PAUL HALPERN WINS $50,000 STEEL-CRAFT GRAND PRIX AT WESLEY CLOVER PARKS
The featured event of the Ottawa Summer Tournaments Week One proved to be a tough task to master with only two riders producing clear rounds over the course designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil. Paul Halpern of Saint Anne des Plaines, QC, was the first rider to jump clear before François Lamontagne of Saint-Eustache, QC, did the same to ensure a jump-off.
Halpern took his best shot riding Esra, slicing and dicing his way around the shortened jump-off track before a rail fell at the final fence for four faults. As the crowd waited to see if Lamontagne could improve on Halpern’s performance, it was announced that he had voluntarily withdrawn his young mount, Thunderbird vh Scheefkasteel Z, from the jump-off. Lamontagne has been steadily developing the eight-year-old Zangersheide mare that he purchased as a four-year-old. Lamontagne had been the winner of Thursday’s $20,000 Giant Tiger Open Welcome with his veteran campaigner, Chanel du Calvaire, but settled for second place in the Grand Prix.
And with that, Halpern celebrated his first grand prix win at Wesley Clover Parks, making the two-hour drive from his home base in Saint Anne des Plaines, QC, more than worthwhile.
“I’ve always liked jumping on grass, the jumps are beautiful, and it’s great to have the crowds back,” said Halpern, who has 20 horses from his stable showing at the Ottawa Summer Tournaments. “It’s one of the big shows with some of the better riders and more competition, so that always makes it more fun. We’re so lucky; it’s great to have a venue like this. There is no stone left unturned. They really do their best at everything.”
Halpern’s partner for the win was Esra, a 10-year-old mare (Bratt Z x Nekton) that was bred in Canada and is registered with the American Holsteiner Association.