The CSI5* 'Pan American', presented by Rolex, kicked off at Spruce Meadows on Thursday, and the 1.55m Friends of the Meadows competition welcomed 26 competitors through the Spruce Meadows Clock Tower for the first day of competition in the International Ring. The single round competition against the clock required riders to go as quickly as possible without any faults if they wanted to make it to the winners circle.
Canadian FEI course designer Peter Grant set the track to test the competitors and it was Eduardo Menezes (BRA) riding his 10-year-old stallion H Big Action (Action-Breaker x Big Star) who passed with flying colours. The pair soared over the final fence clear covering the 500 metre course with a time of 67.88 seconds, that was untouchable.
"It is the best place (Spruce Meadows) to build up a horse if you know which class to enter them in. It's a tough show, as it should be, but if you pick right they learn a lot," Eduardo Menezes said about building young horses at Spruce Meadows.
Paul O'Shea (IRL) and Squirt Gun (Diarado x Quick Star) took the second place with a time of 68.06 seconds, while the third place went to Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Bardolina 2 (Clarimo x Villmey) after the pair stopped the clock at 70.10. Kent Farrington (USA) and Landon (Comilfo Plus Z x Quadrillo) finished fourth, while the fifth place went to Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) and Mighty Mouse Quartz (Adelheid Z x Codexco).
The top 5 riders from this competition have now qualified for Sunday's Grand Prix, the 'Pan American' Cup, presented by Rolex.
The first competition in the International Ring to start the 'Pan American' tournament, presented by Rolex, was the CSI5* 1.50m Friends of the Meadows Jumper. Over 50 entries contested the course set by FEI course designer Peter Grant (CAN). Sixteen of the riders were able to clear the 500 metre, 11 obstacle track with no faults, but Jim Ifko (CAN) riding Un Diamant des Forets (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge), was the quickest of them all. The pair left all 13 fences up in a lightning fast time of 58.77 seconds putting them into first place.
Katie Laurie (AUS) and Cera Caruso (Casall x breeding unknown) took the second place with a time of 61.56, while Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) and Just Nice van het Indihof (Deauville van T&L x Toulon) ended third after clocking the time of 63.01 seconds. Matthew Sampson (GBR) finished fourth with Ebolensky (Clinton x Heartbreaker), and Hilary McNerney (USA) fifth with Astilbe (Numero Uno x Calvados).