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  • Writer's pictureCatie Staszak

Deja Vu for Friesen in MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Sutton Friesen and Ilanca. ©tbird/Kim Gaudry

Langley, BC — Looking at the results of Sunday's MarBill Hill U25 1.40m, you'd have to do a double take.

The results off the jump-off class were nearly identical to Friday's speed competition, with the top two placings unchanged. For the second consecutive class, Charlie Jones (GBR) and Macho-Blue PS took a strong lead, only to be passed by Sutton Friesen (CAN) and Ilanca. 

The winning jump-off time was 33.77 seconds, with Jones finishing in 34.72 seconds. Georgia Knight (CAN) finished third with Ero del Pierre with a time of 35.79 seconds.

"Today, I wasn't sure how it was going to go, just because the conditions were pretty wet," said Friesen, 20, Kelowna, BC. "I watched a couple go, and they were going very fast in the jump-off. I know [Ilanca] can be very fast, but I haven't gone all out like that with her. I was very happy with her."

Friesen was a tbird regular in her youth, but until 2023, she hadn't competed at the venue in nearly four years while training with an American based stable. In the spring of 2023, she made a move to be closer to home and began training with Millar Brooke Farm and Amy Millar (CAN). She credits much of her improvement to the time Millar has put into her and her horse's development.

“I had [Ilanca] when I came to Millar Brooke, but she wasn’t trained the way she is now. Amy has put a lot of effort into her and making her what she is,” she said.

Both Ilanca and Friesen had easily identifiable weaknesses upon their arrival at the Millars’ stable. Ilanca had a tendency to jump too high into combinations, which led to back rails at oxers when jumping out of gymnastic tests. Friesen, meanwhile, needed to start her courses with more pace.

“I always try to go slow to the first jump, and then I’m kind of catching up the rest of the course, especially with [Ilanca], because she’s super careful,” Friesen detailed. “I would say that’s what I’m always thinking [about now when I’m on course].”

The training at home has quickly paid off. Friesen is seeing very tangible results, with two wins in the U25 division at the Canadian Premier alone.

“It’s been great ever since I started riding with them,” she said. “I love it.”

MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ilanca / Sutton Friesen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/0 33.77

2. Macho-Blue PS / Charlie Jones / GBR / Katie Harris / 0/0 34.72

3. Ero del Pierre / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 35.79

4. Qualobet / Skylar Wireman / USA / Shayne Wireman / 0/0 35.87

5. Esi Jet Set / Carly Stevens / CAN / Susan Stevens / 0/0 35.99

6. Febvre de Lusse / Tanimara Macari / MEX / Tanimara Macari / 0/4 33.55

7. Apollo Z / Emmeline Adamick / USA / Hawk Hollow Farm LLC / 0/4 35.32

8. Adare Ya To / Sutton Friesen / CAN / Baystreet Equestrian / 0/4 35.4

9. C'Diam de Ste Anne / Emmeline Adamick / USA / Hawk Hollow Farm LLC / 0/4 36.23

10. Once Upon a Time des Sens / Oliva Combs / USA / Oliva Combs / 0/4 38.52


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