Friday's WestJet Evening of the Horse at the Spruce Meadows 'Masters' CSIO5* Tournament is always sure to please. The evening beginswith the Tourmaline Oil Cup (1.60m) and for some riders it offers the last chance to qualify for Sunday's feature event, the CP 'International', presented Rolex.
Thirty-three horses stepped through the clock tower to take on the track laid out by FEI course designer Leopoldo Palacious (VEN). The track featured 13 obstacles (16 jumping efforts) including a technical triple and double combination. Six horse/rider combinations representing six nations passed Palacious's test and qualified for the jump off.
The riders gave it their allas it was one of the last chances for some to qualify for Sunday's CP 'International' presented by Rolex. The pressure was on, the first four riders had faults. Fifth to go in the order was Beezie Madden of the United States - she needed to go clear to take the lead. Aboard Darry Lou, Madden crossed the finish line clear in a time of 42.81s. Max Kuhner (AUT) was last to go and a steady but clear ride in a time of 44.95s taking second place.
"I had the luck of the draw tonight, there was only one (rider) after me (in the jump off) and I knew all I had to do was go clear and be a little faster. " - Beezie Madden (USA) on her change in strategy with no one going clear before her in the jump off.