Brazil’s Luis Francisco de Azevedo won Friday’s Friends Of The Meadows Cup at the Continental meeting at Spruce Meadows in Canada riding Collin, a horse that had once been destined for the slaughterhouse.

Yesterday they took the lead when fourth into the 13-horse jump-off in the 1.45m event and survived a late scare from Canada’s Tiffany Foster on Brighton to take the top prize.

The Brazilian’s winning mount had been unwanted as a seven year-old because he was wild and difficult to ride. A friend of de Azevedo stepped in to buy the horse for the slaughterhouse value and urged the rider to give him a chance.

“When he arrived at home we saw a lot of quality but he was afraid of everything,” de Azevedo said after a win earlier this year at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida.

“He is the kind of horse that needs to have confidence in his rider. I did not try to change him, but tried to do it his way.”

When the Brazilian brought Collin to his first show he jumped clear at 1.30m, 1.35m, and 1.40m on consecutive days. They have had a number of international successes together and de Azevedo gives all the credit to Collin, saying all he did was give him a chance.

Of his latest win on Collin, de Azevedo said: “It’s my first time here at Spruce Meadows and to win one class is really something special to me.”

Mike Dunne

(read about a previous success for the pairing here)