Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 24, 2016 – The final week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) Series Two commenced Wednesday morning. Jumper competition kicked off in the Grand Prix Ring at Flintfields Horse Park with the 1.40m, 1.35m and 1.30m classes highlighting the day’s events. Ryan Genn and Adam Prudent started the week off in winning form, leading the way and grabbing blue ribbons in the 1.40m and 1.35m classes.
The 1.40m Open Jumpers hosted 10 horse and rider combinations with six jumping clear around Leopoldo Palacios’ first round course to advance to the jump-off.
Genn of Rheinland Farm and Ann Anastasio’s Welcome COR, a 10-year-old Holsteiner mare, were the early double-clear pathfinders as third in the order-of-go. He maintained his lead throughout the entirety of the class, breaking the beam in the jump-off in an untouchable 39.887 seconds.
“Welcome COR is feeling awesome this week,” said Genn. “She feels really good, fast and ready to go.”
Darragh Kerins and S & L Through The Looking Glass, owned by S & L Farms, followed Genn with the second fastest double-clear round in 40.335 seconds to claim second place honors. David Blake and Pine Hollow Farm’s Deavantus clinched the yellow ribbon for third place in 40.465 seconds.
“It was a good course,” said Genn. “I was really happy that I made it to the jump-off because I really wanted to practice that. It was the same one-two so I just galloped up a little more direct in the jump-off so I could slow down on the end and make the inside turn. The last jump I thought was kind of tricky because you came off a little bit of a gallop and then it was a hard, almost ‘L’-shaped, turn right by the ingate. I almost had that down. I kind of had to pull really hard to get her back because she was trying to run really fast. I think that was definitely the hardest jump; it was a very careful vertical.
“Leopoldo builds so beautifully,” continued Genn. “Already you could tell the difference it made for the young horses today. The way he built — it was really set up nicely to have beautiful rounds and keep the horses comfortable.”
The 1.35m Open Jumpers featured 11 exhibitors vying for the top prize. From the original starting field, only five were able to move on to the immediate jump-off round. David Jennings and North Face Farm’s Elektrisk set the time to beat as second to go in a double-clear round of 41.261 seconds.
Prudent and Plain Bay Sales’ Victorio 5, a 10-year-old Hanoverian stallion, entered the ring one round later and bested Jennings’ time by one second, crossing the finish line in 37.964 seconds to move into first place.
Wilhelm Genn and Taylor Reid’s Dieta produced the next double-clear round in 39.292 seconds to move behind Prudent in the standings, but Dorothy Cox and Joy Ride, owned by IAG Syndicate, LLC, outpaced Genn four rounds later in 38.492 seconds for second place honors, while Genn rounded out the top three.
“Victorio is feeling amazing,” said Prudent. “I was doing the smaller class today to get with him a little more in the speed phase because I haven’t really done any jump-offs with him yet. I wanted to gear up for the three FEI classes that are coming up this week. He’s feeling really good and on form today. I know I made up some time in the rollback to fence three, and I think that’s where I beat Dorothy because she took a little bit more time there.
“It’s great to have Leopoldo here,” continued Prudent. “He’s one of my favorite course designers. The courses were super today.”
The all-new FEI series at GLEF is what attracted Prudent and Plain Bay Sales to Traverse City this year and he looks forward to attending more FEI-rated competitions at Flintfields Horse Park in the future.
“We love it here,” said Prudent. “The addition of the new FEI series is why we came this year. We’d love to come back next year if they hold more FEI competitions. Hopefully it’ll be bigger star ratings, but we love it here and we’ve had a great time. We’re looking forward to coming back if we’re in the country.”
Fourteen horse and rider combinations competed in the 1.30m Open Jumpers, immediately following the 1.35m class. Of the nine who jumped clear over the first round course, six went on to produce double-clear performances. Lisa Goldman and Hannah Bilton’s Chasinta secured the 1.30m win on Wednesday in 35.591 seconds, while Theo Genn and Eduardo Leon’s Asirea Fortuna trailed Goldman by two seconds in 37.491 seconds for second place. Abigail McArdle and Plain Bay Sales’ Comeback finished in 37.687 seconds, just two tenths of a second behind Genn, for third place.
The final week of Series Two at GLEF will continue to welcome riders and thrill spectators through Aug. 28. Week Seven will feature hunter and jumper competition all week long with a FEI CSI3* rating, culminating in the $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* on Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Flintfields Horse Park. Additional highlight events for the week include the $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI3* on Thursday and the $40,000 Great Lakes Stake Classic CSI3* on Friday.
Horses are not the only form of entertainment lined up for this year’s Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. The festival has teamed up with top musicians and entertainers from around the country to offer fun-filled evenings for this year’s concert and dinner series.
Week Seven will headline the Billy Strings Bluegrass Closing Party by www.PorterhousePresents.com at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival is set on 88 beautiful acres and showcases five world-class competition rings in addition to spacious schooling rings. The property features don’t stop there as the park offers convenient onsite campgrounds and weekly nights of entertainment for a truly unique attendee experience.