Articles: Press Release
Canada Beats United States in $75,000 CN Nations Cup Jump-off at Winter
PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Lamaze and Hickstead of Canada. Photo by (c)Peter
Llewellyn HorseSourceLtd and PhelpsSports.com/A>
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington, FL - March 10, 2006 - Show jumping teams from ten countries
took the field for two rounds of show jumping in the 2006 $75,000 CN
Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival, but in the end the title
was decided in a jump-off off between two riders from the two top teams.
A record Friday night crowd of 12,101 fans filled every nook and cranny
at the Internationale Arena to witness the fifth edition of the Nations
Cup, under the lights at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club.
The Course Designer for the event was Steve Stephens of the United
States. Stephens' stout test was a track with twelve numbered obstacles
and fifteen jumping efforts that included a rugged triple combination
(5a-b-c) and a problematic double combination (12 a-b) placed as the
final two fences on the course. A very tight time allowed, adjusted for
the second round) only added to the already difficult challenge.
The first round course did its job separating the teams and saw only
three teams emerge with a legitimate shot at the Friday night Nations
Cup title. With only the top six teams eligible for the second round,
Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina and the Netherlands failed to advance.
Great Britain, with only three riders competing, moved into the second
round with 26 faults in the first, and withdrew before the second round
got underway. Brazil collected 18 faults over the first course, and then
in the second round, when Rodrigo Pessoa notched his second eight fault
total score and Sergio Campos was eliminated, the Brazilians elected to
call it a night and settle for the fifth place prize.
Team Ireland picked up 21 faults in round one and then improved to 12 in
the second. Their two round total of 33 faults would net the 2005
Nations Cup champs a fourth place ribbon this year.
France returned with only 10 faults from the first round, using scores
of one time fault from Yann Candele on Tyra, four faults from Herve
Godignon on Obelix and five faults from teammate Philippe Rozier on
Heritier D'Adriers. But for the French, they would have to count on some
misfortunes from the two top teams to have any shot at the title,
because the United States and Canada each entered round two with only
four total faults.
In round one for the United States, Margie Engle and Hidden Creek's
Perin and McLain Ward on Sapphire were clear, and Beeezie Madden with
Authentic had four faults. For Canada, clear rounds came from Chris
Pratt on Mustique and from Ian Millar on In Style. Mario Deslauriers'
four fault score on Paradigm rounded out the Canadian's first round
France's second round of 21 faults earned them a 31 fault two round
total and the eventual third place finish.
For the United States and Canada, the battle would continue, as both
teams emerged with identical scores of zero following the second round.
Engle, Ward and this time Madden, were all fault free for the home team,
but were matched by clear rounds again from Millar and Pratt, with Eric
Lamaze producing the third clear for Canada to keep the class tied after
two complete rounds.
Each team designated a single rider for the shortened jump-off course
against the clock, with Madden and Authentic getting the call from Chef
D' Equipe George Morris of the United States, and Eric Lamaze and
Hickstead being summoned up by Terrance Millar of Canada.
The neck and neck battle between neighboring nations that had lasted for
two long rounds of show jumping would be decided by two of the fastest
riders in the world, over the shortened speed course. What promised to
be a tremendous finale to an epic battle ended quickly however, when
Authentic slipped on loose footing going into jump two in the
tiebreaker, and couldn't do what Madden had asked him to do. The stop
and subsequent rail down cost Madden eight faults. Her finish time was
Madden's misfortunes meant that all Lamaze of Canada had to do was get
home with less than eight faults. He did it easily, crossing the finish
line with no faults at all, in 39.65 seconds to seal the win for
"Beezie had some bad luck at that fence, so with eight faults in hand I
was basically very careful. I was just doing my best to leave the jumps
up and be as cautious as I could be," said Lamaze following the win.
"You're nervous because anything can go wrong, but with eight faults in
hand it was a pretty good feeling."
Madden said that something went wrong coming around the corner to fence
two. "I think he lost his footing somewhere in the turn. As I was coming
around the turn I saw that I had to hold out a little bit for the
distance, and then all of a sudden it was very long," she explained.
"Something happened just as I went to commit to the fence. It's been a
long circuit and there's not a lot of grass left out there and he
slipped. Under the lights it's a little spooky, and I think he just lost
a little heart out there. He's never done that before."
"I predicted that Canada would be the team to beat," said United States
Chef George Morris. "Four great riders with four lovely horses. I think
they have the top team for the World Equestrian Games, to be perfectly
frank," he said. "We also had a top team tonight, but it just boiled
down to a little bad luck. Most of the grass is gone and it's down to
the dirt, and it looked like Beezie's horse lost his legs a little bit
at that fence. He's never stopped before."
"Eric's had a very good circuit. Hickstead is a very fast horse and he's
very careful. I thought he had the best chance to have a fast round and
leave the rails up," said Canadian coach Terrance Millar of his decision
to use Lamaze for the tiebreaker.
"Same for my decision to use Beezie," said Morris. "That horse is
fabulous. He won a speed class on Thursday, so that was my choice, but I
could have used any of the four riders really."
Jean Maurice Bonneau, the manager of the French team said, "For us, it's
a very good place to be, behind the two best teams from Canada and the
United States. I think it's excellent for us to be the best team from
Europe in the standings."
"I couldn't be happier," said a beaming Chris Pratt. "This is my Nations
Cup debut and to be able to do it with this great group of riders is
just a real honor."
"This is turning into such a premiere CSIO and Nations Cup competition,"
said nine-time Olympic veteran Ian Millar of Canada. "The Nations Cup
works for some competitions and for some it doesn't, but it really seems
to works well here in Wellington. Friday night is a spectacular success
every year. The crowd grows and grows each year, their knowledge of
what's happening is right on. It's just a great event to participate in
and it's even better when it ends up with a Canadian victory."
The richest show jumping event of the seven weeks in Wellington will
take center stage on Sunday, March 12th. The $150,000 US Open Jumper
Championship, presented by CN, CSIO-5* brings the WEF Wellington series
to a close.
$75,000 CN Nations Cup CSIO 5* - CN Wellington Finale - FEI art. 264 -
Internationale Arena - 3/10/06
1 - Canada - Total 4
Eric Lamaze - 9-0
Chris Pratt - 0-0
Mario Deslauriers - 4-8
Ian Millar - 0-0
Eric Lamaze - Jump-off - 0/39.65
2 - United States - Total 4
Margie Engle - 0-0
Kent Farrington - 4-8
McLain Ward - 0-0
Beezie Madden - 4-0
Beezie Madden - Jump-off - 8/41.11
3 - France - Total 31
Katie Prudent - 9-12
Philippe Rozier - 5-5
Yann Candele - 1-8
Herve Godignon - 4-8
4 - Ireland - Total 33
Kevin Babington - 13-4
Darragh Kerins - 8-8
Niall Grimes - 12-4
Conor Swail - 1-4
5 - Brazil (withdrew after 2 riders in 2nd round)
Rodrigo Pessoa - 8-8
Sergio Campos - 9-Elim
Fabio Leivas - Elim -X
Keri Potter Pessoa - 1 - WD
6 - Great Britain (elected not to compete in 2nd round)
Robert Smith - 8
Tim Gredley - 5
Nick Skelton -13