To the last jump

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 6:38 AM ET

A couple of days earlier, a victory in the Sun Media Riders' Cup seem all but implausible for Team Milton and captain Pedro Cebulka.

Then came a ferocious kick to the finish that helped Cebulka and his squad draw even in the Spruce Meadows competition and win on a tiebreaker.

"It really came down to the end. I didn't think we could to it," said the always-colourful Cebulka, who was donning a Captain Highliner-style hat amid yesterday's storms.

The match-style competition was even but since the Milton squad -- Bernardo Alves, Molly Ashe, Jennifer Crooks, Geir Gulliksen, Cayce Harrison, Eric Hasbrouck, Leslie Howard, Ian Millar and Michael Whitaker -- earned more points during yesterday's Shell Cup than Team Big Ben, they won the crown.

For the victory, Team Milton splits the $30,000 prize money.

"We were a little bit lucky," Cebulka said. "There were a couple of refusals on course; Richard Spooner elected not to go with his second horse, so we gained some points."

WHITAKER WINS: Not a bad consolation prize. Michael Whitaker, who placed third in the Shell Cup, teamed with Laconda 25 to claim the Canadian title.

Based on the results from four events during the National tournament -- the Enbridge Cup, Duke Energy Cup, CN Reliability Grand Prix and the Shell Cup -- Whitaker garnered the most points with one victory, a pair of thirds and 21st.

He wins a $22,500 bonus.

Jill Henselwood of Oxford Mills, Ont., and Special Ed were second to win $7,500.

Rodrigo Pessoa (Richmont Park) finished third for $2,500.


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