The United States’ Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool earned the victory in the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge.
Toronto, Ontario – Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, opened the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, by winning phase one of the $150,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship on Friday, November 3, in Toronto, ON.
British course designer Kelvin Bywater was the technician behind the speed track for the $25,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One, where jumping faults were converted to three-second time penalties. Second in the start order, Mannix, 34, delivered a clear performance aboard Carmela Z, her 12-year-old Zangersheide mare (Candillo 3 x Nissan Caretano Z), in a speedy time of 58.01 seconds. That left the rest of the field chasing her time, but in the end, she could not be caught.
Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB, won the $25,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One on Friday, November 3, at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
Sean Jobin of Toronto, ON, came the closest, crossing the timers fault-free in 60.39 seconds for a second-place finish with Coquelicot vh Heuvelland Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Catoki x Cassini II) owned by Foxridge Farms. Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON, had the fastest time of the night in 57.59 seconds, but a costly rail at the vertical-oxer double toward the end of the course saw her finish in third riding Atout des Trambles, her 13-year-old Selle Français gelding (Nectar des Forets*HN x Apache d’Adriers).
“I didn’t have the advantage of watching too much, but in the bending line from jump eight to jump nine I did five strides, but it walked six,” described Mannix of her ride through the course. “I tried to use Carmela’s natural advantages. She goes a little right, and she has a huge step, so I really made sure I got up the six-stride line to the double on the side of the arena, which ended up being seven strides for a lot of riders.”
While Mannix and Carmela Z looked completely in sync, it was a partnership that took time to develop. After purchasing the mare as an eight-year-old, Mannix sent Carmela Z to Ireland, where she spent a year and a half under the guidance of Barry O’Connor with rider Jenny Rankin in the irons. In that program, Carmela Z gained the experience she needed to become a top grand prix contender.
Vanessa Mannix is presented as the winner of the $25,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round One on opening day of Toronto’s Royal Horse Show. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
“We’ve only really just cemented our partnership over the last 18 months, and I have to say she’s the sweetest and kindest partner a rider could ask for,” expressed Mannix, who trains with top Irish rider Conor Swail and fellow Irishman James Chawke. “Her attitude is the absolute best. She would go through fire for you. Anything that you ask her to do, she’s going to try her very best to do. She has a huge stride and lots of scope, and she wants to be careful. She has a lot of great attributes of a show jumping horse, but number one is attitude.”
Having competed for $25,000 in prize money during the opening round, riders will return to the Coca-Cola Coliseum in reverse order of standing to tackle the $125,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round 2 on Saturday evening, November 4. National pride is on the line along with the title of Canadian Show Jumping Champion. Mannix will be in the advantageous position of last to go in her bid to win her first Canadian Championship title.
“The Royal is such a special show, and it’s always an honour to compete here,” said Mannix. “We are really lucky to have an educated crowd here. They love the show jumping, they know what the show is all about, and they really get behind our home riders. As a Canadian being at The Royal, there are few things more special than to feel the crowd truly behind you.”
Opening night at the Royal Horse Show kicked off with the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge, which brought the adrenaline-pumping thrill of cross-country to an indoor setting. Featuring a combination of show jumping and natural cross-country obstacles, the course designed by world-renowned Captain Mark Phillips of Great Britain challenged horses and riders to be both daring and meticulous across the speed track
Right: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton and Quasi Cool led the way in the first round of the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge on opening day of the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography
Jamie Kellock of Cedar Valley, ON, and Summer Bay had the first clear effort of the evening in a time of 88.67 seconds, until last year’s winners, Holly Jacks of Hillsburgh, ON, riding Josephine, stormed into the lead in a time of 81.00 seconds. It looked like no one would be able to catch them until two-time Olympic gold medalist Phillip Dutton riding Quasi Cool, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quo Vados x Lord) owned by Caroline Moran, galloped into the top spot in 80.43 seconds. Jacks would have to settle for the runner-up spot, while Kellock rounded out the top three. With that, Dutton now sits in pole position heading into the second and deciding round of the Mad Barn Indoor Eventing Challenge, taking place on Saturday, November 4, where results from both nights are combined to determine the overall standings for the $20,000 purse.
“It’s a great crowd; they were really into it,” said the six-time Olympian Dutton, who is based at his True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania. “Mark [Phillips] set a course such that you couldn’t go super fast, and it was actually better to make sharp turns. It wasn’t just about galloping flat out. It was more about being efficient on your turns. I tried to not waste time on the approach as well because Quasi is a big scopey horse, so I don’t need to be shortening up to the jumps. He’s such a careful horse that I chanced it a bit at the last fence and just kept going at it, and I knew that he’d do his best to get his legs out of the way.”
The Royal offers numerous hospitality experiences including the Royal Terrace for VIP and corporate hosting and the Coliseum’s Sky Suites which offer stables and groups their own private suites. The Tanbark Club will continue to welcome Gold and Platinum VIP ticket holders. Contact email@example.com or HSvip@royalfair.org for full details.
For more information on the Royal Horse Show, including daily schedules and to purchase tickets, visit www.royalfair.org/royalhorseshow. Also download the new Royal Agricultural Winter Fair app for more news and information at your fingertips!
$25,000 Henry Equestrian Canadian Show Jumping Championship – Round 1
Friday, November 3
Rider / Hometown / Horse / Time
1. Vanessa Mannix / Calgary, AB / Carmela Z / 58.01
2. Sean Jobin / Toronto, ON / Coquelicot vh Heuvelland Z / 60.39
3. Nicole Walker / Aurora, ON / Atout des Trambles / 60.59
4. David Samuel Pegg / Cannington, ON / Gin Tonic 158 / 63.78
5. Yann Candele / Orangeville, ON / Killala / 65.16
6. Rachel Schnurr / New Hamburg, ON / Copain de Picobello Z / 65.44
7. François Lamontagne / St. Eustache, QC / Thunderbird vh Scheefkasteel Z / 66.12
8. Jay Hayes / Orangeville, ON / Hope VA / 67.00
9. Sarah Long / Newmarket , ON / Retroflex / 69.68
10. Sarah Johnstone / Collingwood, ON / Katorose HV / 70.10
Photo of the Day
From the Coca-Cola Coliseum
Toronto’s own Aarya Armogan showed her pony, Brownlands Last Call, some love as the 2023 Royal Horse Show got underway with the Pony Hunter divisions on Friday, November 3.
Photo by Andree-Anne Brunet for Ben Radvanyi Photography