CALGARY — The Canadian Show Jumping Team was knocked off the top of the podium on Saturday, finishing third in the $300,000 BMO Nations’ Cup.

Canada’s squad, comprised of Yann Candele, Tiffany Foster, Eric Lamaze and Ian Millar, came into the event as the defending champions, and faced stiff competition from seven other countries.

“I think we all felt like we could have done a bit better,” said Foster. “It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t quite good enough today. All of our horses jumped very well, we just had minor errors that cost us a rail in each round and, in a Nations’ Cup, a rail for each rider is very expensive. It’s just one of those days where it didn’t go in our favour.”

Following the opening round of competition, Canada was sitting in second place with a score of 12 faults behind Brazil, which posted nine faults in the opening round of its Nations’ Cup debut. Three teams — Belgium, France and the United States — sat tied on 16 faults for third position, while Switzerland was one fault behind with 17.

Candele, of Caledon, Ont, was the lead-off rider for Canada. Having incurred four faults at the bicycle jump in the first round, Candele returned to post an eight fault effort in the second round which would become Canada’s drop score.

Riding in her fifth consecutive Nations’ Cup, Foster, from North Vancouver, B.C., posted scores of four and four.

Lamaze, of Schomberg, Ont., came into the Nations’ Cup hot off his victory in Thursday’s $35,000 ATCO Structures & Logistics Cup. The 2008 Canadian Olympic Champion incurred four faults at the penultimate fence and the bicycle jump in the first round, and picked up four faults in the second round at the open water.

Millar, from Perth, Ont., also posted scores of four and four for the Canadian Team.

Forced to add 12 faults in the second round to the 12 already incurred in the opening round, Canada’s two-round total of 24 faults were not good enough to successfully defend its title.

Brazil dominated with a final score of 13 faults, helped by a pair of clear efforts from Pedro Veniss and Quabri de l’Isle. The first three riders back for France jumped fault-free in the second round to capture the runner-up position with 16 faults.

Canada stayed ahead of the United States, which finished in fourth position with 28 faults. Switzerland was fifth with 30 faults while Belgium was sixth with 32 faults. Great Britain came in last.

“Four faults doesn’t cut it in Nations’ Cup competition,” said Canadian show jumping team chef d’equipe Mark Laskin of Langley, B.C. “They all jumped well, just a little unlucky here and a little rub there. You have to be happy with the way they jumped, but I think they are disappointed that they weren’t able to deliver a better result.”

Canada was fielding the same team of riders that had captured the team gold medal at the recent 2015 Pan American Games.


The Canadian Press