Astra Road and Shining Hour are Brightest with Michaella Gerlacher in Hunter Ring in Traverse City

Traverse City, Mich. – July 17, 2020 – The third week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, brought hunter competitors of all experience levels back to Flintfields Horse Park for another installment of showing. Michaella Gerlacher rose to the top more than once with her mounts, claiming the championship honors with Frances Conti’s Astra Road in the Northern Pines Farm Young Hunters as well aboard Chuck Waters’ Shining Hour in the USHJA 2’9” Hunter division.

Michaella Gerlacher and Astra Road. Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

The Northern Pines Farm Young Hunters saw a near clean sweep in the division after Gerlacher and Astra Road claimed victory in four of the division’s five classes to secure the overall championship. The duo started strong Wednesday with blue ribbons in both over fences classes and a fourth-place finish under saddle, then returned to the GGT Footing Ring on Thursday with maintained momentum. Separating themselves from the pack as the clear victors, Gerlacher and Astra Road earned two more first-place results over fences to seal the deal and earn the division tricolors.

The reserve champions, Caitlyn Shiels and Imperial Show Stables’ One Dance turned in ribbon-worthy performances throughout the competition that earned them first place under saddle and second place over fences on day one, followed by another series of point-earning trips Thursday. Their scores earned them enough points on the overall scorecard to claim the runner-up honors.

In the USHJA 3’ Hunters, Caroline Weeden piloted Piper Benjamin’s Jon Snow to the lead spot in the standings to claim the division’s top honors as champions. Two first-place finishes over fences pushed them to the top of the scorecard, and more top results that included third place and fourth place over fences, plus third place under saddle, helped their cause to earn them the overall title. Thanks to two days of consistent performances that resulted in tie scores, both Will Roberts on Maura Harrower’s Who Dat and Sarah Duhon with Robert McCormick’s Inescapable were awarded the distinction of reserve champions.

Gerlacher added to her success during Week Three with a second division championship in the hunters riding Shining Hour, who was named the championship horse in the USHJA 2’9” Hunters. Shining Hour carried Gerlacher to top-three finishes in four classes, with his best efforts coming during two of the over fences class where he earned a blue ribbon. He added to his resume with a second-place finish over fences and a third-place result in the hack. Livi Bachman rode Alto Basaldua’s Moon River to the overall runner-up honors thanks to first-place and third-place finishes over fences.

Hunter competition will continue in Traverse City throughout the weekend at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC. Sunday afternoon will feature the highlight event, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Baekgaard USA, as well as the third crowning of the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week.