Ainsley Vince 2nd Place Finish – Open Welcome in Ottawa

A last minute decision landed Angela Covert-Lawrence of St. Lazare, QC, in the winner’s circle for the $32,000 Brookstreet/ Open Welcome held Thursday, August 19, at the CSI2* National Capital Show Jumping Tournament in Ottawa, ON.

A mid-afternoon thunderstorm before the competition, sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and scheduled for 5 p.m., made Covert-Lawrence indecisive about competing with her young mount, Utan.

“Utan is my young horse, and this is his first year jumping FEI Grand Prix competition, so right up until I was two horses away from going in the ring, I still wasn’t sure I was going to go,” explained Covert-Lawrence.

Covert-Lawrence was one of seven riders to jump clear over the first round track set by course designer Catsy Cruz of Mexico. She was also in the enviable position of being the final rider to contest the shortened jump-off track, knowing exactly what she had to do to win with Utan, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Her time of 35.80 seconds was quick enough to take over top spot from Ainsley Vince of Milton, ON, who had stopped the clock in 36.11 seconds riding Frieda.

“I didn’t go in planning to win, but after I jumped the first three jumps, I knew I was at least on target for the time, so I went for it,” said Covert-Lawrence, 34, who claimed $9,000 in prize money for her victory, presented by Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien and Brookstreet representative, Karen Sparks. “I am really happy. He couldn’t have been better. This is the horse’s biggest win.”

Vince, 34, settled for second with Frieda, her nine-year-old German-bred mare.

“When I came out of the ring, I knew I was beatable,” said Vince. “I didn’t go in thinking I could win in that group of horses given Frieda’s age and inexperience. She’s a strong personality, but she’s also a fighter, and that’s what makes her so great in the ring.”

Yet another female competitor, American Olympic team gold medalist Leslie Howard of Westport, CT, took third place with Raimond W after turning in a time of 36.68 seconds while nine-time Olympian Ian Millar riding Star Power, the winners of last Friday’s $10,000 Open Welcome, settled for fourth this time around after stopping the clock in 36.85 seconds.

David Arcand, 21, of Montreal, QC, placed fifth in a time of 38.32 seconds riding Santos Utopia while Perth’s Jonathon Millar, the pathfinder on the jump-off track, was sixth in 39.43 seconds riding a new mount, Always Cullohill. Mario Deslauriers, who was recently named to the United States Equestrian Team for the upcoming World Equestrian Games, turned in the fastest jump-off performance with a time of 34.69 riding Vicomte D, but a four-fault penalty for a fallen rail left him seventh.

$32,000 Brookstreet/ Open Welcome – Final Results

1. Angela Covert-Lawrence/St. Lazare, QC/Utan/0:0/35.80
2. Ainsley Vince/Milton, ON/Frieda/0:0/36.11
3. Leslie Howard/United States/Raimond W/0:0/36.68
4. Ian Millar/Perth, ON/Star Power/0:0/36.85
5. David Arcand/Montreal, QC/Santos Utopia/0:0/38.32
6. Jonathon Millar/Perth, ON/Always Cullohill/0:0/39.43
7. Mario Deslauriers/Bromont, QC/Vicomte D/0:4/34.69
8. Sarah Johnstone/Toronto, ON/Leonidas/4
9. Francois Lamontagne/St-Eustache, QC/Anton/4
10. Paul Halpern/St. Lazare, QC/Rolls Royce/4

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