Fast start, big finish

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Eugenie Angot closed out her first week at Spruce Meadows just as she started it, with a win.

Competing at the revered show-jumping facility for the first time, the Frenchwoman won the big daddy of Grand Prix events, the $1 million CN International, yesterday in front of a record crowd of more than 62,000.

Angot, who rode Cigale du Tallis, her 16-year-old Selle Francais mare, was pretty much perfect, going clear through both rounds of competition -- although she did pick up a time fault in Round 2, where her clocking of 68.87 seconds was more than the 68 allowed by course designer Leopoldo Palacios.

"It's really pretty incredible because I came into the show pretty good, winning the first class and I'm finishing the show very good because I won the last class," said Angot, 36.

"My mare has been jumping pretty good since the summer started and I was believing that she could be double clear today.

"But when I finished my course, I really thought I was going to be second or third and I was already very happy (with that)."

Her win was the icing on a fantastic week for Angot after she won the Zeidler Financial Cup, finished second in the CANA Cup and was fourth in yesterday's speed class, the Molson International.

She'll leave Calgary with $346,800. Not bad for a week's work.

Second place and $200,000 went to the Netherland's Gerco Schroeder, who rode Eurocommerce Milano and put up just four faults.

American Beezie Madden, last year's CN champion, was third on Desilvio. Madden takes home $100,000.

It was a hectic week for Angot after her groom fell down the hotel stairs upon arriving in Calgary.

That meant Angot had to handle all the horse duties, at least until Thursday night, when her husband, Cedric, arrived from France.

"He had the good idea to get an airline ticket so he's a perfect husband and also a good groom," said Angot with a laugh.

She's got a famous father in Michel Legrand, who has won five Grammys and three Oscars as a movie and TV score composer. Among his large volume of work is the hit movie Yentl.

Angot was one of just six horse/rider combinations to go clear in the first round on a course that was challenging but not too tough.

Perth, Ont.'s Ian Millar had a shot at winning, as he was the last to go in the second round, but he and his mount, In Style, brought down two rails and wound up with eight faults. He finished eighth and was the top Canadian.

MOLSON MUSCLE: Mario Deslauriers didn't win the CN International yesterday at Spruce Meadows but the Quebec rider got the beer.

Deslauriers, who hails from Bromont, Que., won the $75,000 Molson International, just edging out the Netherlands' Leon Thijssen (Liefhebbers Quality) by more than one-tenth of a second in the event where faults are converted into time.

Deslauriers finished in 94.33 seconds and earned $26,000, while Thijssen posted 94.490.

American Molly Ashe (Lutopia) was third.


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