Collingwood, Ontario --- Margie Gayford of Sharon, ON, topped the $60,000 'Kubota Cup' Grand Prix held Sunday, August 20, to conclude the two-week Collingwood Horse Show in Collingwood, ON.
After finishing second in the $50,000 Miele World Cup Grand Prix held one week earlier, Gayford and Stuntman were due for a win. From a starting field of 26, they were among the seven entries that posted a clear round over the track set by Brazil's Guilherme Jorge, who will also be the course designer for next year's Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro. The triple combination, set early on course at fence 4, and the double combination to finish at fence 13, claimed more than half the entries, with 15 riders having their hopes of advancing to the jump-off dashed at those two elements.
Canadian Olympian John Pearce of Stouffville, ON, got the jump-off underway riding Champagne, his 13-year-old grey Holsteiner gelding. A clear round in a time of 44.63 seconds set the early benchmark. As the next rider on course, Gayford and Stuntman, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Wingberry Farms, improved on Pearce's ride, stopping the timers at 43.92 seconds to move into the lead.
The next three riders on course - Lauren Hunkin of Perth, ON, riding Orleans, Jonathon Millar, also of Perth, ON, riding Noble I, and Mike Grinyer of Campbellville, ON, who was clear until the final fence with his 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Alcatraz, all had four faults to leave Gayford at the top of the standings.
Pearce then had one more shot at victory riding the crowd favourite Archie Bunker, his eight-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Pearce gave it everything he had and left all the rails in their place, but his time of 43.97 seconds left him just shy of Gayford's leading time of 43.92 seconds. Only when the final challengers, Karen Cudmore of Victoria, BC, and Southern Pride, had the third fence down was Gayford assured of victory.
"I was a little conservative last week and we ended up second, so I thought, 'let's have it this time!'," said Gayford, who earned a $17,000 paycheque for her first major grand prix victory riding Stuntman. "There are so many times when you just get nipped by a fraction of a second. I thought there were one or two places where they could have caught me, but it was a course that was quite advantageous for Stuntman because there was lots of galloping. And Stuntman wanted to win! He pricked his ears when we went in the ring and we went for it."
The $60,000 'Kubota Cup' Grand Prix, the third leg of the eastern division of the Kubota Cup Show Jumping Series, capped off the 'Kubota' Collingwood Classic which ran from August 16-20, 2006. Other featured events included Friday's $10,000 Carmarthen Lake Farms Open Welcome won by 24-year-old Elliott Stone of Midland, ON, riding Freestyle, and Saturday's $10,000 Nobleton Feed Mill Modified Grand Prix won by Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON, riding Rhiannon for owner Triple Seal Ltd. Aboard Magdaline, Underhill was also the winner of the $50,000 Miele World Cup Grand Prix held August 13 during the CSI-W Collingwood Festival.
This year's edition marked the 20th anniversary of the Collingwood Horse Show. Organized by two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes and his wife, Shawn, along with their three daughters, Lauren, 26, Ainsley, 24, and Regan, 21, the Collingwood Horse Show has grown into a two-week international show jumping competition. Next year, the event moves to its new location at the Thornbury Horse Park. For more information, please visit www.collingwoodhorseshow.com.
$60,000 'Kubota Cup' Grand Prix - Collingwood, ON
|1.||Margie Gayford||Sharon, ON||Stuntman||0:0||43.92|
|2.||John Pearce||Stouffville, ON||Archie Bunker||0:0||43.97|
|3.||John Pearce||Stouffville, ON||Southern Pride||0:0||38.34|
|4.||Jonathon Millar||Perth, ON||Noble I||0:4||46.38|
|5.||Lauren Hunkin||Perth, ON||Robin van Roosendael||0:4||46.43|
|6.||Mike Grinyer||Campbellville, ON||Alcatraz||0:4||47.20|
|7.||Karen Cudmore||Victoria, BC||Southern Pride||0:8||50.15|
"Margie Gayford and Stuntman jumped their way to victory in the $60,000 'Kubota Cup' Grand Prix at the 20th annual Collingwood Horse Show."
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Contact: Jennifer Ward
Tel: (613) 569-2423