CALGARY, AB – The Inaugural Royal West Tournament kicked off last night with a vast turnout of thirty-seven FEI riders competing in the $40,000 Norton Rose Fulbright CSI** Cup. Tamie Phillips took the lead early on in the class and held it throughout with a blazing fast time of 64 seconds and change aboard her nine-year-old mare Cat Balou.
John Anderson, President of the Royal West Tournament, was impressed with the turnout for last night’s event. “It was great to see such a strong field in the opening class here at the Inaugural Royal West. I think it speaks volumes to the support that the riders are giving this event. The whole day was just fantastic; it went off without a hitch. We were all nervous, we didn’t know what to expect, and we were thrilled it went so smoothly.”
Canadian Olympian Jill Henselwood, one of Royal West’s most decorated FEI riders, had a great evening finishing second aboard Bolero HX and fifth aboard her second mount Quidam Blue, setting herself up to be in a great position heading into the next rounds of competition. Beda Wachter and On the Rocks closed out the top three with the clock stopping just milliseconds behind the top two riders. Internationally, Venezuela was well represented in last night’s results with Andres Rodriguez and Caballito finishing fourth.
Fans were elated to see local favorite, Tamie Phillips, win the first evening of FEI competition at the Royal West. John Anderson, Royal West’s President, was thrilled to see her win. “I was tickled pink that a local girl, a good friend of ours and a great supporter of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, emerged victorious. She’s in the history books as the first ever International competition winner and I think that’s a truly special thing for her in her career.”
Tamie and Balou really enjoyed the indoor facility located in Stampede Park in the heart of downtown Calgary. “I love the concept of being able to do something downtown and bring International Show Jumping back to the city of Calgary. There are so many fans, thanks to Spruce Meadows, that understand the sport, its great to be able to take advantage of that. Kudo’s to John and RMSJ for putting this tournament together! It already feels like a huge success.”
Tamie purchased Cat Balou just two years ago and has already managed to have a lot of success with the talented little mare. “I loved her right from the beginning! She’s been a great competitor for me, right from day one she’s proved to be extremely competitive. She’s a diva and we work well together.”
Cat Balou and Tamie went eighth in the order of 37 horses and managed to hold the winning time throughout the entire class. “I went early in the class and my original plan was to put in an efficient fast ride, but not to use her up for the upcoming week of classes. I ended up being a bit lucky as other people rode a bit faster but had rails here and there to add to their time. I think it was a good strategy, in the end it really paid off.”
Thank you to our generous sponsor Norton Rose Fulbright for sponsoring last evening’s event, and in helping to make this opening FEI class such a spectacular success! We look forward to another eight days of exciting competition at the Agrium Western Event Centre at the world-famous Stampede Park!
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*Photo credit to Anna Skripets Photography. To use this photo please email firstname.lastname@example.org