Turf stands up for horse and rider

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:12 AM ET

Despite nearly a week of constant rain, the International Ring at Spruce Meadows held up fairly well yesterday.

Granted, the skies didn't open up until the evening for Day 1 of the National, but the turf in parts of the big ring was still fairly soaked.

However, the riders said there were no problems.

"It was excellent all day long, it really was," said American Kyle King, who won three classes: The Ensign Barrage, the Coril Holdings and the ATCO Travel Barrage.

"I didn't see any horses slipping. With the splashing, a few horses were a little hesitant off the ground, but it wasn't slick and it was pretty safe."

Following last night's Enbridge Cup, the International Ring looked pretty good, with the usual wear and tear in the landing and take-off spots around the jumps.

King said he was amazed at the conditions in all the rings considering how much rain fell over Calgary.

"In the All Canada Ring this morning, I had the first horse out and I was a little hesitant because I thought it might be a little slick, then with my second horse, I really did in and never slipped."

Bernardo Alves, who won last night's Enbridge Cup, agreed with King.

"I was a little worried about the footing but there were no problems," said the Brazilian Olympian. "Many horses jumped and they all did okay."

The east side of the International Ring has an upgraded drainage system, and that part of the ground was dry but the western side was where the water was still pooled, making it a bit soupy for horse and rider.


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