Friday, August 28 brought more show jumping action at Flintfields Horse Park for the Traverse City Fall Horse Show CSI3*, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. International competitors faced off once more in the $36,600 1.45m Speed Classic CSI3*, with 44 starters producing stiff competition in the one-round class. Making the most of his time in Traverse City following a victory in Thursday’s $36,600 MMG Welcome Stake CSI3*, McLain Ward (USA) once again sped to the top of the leaderboard, this time riding Marilla Van Beuren’s Catoki, and added to his success with a third-place finish on Beechwood Stables LLC’s Contagious.
McLain Ward on Catoki. Photo by Elaine Wessel/Phelps Sports.
Course designer Ivan Tagle (ARG) crafted a track of 16 jumping efforts for the occasion, and it proved to be an apt challenge as 17 horse-and-rider pairs managed to successfully leave all the rails in the cups within the time-allowed out of the original pack of entries. One unique aspect of the class was a fence option at obstacle seven. Athletes could opt to jump a vertical with a liverpool on the left, or a slightly higher skinny vertical on the right that would produce a shorter track, but would risk a downed rail. Sixth to ride, Jessica Mendoza (GBR) set the pace aboard Diamants Aurora with the first fault-free trip in 70.54 seconds, but Lucy Deslauriers (USA) soon overthrew the early frontrunners with a quick ride on Billy De Beaufour in 68.38 seconds.
McLain Ward on Contagious. Photo by Elaine Wessel/Phelps Sports.
Tenth in the order, Ward never let off the gas in the stirrups aboard Catoki, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, speeding around the course fault-free to the tune of 64.57 seconds, nearly four seconds ahead of Deslauriers to capture the lead. Though the horse added a few strides in the lines and Ward opted for one outside turn, their quick footspeed made up for it. Ward and Catoki’s efficient precedent proved to be unbeatable, with only two pairs coming within two seconds of the leading time, one of which was Ward himself on his second mount. In a repeat of Thursday’s results, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) once again earned the runner-up honors. The ever-speedy rider galloped to second place on Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, in 65.490 seconds, and Ward bookended the podium with Contagious, his winning mount the day prior, in 66.18 seconds.
Of Catoki, Ward stated: “You have to know for these Table A speed classes that the horse is with you and can answer the test. The jumps aren’t as big as the jump-off classes but you’re coming in always at a funny angle or a funny turn and risking the stride you’re on. It’s great to have a great partner for this type of competition. We’ve been a little disappointed this year because one of the reasons we acquired him was to go to Europe and to be able to win the classes during the week leading up to the grand prix and everything got shut down. It’s nice to be able to get a chance to pick off a few of these ranking classes.”
Kristen Vanderveen on Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. Photo by Elaine Wessel/Phelps Sports.
With only a few weeks left to contend for the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus, the standings were in a close race as Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) and Vanderveen were tied for the top spot. Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) were hot on their heels only a handful of points behind the leaders. Thanks to Vanderveen’s results Friday, she moved ahead of Corrigan and now leads the rankings. The coveted bonus will be awarded to the rider who accumulates the most points in competitions $25,000 or more in prize money over the course of 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City, concluding with the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI4* on September 13.
Running in the adjacent ring, the Brook Ledge 1.20m Jumpers reached its conclusion Friday morning following three days of competitive riding. On Wednesday, August 26, Dylan Daly and Demon Whiskey, owned by Eye Candy Jumpers, nabbed victory ahead of a 41-horse field. Thursday, August 27 saw Caroline Mawhinney aboard her own Stella Levista in the winner’s circle. With the championship honors up for grabs, Friday’s third installment of the series welcomed riders to the Jumper Annex to contend for top honors.
Michael Murphy on Katmandu L. Photo by Allyson Lagiovane/Phelps Sports.
Michael Murphy and Katmandu L, owned by Owen Gajoch, claimed the blue ribbon Friday with their quick jump-off time of 38.085 seconds. Claiming second place honors was Brian Shook riding Hunterpointe Farm’s Future Two to a 46.567-second jump-off. Rounding out the top three for Friday’s installment of the division was Erin Hughes aboard Kisma Equestrian LLC’s Luke Skywalker 70. Murphy’s win ultimately granted him the Brook Ledge 1.20m Jumper division championship with the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. The reserve championship was awarded to Friday’s second-place duo, Shook and Future Two, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Equestrian action will continue in Michigan for two more days of the Traverse City Fall Horse Show CSI3*, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Sunday’s feature event will be the$137,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*, which will pit some of the world’s most decorated horse-and-rider pairs head-to-head.
Full Class Results – $36,600 1.45m Speed Classic CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Catoki / McLain Ward / USA / Marilla Van Beuren / 0 | 64.570
2. Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 0 | 65.490
3. Contagious / McLain Ward / USA / Beechwood Stables LLC / 0 | 66.18
4. Hunters Conlypso II / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Dacantos Group / 0 | 66.84
5. Billy de Beaufour / Lucy Deslauriers / USA / Luja LLC / 0 | 68.380
6. CW Incorporated / Andrew Welles / USA / Corporate Way LLC / 0 | 68.900
7. Cadans Z / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / Starlight Farms 1 LLC / 0 | 69.310
8. Freaky Liefhebber / Jacqueline Steffens / CAN / Jacqueline Steffens / 0 | 70.260
9. Colestina H / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Kim Douglas / 0 | 70.330
10. Deauville S / Tanner Korotkin / USA / Castlewood Farm Inc. / 0 | 70.50
11. Diamants Aurora / Jessica Mendoza / GBR / Jessica Mendoza / 0 | 70.540
12. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital LLC / 0 | 70.990