On November 6, during the final evening of Royal West in Calgary, AB, Alicia Gadban-Lewis of Delta, BC, captured the coveted victory in a field of over 22 horse athlete combinations and the $75,000 Spirit of the West Cup sponsored by Truman Homes. The Royal West Jumping Tournaments were held from October 27 to November 6, 2021, at Stampede Park in Calgary, Alberta, and presented by Rocky Mountain Show Jumping.
Riding her own Beneficial, sired by Banderas, the nine-year-old Oldenburg mare and Gadban-Lewis’ first clear round helped the duo secure her gold medal and the title of 2021 Canadian Show Jumping Champion, along with the $12,500 athlete bonus. The title was last won by Canadian team member Beth Underhill in 2019.
“I was thrilled with how my horse jumped tonight and thought that she got better every day of the championship,” said Gadban-Lewis. “I was able to push her to the next level tonight in the jump-off round, which really helped with the competitive field of riders in the class.”
When asked about the comradery she has with Beneficial, Gadban-Lewis said, “I’ve had her since she was four years old, and the last time she was here at Royal West, she won the five-year-old championship.”
2021 Canadian Champions — Gold: Alicia Gadban-Lewis (Beneficial); Silver: Vanessa Mannix (Catinka 25); Bronze: Christopher Lowe (Cunningham 4). Presentation by (L-R) John Anderson of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, Meg Kreuger CEO of EC, Karen Hendry-Ouellette EC Manager of Sport-Jumping; Nancy Burton of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping. Photo: Amanda Ubell Photography
Gadban-Lewis has always dreamed about being a Canadian champion in show jumping: “It has been a childhood goal of mine to win the Canadian Championship, so I am extremely happy. I hope to be able to represent Canada on a Nation’s Cup Team and consider that my 2022 goal.”
Royal West played host to the Canadian Show Jumping Championships in a variety of divisions for all levels of athletes. This marked the first time in more than 20 years that the championship was hosted in Western Canada. “It was truly an honour for my company, Rocky Mountain Show Jumping (RMSJ), to be given the right to host the Championships in Calgary,” said John Anderson. “Vanessa Mannix and Jim Ifko, both from Calgary, along with Gadban-Lewis expressed to me their pleasure in seeing the championships hosted in the West after so many years back East,” he added.
Next year’s Royal West is scheduled for October 19 – 29, 2022 again at Calgary’s Stampede Park.
For a complete list of results from the $75,000 EC Show Jumping National Championships, as well as the full Royal West show, click here.
Main Photo: Canadian Champion Alicia Gadban-Lewis riding Beneficial to victory in the $75,000 Spirit of the West Cup, sponsored by Truman Homes at the 2021 Royal West. Credit: Amanda Ubell Photography