Towell Tops Encana Cup
The ‘National’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows continued on Friday June 5 with the $35,000 Encana Cup 1.45m and a win for Hardin Towell (USA) aboard Jennifer Gates’ Emilie de Diamant AS. With 72 starters, Uliano Vezzani’s (ITA) track saw just seven entries advance to the jump-off. Five of those were able to jump without fault in a race against the clock.
Mexico’s Antonio Chedraui set the pace in the jump-off at 35.33 seconds aboard his own Corcega La Silla to eventually place fifth. USA’s veteran team of Richard Spooner and Show Jumping Syndication International’s Cristallo upped the ante in 33.63 seconds, eventually finishing in reserve. Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) jumped into fourth with the next round in 34.31 seconds aboard Ludo Philippaerts’ H&M Quenzo de la Roque. Towell followed with Emilie de Diamant AS and blazed through the timers in the winning time of 32.91 seconds. Last to go, Conor Swail jumped into third aboard Ilan Ferder’s Viva Colombia in 34.29 seconds.
While owner Jennifer Gates is away at school attending Stanford University, Towell has the ride on all of her horses this week, including Emilie de Diamant AS. Gates rode the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Diamant de Semilly x Flipper D Elle) throughout the winter and will arrive to compete in Calgary next week. Until then, Towell enjoyed his first ever win in the International Ring aboard the talented mare.
“She has been great all week. She was clean and sixth the first day,” Towell detailed. “I had a time fault yesterday, but she was amazing. I just didn’t ride her great and then today she really came through and she was fantastic.”
“Jennifer competed her on and off in Florida and I did a little bit with her and she has just gotten better and better,” Towell continued. “She is going to be a really good horse for Jennifer in the future.”
Commenting on his first big win at Spruce Meadows, Towell noted, “This year I have had a very good year. I won in Palm Beach and at the Global Champions Tour in Miami and went to World Cup Finals, but I have never really had horses for Spruce Meadows before. Even a 1.45m is pretty intimidating here where even a $200,000 grand prix some places is not the same. It is nice to finally get a win here and hopefully we can keep going forward.”
“This is a great place,” Towell added. “It is just so nice to compete here. I am so lucky to get to come here and ride these horses and compete at a place like this. I think everybody wants to win here. Everybody tries to give it a go every time out there, so it is a lot of fun.”