Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 19, 2019 – Celebrating its fifth year at the scenic Flintfields Horse Park, the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, recently concluded following six weeks of exciting competition in hunter, jumper and equitation rings. Located outside Traverse City, a favorite destination for exhibitors and spectators alike, the show took place from July 3 – Aug. 11, 2019 and featured four weeks of FEI ratings as well as a WCHR week. Boasting additional show arenas with brand new footing, enhanced facilities and a debut incentive for jumper riders, the series has been touted as the best GLEF to date, complete with the elite competition and unrivaled hospitality for which the show has come to be known.
“I can’t say enough good things about it. When it comes to trying to plan our year and decide which shows to go to, one of the most important things is what does the facility do for our horses. We ask ‘is it great footing, is it great stabling, is it a great place to be?’ and GLEF has certainly taken care of all of that,” commented Jim Ifko, the $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3* and $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus winner. “Every single ring is unbelievable to ride in and the horses just love it. They jump so well off of this footing that they just jump better and better as the weeks go on. It’s in a great location, too. Traverse City is such a great place to be and it’s a great place to show.”
While the show received standout reviews for its entirety, perhaps the most well-liked new feature was the newly-built competition and schooling arenas, which served to accommodate more exhibitors, offer ample riding space and facilitate the daily schedule. With so many horses being ridden on the showgrounds each day, top-of-the-line footing was imperative to ensure the safety of the animals as well as limit daily maintenance requirements. Thanks to GGT Footing, 4G Surfaces and JTWG, Inc., each ring was completed with new GGT footing, adding another level of quality to the six-week show.
“I love this show. It gets better every year. For the horses, the footing is probably the best in the country in all the rings. It’s amazing that they have it to that standard. Everybody here takes care of everybody, and the hospitality is super. Owners like it and horses like it. It’s a great place to come,” praised Ireland’s Willie Tynan after his win in the $71,200 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*.
A destination event for equestrians and families, GLEF is known for all of the dining, shopping and outdoor activities just outside of Flintfields Horse Park throughout Traverse City. New in 2019, the horse park was upgraded to offer a series of enjoyable new additions within its limits to allow for even more fun while competing or supporting friends and family. Offering prime viewing of the hunter arenas, the Southern Arches Pavilion, one of the most dramatic changes from previous years, presented a comfortable option for spectators to watch their favorite exhibitors from a shady spot. Overlooking the Grand Prix Arena, the revamped VIP Club, which was beautifully decorated by Antiquities Warehouse, was both relaxing and elegant while a new bar area, sponsored by Mammoth Distilling and dubbed the Mammoth Outpost, was open to all.
“The new improvements are incredible. We are standing next to a new pavilion, bar and lounge area that is right next to both hunter rings. I think it has created a huge atmosphere for both rings, and it has put a little bit of fun into the hunters. Down below, the rings make the whole place look like a real world-class show. It always has been a world-class show, but this really amps it up to a whole new level,” said Jacob Pope, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox LLC, and $7,500 Outdoors USHJA National Hunter Derby victor, presented by Camping World and Gander Outdoors.
After the conclusion of the Week VI $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3*, Canada’s Ifko was awarded the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus after accruing the most points over the course of the circuit in jumper classes set at 1.45m and above. During its inaugural year, the rider bonus added another level of excitement to competition, with the standings changing up until the very last minute. Following Ifko’s win in the final Sunday grand prix, he jumped to the top of the tight leaderboard with $63,577 in season earnings, followed closely by Ali Wolff’s total of $63,471 and Abigail McArdle’s cumulative $63,022 in prize money.
“We have to thank CaptiveOne for their generous support of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. CaptiveOne served as the presenting sponsor of the entire circuit, as well as sponsored the Week VI grand prix and the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus. Thanks in part to CaptiveOne, this year’s event was even more memorable than past festivals, and we hope this is just the beginning of a fruitful relationship for everyone,” reflected show organizer Matt Morrissey of Morrissey Management Group.
Throughout the series, GLEF was thrilled to see record attendance numbers and increased community involvement. Grand prix, derby and exhibition classes drew large crowds, which made for an electric and exciting atmosphere as the attendees were able to witness great sport and exhibitors fed off of the energy to turn in stellar efforts. In addition to equestrian events, GLEF hosted a series of special events and performances, including children’s activities, live music and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Cultural Celebration.
“The crowd is fantastic and they are all really into it cheering during the round and after in the prize-giving. They were all waving and it was really, really awesome. I think that atmosphere makes a lot of difference for horse shows. They do a great job here,” said Abigail McArdle, who win the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* and $133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*.
The team at GLEF takes great pride in organizing one of the most beloved horse shows in the United States for its local and international competitors, spectators and the community. The horse show is honored to be considered the highlight of many equestrians’ summer seasons, and intends to continue to grow and improve each year to further enhance the experience.
GLEF would like to thank the extraordinary sponsors, exhibitors and spectators who have helped make 2019 its best year yet and looks forward to returning to Traverse City, Michigan, in 2020!
To relive all of the action from #GLEF2019, click the links below:
Week I Highlights
Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh Close Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Week I with $50,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix Win – Read more
Courtney Lenkart and Alisto Top $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby During Opening Week of Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Chris Ewanouski and Binja Victorious in $30,000 Welcome Stake to Kick-Off 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Courtney Lenkart and Tiffany Morrissey Top Professional Hunter Divisions During Week I – Read more
Week II (WCHR Week) Highlights
Wilhelm Genn Repeats Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Victory with Van Gogh in $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan – Read more
Jacob Pope and Last Word Champion $7,500 Outdoors USHJA National Hunter Derby at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Wilhelm Genn Adds to Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Success with Dirocco Blue in $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake – Read more
Maria Rasmussen and Victoria Colvin Claim WCHR Week Championships During Week II of Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Ashley Scofield Succeeds in First Equitation Tuesday of Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Week III CSI2* Highlights
Ireland’s Willie Tynan and Fancy Girl Best $71,200 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
– Read more
Grand Tour Carries Melissa Donnelly to Victory in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Read more
Hardin Towell and Carlo Jump to Win $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Caitlyn Shiels and Ailish Cunniffe Top Performance Hunter Divisions at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Tessa Downey and Katherine Cramer Reign Supreme in Second Equitation Tuesday in Traverse City – Read more
Week IV CSI2* Highlights
Mexico’s Santiago Lambre Rides Ibabco to $71,200 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* Victory at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Jacob Pope Finishes One-Two in $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, Presented by Copper Fox LLC – Read more
Ava Stearns Aces Dudley B. Smith Equitation Championship, Presented by Northern Pines Farm – Read more
Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5 Are Victorious in $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Peter Pletcher and Ashley Vogel Ride to Hunter Tricolors at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Taje Warrick and Notorious Add Double Victories During Equitation Tuesday at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Week V CSI3* Highlights
Abigail McArdle and Victorio 5 Add Second Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Win in $133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* – Read more
Megan Ghere and Monday Balous Shine to Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Read more
USA’s Kelli Cruciotti Blazes to Victory with Zidante in $35,700 Grand Traverse Classic CSI3* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Mardi Gras! Earns His Party with Kelsey Epperson as Hunter Champion in Traverse City – Read more
Bluman Brothers For The Win: Ilan and Mark Bluman Capture Victories in Great Lakes Equestrian Festival CSI3* Competition – Read more
Layla Kurbanov and Taylor Griffiths Ride to Double Victories During Equitation Tuesday at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Week VI CSI3* Highlights
Jim Ifko Wins $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3* and $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus to Conclude Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Ali Wolff and Casall Lead $35,700 NetJets Classic CSI3* From Start to Finish at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival – Read more
Mark Bluman and Cartouche Capture $35,700 CWD Welcome Stake CSI3* Win – Read more
Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Fast Facts:
What: The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, is held annually in July and August at the Flintfields Horse Park in Williamsburg, Michigan, located just outside Traverse City. This six-week event hosts nationally and internationally rated hunter/jumper competition, featuring weekly classes and classics for children, junior, adult and amateur-owner riders. Each week, the festival also holds classes for young horses, open jumper classes and professional hunter derbies, culminating every Sunday with an exciting grand prix show jumping competition with some of the world’s top athletes.
CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, supports the elevation of equestrian sport in the United States with the goal of uncompromised excellence. As long-time horse show competitors and equestrian enthusiasts themselves, their vision is to help support GLEF’s initiatives to provide exhibitors and spectators with the most memorable show experience imaginable. Boasting a team of the best and brightest minds in the field of captive insurance, CaptiveOne is a family of companies that offers captive assessment, formation and management services.
When: July 1-Aug. 9, 2020
Where: Flintfields Horse Park
6535 Bates Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690
Ten miles east from the beautiful resort town of Traverse City.
Flight accommodations: Traverse City is as easy to get to as life is once you arrive! Nonstop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Denver International Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Detroit Metro Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport to Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport – TVC are available all summer long! Visit www.tvcairport.com for more information!
Fundraising: Local organizations looking for fundraising opportunities, please contact Audra Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-835-1650.
Morrissey Management Group
PO Box 1375
Bradenton, FL 34206