HIGH ACHIEVERS: Stay-Safe Edition
Keeping Local Sport Spirit High During the Pandemic
By Martin Cleary
There’s an encouraging wave of Ottawa and area show jumpers coming right at us and they made a name for themselves during the two-week, back-to-back Ottawa Summer equestrian tournaments at Wesley Clover Park.
Kelley Robinson of Russell, ON., led that parade of riders, who either found their way into jump-offs and top-three finishes or a spot in the top-10 overall on Eastern Canada’s only grass grand prix course.
After a clear initial round on Blue’s Yer Daddy put Robinson into a six horse-rider jump-off in the $20,000 Open Welcome meet on July 15, she was the only rider to produce a second perfect ride, which sparked her victory in front of family and friends.
“I was a little worried because there were some faster horses in the jump-off, but he got the job done,” Robinson told Jennifer Ward of Jump Media.
“He has a big stride, and he is the king of the leave-out. He is a big horse and he loves this big ring. He was wonderful.”
Robinson attended the fortnight of show jumping with students and 16 horses from her Cimarron Show Stables in the first week of the tournaments.
The local equestrian community also had reason to celebrate with two more top-10 showings. Chloe Parker of Ashton, ON., riding G. Balou, finished fourth and Olympian Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, ON., on Eblesse, was ninth.
In the $50,000 Steel-Craft Grand Prix on July 17, Francois Lamontage of Saint-Eustache, Que., survived the three horse-rider jump-off for the win, while Sasha Maniaci of Ottawa, on Evita, was fourth, and Grant Field of Russell, on Baffin, took seventh.
Christine Wiggins of Ottawa and Cabaliero were one of three entries in the 22 rider-horse field for the $30,000 CI Assante Wealth Management Open Welcome on July 22 to compete in the jump-off. They finished third.
All three jump-off entries were clear in their tie-breaking round and time became the deciding factor. Wiggins had a conservative clocking of 45.45 seconds for her third-place showing.
Robinson was seventh, while Hugh Moffatt of Brantford, ON., and Grafton, one of his five horses in the competition, earned the first of his two major, second-week victories.
Moffatt completed the second week of Ottawa’s premiere show-jumping equestrian summer tournament by riding Donjo to a first-place finish in the $75,000 RBC Grand Prix.
Martin Cleary has written about amateur sports for 48 years. A past Canadian sportswriter of the year and Ottawa Sports Awards Lifetime Achievement in Sport Media honouree, Martin retired from full-time work at the Ottawa Citizen in 2012, but continued to write a bi-weekly “High Achievers” column for the Citizen/Sun.
When the pandemic struck, Martin created the “Stay-Safe Edition” to provide some positive news during tough times, via his Twitter account at first and now here at OttawaSportsPages.ca.
Martin can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @martincleary.