CALGARY — All Beezie Madden wanted to do was have a clean ride aboard her horse Darry Lou.
She accomplished just that to capture the Tourmaline Oil Cup and the top prize of $44,125 at the Spruce Meadows Masters on Friday night.
As the second last of six riders to compete in a jump off, Madden and Dary Lou had a clean run in a time of 42.81 seconds.
“He makes it easy,” said the veteran show jumper from Cazenovia, N.Y. “He’s really a beautiful horse to ride. He has beautiful style, a beautiful gallop and I think that’s what makes it look (easy).”
The only other rider to go clear was Austria’s Alfa Jordan, who completed the course just behind Madden in a time of 44.95 seconds to finish second and win $26,750.
“I also had the luck of the draw tonight because (there) was only one after me and nobody had gone clear yet, so I went for the safe clear,” said Madden. “It worked for me. I tried to go fast enough that he would have to try to go a little fast and possibly make a mistake.”
As the first competitor to go in the jump off, Mario Deslauriers, of Bromont, Que., was hoping to post a good time without knocking down any rails aboard his horse Bardolina 2.
“I was pleased for the jump off,” said Deslauriers, who finished the course in 41.94 seconds but had four faults. “I was trying to be just a good clear and then to make the top three because then that qualifies you for the Grand Prix.”
Deslauriers, who won $8,020 for finishing in fifth place behind Madden, Jordan, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Israel’s Daniel Bluman, can still make it into Sunday’s CP International Grand Prix by going clear or having just a four-fault round during Saturday’s Nations’ Cup.
“I still have a few rounds to qualify,” he said. “My horse jumped well. I was very pleased with her. She made a good effort.”
Fellow Canadian rider Eric Lamaze, of Schomberg, Ont., just missed out on getting to compete in Friday’s jump off. Although Lamaze didn’t knock down any rails during the preliminary round aboard his horse Fine Lady 5, he received one fault for exceeding the allowed time of 79 seconds by .97.
Deslauriers and Lamaze will team up with Calgary’s Kara Chad and Erynn Ballard, of Tottenham, Ont., to compete for Canada in Saturday’s Nations’ Cup.
“I think everybody’s feeling good,” said Deslauriers, who didn’t compete at the event last year when Canada finished second behind Germany. “All the horses have been good all week, so I think that we should have a good result. Eric is doing as good as he can and Erynn did well and Kara jumped a good clear (Thursday), so I think that the team spirit is pretty good.”