Shiels and Weeden Score Hunter Wins
Traverse City, Mich. – July 27, 2016 – The fourth week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival kicked off Wednesday with a full schedule of competition at the destination venue. New faces arrived at the Flintfields Horse Park, offering enticing jumper action as many of the nation’s top riders prepared their mounts for the week’s approaching highlights and the series one finale. Daisy Farish started out the week by showcasing her winning ways, dominating the 1.40m Open Jumper division, and leading the class from start to finish.
Bernardo Costa Cabral, a FEI level-four course designer, challenged horse and rider combinations with double combinations, a liverpool, long lines, serpentine-like turns, rollbacks and a tight time allowed. During the $2,500 1.40m Open Jumpers, only two would master his opening track, with young Daisy Farish setting the pace and finding the path in the jump-off.
The course catered well to Great White, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Farish, who has now been a constant competitor and top contender in the 1.40m division and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers with the 15-year-old Kentucky-native. As the first to go, Farish took a speedy approach to the short track, utilizing her mount’s large stride to shave seconds off the clock. They broke the beam in 43.981 seconds, but with one rail down, Farish believed that her score would be beatable, especially with known speed demons and veteran riders David Beisel, David Dorner and Nick Novak hot on their heels.
“My horse was fantastic in the first round,” Farish described. “In the jump-off, he was great, and even after I had the rail, I listened to my trainer Andre [Dignelli] and kept going fast to get the practice, instead of giving up. I continued on the inside track we had planned, and my horse was so good the rest of the way, that it paid off.”
As the class unfolded, Cabral’s course would trick fellow contenders, allowing only one more horse and rider combination to qualify for the jump-off, Aidan Killeen and Droomfee HB. When Killeen incurred 4 faults, it all came down to time, and Farish’s carefully thought track and large stride would seal the victory Wednesday, as Killeen crossed the timers in 47.243 seconds to take second place. The fastest of the 4-faulters was Alec Bozorgi and Cappanaleigh Storm, which proved good enough for the third place finish.
“I actually really liked this course,” Farish commented. “It was not your average outside to diagonal, which it ends up being sometimes. It was a fun course, and I enjoyed it, and so did my horse. He has been amazing, and he has really stepped up a lot the last two weeks. We have been working on fitness and adjustability. In the last week, it has all really come together. We are aiming to do the Welcome Stake on Friday.”
During the $1,250 1.35m Open Jumpers Michael Morrissey, navigated Cabral’s jump-off track with blazing speed aboard Escobar, owned by Lourdes De Guardiola, stopping the clock in 41.123 seconds as one of the last competitors of the class.
“He had last week off, so today was his first class back after a rest,” Morrissey said. “We decided to start with the 1.35m Open Jumpers. He has been solid here in Michigan. He hasn’t had a single rail here in Traverse City all four weeks.”
The 10-year-old was imported during the winter in Florida, and has been a constant competitor in the 1.40m and 1.45m divisions. Morrissey knew that he would have to take a few risks to capture the win today, especially with Aaron Vale sitting at the top of the leaderboard for the majority of the class.
“Aaron is definitely one of the fastest riders I know,” Morrissey said. “Escobar is a horse you can go fast on, take shots, you can slice the jumps. My goal was to go in and be competitive with him. He gave me longer distances where I needed them, and I left out strides, angled the jumps and he was game. He was really on it today.”
Morrissey continued, “I thought Bernardo, the course designer, used the ring really well. He is a very highly regarded course designer, so I look forward to his other courses this week. It is good preparation for the upcoming FEI shows coming up in a couple of weeks here at GLEF.”
Vale and Quality On Top, owned by North Face Farm, scored the second place finish with the time of 42.133 seconds. As the early leader of the class, it seemed as though his time would hold as even the young and quick rider Sophie Michaels finished just behind his time in 43.921 seconds, eventually earning the third place, but Morrissey slid into the lead in the impending final moments.
Scott Lenkart rode to the first place finish during the $1,000 1.30m Open Jumpers. He cleared the course in a swift 44.198 seconds with Beorn, owned by Tammy Provost.
“Tammy and I grew up competing against each other, we have known one another since we were kids, and she said that she had a good jumper that could use a few rounds, and I jumped at the opportunity. It was a really enjoyable horse to ride, it was the best part of the day,” Lenkart said. “He was very reasonable, listened quite well and he was quite easy. In the jump-off, the first three jumps were pretty wide open, the inside turns were pretty long and he responded well to the gallop.”
Michaels picked up her second ribbon of the open jumper division with Darero, finishing just in 44.369 seconds for the second place. Vale and Blue Moon 22 rounded out the top three with a clear effort in 46.483 seconds.
Lenkart concluded, “I have always enjoyed this show, I was here for the first show at a different show grounds. This is my favorite show in the country. My youngest daughter Lilly, who is now 10, learned how to walk in the aisle on a Sunday after a grand prix that I won. It brings everyone together, it is that kind of show and that kind of town.”
GLEF will continue to welcome riders and thrill spectators over the final week of the first summer series, which runs July 27-31, 2016. The jumper highlights will feature the $25,000 Welcome Stake on Friday, July 29, as well as the $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix, presented by Meijer, on Sunday, July 31.
For more information or to view schedules, please visit mmg.managementor www.greatlakesequestrianfestival.com.
1.40M OPEN JUMPERS
1 643 GREAT WHITE DAISY FARISH 0 0 0 4 0 4 43.981
2 165 DROOMFEE HB AIDAN KILLEEN 0 0 0 4 0 4 47.243
3 968 CAPPANALEIGH STORM ALEC BOZORGI 4 0 4 75.495
4 493 RUMOROSA DAVID BEISEL 4 0 4 75.705
5 1520 CHACIARA DAVID DORNER 4 0 4 78.601
6 1211 CICO NICK NOVAK 8 0 8 81.628
1.35M OPEN JUMPERS
1 1366 ESCOBAR MICHAEL MORRISSEY 0 0 0 41.123
2 712 QUALITY ON TOP AARON VALE 0 0 0 42.133
3 627 CATCH ME T SOPHIE MICHAELS 0 0 0 43.921
4 1343 CHANCE STE HERMELLE MICHAEL MORRISSEY 0 0 0 48.692
5 1394 ROLLS LISA JACQUIN 4 0 4 44.823
6 907 WASTED WAGES KENDRA GOHR 4 0 4 45.447
1.30M OPEN JUMPERS
1 1527 BEORN SCOTT LENKART 0 0 0 44.198
2 630 DARERO SOPHIE MICHAELS 0 0 0 44.369
3 765 BLUE MOON 22 AARON VALE 0 0 0 46.483
4 711 ELEKTRISK AARON VALE 0 0 0 47.906
5 1152 COOKIE MONSTER KRISTEN COLLINS 0 0 0 50.883
6 363 BALOU’S FLY HIGH EMILY PEREZ 0 1 1 52.956
Shiels and Weeden Score Hunter Wins at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
Week Four of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival kicked off with the professional hunter divisions in the R.L. Polk Family Main Hunter Ring. Wednesday’s classes saw many riders beginning to prepare their horses for the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Gochman Family and Baxter Hill Farm on July 30.
In the Second Year Green Hunters, the blue went to Maria Rasmussen and Memorable. The pair was also third in the handy round. Taking second place was Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius who took home the win in the handy round. Third place in the over fences class went to Oak Grove and Carline Weeden. Second place in the handy round went to Hilary Johnson and Moonwalk.
Shiels was happy with the efforts of her young horse on Wednesday. “He was super, Shiels grinned. “I think was a nickel’s worth too fresh today but he held it together. We walked in the ring and he was staring at the rocks and the barrels, so I was a little bit reserved in how much I wanted to let him out of the bag.”
“This is his second time dong the second years,” Shiels continued. “He’s just getting more consistent with the height so I’m really happy with him. He is 7 and he is going to do the Second Year’s tomorrow, and then he’ll do the big derby on Saturday. It will be our second time doing it together, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
In the High Performance Working Hunters Courtney Calcagnini and Bowie a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Fleur de Lis Farms were first in the over fences class repeating their performance from week three. Peter Pletcher and Columbia found themselves in the second spot and took home the win in the handy round. Pletcher also took third in both the over fences class and the handy round with Jus d’O. Second place in the handy round went to Caroline Weeden and Corvine.
Weeden praised the Thomas Hern Jr. designed course. “I thought it was super fun this week,” Weeden said. “The course designer did a really cool thing in the handy. We had a bunch of options so I actually did things differently on my First Year Horse, than I did on my Second Year Horse, than I did on my High Performance horse. You could do the handy according to what worked best for your horse so that was fun, it was something different.”
Earlier in the day, Voyager an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Copper Fox LLC and Hillary Johnson took the blue in the over fences class in First Year Green Working Hunters. They were also second in the handy round. Following in second place in the over fences class was Kelsey Wickham and Wait and See Farm’s Pick Six. Rounding out the top three was Kim Carey and Goodman. In the handy round it was Caroline Weeden and Poetry who took home the win with Melissa Donnelly and Corlando 49 in third place.
Hillary Johnson again found herself in the top spot in the Regular Conformation Hunter Class over fences aboard Sorrento, a 9-year-old Westphalian owned by Copper Fox LLC. Second place went to Maria Rasmussen and Subject to Change a 7-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Corporate Way LLC. Third place went to Greg Crolick and Outshine, a 9-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Top Call Farm.
In the handy round it was Maria Rasmussen and Subject to Change who claimed the top spot with second place going to Kelsey Wickham and Pick Six. Jennifer Nadalin and Catango V rounded out the top three.
Hunter competition will continue Thursday in the R.L. Polk Family Main Hunter Ring with division championships.
Highlights in the Hunter divisions in week four include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Gochman Family and Baxter Hill Farm on July 30 and the $5,000 Glory Days Farm LLC, USHJA National Hunter Derby on July 31.