HSBC FEI World Cup Qualifier at Wits End
Mansfield, ON, Canada
Bruce (Buck) Davidson Jr. (USA) and My Boy Bobby stole first place from Philip Dutton (USA) and Woodburn in an exhilarating and close round of show jumping for all CIC***W Division competitors. Kyle Carter (CAN) and Madison Park took 4th place. Davidson and Ballynoecastle RM also took 2nd place.
Spectators who braved the weather and stayed for the afternoon were rewarded with truly spectacular jumping from all five divisions.
"I'm delighted with the win," said Davidson who has placed 2nd in the past two years at Wits End, "it's the best feeling when you complete a clear round of show jumping and know you have just won four days of intense competition against the best eventing riders."
Canada's Kyle Carter placed 4th to make him the top placed Canadian rider. "This is my first year at Wits End," said Carter, who is now based in Florida, USA. "It's wonderful to be able to compete at this level here in Canada. It's been a fantastic four days."
Wits End Horse Trials is the only FEI World Cup Qualifier in Canada. "Kudos to Jo Young and Bill Mckeen (co owners Wits End Farm and Wits End Horse Trials) for taking on the challenge of establishing this level of competition here in Canada," said Carter. "This is an extremely difficult market to create an event of this level and make it a success. They have done a wonderful job."
Davidson echoes the sentiment shared by Carter, "I'd like to thank Bill and Jo for the great job they have done. They have established a top quality event, attracted the best of the best international riders who have bought their very best horses. I will definitely be back next year."
David O'Connor, a former Olympic gold medal winner in Eventing for the United States in Sydney designed a new cross country course for Wits End this year. "He made the course bigger this year," said Young. "There's more room for galloping and the fences are extremely challenging."
"Cross country at Wits End is tough," said Davidson "but they seem to have it pretty right now allowing more room for galloping, although it's not easy to make optimum time."
Carter who trains in Florida spent some time in Tennessee to prepare for cross country at Wits End. "We don't have many hills in Florida and I knew that this would be hilly terrain for cross," said Carter. "I was very excited about the unique challenge of this hilly cross country course."
"This is the 6th year in a row that we hosted the trials at Wits End Farm and we had over 120 riders compete this year. We are delighted with the results," said Young. Wits End Horse Trials is the only FEI World Cup Qualifier in Canada. "We will definitely be back next year."
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