Robert Blanchette and Chardonnay topped an eight-horse jump off to capture the $100,000 VOLVO Canada Cup at Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) in Langley on Saturday, Aug, 28.
The win marked the first for Chardonnay in international competition, and Blanchette sees a bright future ahead for the chestnut mare that joined his string just over a year ago.
“She’s just a top horse,” he said. “I think for me, it takes a year to get to know them. It’s been a little over a year now, and we’re just getting there.”
The 10-year-old Westphalian mare had only just stepped up to the three-star grand prix level a week prior at tbird, but she passed the test with flying colors, finishing third in the $100,000 ATCO Cup.
In the jump-off Saturday for the $100,000 VOLVO Canada Cup, Blanchette decided to try out some new gears.
The result was an emphatic victory.
ATCO Cup victors Vanessa Mannix and Catinka 25 settled for second, with Conor Swail and Theo 160 third.
“I haven’t had a horse that could go that fast at that height and make it seem so easy,” Blanchette said.
“I’ve never actually pushed her,” Blanchette said. “I was always thinking that she had a lot of scope and there was no reason to make her a lower-level speed horse, so I never went fast with her. My plan [today] was to go in and ride feels what [felt] right.
READ ALSO: Second win for Swail at tbird
Blanchette referenced a quote from Swedish Olympian Peter Eriksson, expressing that it wasn’t a rider’s job to win by “six seconds.” One only needed to win by “a sixth of a second.”
$100,000 VOLVO Canada Cup
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Chardonnay / Robert Blanchette / IRL / RTS LLC / 0/0 39.95
2. Catinka 25 / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / Vanessa Mannix / 0/0 40.02
3. Theo 160 / Conor Swail / IRL / Conor Swail / 0/0 40.66
4. Baton Rouge / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / CAN / Samantha Buirs-Darvill / 0/0 41.13
5. Coupis / Robert Blanchette / IRL / Robert Blanchette 0/0 41.48
6. Livestream 2 / Lisa Carlsen / CAN / Lisa Carlsen / 0/0 41.63
7. Etalon / Kyle King / USA / Carlotte Maclean / 0/4 39.45
8. Buddy Bounce / Darrin Dlin / CAN / Dorothy Dlin / 0/8 43.26
9. EZ Ace / Justin Prather / CAN / Bradon Equestrian Ltd / 4 73.76
10. Beneficial / Alicia Gadban-Lewis / CAN / Alicia Gadban-Lewis / 4 75.85
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