Articles: Press Release
Special Ed Carries Henselwood to Victory In the $50,000 Direct Energy
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Calgary, Canada - July 6, 2006 - Unfortunately, the final international
class on the second day of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' the
C$50,000 1.60m Direct Energy Cup, a Table A with one jump-off
experienced a rather anti-climatic conclusion. Following an earlier
cloudburst, the damp, chilly evening wasn't offset by a class that
raised temperatures, although it saw a popular win celebrated by
Canada's Jill Henselwood and Special Ed.
Earlier, Beezie Madden had left the ring with eight and four faults
respectively riding Desilvio and Authentic. The good news for Madden,
however, is that she's currently leading the North American Championship
with Authentic going into the final weekend. With no championship points
up for grabs tomorrow (Friday), Madden will be looking ahead to
Saturday's ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix, and Sunday's
Chrysler Derby. If she maintains her lead, it will be her first victory
in this series, which has been jealously guarded by Jill Henselwood over
the past couple of years.
Richard Spooner, following his brilliant win in the previous class, the
Pengrowth Cup, with Cristallo, suffered a breakdown in communication
with Air Time following the water jump, when the 11-year-old gelding
became rather uncooperative. Spooner took the only option open to him by
circling the Air Time after what appeared to be a "horse malfunction".
Their jumping and time faults produced a final 18-fault tally.
Cara Raether from North Palm Beach, Fla, riding Ublesco, looked as
thought she might be the only U.S. representative in the jump-off until
the Belgian Warmblood lowered the very last fence on the course.
However, it was left to Mexico's Enrique Gonzalez to challenge
Henselwood in a two-horse jump-off.
Drawn first, the Canadian chose to motor steadily around the
straightforward, galloping course, which provided few opportunities for
cutting corners other than one rollback going to the penultimate fence.
The 12-year-old Special Ed, with whom Henselwood will be competing for
Canada at next month's World Equestrian Games in Aachen, produced a
textbook clear round and stopped the clock at 49.34 seconds. It was by
no means an unbeatable time.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, was riding the reclaimed Leo, a horse he'd sold
following last September's Spruce Meadows Masters' to local Calgary
rider, Brenda Riddell, for a rumoured $500,000. After she recently broke
her collarbone, it seemed a natural choice for Riddell to offer Leo's
former owner the ride. Renewing their partnership, the pair were
fortunate not to end their campaign when Leo seriously rattled the top
rail at the first fence in the jump-off. It was a performance for
survival, however, which finally ended three fences later at the second
element of the double combination.
The lack of any serious challenge didn't dampen Henselwood's delight
when she scooped the C$17,000 first-place check. The 44-year-old from
Oxford Mills, Ontario, Henselwood made her Grand Prix debut in 1989 and
has since represented Canada in the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The
Hague, the 1999 Pan American Games, as well as the 1992, 2005 and 2006
World Cup finals. In the latter, last April in Kuala Lumpur, she
finished 21st riding Special Ed.
In the final reckoning, Beezie Madden was the top-placed U.S. rider in
fifth place with Authentic, netting her a further $3,000.
Full results: www.sprucemeadows.com
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