Traverse City, Mich. – July 7, 2017 – The first week of the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) is underway and the $25,000 Welcome Stake, presented by East Wind Farms, highlighted Friday’s competition as exhibitors prepared their horses for the first grand prix of the six-week circuit, the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix, to be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Grand Prix Ring at the Flintfields Horse Park. Shane Sweetnam of Sweet Oak Farm kicked off the third installment of this highly anticipated show series with the first big win of the week aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Cyklon 1083.
The pair bested a field of 23 in the two-round competition designed by Keith Bollotte. Only five produced clear rounds to advance to the jump-off, where Sweetnam was the first to return. He and the 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion set the standard to beat with another clear round in 41.980 seconds, which would hold throughout the remainder of the competition to secure the win as well as the Black Star Farms celebratory wine prize.
Rounding out the top three, also with clear rounds, was David Beisel and Equine Holdings LLC’s Ammeretto in second place in 43.536 seconds and Winn Alden and Southern Arches LLC’s Charlie in third place in 43.995 seconds.
With 1 time fault, Taylor McMurtry and Quilotta Z, owned by Windridge Farm LLC, claimed the fourth place spot in 50.587 seconds, while Lacey Gilbertson, a student of Sweetnam’s, took fifth place with 4 faults in 45.345 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi.
Shane Sweetnam – $25,000 Welcome Stake, presented by East Wind Farms, winner
On his performances on Friday:
“[Cyklon 1083] felt great. It was a tough and long course but he jumped a really great first round. I was first to jump-off and I wasn’t as quick as I thought I should have been but it worked out.”
On Cyklon 1083:
“He loves to jump and is super careful. He really loves to go quick. The only time we get in to problems is when I’m trying to slow him down for something, he just wants to keep going forward. That’s always been the case with him, he just loves it.”
“Cyklon is not going to Europe this year and I have a younger horse who I haven’t jumped many grand prix events with so this is a great place to get some experience with him at this level. Next I go to Sweden where I have a few horses. This is a great show for Cyklon to compete at and for my other horse and my clients to get some good experience.”
$25,000 Welcome Stake, presented by East Wind Farms:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Cyklon 1083 / Shane Sweetnam / Spy Coast Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 41.980
2. Ammeretto / David Beisel / Equine Holdings LLC / 0 / 0 / 43.536
3. Charlie / Winn Alden / Southern Arches LLC / 0 / 0 / 43.995
4. Quilotta Z / Taylor McMurtry / Windridge Farm LLC / 0 / 1 / 50.587
5. Baloppi / Lacey Gilbertson / Seabrook LLC / 0 / 4 / 45.345
6. Hermine 44 / Addison Piper / South Pine Farm / 2 / 96.442
7. Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / Siboney Ranch / 4 / 86.630
8. Haribo / Emma Sargent / Emma Sargent / 4 / 86.763
9. Call Me Hannes / David Beisel / Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC / 4 / 86.898
10. Rolls / Jacob Pope / Doublethink LLC / 4 / 88.469
The professional hunter divisions kicked off the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in the Vankampen Ring on Wednesday, where Maria Rasmussen of Sea Change Farm, sponsor of the hospitality area, and Subject To Change, an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Corporate Way LLC, got off to a great start winning the model, over fences and handy round in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division on Wednesday.
The pair returned on Thursday to continue their clean sweep of the division, also claiming blue ribbons in the final two over fences classes and in the under saddle class for the championship tricolor.
Similarly, Tori Colvin, who is competing at GLEF for the first time this year, started strong in the High Performance Hunter division, presented by Sugar Run Farm, on Wednesday aboard John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s Koala. The pair won the over fences, handy round and under saddle class on Wednesday, and came back on Thursday to claim a second over fences class. The junior superstar turned professional and the 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding finished second to Tim Goguen and Belhaven Stables LLC’s Clever in the second over fences class on Thursday, but still walked away with their first GLEF championship during Week One.
Maria Rasmussen – High Performance Conformation Hunter division champion
On Subject To Change:
“[Subject To Change] has really come into his own recently in the past year or so. We ended up buying him [after the 2014 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship]. I did him through the Green Conformation and this is his second year in the High Performance Conformation. He’s ribboned all the way through indoors and has been a really consistent horse.”
On Sea Change Farm:
“We show all four weeks [at GLEF]. We have a big operation here, but it’s more close-knit. We work really hard at running a really professional and organized operation that revolves around the horses.”
“We love the area and we love the GLEF management group. They’ve always been really good to us. The horses are going well and we have fun, that’s why we’re here.”
Tori Colvin – Sugar Run Farm High Performance Hunter division champion
“[Koala] is a special horse. I started riding him during WEF and he has been amazing. This was his first time in the High Performance so he’s never jumped around four solid courses at that height. He was spectacular. He got a little tired by the last round but the rest of the courses he was great.”
“It’s been a great experience so far. We’re here this week and then two more weeks. I’m planning on coming back next year, I love it!”