Blanchette the toast of Spruce Meadows with win on Chardonnay

  • 11 July 2023, 09:53

Robert Blanchette and Chardonnay after their big win in Canada. Picture: Spruce Meadows Instagram

Irish riders claim 11 top ten placings at the CSI5* in Calgary

Robert Blanchette concluded another an excellent show for Irish riders at the Spruce Meadows. Running from Thursday through to Sunday, the CSI5* saw some of Ireland’s top riders take to the arena, recording an impressive 11 top ten placings.

Blanchette was the only Irish rider to top the podium, doing so in one of final classes of the show – the 1.50m Derby on Sunday evening. Riding the 13-year-old mare Chardonnay, owned by RTS LLC, and drawn second to go, he was one of two rounds clear rounds in the opening round.

Blanchette proved unbeatable, setting a time of 39.01 seconds in the jump-off. Canadian rider Jim Ifko tried to challenge Blanchette’s lead but had to settle for second place with a time of 39.69 seconds. Kyle King completed the podium for America. A quick time but two fences down in the opening round left Daniel Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Quintin in ninth place.

Coyle had a successful week, he claimed second and third place in the opening 1.55m ranking class on Thursday. His second-place finish was with Quintin and third with Ivory TCS, owned in partnership with Grange.

In Friday’s 1.50m ranking class Irish riders took four of the top ten placings. Darragh Kenny was second with California Pie, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC and Carol A Sollak. Paul O’Shea was third with his own and Eye Candy Jumpers’ Squirt Gun, and Conor Swail was fourth with Count Me In, owned by Sandy Lupton and Mannon Farm, and ninth with Nadal Hero & DB, owned by Mannon Farm.

Kenny finished fourth in the 1.50m ranking class on Saturday with Chic Chic, owned by Vlock Show Stables LLC. Also on Saturday Andrew Bourns was fifth with the Irish Sport Horse Sea Topblue and Kenny was sixth with Hamrah Van Het Exelhof Z, owned by Heathman Farm LLC, in 1.60m Grand Prix.

At the CSI2* show taking place at the same venue, Swail added another win to his name, claiming the 1.45m Grand Prix on Sunday with the 12-year-old gelding Gamble, owned by Asta Torokvei. Earlier in the week he finished third in the 1.45m ranking class with Casturano, owned by Mannon Farms.

In the CSI4* in Valkenswaard Denis Lynch won the 1.50m ranking class with Hunter on Friday and was fourth with Vistogrand, owned by Parco Sport Horses EST,  in the 1.45m ranking class on Saturday. Also on Saturday, Jack Ryan was fourth with BBS McGregor (ISH) in the 1.50m ranking class. Ryan had another fourth-place finish in the 1.50m Grand Prix on Sunday with Eagle VD Wolfsakker Z, owned by Jos Lansink Horses and BV M Van Der Kloet.

There were two CSI3* shows taking place Stateside – Williamsburg and Tryon. Shane Sweetnam and Simon McCarthy were in action in Williamsburg. Sweetnam finished third and fifth with RR Combella, owned in partnership with Voquest LLC, in two of the 1.45m ranking classes. McCarthy had two top ten finishes, including eighth in the 1.50m Grand Prix with Gotcha, owned by Rock Ridge Farms.

In Tryon Richie Moloney won the 1.45m ranking class with Equinimity LLC’s nine-year-old mare Skelwith Diamond Lady. Darragh Kerins and Lissino, owned by Eve Jobs, had two top ten placings.

In the CSI3* in Ommen, The Netherlands, brothers Bertram and Harry Allen had a successful week. Bertram finished second in the 1.55m ranking class on Friday with Edison de Hus, owned by Ballywalter Stables and Maximillian Lill. The following day Harry Allen was fourth with Ballywalter Stables’ Iron Lady van de Zuuthoeve. In the 1.55m Grand Prix on Sunday, Harry finished third with Calculatus, owned by Qin Yu Pang. Shane Breen also had a top ten finish with Scarteen in a 1.45m ranking class at the same show. The 10-year-old gelding is owned in partnership between Breen and Marianne Schindele.

In Royan, France, Sean Monaghan claimed fourth place in the 1.45m Grand Prix with AN Cassius, owned by Ignacio Jaime Moreno Vicente.


Sea Topblue (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Chacco Blue (MECKL) out of Sea Top Lady (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeders: James & John Meade, Co. Clare. Owner: Andrew Bourns and OBS Equestrian LLC. Rider: Andrew Bourns (IRL).

BBS McGregor (ISH) – 2012 gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of Random Chance (ISH) by Mark Twain (TB). Breeder and Owner: Marguerite Ryan, Co. Kilkenny. Rider: Jack Ryan (IRL).