Hunter competition returned to Flintfields Horse Park for the second week of riding at the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, June 24-28, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Always a force in both the hunter and jumper rings, David Beisel piloted his own The Boy Friend to a clear-cut championship in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, never falling below second place over the course of five classes. During his fourth year in Traverse City, Jacob Pope continued to add to his list of accomplishments from the showgrounds with a championship tricolor aboard Bon Chance in the USHJA 3’ Hunters.
David Beisel on The Boy Friend. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
During the first day of competition, Beisel and his mount, The Boy Friend, earned blue ribbons over fences and under saddle, in addition to a second-place result in the handy class, to jump to the early lead, which they would ultimately retain. Stepping back into the ring Thursday, June 25, the combination continued to impress with high marks over fences that pulled in final placings of first and second to secure the championship, having won three of the five classes and placing second in the remainder. The previous week, Beisel’s wife, Paige, navigated The Boy Friend to third place overall in the $1,000 Voltaire Design Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic and a top-12 finish in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Michael Murphy and Screenshot, owned by Esperanza Imports LLC, nabbed the reserve championship tricolors just a hair behind the leaders. Similar to Beisel and The Boy Friend, Murphy and Screenshot also earned steady results and were never placed below the second spot by the judges, winning two classes and finishing in second place in the rest.
Jacob Pope on Bon Chance. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
In the USHJA 3’ Hunters, Pope and Bon Chance, owned by Judgment Farms, LLC, proved their prowess in the ring by topping the scorecard in three of the division’s five classes. The talented partnership started strong Wednesday, June 24, to secure the early frontrunner’s position thanks to back-to-back victories in two over fences classes and a third-place finish in the under saddle portion of competition. Back in the ring Thursday hoping to clinch the championship, Bon Chance pulled away from the pack with two more point-earning trips, garnering first place and sixth place in the final two over fences classes.
Finishing as the reserve champions, Ehrin Rittmueller and Kimberly Blasko’s Blaze were hot on the heels of the championship pair for most of the division. Rittmueller and Blaze won the blue ribbon in the hack, and turned in consistent performances to earn three second-place honors in over fences classes.