PhelpsSports.com is coming! Due to launch in August, PhelpsSports.com will soon be opening its doors to advance subscriptions in June – so watch for special announcements and don’t miss the most comprehensive coverage of the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. This brand new, dynamic and exciting internet-based news network is already creating a buzz throughout the equestrian world. The Internet will guarantee up-to-the-minute sports coverage and late-breaking news from grassroots to Olympic-level equestrian sport, while video clips and unique personal audio interviews will provide an exclusive component. According to Executive Editor, Jean Llewellyn; “Mixing together a team of world-class contributors with cutting-edge technology is an explosive combination which will deliver an unprecedented news service and create a lasting legacy for the equestrian industry. The enthusiasm and support for PhelpsSports.com, even in advance of our launch, is quite simply mind-blowing.”
Making his competitive comeback, McGuinness jumps to victory with Rich Fellers….Jean Llewellyn reports from Calgary, Canada
Calgary, CAN - June 9, 2006 – With an evening kick-off, the opening class of two scheduled for ‘National’ Friday at Spruce Meadows was the 1m50 ATCO Midstream Challenge (Table A, FEI art. 276). Although cool breezy conditions greeted the 25 riders, qualifiers from a class held two days earlier, the rain that had threatened all day fortunately held off despite an extremely overcast sky.
With eight riders destined to qualify for the jump-off, Britain’s Bob Ellis built a relatively straightforward course with few options for cutting corners. It therefore required committed riding to finish inside the 71-second tight time limit – evidenced by the fact that no fewer than six combinations jump clear but incurred time penalties.
Beezie Madden, who has already banked C$13,150 from the first two days of competition with one win and four places, was the first to qualify for the jump-off with the 11-year-old Desilvio, despite a resounding clip to a rail at the fence eight oxer. Canada’s Eric Lamaze joined Beezie three rides later with his Darco mare Narcotique de Muze II, but no such luck for Norman Dello Joio and the nine-year-old Malcolm who lowered a rail at the middle element of the treble combination which claimed most scalps from those riders that incurred faults. McGuiness, returning to competition at Spruce Meadows following his withdrawal through sickness at last April’s World Cup Final in Kuala Lumpur, gave Rich Fellers a textbook clear round as they joined the jump-off line-up.
A healthy Mexican contingent arrived in Spruce Meadows with the aim of using this five-week-long tournament season as their selection trials for WEG, and of the six riders who qualified for this class, next to go, Antonio Maurer, was the first to post a clear round with Odamildo, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion by the world’s #1 ranked sire, Quidam de Revel. Having seen several riders incur time penalties, Lisa Silverman from New York cut it close in her approach to the fence seven vertical, one of the few places on the course that offered this option, but Flubber Cocoy didn’t share her enthusiasm and a refusal resulted in unseating his rider and elimination.
Four further riders joined the, so far, North American jump-off qualifiers: Eric Lamaze with his second ride, Ramiville, Yann Candele with Verita van’t Martendonkerf, Mexican Federico Fernandez with Garibaldi, and Britain’s Mark Armstrong riding Thesaura.
The jump-off order, determined by first round time rather than the original starting order, saw Canada’s Yann Candele in pole position and he threw down the gauntlet with a well-steered, galloping round riding the Belgian Warmblood Verita in 40.79 seconds. Eric Lamaze, with the slower Narcotique, found an extremely acute angle to fence seven, but couldn’t match Candele’s time with 41.54. Drawn third, the short-coupled Irish-bred McGuinness has an athletic ground-covering stride that Rich Fellers put to good use and raced for the finish and claimed what turned out to be an invincible lead with 40.51 seconds.
Although he had the advantage of a second ride over the same course, Lamaze was forced to make some stride adjustments in the roll-back to fence eight, and lost valuable time with Ramiville for 41.29 seconds. Never lacking in determination, Beezie Madden’s round with Desilvio despite tapping several rails, remained clear in 42.17 seconds which eventually left the pair in 7th place. Although Mexicans Antonio Maurer and Federico Fernandez pulled out all the stops, it was at the expense of four faults for the latter and they finished in 6th and 8th places respectively. Likewise, Mark Armstrong and Thesaura, a typically speedy mare was unable to overhaul the time set by Rich Fellers and McGuinness who claimed the C$12,500 red ribbon.
“It was pretty special. Going early in a class like with the caliber of riders that were behind me. That’s unusual in our sport for the winner to come from the first few horses in the ring. What really made it extra special was that I made some mistakes,” Rich grinned, “but people didn’t notice. I actually lost a stirrup two different times. At my age, losing a stirrup, I can tell you …” He continued, “We geared for the World Cup finals earlier in the year in Malaysia, and he got sick, and we haven’t shown since. Hopefully losing a stirrup won’t become an on-going problem, otherwise…” he laughed “I’m going to have to learn to do without.”
For complete Spruce Meadows National results, please visit: http://www.sprucemeadows.com/national.htm
Phelps Images is coming in August!!
Phelps Images is a joint venture between Phelps Media Group, Inc., International and HorseSource Ltd. One of the world’s largest stock photo agencies for equestrian images, HorseSource has serviced the industry for some 25 years. A huge resource of over 500,000 images – rapidly growing as more affiliate photographers sign on – includes a historic collecting dating back to the 1880s, and encompasses no fewer than 19 Olympic Games. HorseSource represents the most comprehensive library of equestrian photography worldwide. The formation of Phelps Images represents a major step forward for the equestrian industry, and in particular one-stop shopping for images and media services worldwide.