• Catie Staszak

Three-Week FEI Circuit Comes to a Climax at Summer Fort Festival CSI2*


Robert Blanchette (IRL) and Chardonnay. Photo ©tbird/Quinn Saunders


Langley, BC — Thunderbird Show Park’s three-week FEI circuit comes to a climax this week at the CSI2* Summer Fort Festival, showcasing both veterans and exciting young talent.


Thirty-eight horses representing 29 FEI athletes jogged for inspection Tuesday at tbird. International competition begins Wednesday, Aug. 24 in the Fort Grand Prix Arena with the CSI2* tbird Speed 1.40m. The week’s feature is the CSI2* Paladin Risk Solutions Grand Prix 1.45m, set for Sunday, Aug. 28.


Kyle King (USA) will saddle up for a third straight week after topping the CSI3* ONNI Grand Prix at the Summer Fort Welcome. He’ll bring forward a trio of mounts, including veteran Coffee to Go, rising talent SIG Chiari and the versatile Ittolo, who contested U25 competition at last week’s Summer Fort Classic with King’s student, Jarne Franken (USA).


The always competitive Robert Blanchette (IRL) returns with the ultra quick mare Chardonnay after finishing third in the CSI3* ATCO Cup Grand Prix at the Summer Fort Classic. Blanchette will also compete aboard 8-year-old Carnlea Premier Balou.


Nineteen-year-old Brooke Morin (USA) impressed at the Summer Fort Classic with her win aboard NKH Carrido in the CSI3* Uryadi’s Village Cup 1.50m. She and “Cory” are back this week training under King.


Fellow youth talent Emily Fitzgerald (CAN) and Stella Chernoff (CAN) will step up to the senior FEI level after having success in the U25 division at the Summer Fort Classic. These riders took up the top two placings, respecitvely, in the MarBill Hill U25 Grand Prix 1.40m; Fitzgerald also won the division’s speed contest last week aboard her own Pasquinelle. It will be Fitzgerald’s second career senior FEI show after contesting the CSI2* BCHJA Fall Finale at tbird in 2021, which was held on a sand surface in the Thunderbird Jumper Arena.


“[Pasquinelle] seems to really be liking the grass these days,” the 25-year-old said. “I’m excited.”


Click here to view the rider list.


The international schedule will conclude Sunday, Aug. 28 with the CSI2* Paladin Risk Solutions Grand Prix at 2:00 pm PT. Tickets are on sale now at tbird.ca/tickets.


Featured Classes


Wednesday, August 24

  • CSI2* tbird Speed 1.40m

Thursday, August 25

  • MarBill Hill Farm U25 League 1.35m

Friday, August 26

  • CSI3* tbird 1.45m

Saturday, August 27

  • MarBill Hill Farm U25 1.40m

Sunday, August 28

  • MarBill Hill U25 Grand Prix 1.40m

  • CSI2* Paladin Risk Solutions Grand Prix 1.45m

Catch all the action from the Fort Grand Prix Arena live on tbird TV.