August 4, 2010 – Georgetown, Ontario – A cramped high performance show jumping schedule during the three weeks of Halton Place’s “Canadian Country Classic”, held Aug 25th thru Sept 12th, has caused organizers to cancel the FEI sanctioned section originally scheduled during week two, September 1st to 5th, 2010.
In addition to the SM Masters, the richest show jumping event in the world, and the new $1 million competition in Saugerties (New York), Halton Place recently learned that Canada will be sending a full show jumping team to Spain. Unexpectedly, Spruce Meadows also recently announced a new FEI competition the week prior to the ‘Masters’. Both of the above are in direct conflict with Halton Place’s FEI section.
“The combination of all these events plus preparation for the World Equestrian Games held in September mitigate against proper rider representation at the World Cup level this year”, explained the disappointed Halton Place owner and former grand prix rider Timur Leckebusch. “With so many high performance opportunities available during the same compressed time period, we believe it is in the best interests of both the World Cup status and Halton Place objectives to cancel our 2010 FEI section. We do feel FEI rated classes are important and provide a necessary opportunity for riders to obtain world ranking points. We will try to offer the FEI section again next year.”
Timur Leckebusch contacted Equine Canada on Friday July 30th with his decision and a commitment to reposition week two of the 2010 Canadian Country Classic to the national level of competition. Halton Place is introducing the Swisscan $40,000 Grand Prix, with a mirror image of the open section held during week one.
The balance of the three week schedule for the 2010 Canadian Country Classic remains intact. In fact, many of the hunter and amateur jumper divisions will benefit from the FEI section cancellation as a generous portion of the prize money initially allocated to these classes will be distributed amongst the hunter/jumper divisions. As well, a Grand Prix and Open Welcome class will be offered during week two at a lower height, says Leckebusch. “Our sponsors have agreed to support these classes.”
“Even dark clouds have a silver lining”, said Leckebusch who announced a 50% increase in prize money for all the hunter sections of weeks two and three of the 2010 Canadian Country Classic.
Halton Place, which made headlines amongst hunter competitors in ’09 with the introduction of the $10,000 Villarboit Hunter Classic on the grass Grand Prix field, is again expanding its commitment to the hunter community. With the unveiling of the Hunter Classic outdoor arena during opening week of the 2010 Canadian Country Classic, competitors will experience a new hunter field which combines an expanded traditional sand ring design with undulating grass terrain for feature events.
Halton Place is excited to offer this three week tournament again, and to host Ontario’s hunter and jumper communities.
For schedule changes and information