'North American' - Day 1

July 03, 2024

‘Gunning for the Grand Prix’

Rising star Elena Haas wins today’s 1.50m; sets her eyes on Saturday’s big event after last week’s near miss

Day one of the ‘North American’

A Happy Haas: Elena Haas (USA) takes the Friends of the Meadows 1.50m with Ogue Bt Special. Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis

July 03, 2024

July 03, 2024 (Spruce Meadows) —  An overjoyed Elena Haas, of the USA, celebrated winning today’s Friends of the Meadows 1.50m ahead of tomorrow’s qualifier for Saturday’s Grand Prix, where the 21-year-old is aiming to top the podium after a near-miss on the weekend.

Haas, originally from Oakland, California, came second to Matthew Sampson (GBR) in Sunday’s Pan American Cup Grand Prix.

Tomorrow, Haas will have a double shot at possible Grand Prix glory, with two horses entered into the Jayman Built Cup qualifier in anticipation of Saturday’s ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix, the biggest event of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series.

“We definitely have our eyes set on the Queen Elizabeth Cup,” said Haas, who will compete tomorrow with Westphalian gelding Claude, as well as Belgian Warmblood Koss Van Heiste.

“It’s the class I’ve looked forward to jumping for a long time, so hopefully we’ll get a shot at it.

“Hopefully all goes well with the qualifier tomorrow. We’ll be in good form for that.”

This evening all of Haas’s praise went to today’s champion Irish Sport Horse Ogue Bt Special, who only began competing in CSI5* events last month, during the ‘National’, presented by Rolex.

“I felt very much in rhythm with him today,” Haas said. “He’s been jumping great here.

“I felt confident to go out and give it our all today. I’m so thrilled with how he jumped.

“He delivered for sure.”

Haas and Ogue Bt Special completed today’s 540m course, thought up by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela, in 70.73s.

Second place finisher Lillie Keenan, also of the USA, ended the 12-obstacle, 14-effort course in 73.16s, while Amy Millar (CAN) and Christiano came third at 74.73s.

Scroll down to see more of today’s winners…

For complete results from today visit: sprucemeadows.com/live/

The Money Shot: Haas (USA) and Ogue Bt Special soar over an International Ring oxer, The Athens Coins, from the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics, now part of the Spruce Meadows Championship Collection. Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis 

Captain of The Crew: John Perez Bohm (COL) sailed past 31 other horse-rider combos to take The Crew 1.45m, with 11-year-old Selle Francais mare Douee Du Mesnil. Bohm also landed fifth in the event, aboard Dutch Warmblood mare Gigi Carmen, aged 13.
Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis 

The Freshman Beats TWO Olympians: Our boy Ben Asselin, a member of the family here at Spruce Meadows, topped the list of Canadians packed into the talented leaderboard of The Crew 1.45m, coming second with Dutch Warmblood gelding The Freshman. He beat two Team Canada Olympians heading to Paris later this month including Amy Millar, who came third and seventh on Jelvinia MB and Jagger HX, as well as Tiffany Foster, who finished sixth with Com Es Ta. Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis

A Lovely Day for a Chardonnay: Robert Blanchette (IRL) and Chardonnay celebrate winning The Partners 1.45m on the Orchard Ring this afternoon. Blanchette also took the top spot in the Friends of the Meadows 1.40m, atop Carnlea Premier Balou. Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis

 Hometown Glory: Olivia Stephenson becomes the third Calgary rider to win an event today in this evening’s Friends of the Meadows 1.40m Junior/Amateur, with Zangersheide gelding Deister Z. Scroll down to for details on the other two local ladies who took top prizes. Spruce Meadows Media: Tony Lewis

You Beda Wacht Out: Beda Wachter, of Red Deer County, AB, wins the Friends of the Meadows 1.30m, with Golden Cassini. Spruce Meadows Media/Kevin Udahl

 Virginia’s Red, White and Blue: Virginia Bonnie (USA) picked up first- and second-place red and blue ribbons in the Friends of the Meadows Junior/Amateur 1.30m, taking top spot with Dutch Warmblood Heldorado, who finished the All Alberta Ring course in 63.26s. Bonnie’s white Holsteiner gelding Curtis SL, pictured, was just a hair slower, coming in at 63.31s. Spruce Meadows Media/Kevin Udahl

The Lion’s Queen: Calgary’s Holly Grayton, upon KM Mufasa, wins the Friends of the Meadows 1.20m. Spruce Meadows Media/Jim Wells

You Can’t Karel These Two: Another hometown girl, Calgary’s Milana Huger, and Karel, win the Friends of the Meadows 1.00m. Spruce Meadows Media/Jim Wells