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Espresso Thyme Takes Both Feature Classes at Palgrave May 11-12, 2002

Sandi Hall Website

Yann Candele & Espresso Thyme
Yann Candele of France and his speedy partner, Espresso Thyme, won both the $10,000 Open Welcome and the $25,000 Grand Prix at the Classic @ Palgrave (Phase 1). The Classic, held at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, Ontario from May 8 – 12, was plagued by grey skies, rain showers and Arctic winds.

The final day of competition saw the three hunter rings and two jumper rings busy all day. The Junior/Amateur 3 Classic was the first class of the day in the Grand Prix ring. Glen Yates and Austin, Adult Amateur Jumper Champions at the Florida Open, took the win. I’m sure both Yates and Austin wished they were back in Florida as they splashed out of the ring. The Junior/Amateur 4 Classic followed, with Karen Matthews riding her own, Roxana, outpacing their rivals to take the red.

Muffie Guthrie & Kasjmien
Eighteen came forward for the Junior/Amateur 5 Classic. The first clear came from the second rider in, Muffie Guthrie, Canadian Chef de Mission for the World Equestrian Games, riding Hook. Next to go, Jennifer Wallace and Jade, created a jump off as they too posted a clear. Stacie Ryan and Ever After had a terrific round but accumulated three time faults en route. Rebecca Irvine and Quincy, Courtney Vince and Jasper, and Carly Campbell-Cooper and Rex Get Busy all went clean to make it five for the jump off. As last to go in the order, Campbell-Cooper shrugged off the pressure and used the final draw to her full advantage. Rex got busy, galloped through the misty rain, and crossed the finish shaving seconds off Jasper and Vince’s leading time.

Carly Campbell Cooper & Rex Get Busy
While the dedicated spectators gathered in the pavilion, trying to keep warm and dry, course designer Pierre Jolicoeur of Virginia and the E.M.G. ring crew set the track for the $25,000 Classic @ Palgrave I Grand Prix. The course itself did not appear overly difficult but, given the weather conditions, clears would be hard to come by. Indeed only three would find the answer to Jolicoeur’s puzzle. Faults were widespread, with just five fences remaining upright throughout the class.

Katie Vrbicek & Ace
The pathfinder was a rider from the junior/amateur ranks, Katie Vrbicek, riding Ace. Their trip was by no means fault free, but they made it round in the less than ideal conditions and had some lovely fences . Yann Candele and Millcreek’s Chardo also had difficulty on course and picked up twelve faults for their efforts. Eric Lamaze and Gazetto, the first of four rides for Lamaze in the class, double faulted for eight. The first clear came from Ian Millar and the big Canadian-bred gelding, Aftershock, owned by The Pointe and Millar Brooke Farms.

John Pearce and Harry Potter, a Belgian stallion by Jus du Pomme, followed Aftershock into the ring and matched his score, creating a jump off for the small but dedicated crowd of show jumping fans. Eric Lamaze and Millcreek’s Raphael looked to join but faulted midway round.

Yann Candele, originally from Normandy, France, and the forward galloping Espresso Thyme entered the ring. Their winning partnership came about in 1999 when Eric Lamaze handed over the reins of the difficult horse to Candele. The “Flying Frenchman” and the hot chestnut have proved themselves ever since to be very dangerous opponents in speed classes and jump offs. An added bonus is the fact that Espresso Thyme doesn’t seem to mind the mud. In fact, he won the $30,000 Caledon National Grand Prix in 2001 in a downpour. Facing similar conditions at Palgrave once again, he worked his way swiftly around Jolicoeur’s course, creating a three-way battle for the winner’s cheque of $6500.

The jump off course consisted of eight jumping efforts. The rain lessened slightly, but the cold wind and showers which replaced them wasn’t much better. Aftershock was first back. Millar rode a calculated clear but his time left room for improvement. Harry Potter, winner of the $75,000 Bayer/USET Grand Prix in Indio, California, possesses quite a turn of speed. He, too, was clean and took two seconds off of the time set by Aftershock and Millar. Their lead was short-lived, however, as speed specialist Espresso Thyme entered the ring. Candele and Espresso Thyme galloped around the course, cutting corners and smoothly clearing each fence, bettering Harry Potter’s time, and winning the first grand prix of the season in Ontario.

$25,000 Classic @ Palgrave I Grand Prix – May 12, 2002

1st Espresso Thyme Yann Candele Espresso Thyme Synd.
2nd Harry Potter John Pearce Jane F. Clark
3rd Aftershock Ian Millar The Pointe & Millarbrooke
4th Millcreek’s Raphael Eric Lamaze Millcreek Stables
5th Rosina Eric Lamaze Stoney Hill
6th Millcreek’s Marco Taere Yann Candele Millcreek Stables

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