What a night we had at Angelstone yesterday evening, as one of the most exciting jump-offs of the season was a nail biter all the way to the last rider. Quebec-native Francois Lamontagne and his beautiful mare Chanel Du Calvaire were third last to go last night in the second round – but thankfully, as the Angelstone show gurus we are, we managed to save the best competition for the end. Following Erynn Ballard’s second go of two unfortunate faults with Carimba B, Lamontagne knew his plan of attack in order to conquer Hugh Graham and Knock Out 3E’s flying jump-off time of 33.63.
Leaving the ring before Ballard’s entrance, the crowd went wild as Graham strutted out of the Main Stadium with an impressive double clear and certainly strong finishing time. We could not wait to see Lamontagne and Chanel, the Open Welcome winners enter the ring yet again because their effort in the Thursday evening jump-off had been such a sight to see. One thing we can say is that this French-man does not leave any stones unturned in his second rounds. Speeding down the last line, the crowd, including the owners, announcers, and even some supportive fellow competitors were shooting for Lamontagne and his mare. As she flew through the last combination, she managed to leave out a stride to the last oxer – which led to a fabulous show of bucking and carrying on. Lamontagne, in his interview with Angelstone Live, reports that he allowed the mare to get just as elated as the hollering crowd, as it not only fed his own excitement over his speedy finish but her hopping and leaping allowed everyone in the audience to be a part of his exciting win. We hope to see the Frenchman return in August to bring that jump-off excitement to our end of summer competition.
In conclusion, we would like to congratulate Mr. Hugh Graham on an incredible two weeks to kick-off the Angelstone June shows, as his FEI results here have truly been a force to be reckoned with. He finished fourth and double clear in the Super Saturday Grand Prix last week, and second in the $10,000 Open Welcome the previous Thursday evening as well. And finally, finishing a close second to Lamontagne in last night’s FEI Grand Prix, this old pro truly has proven himself at the Angelstone shows. Hats off to you my friend!