Top equestrians continue competition at Spruce Meadows
World No. 1 Farrington set to defend ATCO Cup title, Canada's Surbey takes on the derby
The show jumping season continues at Spruce Meadows this weekend with the best riders from across the Americas competing in the "North American."
CBC TV and CBCSports.ca will have live coverage of the weekend's marquee events, starting Saturday with the ATCO Cup at 4 p.m. ET and continuing with Sunday's Sun Life Derby at 4 p.m. ET.
Two of the world's top-three jumpers will look to collect more points at the prestigious Calgary, Alta. venue.
World No. 1 Kent Farrington has dominated at the familiar facility and is the reigning champion in the ATCO Cup. The 36-year-old American had an uncharacteristic fumble in the Grand Prix at the season opener in June, retiring with his top mount Gazelle after incurring several faults.
However, Farrington is coming off a seventh-place result in the marquee event at last weekend's Pan American and should be able to find his footing again.
McLain Ward, ranked second, will also be on hand.
Lamaze takes a tumble
Canada's Eric Lamaze has taken a tumble in the standings after a few disappointing results in recent competition at Spruce Meadows, dropping from fifth in the world to seventh.
His best result recently in the big 1.60-metre event came at the season opener aboard Fine Lady 5, where he finished fifth after taking down a single rail. Lamaze, of Schomberg, Ont., should still be in the mix after collecting a pair of top-four results in the 1.45 and 1.50 classes last weekend.
Other Canadians to keep an eye on include Vanessa Mannix, Keean White and Chris Surbey.
Mannix opened the season with a third-place Grand Prix result riding Grand Cru Vd Vijf Eiken and followed that up with a fourth last weekend after missing the jump-off with a single time fault.
White finished just ahead of Mannix in June with For Freedom Z.
As the reigning champion, Surbey will be interesting to watch in the derby. He went clear in last year's event aboard Quetchep de la Roque.
He was also third in the season opener with Carnaval, while American Richard Spooner claimed his third straight victory in Spruce's opening derby with another rare clear round over the challenging course.
Of course, Spooner and his 19-year-old mount Cristallo are fixtures in the derby. Despite the gelding's age, they are consistent contenders to take the top prize.
ICYMI | Here's Richard Spooner's full ride aboard Cristallo with zero faults and a time of 163.77. WATCH: <a href="https://t.co/DXq8267iqf">https://t.co/DXq8267iqf</a> <a href="https://t.co/sWzWVQZnJr">pic.twitter.com/sWzWVQZnJr</a>—@CBCOlympics
Expect some surprises
Anything can happen at Spruce Meadows, so expect some surprises. As always, there's a deep crop of talent from around the equestrian world set to compete.
Canadian Olympians Ian Millar, Tiffany Foster and Yann Candele will continue their stay in Calgary.
Veteran American riders Elizabeth "Beezie" Madden and Richard Fellers, as well as rising stars like Ireland's Daniel Coyle and another strong contingent of Mexican equestrians will also be back this weekend.