Saturday, July 31, 2010

Master in his Kingdom, Mario Deslauriers Wins the Modified Grand-Prix at the International Bromont!

Mario Deslauriers and Whistler
Bromont, July 31, 2010 – After raising the crowd with the Via Rail Double Slalom, the International Bromont presented spectators with the $15,000 Modified Grand-Prix. What is a Modified Grand-Prix? Simply put, it’s a 1.45 m test which offers all the technical difficulties of a 1.50 m jumping test! Following a 2nd round where 9 riders competed tooth and nail, Mario Deslauriers reigns supreme in his kingdom.

29 rider-horse teams took to the course. Among the famous and renowned, Mario Deslauriers, Jill Henselwood, Beth Underhill, Kean White and American Leslie Howard rose to the challenge. The up-and-comers also showed up for the advantage of extra experience in this type of test, with David Arcand, Vanessa Robert and Nicolas-Xavier Bélanger standing among the greats at the starting line.

The course designed by FEI recognized Guillerme Jorge from Brasil presented various technical challenges, including 12 obstacles and one double combination, a triple combination and a river. The obstacles were spread throughout the course, forcing the riders to fine tune their horses in the turns, and also on wider distances which called for fine canters. The allowed time was 82 seconds.

Winner of the CSI*** the day before, American Leslie Howard was the first to perform a faultless run. Soon thereafter, Canadian Team member Beth Underhill declared a jump-off. 20-year-old Vanessa Robert from St-Bruno signed off a flawless course with her Holsteiner stallion, Convento Van de Helle. Isabelle Lapierre from Québec almost joined the group, but an unfortunate fallen rail at the second-tolast obstacle took all her 2nd round hopes away. After a solid start, David Arcand and Tarzan drew two jumping faults. Riding Candidate du Marquet, Angela Covert-Lawrence showed the best time at this stage of the competition, but still drew a jumping fault. Meanwhile, super Mario satisfied the crowd with a flawless run! Riding their second mount, Jill Henselwood, Yann Candele, Leslie Howard and Beth Underhill, along with Alberta native Kelly Koss, joined this select group, foreshadowing a breathtaking jump-off with 6 obstacles and a double combination to boot.

Leslie Howard and Raimond W give it their all and clock out with an excellent time, but rack up 8 penalty points. Faultless, Beth Underhill calls for a new 37.35 seconds time to beat. Alberta native Kelly Koss improves on that time with 35.35 seconds, but takes a jumping penalty. Paul Halpern from St-Lazare declares a new time to beat: 36.13 seconds! Yann Candele takes to the course, and it’s 33.81 seconds, but 8 penalty points! Team Silver Medalist at the Beijing Olympic Games, Jill Henselwood achieves an excellent performance in 34.87 seconds. Mario Deslauriers then tackles the challenge, signing off in 34.21 seconds! Last to the starting line, Leslie Howard and Utah gather 4 penalty points, bowing down to Bromont’s favourite son Mario Deslauriers.

The 35th Edition of the International Bromont promises a closing to remember on Sunday August 1st with the much awaited 1.60 m Grand-Prix, a qualifier for the prestigious World Equestrian Games and 2011 European Championship.

Information: Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park, 450 chemin de Gaspé, Highway 10, Exit 78, 450 534-0787,,

1st Mario Deslauriers / Whistler 0-0, 34’21
2nd Jill Henselwood / IV Ever 0-0, 34’87
3rd Paul Halpern / Roman K 0-0 36’13
4th Beth Underhill / Viggo 0-0, 37’35
5th Leslie Howard / Utah 0-4, 33’25
6th Yann Candele / Carlotta Singular la Magnifica 0-4, 33’81
7th Kelly Koss / Laokoon 12, 0-4, 35’35
8th Leslie Howard / Raimond W 0-8, 33’45
9th Vanessa Robert / Convento Van de Helle 0-14, 49’83
10th Beth Underhill / Quelqu’un de la Musardière 1 point

Source : Laure Chazerand, Fédération équestre du Québec, Coordonnatrice des communications,, Cell. 514 209-8105.

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