Hubby's chance to shine on Ardeche Van De Zelm

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

Usually, it's Lisa Deslauriers who rides Ardeche Van De Zelm.

But since his wife isn't here for the Spruce Meadows National, Mario Deslauriers took the reins of the young and talented gelding.

"I'm going to be able to borrow it once in a while," he said.

After the horse's performance in the Enbridge Cup, Deslauriers will be asking to ride the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood more often.

Much more often.

They kicked off the tournament on a winning note by claiming the $30,000 Enbridge Cup last night, beating Beezie Madden and Danny Boy by one-hundreth of a second in the jump-off.

"It's a young horse, not that experienced, but he's quick," said Deslauriers, a two-time Canadian Olympian who now lives in New York. "He's got a big step and is quick in the air. He over-jumps but has a really forward jump. I knew I was sitting on a fast horse.

"He's naturally quick."

Eddie Macken, who hails from Ireland but lives in Langley, B.C., placed third with Tedechine Sept.

Top Canadian was Jenna Thompson of Calgary (Zeke), who placed fifth.

It's a great start to the National for Deslauriers, who married Lisa Silverman in April.

She bought Ardeche Van De Zelm three years ago and competed with it in Calgary two summers ago, but it suffered an injury an missed most of last season.

Now, the horse is back and appears ready to compete with the best you'll find here this week.

MILLAR CLAIMS ATB

Time doesn't change around Spruce Meadows. Ian Millar is still going and still winning.

Canada's all-time most successful show jumper continued his winning ways by claiming the $25,000 ATB Financial Cup.

With In Style, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Millar topped an all-star jump-off with a blazing time, more than half a second ahead of the runner-up in the four horse-rider team jumpoff.

Millar, whose career earnings in Calgary have surpassed $2.5 million, won $6,250 in the first 1.6-metre event of the tournament.

Beezie Madden placed second with Judgement, ahead of Canada's reigning Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze and Hickstead.


Videos

Photos