The 1.55m International Ring competition — the qualifier for this summer’s biggest Grand Prix event on Saturday — started with 64 but was whittled down to just nine jump-off finalists, with Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel and Chakkalou PS arriving third. The top 40 riders from today’s event will advance to the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup, where Dello Joio will follow the same advice his show jumping legend father, Norman, gave him today, for guiding Cornet’s Cambridge.

“Dad was basically like, you know, put him in drive and keep him in cruise control,” Dello Joio, 35, said. “He loves galloping on that big open field. I mean, especially in the second round, he didn’t really have to try. You just kind of turn him loose at his own natural pace. He’s big but he moves like a thoroughbred. It’s unbelievable for such a big horse. He’s so light on his feet, which makes him catlike in those jump-offs. He’s fast enough without any gas on the fire.”

Dello Joio, who is back in top form following surgeries on both hips and his groin just last year, planned to mark his Fourth of July win sensibly. He said: “No celebrating tonight. We’ll be back out here tomorrow morning. We’ve got another big day ahead.”

But there was room for a little fun, as Dello Joio made a cheeky dig at his Canadian hosts, referring to last month’s Edmonton Oilers loss in the Stanley Cup finals.

“I think between this and the Panthers winning the Cup, I’m pretty happy being up here in Canada,” said Dello Joio, who is from Wellington, Florida.

He will be joined on Saturday by a host of world-class riders including Canadians Vanessa Mannix, Ben Asselin, Amy Millar, Mario Deslauriers, and Tiffany Foster.