Rich Fellers rides Olympic high at Spruce Meadows | Show Jumping | CBC Sports

Rich Fellers rides Olympic high at Spruce Meadows

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 | 11:21 AM

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Rich Fellers of the United States likely locked up an Olympic berth aboard Flexible at Spruce Meadows this past weekend. (Dirk Caremans/Getty Images) Rich Fellers of the United States likely locked up an Olympic berth aboard Flexible at Spruce Meadows this past weekend. (Dirk Caremans/Getty Images)

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The second week of the show jumping competition wrapped up Saturday night at Spruce Meadows in Calgary with the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix and World Cup. At stake? Big money, big World Cup points and the last chance for selection committees to watch horses and riders compete head to head.

The second week of the show jumping competition wrapped up Saturday night at Spruce Meadows in Calgary with the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix and World Cup. At stake? Big money, big World Cup points and the last chance for selection committees to watch horses and riders compete head to head. I am predicting the pounding of the second spike into the CN Precision Series for Rich Fellers and Flexible should seal the deal for the pair heading to the London Olympics for Team USA. Fellers, who completed the selection trials in March in seventh place overall, won an observation class in Del Mar, Calif., and now at Spruce.

And let's not forget that he was crowned FEI World Cup champion aboard Flexible in Den Bosch, Netherlands, on April 22.

The Spruce course set by Great Britain's Bob Ellis, who is designing for the Olympics, proved to be very difficult with a tight time allowed. For the United States, it was the fourth and final observation class at Spruce. Here is who would make the U.S. Olympic team were it based solely on results from Saturday:

  • Reed Kessler & Cylana (1st) & Mika (5th)
  • Rich Fellers & Flexible (7th)
  • Kent Farrington & Uceko (9th)
  • Katherine Dinan & Nougat De Vallet (17th)
  • Beezie Madden & Simon (21st)

Missing at Spruce Meadows were two riders high on the selection trial placing, Margie Engle and Laura Kraut. Both riders chose to compete in selection trials in Kentucky and Pennsylvania. I'm wagering that Fellers and Kessler will be named to Team USA. Both posted impressive and consistent results. The rest of the spots are really up for grabs.

Following the final observation class at Spruce Meadows, the United States Equestrian Federation submitted its list of prospective rider/horse combos for the London Games to the FEI for confirmation of certificate of capability:

  • Rich Fellers & Flexible
  • Beezie Madden & Coral Reef Via Volo
  • Reed Kessler & Cylana
  • McLain Ward & Antares F
  • Charlie Jayne & Chill RZ
  • Beezie Madden & Simon
  • Reed Kessler & Mika
  • Laura Kraut & Cedric
  • Margie Engle & Indigo
  • Kent Farrington & Uceko

The USEF expects to announce its Olympic team of four riders and one alternate on July 6. Canada's Olympic show jumping team will likely be revealed June 28.

If Canada was to choose its team based on the same class, in which all the hopefuls were competing, here is who would comprise the Canadian Olympic team that would accompany Eric Lamaze and Ian Millar:

  • Tiffany Foster on Victor (7th overall with clean first round)
  • Mac Cone on Unanimous (16th with 5 faults)
  • Jill Henselwood on George (18th with 6 faults)

Lamaze rode both of his new horses in the Grand Prix on Saturday night. He had mentioned on his arrival at Spruce that the results would speak as to which he would take to London. So again, if we go by the results, Derly Chin De Muze had one time fault, while Verdi had 10 faults. Let's see if Derly gets the nod to pack her tack truck for England.

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