Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 12, 2018 – After six weeks of exciting, world-class equestrian competition, the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded on Sunday with the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* at the Flintfields Horse Park. In her competition debut at GLEF, two-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist and current Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final champion Beezie Madden piloted Abigail Wexner’s Coach to the fastest double-clear performance to win the most coveted prize of the summer at GLEF in 40.11 seconds.
Madden, based in Cazenovia, New York, and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding have been consistently competing together at the top levels of the sport since summer 2015. So far in 2018, they’ve claimed victory in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala in March and, more recently, the €345,000 Glock’s Grand Prix CSI5* at the Glock Horse Performance Center in Treffen, Austria, in June.
Madden kicked off her week at GLEF with a win in Wednesday’s $6,000 Staller 1.40m Jumper CSI3* class aboard Wexner’s Jiva and finished clear and in the top 10 with Coach.
On Sunday, 28 international horses and athletes were tested over the largest and most technical track the Grand Prix Ring has seen this season thus far, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt. Eight were able to produce clear rounds throughout the first round to advance to the jump-off.
Starting off the tie-breaker was Juan Gallego (COL) and his own Fee Des Sequoias Z. They produced the first double-clear performance in 43.74 seconds. Yet, 20-year-old Hunter Holloway (USA) and Hays Investment Corp.’s VDL Bravo S took over the lead just one round later in 43.06 seconds.
After four more combinations tackled the jump-off, Holloway still led the way with only two challengers left to see, who also just so happened to be two of the top show jumping athletes in the world: fellow U.S. Olympian Margie Engle and Madden, ranked 28th and 12th in the world on the Longines Rankings list, respectively.
Engle and Madden, who are both shortlisted to compete at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, North Carolina, in September, arrived at GLEF fresh off from competing at the prestigious CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, where they both represented the U.S. and were teammates on the NetJets® U.S. Show Jumping Team in the FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ CSIO5* Aachen.
Engle, who secured two FEI wins during Week V in the $35,000 East Wind Farms Welcome Stake CSI3* and $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* on Thursday and Sunday with Dicas, was first to go of the two riding her veteran partner Royce, owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC. They were the fourth pair to finish double-clear and stopped the clock in 40.70 seconds to move to the top of the leaderboard.
Despite losing a shoe in the schooling area just prior to her jump-off round, Madden kept Coach focused and relaxed as the shoe was put back on and re-entered the ring ready to give it their all over the short course.
The pair left out strides in multiple lines and galloped flat out to the final oxer to finish six-tenths of a second ahead of Engle in 40.11 seconds to take home the top prize, garnering Engle second place and Holloway third place in the end.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival would like to thank the extraordinary sponsors, exhibitors and spectators who have helped make 2018 its best year yet and looks forward to returning to Traverse City, Michigan, next year July 3–Aug. 11, 2019!
Beezie Madden (USA) – $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* winner
“Coach has been one of my favorites all along. We got him when he was 7. I’m so fortunate, again, that Abigail Wexner purchased him for me, she’s so generous. He’s a happy, fun, always playing around type of horse. He’s just young in his brain and goofs around sometimes but this year he’s really come around and he’s been focused when he should be. He’s won three big grand prix [classes] now. I’m really so happy with him.”
On how she won:
“[I made up time in the jump-off] to the last, especially. I know I did one less stride than Margie [Engle] after the double and maybe from one to two, but I still don’t think I was quicker there. I just had a bigger stride and I really turned it on to the last.”
On competing at GLEF for the first time:
“It’s been fantastic. It was just what we wanted to get going again after we were home on a little break after Europe. Some of these horses are young and some are more experienced but need to get going again. To have a nice, big class at the end to finish with was great.”
$100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Coach / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 0 / 40.11
2. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 / 0 / 40.70
3. VDL Bravo S / Hunter Holloway / USA / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 / 0 / 43.06
4. Fee Des Sequoias Z / Juan Gallego / COL / Juan Gallego / 0 / 0 / 43.74
5. Liroy 30 / Taylor Land / USA / Taylor Land / 0 / 0 / 43.78
6. Cerano Vin Dingenshof / Diego Javier Vivero Viteri / ECU / Javier Estrada Gonzalez / 0 / 4 / 42.10
7. Casey Jones / Quentin Judge / USA / Double H Farm / 0 / 4 / 43.04
8. Darko’s Promise / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Ilan Ferder / 0 / 8 / 45.76
9. Coolmann 7 / Ashley Baker / USA / Grand Slam Farm / 1 / 84.72
10. Robin De Ponthual / Peter Lutz / USA / Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses / 4 / 75.33
11. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 4 / 75.94
12. Cetano Van Aspergem Z / Santiago Lambre / MEX / Tal Milstein Stables / 4 / 78.44
Prior to Sunday’s main event at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), the Grand Prix Ring hosted the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Twenty-six-year-old amateur from Denver, Colorado, Olivia Chowdry, bested the competitive field of 29 horses and athletes with Cosma 20, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Atlas Equine Holdings LLC.
Chowdry, trained by Katie and Henri Prudent, and the experienced Cosma 20, who was previously ridden internationally up to the CSI5* level with Abigail McArdle of Plain Bay Sales, topped a nine-horse jump-off and was one of four combinations to finish double-clear in 28.540 seconds, a full five seconds faster than second place finishers Emma Bergeron and Eckham Van Het Steentje, to claim the blue ribbon.
Bergeron and Elm Rock LLC’s Eckham Van Het Steentje crossed the finish line in 33.825 seconds, while Kelbee Miller and her own As Di Chupito rounded out Sunday’s top three in 34.173 seconds.
Sunday’s win, in addition to their win on Friday, helped Chowdry and Cosma 20 capture the Week VI division championship, while the reserve championship was shared between Brooke Gunther and her own Casual Pleasure, who won Saturday’s class, and Taylor Kraft and Carolina, owned by Ricardo Villa.
Topping off a stellar final week at GLEF, Chowdry and Cosma 20 were crowned the Johnson Horse Transportation Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper circuit champions for their consistent, top performances over the course of the six-week festival.
Olivia Chowdry – Johnson Horse Transportation Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division champion
On Cosma 20:
“I’ve had [Cosma 20] for just under three years now. She was previously campaigned under Abigail McArdle. They found her in Germany as a 7-year-old and then Abby took her through the ranks and jumped some big tracks with her — 1.45m and a few 1.50m. She jumped all of the way up to the CSI5* level and then I got her. She’s honestly such a gem. Every rider dreams of having one of those horses in their career. Moving up through the levels now, I have a couple of horses in FEI. It’s really a positive force to have her because she keeps me really confident and consistent. She goes in every time and wants to win. She hates it if I make her go slow and school. She’s so fun, I always get off of her smiling. She’s an absolute joy.”
On where she made up time in the jump-off to win Sunday’s classic:
“I think I was pretty quick in the jump-off. From one to two, there was an inside turn that quite a few people did and did well. Having the advantage of a really seasoned horse, I could really trust her to do one less in the turn there. I kind of landed, picked out what I wanted and she was right there for me. She gave me a great feeling over the jumps. She’s really quick across the ground.”
“It’s really nice to be able to come here and jump on great footing with a great staff and amazing sponsors. Everybody really wants you to be here, which makes it a great atmosphere for spectators, owners, riders and horses. Everybody really likes it here.”
$5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Cosma 20 / Olivia Chowdry / Atlas Equine Holdings LLC / 0 / 0 / 28.540
2. Eckham Van Het Steentje / Emma Bergeron / Elm Rock LLC / 0 / 0 / 33.825
3. As Di Chupito / Kelbee Miller / Kelbee Miller / 0 / 0 / 34.173
4. Bronan / Charlotte McLaughlin / Charlotte McLaughlin / 0 / 0 / 36.170
5. FVF Brulee / Hannah Loeffelbein / Two Point Equestrian LLC / 0 / 4 / 30.179
6. Udo DV / Erin Haas / North Face Farm / 0 / 4 /31.324
7. Van Gogh / Erika Jakobson / Barn Rat LLC / 0 / 4 / 35.700
8. SYL Ciclon / Lillian O’Brien / Dorothy E. O’Brien Farm LLC / 0 / 14 / 52.190
9. Daloma / Charles Stevens / Charles Stevens / 0 / 19 / 53.543
10. Kalvo / Kathryn Brown / Maarten Huygens / 3 / 86.381
11. Casual Pleasure / Brooke Gunther / Brooke Gunther / 4 / 76.534
12. Bull Run’s Ultimate Grace / Jamie Buis / Jamie Buis / 4 / 78.172