There were lots of great moments at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alberta, on Sept. 6-11, including the
U.S. team’s thrilling win in the $500,000 BMO Nations Cup and German rider Philipp Weishaupt’s amazing second round to win the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix.
But not all the thrills were brought on by victory—the iconic grass international ring at Spruce Meadows brings out the best in horses and riders, and emotions are frequently close to the surface. Here are some of COTH’s Molly Sorge’s favorite photos from the Masters:
Sameh El Dahan had a remarkable Masters, as he and Sumas Zorro, an Irish Sport Horse mare he developed from the one-star level up to grand prix, jumped a clean round in Round 1 of the $3 Million CP International. The mare jumped her first five-star class over the summer series at Spruce Meadows, and El Dahan showed her lots of love.
Lee McKeever gave HH Azur a quiet pat as she walked out of the ring with McLain Ward after jumping clean in Round 1 of the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix.
Philipp Weishaupt didn’t want to ride Solitaer 41 in for the awards ceremony of the $500,000 BMO Nations Cup, in which Germany placed third, so he borrowed a Gypsy Vanner from the Lord Strathcona’s Horse armored regiment.
The Belgian team wasn’t in contention to take over the lead in the $500,000 BMO Nations Cup, but that didn’t matter one bit to Thierry Goffinet, who rode Arthuur JH Z to a clean round in Round 2. He was unabashed in his joy in a clear performance.
The great star Hickstead, who had many victories at Spruce Meadows, still rules the grounds in statue form.
Lillie Keenan is steadily forming a solid relationship with Fibonacci 17, whose stylish jump makes for great photos.
The amazing Good Luck’s athleticism while jumping with Cian O’Connor results in some impressive photos.
Silver Deaux De Virton HDC can not only jump 1.60-plus-meter fences, but he can also do it in classic hunter form with Kevin Staut aboard.
Luciana Diniz is known for her exuberant responses to her rides—here she’s in disbelief that she jumped clean on Fit For Fun in Round 1 of the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix.
Julien Gonin of France took a peek back at the last fence in Round 2 of the $500,000 BMO Nations Cup and then looked both amazed and overjoyed that he’d had just 4 faults on Soleil De Cornu CH.
German rider Christian Kukuk’s ride Limonchello NT cut quite a striking figure with perfect braids and a light blue eye.
The little (just 15.2 hands) Ohlala couldn’t get her legs any tighter over this oxer in the $3 Million CP International Grand Prix.