A total of seven teams tackled the track set by course designers Steve Stephens and Ken Krome, both of the United States. Canada was the first country into the International Arena, with lead-off rider Foster having the plank at fence four down in the opening round riding her veteran partner Victor, a 14-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood gelding (Elmshorn x Grandeur) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable. In the second round, the pair again produced a four-fault effort after incurring a rail at the ‘b’ element of the Rolex double combination.
Gingras, 34, had rails at the ‘c’ element of the Hollow Creek Farm triple combination and the final fence on course, the Lugano Diamonds oxer, for a total of eight faults in the opening round. Returning for the second round, Gingras and Coup de Chance, a ten-year-old grey Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cardento x Darco) owned by B Gingras Equestrian Limited, had rails at the Hermes oxer at fence three as well as the airy vertical at fence nine. One time fault for exceeding the 82-second time allowed gave the pair a total of nine faults.
Kara Chad, 20, of Calgary, AB, was working on a clear round until the final fence fell in the first round. Riding Bellinda, a ten-year-old bay Dutch Warmblood mare (Namelus R x Hors la Loi II) owned by Stone Ridge Farms Ltd in the horse’s first Nations’ Cup appearance, Chad had a foot in the water in round two and picked up one time fault for a total of five faults.Eric Lamaze, 47, anchored the Canadian Team riding Check Picobello Z in the horse’s Nations’ Cup debut. The 2008 Olympic Champion and the ten-year-old grey Zangersheide gelding (Cardento x Orlando) owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable faulted at the ‘b’ element of the triple combination before incurring four faults at fence nine in the second round.
When it was all said and done, the Canadian Team counted 12 faults in the first round and 13 in the second to finish on a final score of 25 faults.
“We just didn’t have any luck,” said Canadian Team chef d’equipe Mark Laskin of Langley, BC. “What are the chances of Tiffany and Eric jumping a total of four rounds without a clear? It seemed like everything we touched fell down.
“On the positive side, we had three horses new to Nations’ Cup competition on our team, and it was a good experience in a pressurized Nations’ Cup situation for Lizzie and Kara,” Laskin concluded.
Canada has won the Nations’ Cup event in Wellington, FL, a total of six times in the event’s 14-year history with its last victory coming in 2014.
Ireland claimed its second victory in the Wellington Nations’ Cup, finishing on a total score of four faults. Anchor rider Cian O’Connor produced one of four double-clear efforts of the night riding Sam du Challois. The defending champion, the United States, settled for second this year with a final score of eight faults after Audrey Coulter and Laura Kraut both jumped double clear. Colombia, anchored by a double clear performance by Roberto Teran riding Woklahoma, took third with 16 faults while Mexico was fourth with 17 faults. Brazil took fifth with 20 faults, followed by Canada in sixth with 25 faults. France, having incurred 29 faults in the opening round, was not among the top six nations to qualify for the second round.
The Canadian Show Jumping Team will next compete at the Furusiyya Nations’ Cup qualifier to be held during CSIO4* Coapexpan, Mexico, from April 28 to May 1. The event is the second of three qualifying events for the 2016 Furusiyya Nations Cup Final to be held in Barcelona, Spain, in September. The third and final Furusiyya Nations’ Cup qualifier will take place at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, on Friday, June 3. The top two teams in the qualifying league will be invited to contest the Furusiyya Nations Cup Final in Barcelona.