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16-Year-Old Makes History at Spruce Meadows

RELEASE: July 8, 2011
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Spruce Meadows Media Services

Caitlin Ziegler and Valencia (photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services).
Caitlin Ziegler and Valencia (photo by Spruce Meadows Media Services).
Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta - History was made at Spruce Meadows Thursday with 16-year-old Caitlin Ziegler (USA) becoming the youngest ever winner of an FEI event in the Spruce Meadows International Ring. Riding her 13-year-old mare, Valencia, Ziegler bested an international field of 32 horse/rider combinations with a convincing double clear, and a 3-second margin of victory in a seven-horse jump-off in the 1.5m AON Cup.

“This is really unbelievable, I really am speechless. Winning here against these riders is very special,” said the beaming teen from Wisconsin. With names like Madden, Spooner, Millar, Simpson and Lamaze falling behind her in the final standings, Ziegler took time to relish the moment.

“I guess I should be worried about my job,” chuckled her coach Eric Lamaze, who finished sixth in the event with four faults in the jump-off and a slower time.

Earlier this season Caitlin Ziegler was recognized at Spruce Meadows for her commitment and dedication to the sport with and RSA scholarship. Clearly that dedication is paying off with her historic win.

AON Cup - Top 10
1- Caitlin Ziegler USA Valencia
2- Nicole Simpson USA Candle Light Van De Warande
3- Beezie Madden USA Danny Boy
4- Richard Spooner USA Apache
5- Karl Cook USA Uno De Laubry
6- Eric Lamaze CAN Sidoline Van De Centaur
7- Amy Millar CAN Top Gun
8- Eduardo Menezes BRA Audis Radja
9- Jennifer Crooks IRL SF Uryadi
10- Mario Deslauriers USA Diablo

In the evening’s final event, Beezie Madden scored her first win of the season in the D-Line Cup. Snake-bitten through the first four weeks of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Madden lead off the jump-off field with her talented 13-year-old mare Coral Reef Via Volo, posted just one of two double-clear score cards and took the victory ahead of Jonathan Asselin (CAN) riding Showgirl.

“This is a huge relief. It’s about time. It has been a bit frustrating, but that’s sport,” said the understated veteran after the win. “She is a fantastic mare. It has just taken her awhile to settle in this year,” remarked Madden, who has won over $2 million at Spruce Meadows.

D-Line Cup - Top 10
1- Beezie Madden USA Coral Reef Via Volo
2- Jonathan Asselin CAN Showgirl
3- Richard Spooner USA Cristallo
4- Eric Lamaze CAN Atlete Van T Heike
5- Mario Deslauriers USA Urico
6- Paulo Santana BRA Taloubet
7- McLain Ward USA Oh D'Eole
8- Mark Watring PUR Green Sleeps Vioco
9- Ellen Whitaker GBR Ximena
10- Karl Cook USA ASB Conquistador

The stage is now set for the final three days of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, highlighted by six FEI ROLEX World Ranking events and the $200,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup.