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Cocu and Cone Win at Caledon National May 20, 2002

Sandi Hall Website

Mac Cone & Cocu
With snowflakes in the air, Mac Cone and Cocu put in a double-clear to win the $30,000 Caledon National Grand Prix on May 20 at the Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, Ontario. Cone, born in Tennessee but a Canadian citizen for many years now, has the unique distinction of having ridden for both the U.S. and Canadian Equestrian Teams. Cocu, an energetic Dutch warmblood mare owned by Cone’s Southern Ways Stables, seems to get better each time she enters the ring.

The weather in Ontario this spring has been peculiar, to say the least. The days leading up to the Caledon National were unforgivably rainy. In fact, the classes on the first day of competition were cancelled due to inclement weather. The remaining four days of the show took place in sun, rain, high winds and, snow.

Megan Lamaze & Elfee
Saturday saw a Level 3 (High Preliminary) Jumper Class take place late in the morning. An initial field of twenty-seven was reduced to seven over the track designed by Wellington, Florida’s Buddy Brown. The top placings went to the Lamazes; Eric riding Lauren into first place and Megan riding Samanna into second. Ian Millar took third and fourth with Jacquet and Hot Shock respectively.

The Level 3 was followed by the $10,000 Caledon Open Jumper. Twenty-five entries came forward, braving the bone-chilling temperatures. Once again, seven horse and rider combinations went clean and proceeded to the jump off. First back was Eric Lamaze and Gotier Manchiais, owned by course designer Pierre Jolicoeur. Lamaze is a threat in any jump off but, on this day, two errors put him out of contention. Stacie Ryan and Same Old Song encountered all sorts of trouble on course after putting in a terrific first round. Mark Samuel and Darios V posted the fastest time of the seven, but at the expense of a rail.

Jose Rega, originally from Uruguay but currently living and training in Canada, returned to the ring on Millcreek’s Roseanne. A big hanoverian mare by Rebel Z II, Roseanne was campaigned successfully by Amy Millar up to and including the 2001 season. With Rega in the irons, Roseanne posted her second clear round of the afternoon and took over the lead. Mac Cone and Cocu immediately gave chase. They too went clean but were fractionally off the pace. The final entries of Lauren Hayes and Avalanche, and Yann Candele and Espresso Thyme both picked up faults, leaving the win to Rega and Millcreek’s Roseanne.

Eric Lamaze & Gotier Manchais
By the final day of the show, the rains had departed and temperatures climbed to a point where some brave souls actually unzipped their winter coats. The Junior/Amateur 5 Stake, which preceded the Grand Prix, had fifteen entries. Oxers and the Tag Heuer clock were the enemy. Clear rounds were at a premium and just three proceeded to the jump off. Muffie Guthrie and Hook, who had put in a textbook first round, repeated their stylish performance but picked up four time faults en route. Rebecca Irvine and Quincy, winners at the Classic at Palgrave I, also picked up time faults plus a rail. As so often happens, the final competitor captured the top prize. Sarah Burton and her own mare, Memphis Minnie, flew around the course to post a double-clear and win the class for the second year running.

Buddy Brown and the ring crew adjusted the course for the $30,000 Caledon National Grand Prix. Trouble spots included the water jump (5), the double combination (9a,b) of a vertical with two strides to an oxer, and the final fence, a big oxer going directly towards the in-gate. The time allowed of 90 seconds was generous with only one entry picking up time faults.

The first clear came early from Megan Lamaze and Elfee, a Selle Francais mare. A jump off was quickly assured by Stacie Ryan and the experienced campaigner, Same Old Song. Eighth in the order, Mac Cone and Cocu neatly jumped their way around the course to make it three for the jump off. Jose Rega and Millcreek’s Roseanne soon joined the trio.

Jose Rega & Millcreek's Roseanne
“Fourfaultitis” struck a number of entries including Lauren Hayes and Avalanche, Kati Vrbicek and Ace, Mark Samuel and Darios V, Ian Millar and Nicos, Keean White and Libidou, and Erynn Ballard and Gazetto. Chris Delia and the Irish thoroughbred, Double Diamond, put in a round that wasn’t exactly clean but was clear. John Pearce and Jamco’s Demeure gave the final fence a hard rub, but luck was with them and they, too, carried on. Yann Candele and Espresso Thyme, winners of the $25,000 Classic at Palgrave I Grand Prix the previous weekend, zipped around in their usual speedy way and clocked up another fault-free trip. The final rider of the day, Eric Lamaze, on his fifth ride of the class, Rosina, made it through the timers.

The jump off track was very twisty. A combination of an oxer to a vertical would cause the majority of the faults. First back was Megan Lamaze and Elfee. They posted a competitive time but picked up faults at the second element of the combination. Stacie Ryan and Same Old Song were caught out at the Swedish Oxer and paid the penalty of going a bit too steadily. Mac Cone and Cocu galloped into the ring. The crowd pleasing, agile mare answered every call to take the lead with a terrific time of 51.587 seconds.

Chris Delia and Double Diamond were next. Faults were picked up early on and a steady, eight fault score was posted. Eric Lamaze, one of the wiliest jump off riders around, and Rosina stormed around the course. They crossed the finish an incredible 1/10 of a second slower then Cocu. John Pearce and Jamco’s Demeure had a stumble off the turn coming into the fourth fence and a rail in the combination which dropped them out of contention. The final combination, Yann Candele and Espresso Thyme, are always tough to beat in a jump off situation. Candele made turns that definitely weren’t for the fainthearted. Their time of 46.746 was definitely good enough for the win, except a disappointing rail at the liverpool dropped them to third place and left Cone and Cocu at the top of the class.

$30,000 Caledon National Grand Prix – May 20, 2002 – Results

1st CoCu Mac Cone Southern Ways
2nd Rosina Eric Lamaze Stoney Hill
3rd Espresso Thyme Yann Candele Eddie Creed
4th Jamco’s Demeure John Pearce Forestview Farms
5th Elfee Megan Lamaze Stoney Hill
6th Millcreek’s Roseanne Jose Rega Millcreek Stables
7th Same Old Song Stacie Ryan Steven Alex Earle
8th Double Diamond Chris Delia Helston Ltd. Partnership

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