Langley’s Brian Morton and Cadillac won the $73,000 ATCO Cup Grand Prix at the Harvest Welcome event held at Thunderbird Show Park on October 18, 2020. (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s Brian Morton and Cadillac won the $73,000 ATCO Cup Grand Prix at the Harvest Welcome event held at Thunderbird Show Park on October 18, 2020. (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley rider Brian Morton wins ATCO Cup at Thunderbird Show Park

His first FEI win with Cadillac at the venue that jump-started his show jumping career

Langley’s Brian Morton scored a hometown win Sunday afternoon, Oct. 19, at Thunderbird Show Park, riding Spruce Meadows’ Cadillac to the top of the $73,000 ATCO Cup Grand Prix at the Harvest Welcome.

It was the first FEI competition in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic brought global competition to a temporary halt this spring.

The event featured more than $180,000 in prize money, including a $20,000 U25 division.

This was the year the 34-year-old relocated to Calgary to ride for the Spruce Meadows operation, and the Harvest Welcome was his first international competition for his new employer.

Riding the 10-year-old Hanoverian Cadillac, Morton posted a winning time of 40.66 seconds. Rachel Cornacchia and Valkyrie de Talma came closest, finishing second at 40.99 seconds, while Langley’s Tiffany Foster and Brighton finished third with four faults and a time of 40.29.

Morton, who went first in the jump-off, said his plan “was to try to be fast and smart at the same time.”

There were, he explained, two difficult right turns – one to the second jump in the jump-off and the other, a hard inside line to the combination.

“You had to give your horse the best shot you could and trust them to help you out, and that’s exactly what Cadillac did, and it paid off for us today,” Morton elaborated.

“It ended up being a hard jump-off, and you could see that, because not many jumped clean again in the jump-off,” Morton added.

“To be honest, when I came out of the ring, I thought I had been too slow. These jump-offs have gotten so fast with all these great riders and a lot of fast riders, too. I thought I would be placed, but I didn’t think, right out of the gate, that I would end up winning it.

“It was just a long, nail-biting wait. As it started to get deep into the field and I saw all these good riders have a fault, that’s when I actually started to think that today might be my day.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Katie Laurie makes a perfect ride at Langley’s tbird

Morton was reflective, recognizing the significance in recording his first FEI win with Cadillac at the venue that jump-started his show jumping career.

“It’s kind of cool that I’ve gotten to see Thunderbird evolve into what’s now a really top-class international show jumping venue,” he commented.

“At the same time, I’ve been on this parallel journey of trying to [work my way] up in international sport. There’s something that just seems very fitting on a day like today, where I get to win in my hometown and get to go home and have a glass of wine with my parents and celebrate the journey.”

The win also secured Morton a $2,500 bonus as FEI divisional champion for the competition.

Carly Stevens Could not Be Caught in $10,000 Trademark Stables & Friends U25 Final 1.40m

A more competitive jump-off couldn’t have been scripted in the $10,000 Trademark Stables & Friends U25 Final, with each of the top five riders in contention for the divisional championship.

Carly Stevens arguably had the most difficult task as the jump-off’s pathfinder, but the 17-year-old rose to the challenge, coming away with a class victory and the overall title as U25 Series Champion.

Stevens and her mount’s winning time was 38.42 seconds. Emily Ward and Evita DKG were the only other double-clear performers on the day, finishing second and claiming the reserve championship. Kassidy Keith and Havana had the winning time (38.14), but a single rail relegated them to third.

Sunday’s 1.40m competition certainly lived up to expectations as the most challenging of the week, with just six combinations qualifying for the jump-off. The cream rose to the top, as the week’s most successful riders held their form. Both Ward and Jenna Lee Gottschlich had already recorded wins on the week, while Keith and Makayla Barta had earned podium honours.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: A win for Gottschlich at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park Harvest Welcome

All would end up chasing Stevens, who had been knocking on the door throughout the competition with consistent efforts aboard her family’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding. Her win earned her $3,300 in prize money, which pushed her total for the week to $4,550—just $675 more than Ward—and earned her a $1,000 bonus as series champion.

“It was crazy!” Stevens exclaimed. “I wasn’t really going in expecting to come out the winner of the overall championship, to be honest. I was just looking to be consistent the past couple of days, which worked out okay. I had a rail in the jump-off [on Friday] but the fastest time. Today, it just played out nicely for me. Everybody was fast, and everybody was great—just a couple unlucky rails.”

Stevens has been partnered with VIP des Majuros for nearly two years, and the pair has only recently hit its best stride.

“He’s so different from any of the other horses I’ve owned. He’s quite sensitive in the mouth and also a little arrogant,” Stevens explained. “He can get quite cocky and tune you out. He kind of has a mare attitude, almost!

The Harvest Welcome marks the end of the Fall show jumping season at Thunderbird Show Park. International competition returns in 2021.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

horseLangleySports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sonya Perkins of Langley’s Forever Yours Lingerie said there’ve been challenges, but customers are supporting local shops during the pandemic. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
‘Shop Local’ key as Langley businesses work through COVID

Business groups are trying to encourage local buying to keep stores alive

Army and Navy was in business for more than a century but closed earlier this year, citing COVID-19 as the cause. The space at Langley Mall has been taken over by McFrugal’s Discount Outlet. (Lisa Farquharson/Black Press Media)
Few closures as Langley businesses battle COVID-19 downturn

Smaller, Canadian chains among casualties locally

Velma MacAllister, coordinator of the Langley Christmas Bureau, holds up donated gift cards at the bureau’s temporary location at Timms Community Centre in Langley City. The bureau is in need of cash, gift card or cheque donations this year to support 800 local families. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times)
Generosity imperative this holiday season

Langley Christmas Bureau is dependent on the donation of gift cards this year

Fire crews dealt with a flooding home in Aldergrove last Tuesday night. (Liane Bisaillon/Special to The Star)
Aldergrove woman seeks help with flooded basement after receiving ‘lack of support’

Liane Bisaillon said she has not been able to get a hold of her property manager

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Police lights
Vancouver elementary school locked down after unknown man walks into classroom

Police arrested the man and sent him for a psych evaluation

Most Read