Grand Prix Day at Spruce Meadows: Paul O’Shea wins the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup
Spruce Meadows – It was a beautiful day at Spruce Meadows for the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Thirty-one horse/rider combinations qualified for the two round grand prix hoping to get a piece of the $500,000 purse. At the completion of the first round, the top twelve entries returned for the second round of competition in reverse order of merit from the first round. For those tied on faults for first place after two rounds, a jump off would take place to determine the champion.
It was a fair, but challenging first round track with seven clears and five quick four-fault rounds making up the top twelve athletes who advanced to round two. The second round asked riders and horses to complete an additional 446m of track and 10 obstacles (13 jumping efforts) in under 67 seconds. It was a real test.
Many veteran Spruce Meadows riders, and former champions started the event. As the cream rose it was Spruce Meadows rookie Paul O’Shea (IRL), that posted one of the seven clears to advance to round two. He set up his horse Imerald Van’t Voorhof for success completing the second round on a single time fault. Today that was and incredible result and good enough for the win in a hard fought battle. Mexican riders Eugenio Garza Perez and Patricio Pasquel both carried four faults into round two, but clear round in round two placed them in second and thirds respectively.
“He’s a great water jumper (Imerald Van’t Voorhof) and very brave. I had a feeling if I brought him here he would excel.“ Paul O’Shea on bringing his horse to Spruce Meadows for the first time.
Press release Spruce Meadows
Photo Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Imerald van’t Voorhof
© Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk