from the excitable Spruce Meadows crowd. But the USA, who had finished on eight faults after round one, with only Beezie jumping clean, pegged them back when Lauren Hough (Waterford) and Charlie Jacobs (Cassinja S) were faultless. A second clear from Beezie and Darry Lou meant that Pedro Veniss had to go clear to win, but he flicked the back rail of the oxer at 11a, igniting a jump-off.
Beezie went first. She has only had the nine-year-old Darry Lou since April — he was previously ridden by Mexico’s Alberto Aldana — but all three of her rounds were glorious to watch. The pony-ish chestnut with a white blaze lopes round in a perfect rhythm and Beezie never needs to waste time in setting him up for a fence.
They didn’t look that quick, but they were foot-perfect with neat, sparse turns. Prince Royal Z MFS
is a racier ride and the Brazilian pair set off at lightning speed, but looked to slow down to secure the clear, thinking they had done enough. But in fact they were half a second slower and Team USA followed up their Dublin win with Spruce Meadows triumph.
“I’m pretty sure that’s actually the first jump-off I’ve ever done on him, except maybe in a 1.30m class where I practised going fast one time,” said Beezie. “This was the first time I actually tried to go fast over big fences with him, so I’m so happy with him.
“I think my horse could probably be beaten on speed on the big gallops. I maybe could have done one or to fewer strides to some of the fences. But I think my plan, going first, was to put in a really solid round that they had to go a little to beat us, and it worked. I left the door open a bit but I also made Pedro go a little, too, and that was the goal.”
Germany finished third.
Three of their riders — Philipp Weishaupt, Holger Wulschner and Patrick Stuhlmeyer — jumped clear in the first round, but Philipp’s Solitaer 41 slammed on the brakes at the open water in the second round, and the other two had four faults. Marco Kutscher had one down in the first round, and although Clenur posted a lovely clear in the second, the team completed on nine faults, ahead of the home side, Canada. A notable absentee in this annual team competition was Great Britain, see box (p97).
BOTH Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and Portugal’s Luciana Diniz scored their first Spruce Meadows Masters victories at this year’s tournament.
Nicola won the $130,000 (£81,000) 1.60m CANA Cup on the lovely grey 10-year-old H&M Harley VD Bisschop.
He said: “There were quite a few fast riders in the jump-off and Steve [Guerdat] had already gone really fast, but my horse is quick and has a big stride, so
I tried to go as fast as possible without taking too many risks.
“He is a very sensitive horse with a lot of blood so it is mostly about keeping him calm and giving him confidence in the ring.”
Luciana and Fit For Fun 13 took the first international class, the 1.50m Telus Cup, ahead of Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Eric, Canada’s 2008 Olympic gold medallist, is greeted with cheers every time he jumps a fence here, and he was placed in most of the big classes with the son of Chacco Blue. Chacco Kid was runner-up in the 1.50m ATCO Founders’ Classic to Ireland’s Conor Swail, who won on GK Coco Chanel despite having fallen off at the final fence in the jump-off on his first horse, Flower.
Chacco Kid was also third in Saturday’s 1.50m SUNCOR winning round class behind the USA’s McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z.
Another US pair, Kent Farrington and Gazelle, won the $216,400 (£135,000) Friends of the Meadows Cup with a jump-off round that was a masterclass of calculation and precision. In this class fence seven, a narrow upright of brown poles jumped towards the stands, caused fault after fault, including for Scott Brash and Hello Forever.
‘There’s nothing tougher than this’: Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt and LB Convall celebrate jumping the only double clear to land the CP International grand prix, supported by Rolex The Masters, Spruce Meadows, Calgary
Grand prix second Luciana Diniz and Fit For Fun 13 win the Telus Cup
The USA’s McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z top the 1.50m SUNCOR class
Conor Swail (GK Coco Chanel) wins the 1.50m ATCO Founders’ Classic
Edited by Jennifer Donald firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicola Philippaerts scores in the 1.60m CANA CUP on H&M Harley VD Bisschop
Beezie Madden leads America to Nations Cup success on the pony-like Darry Lou