Blockbuster Lineup Set for Odlum Brown BC Open CSIO5*/CSI2*
Jacqueline Steffens (CAN). Photo by tbird/Quinn Saunders
Langley, BC — Demand is high at Thunderbird Show Park for the 2022 Odlum Brown BC Open CSIO5*/CSI2*.
Two hundred horses jogged before stewards Wednesday at tbird in advance of the venue's second consecutive five-star competition—a first in its history.
All eyes were on team riders as representatives for the national squads of Canada, United States, Mexico, Australia, Ireland and Israel presented their mounts ahead of the week's feature event, the $400,000 CSIO5* Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Canada. Sunday's competition is the only qualifier in the country for October's Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona, Spain and also the final in the North and Central America and Caribbean division's qualifying season.
The week will also play host to a two-star division and a CSIOJ Junior division, in which Canada, Mexico and the United States will showcase some of their brightest young talent.
Those riders will have many of the sport's best to observe this week at the five-star level. Among the riders coming forward are three of the World's top 15 ranked show jumping athletes: World No. 5 and tbird's winningest rider, Conor Swail (IRL); World No. 7 and former World No. 1 Kent Farrington (USA); and World No. 14. Daniel Bluman (ISR).
The home nation is represented by 15 athletes, including hometown heroes Tiffany Foster and Brian Morton; team stalwarts Mario Deslauriers, Beth Underhill, Lisa Carlsen and Mac Cone; and up-and-comers Ali Ramsay, Jacqueline Steffens and Sam Walker. Deslauriers, Foster, Ramsay, Steffens and Underhill have been slated for the national squad this week and will face stiff challenge from Mexico, who won the division's opening qualifier in Coapexpan (MEX) in March. They'll also meet a hungry U.S. squad and a stacked Irish contingent, and while Israel and Australia appear small in numbers, they exude quality. Israel's team consists of three Olympians: Ashlee Bond, Daniel Bluman and Alberto Michan.
International competition begins Thursday, June 2, with the first highlight set for Friday, June 3 in the $235,000 CSIO5* Longines Grand Prix. The Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada is set for Sunday, June 5 at 2:00pm PT. Tickets are available now at tbird.ca.