There was a recurring theme during the second week of the Ottawa Summer Tournaments: Hyde Moffatt (CAN).
Moffatt swept the event’s feature classes with multiple horses. After winning Thursday’s $30,000 CI Assante Wealth Management Open Welcome with Grafton, he topped the $75,000 RBC Grand Prix Saturday at Wesley Clover Parks, this time with Ariel Grange’s Donjo.
Moffatt and Donjo, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding, topped a five-horse jump-off as the final combination on course. Ali Ramsay (CAN) and Bonita vh Keizershof Z, who finished second in Thursday’s Welcome, once again took runner-up honors, while Mac Cone (CAN), who brought two mounts forward in the jump-off, finished third with Zaia di san Giovanni.
“Weeks like this don’t happen all the time. I best enjoy it while it’s here!” Moffatt exclaimed. “Everything really came together. Even our seven-year-old won several 1.35m classes. All of the horses have really jumped well, and it bodes well for what we’re looking to do later on in the summer. It’s nice that these few first weeks have gone this well.”
Time was a factor Sunday, with the judges electing to extend the time allowed in the first round from 90 to 92 seconds. Joey Rycroft’s (CAN) track was certainly an endurance test, more-than utilizing the large amount of available space in the expansive grand prix field. Rails fell throughout, but a careful vertical off of a short turn at Jump 7, the triple combination at 10abc and a final line set uphill and away from the ingate proved to be particularly technical challenges.
Cone was the first to be awarded a clear round after initially incurring a time penalty aboard Con Coleur. He’d later add a second mount to the jump-off in Zaia di san Giovanni, joining Susan Horn (CAN) and Dominka van het Lucashoeve, before Ramsay and Moffatt added their names to the list.
In the jump-off, both Cone (with Con Coleur) and Horn would post time penalties, but then Cone turned up the heat aboard Zaia di san Giovanni, crossing the timers in 44.28 seconds. Ramsay and Bonita vh Keizershof Z caught the leading pair with natural footspeed (42.45 seconds), but Moffatt and Donjo would shave nearly two seconds off their time by leaving a stride out in three separate places on course (40.98).
“That was kind of my plan,” Moffatt said. “[Donjo] is a little bit like Grafton, who won on Thursday, in that he’s a horse that excels if ridden smoothly. If you keep going forward and find [good distances], it seems to work out quite well for him. My plan was to use his stride to my advantage. He’s agile enough to be able to turn and scopey enough to jump most things from most places.”
Donjo is a newer mount for Moffatt, having only joined his string over the winter in Wellington, FL, where, in just the second international class of their partnership, they recorded a top five finish in CSI5* competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Donjo was previously ridden by another Lothlorien Farm stable rider, Daniel Coyle (IRL), as well as Jeroen Dubbeldam (NED).
“We got a few classes under our belts, but not a huge number,” Moffatt said. “He’s a lovely horse. He’s brave, scopey, and he has an enormous stride. He’s my type of ride, and he really sort of seems to have all the right pieces.”