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Canadian show jumping team finishes fourth in BMO Nations' Cup

CALGARY — The Canadian show jumping team placed fourth in the BMO Nations' Cup on Saturday, while the United States beat Brazil in a jumpoff to win gold.

Eight countries went at it in the 41st annual BMO Nations' Cup. Germany took the final spot on the podium.

Canada's teas was comprised of Ben Asselin, Mario Deslauriers, Eric Lamaze, and Ian Millar.

As Canada's lead-off rider, Deslauriers was making his return to the Canadian squad following a nine-year absence representing the U.S.

"It was just like the old days," said Deslauriers, who last competed for Canada in the BMO Nations' Cup at Spruce Meadows in 2006.

"I was a little nervous in the first round but the second round felt better and more relaxed. I was right back at home. It was exciting making my return at Spruce Meadows, and all the crowd made it so special."

Local favourite Asselin was called up to the Canadian team on Thursday following the withdrawal of Keean White of Rockwood, Ont.

At the end of the first round, Brazil sat at the top of the leaderboard with a perfect score of zero, despite losing its lead-off rider, Eduardo Menezes, who took a hard tumble off his mount.

Germany was close behind with a single time fault, while the U.S. and Canada sat tied on eight faults apiece for third position. Belgium and France were tied for fifth place with 13 faults apiece, while the defending champion, Switzerland, and Italy failed to make the cut for the second round with scores of 18 and 21, respectively.

Deslauriers opened the second round with a clear round for Canada, cheered on by the 86,222 spectators in attendance.

Asselin went next and kept it to eight faults, but his score would be dropped in the final tally as only the top three scores would count.

Lamaze left all the rails in place, but touched the tape on the open water to pick up four faults.

Millar then put his five decades of international show jumping experience to good use, pulling out a clear round.

Counting only four faults in the second round, Canada had a two-round total of 12 faults to finish in fourth place. Germany had nine faults while the Americans and Brazilians had eight apiece, forcing their jumpoff.

"We were so close today, but that's the way it is sometimes with show jumping — the result can hinge on a rail that stays in the cups here, or a foot in the water there," said Canadian chef d'equipe Mark Laskin. "If Mario, Eric, or Ian had had four faults less, we would have been jumping off for the win."


The Canadian Press

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