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Hugh Graham and Knock Out 3E impress in $20,000 Grand Prix to close out first phase of Caledon Premi

The first phase of the Caledon Premier wrapped up Sunday in thrilling fashion with Hugh Graham and Knock Out 3E winning the $20,000 Grand Prix.

Hugh Graham and Knock Out 3E negotiating the $20,000 Grand Prix.

Photo credit: Mackenzie Clark for Ben Radvanyi Photography

A starting field of 22 was whittled down to six in a thrilling jump-off that saw Graham and Knock Out 3E beat out Orangeville’s Kim Farlinger and Stanley Stone by less than a tenth of a second. Stanley Stone is owned by Sher-Al Farm. Farlinger would also place fifth in the class riding Sher-Al-owned Concello.

“I saw what Kim did and thought to myself what I had to do to beat her. I figured out what I could do and it turned out well,” said Graham following the win.

“I was frustrated last week because I made a bad turn. I redeemed myself this week. I said, ‘I’m focusing on those turns’. I got a couple of good turns (today) and managed to get home early. (Knock Out 3E) jumped great, he’s a great horse. He’s been winning a lot and we’d like to see him on the top of the heap.”

Knock Out 3E is a 9-year-old Warmblood Gelding home-bred by Graham at his very own Kingridge Stables. Graham also used to compete in the Grand Prix Ring with Knock Out 3E’s grandmother, Black Diamond.

Kevin Crosby and Angelstone Partners’ Sombrero Brimbelles set the pace in the jump-off with a time of 41.38 seconds. Farlinger and Stanley Stone were fourth to go and posted what looked to be the winning time of 37.20 seconds. But Graham and Knock Out 3E snuck by them with a near identical clean run of 37.13 seconds for the win.

Crosby and Sombrero Brimbelles would finish third on the day, with Laurie Bucci and Glimmer Man placing fourth.

World-renowned Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt was back in the Grand Prix Ring at Caledon Equestrian Park for the Caledon Premier 1, which ran from July 5-9. Vaillancourt, who won a silver individual jumping medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, also served as course designer at the park for the 2015 Pan Am Games.

He had a busy week in the GP ring starting Thursday (July 6) with the $5,000 1.35m Jumper Welcome — Presented by Allequis.

Saint-Marc-Sur-Richelieu, Quebec’s Sabrina Lefebvre and her ride CAYENNE led the way after beating out four other competitors in the jump-off by a wide margin. The pair posted an impressive time of 43.16 seconds in the second round, besting runners up Lexi Ray and ACITA 4 by more than 2.5 seconds.

Jakob Gross and Andrea Scott from Allequis presenting the winning award to Quebec’s Sabrina Lefebvre and CAYENNE. Photo Credit: Mackenzie Clark for Ben Radvanyi Photography

Emma Slaunwhite and Urion placed third with two clear rounds, while Sam Pegg riding Coco Beach Z and Jacqueline Steffens and Euro’s Chin Up rounded out the top five.

The week’s next big class featured in the Grand Prix Ring came Saturday (July 8) with the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix — Presented by Equestrian Factory Outlet.

Six riders advanced to the jump-off out of a large starting field of 33 competitors. Winners Miranda Travers-Cavill and Wildcat were one of only two horse-rider combos to go double-clear on the day, ultimately beating out Laurie Bucci and Black Berry by just over a second.

Winners of the $10,000 Modified Grand Prix Presented by Equestrian Factory Outlet, Miranda Travers Cavill aboard Wildcat. Photo Credit: Mackenzie Clark for Ben Radvanyi Photography

Bucci and Black Berry led things off in the jump-off with a tough-to-beat 38.79 seconds before Travers-Cavill and Wildcat posted a time of 37.78 with one horse to go.

Cannington, Ontario’s Sam Pegg and Shaia de Macheco made things interesting and looked to best the winning entry before taking down the last rail on their way to a time of 36.03 with four faults and a third-place finish.

Natasha Smith-Avery and Beam P placed fourth in the class, while Hyde Moffatt placed fifth riding BreezeBy.

Saturday also saw some impressive rounds in the hunter rings.

Starting off in Hunter Ring 2, overseen this week by course designer Jennifer Ferguson, was the EMG Pony Hunter Classic. The class featured a starting field of 32 including eight small ponies, nine mediums and 15 larges.

Burlington’s Ellah Dubeau-Kielty and Kingsland claimed top prize, followed by Leanna Lazzari and Rotterdam, and Mackenzie Cooper riding Bellagio to round out the top three.

Ellah Dubeau-Kielty aboard Kingsland winning top honours in this week's Pony Classic (above). Leanna Lazzari and Rotterdam finishing in second place (below left), with Mackenzie Cooper riding Bellagio in Third (below right). Photo Credit: Mackenzie Clark for Ben Radvanyi Photography