2009 Battle of the Breeds - Thursday

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Bantry Bays Dillon and Megan Davies

Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009 saw the opening day of competition at the Battle of the Breeds. Held in Calgary, Alberta, during the Spruce Meadows Masters, breeds field a team of four horses who compete in various disciplines. Last year's win was especially sweet for Team Mule. This year, Team Connemara and Team Shetland Pony represent the pony breeds. Noticeably absent is Team Welsh Pony & Cob.

Cross your fingers, but the weather on Thursday dawned bright and sunny with a nice cool breeze, and is set to continue that way for the rest of the week.

The Battle opened with the Compulsories, a dressage-style pattern that is the only component of the Battle that is judged (all others depend on time and points). One team member must ride and one must drive the pattern this year. Team Connemara had a great start to the tournament, with Bantry Bays Dillon and Megan Davies of Spruce Grove, AB scooping the high score (145). Driver Philip Knox and KF Felicity from Chesterfield, Idaho had the second highest score (138), with Team Connemara placing first overall.

Things unfortunately did not go quite so smoothly in the Jeopardy Jumping. Team Canadian Warmblood finally showed their stripes in the jumping and took first place with 730 of a possible 800 points. In second was Team Quarter Horse, and Teams Appaloosa and Arabian tied for points but the time difference gave 3rd to Team Appaloosa. Team Connemara came in in 6th place with 480 points. Celtic Fyre and Ailsa Antilla went first and had a perfect run, gaining the maximum 400 points. Bad luck struck however on the second run. It's not confirmed but it looked like Megan Davies and Bantry Bays Dillon missed some of the fences on course, then had an unfortunate rail down when they tried to make it up on the 100 point bonus fence, which resulted in 100 points being deducted from their total score.

Team Shetland Pony had an incident on course - shortly after the third jump, Shaelynn Enders and Flying Lollipop lost a stirrup off the saddle. But they had a little help from Linda Southern Heathcott, who was presiding at center ring and ran out to put the stirrup back on.

1 Team Connemara - 283 points
2 Team Morgan - 268 points
3 Team Canadian Horse - 258 points
4 Team Paint - 251 points
5 Team Mule - 247 points
6 Team Canadian Pinto - 247 points

Jeopardy Jumping
1 Team Canadian Warmblood - 730 points
2 Team Quarter Horse - 710 points
3 Team Appaloosa - 700 points
4 Team Arabian - 700 points
5 Team Canadian Pinto - 570 points
6 Team Connemara - 480 points

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