By Equine Canada
March 2, 2013
Canada finished in second place in the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm, held Friday night, March 1, during the CSIO4* FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
The Canadian Team comprised of Mac Cone of King City, ON, Tiffany Foster of Schomberg, ON, Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, ON, and Ian Millar of Perth, ON, had a total score of five faults to place second among seven nations. The United States won with a final score of four faults, while Germany finished in third with a two round total of nine faults. Ireland was fourth with 11 faults.
At the end of the first round, Canada, Ireland and Germany were tied for second with five faults, followed by Venezuela with 12 faults. In the first round, Canada's lead-off rider, Lamaze had four jumping faults and one time fault with Wang Chung M2S, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stable. Foster riding Victor, owned by Torrey Pines Stable and Artisan Farms, was the first rider to conquer the difficult course fault free, resulting in Canada's first perfect score. Cone and Chadburn Holdings' Amor van de Rostal, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, had a difficult round ending in elimination. Millar piloted his new mount Dixson, Sue and Ariel Grange's 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, to Canada's second clear ride of the first round.
In the second round, Lamaze opened with a clear effort, followed by Foster, who posted another faultless score for the Canadian Team. With 17 faults, Cone and Amor van de Rostal were the drop score, while Millar once again posted a clear ride for Canada aboard Dixson. Canada earned their second place finish with five clear rides over the two rounds.
The team from the United States took the lead right from the start of the class when they posted a perfect score of zero faults in first round. They secured their win with four faults in the second round to stay ahead of Canada for the win. Anchor rider Beezie Madden with Simon did not have to ride as the United States earned their victory with only three riders in the second round.
"I'm very proud of our riders tonight - somehow they always seemed to find a way," said Canadian Show Jumping Team chef d'équipe, Mark Laskin, of Canada's second place finish. "Even though Mac had an uncharacteristic night, the other riders rallied around him and were nothing short of stellar.
"Eric and Ian make my job look easy when I can bookend them in the order. Tiffany had probably her best performance as a team rider with her first double clear in a Nations Cup," Laskin continued.
A new formula for the 2013 season has been introduced for the FEI Nations Cup™ following a sponsorship deal with the Saudi Equestrian Fund. The world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a spot at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2013 Final in September where just 18 teams from the 22 qualifying rounds over seven leagues will compete. The six regions are Europe 1 and 2, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.
With the USA win, they now carry the maximum of 100 points, with Canada close behind with 90 points and Mexico earning 65 points for their seventh place finish. Spruce Meadows in June, will host the second of the two regional qualifiers.
A Nations Cup is the only competition in show jumping where riders, competing in teams of four, compete against other countries for top honours. The top three scores from each team are counted towards the final result of the two-round competition.
Main Article Photo: Cealy Tetley, www.tetleyphoto.com - The Canadian Team members from left to right: Mac Cone, Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster, and chef d'équipe Mark Laskin.