Articles: Press Release
Pessoa Claims Third Straight Victory in $100,000 EnCana Cup at Spruce
Meadows Masters, Skelton and Russel Win Fifth Straight Six Bar
Photo Credit: Great Britain's Nick Skelton and Russel in the final
attempt at the Six Bar record. Photo by Ken Braddick - Horse Sports USA
Jennifer Wood for Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Mason Phelps, Jr. of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
753-3389 or at email@example.com
Calgary, Canada- September 9- The weather was damp and gloomy at Spruce
Meadows for today's feature event, the $100,000 EnCana Cup. However,
there was a ray of light of the competition in Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa
and his venerable mount, Baloubet du Rouet.
The 2004 Olympic Individual Gold Medal winner won his third straight
EnCana Cup today, taking home a prize of $35,000. He excelled over a
course set by world-renowned designer Leopoldo Palacios. Baloubet du
Rouet, a 16 year old Selle Francais stallion owned by Diego Pereila
Coutinlo, showed no worse for wear as he galloped around in the rain.
Pessoa went last in a five horse jump-off and blazed around the course
in a time of 34.727, more than three seconds faster than the second
First into the jump-off was the first horse from the initial round, as
well. Christian Ahlmann from Germany rode Lorenzo 208 to a clear round
in a time of 38.297, which would hold up for third place. Following
Ahlmann was the Dutch rider Gerco Schroeder and the grey Holsteiner
gelding, Eurocommerce Acapulco, who finished with a time of 40.108 and
four faults, which gave them fifth place.
Next in was American Olympian Lauren Hough and her famous mount,
Clasiko. They were clear, but their time of 38.856 was too slow to take
the lead and they settled for fourth place. Another rider from the U.S.
followed Hough. Veteran and Olympic bronze medal winner Norman Dello
Joio galloped through the timers for the lead on the 14 year old Dutch
Warmblood gelding Glasgow. They stopped the clock at 37.712 seconds.
All eyes were on Pessoa as he cantered slowly into the huge grass field
of the International Ring. Baloubet du Rouet looked poised, and the
pair put in a picture perfect jump-off. Their tight turns gave them a
huge lead and the win over Dello Joio.
The night class at Spruce Meadows featured the exciting $40,000 Atco
Electric "Circuit" Six Bar competition. The Six-Bar consists of six
verticals, each set with two strides between them. The heights range
from 1.30m to 1.70m in the first round. Today's class hosted 31
Despite cold and rainy weather, fans turned out in droves and sat on the
hillside to watch a contest of the most careful horse. There were two
more rounds before the final jump-off.
After three rounds, it came down to two riders: Nick Skelton (GBR) and
Russel and Kim Prince (USA) and Couletto K James. Both had cleared 6' 7
1/8" (2.01m). The fences were raised to 6'11 15/16" (2.135m), a height
that would set a new record. Prince declined to go and settled for
second place, but Skelton decided to give it a try.
The five time winner of Six Bar competitions circled slowly before the
combination. He powered over the first two obstacles, but the height of
the third fence proved to be too much. Russel caught the top rail and
failed to break the record set at another show by Ireland's Jessica
Kurten. For his efforts however, Skelton was awarded $10,000 by Atco
Electric. "It's difficult to get that height. It's also dark now,
which makes it harder," Skelton explained after the class. "I pressured
him too much on the last stride, which I think, in hindsight, I
shouldn't have done. But there you go."
"I was really happy with him," Prince stated about her mount. "He keeps
getting better and better." Prince's decision to not attempt the record
was made in Couletto K James best interests. She said, "He's a grand
prix horse, not a puissance or six bar horse. And honestly, there's no
Spruce Meadows competition continues tomorrow with the feature event of
the $300,000 BMO Financial Group Nations Cup. The American team will be
in competition and will be out to prove that they are indeed the best in