Traverse City, Mich. – July 6, 2018 – The first week of the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) is underway and the $30,000 Welcome Stake highlighted Friday’s competition. Exhibitors prepared their horses for the first grand prix of the six-week circuit, the $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, to be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Grand Prix Ring at the Flintfields Horse Park. Kaely Tomeu of Wellington, Florida, kicked off the fourth installment of this highly anticipated show series with the first big win of the week aboard Siboney Ranch’s Gentille.
The 22-year-old amateur rider, who trains with the Sweet Oak Farm team, bested a field of 29 in the two-round competition designed by Keith Bollotte. Only nine produced clear rounds to advance to the jump-off, where Tomeu was second to last to return. She and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare posted a double-clear effort in 41.371 seconds to take the win near the end of the class, surpassing Tori Colvin’s time of 42.709 seconds with Zambia Mystic Rose, owned by RM Agronegocias and Victoria Colvin LLC.
Colvin took home second place honors with a double-clear performance, while Liza Finsness and her own Shiver finished with no faults to their name and rounded out the top three in 43.026 seconds.
Friday’s victory at GLEF adds another win to the pair’s fantastic summer competition season thus far, after claiming the first grand prix title of Tomeu’s career just a few weeks ago in Lexington, Kentucky, in the $25,000 Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Grand Prix during Week II of Country Heir.
Kaely Tomeu – $30,000 Welcome Stake winner
“Honestly, she’s the most incredible animal I’ve ever had. This is my third year with her and she has never let me down. She does things that I don’t think any other horse would do for me. She is from Belgium. Ronan Clarke found her and Shane [Sweetnam] imported her and I’ve had her ever since then.”
On moving up to the grand prix level with Gentille:
“[We’re getting] more practice jumping bigger tracks and getting in to the classes under the lights. We did a CSI2* and CSI3* night class and ribboned in both of them so I think that has definitely helped my confidence with jumping regular grand prix classes more often.”
On where she made up the time in Friday’s jump-off for the win:
“I ran flat out to the swedish oxer, then my distance came up a little tighter from going so fast and I just prayed a Hail Mary to the last — I don’t know how she cleared it. She really impressed me today.”
On returning to compete at GLEF:
“It’s beautiful — beautiful scenery. The weather is so amazing. I think the horses are relaxed in these wide open spaces. The ring is great and the footing is great. It’s an all around fun show to come to.”
$30,000 Welcome Stake:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / Siboney Ranch / 0 / 0 / 41.371
2. Zambia Mystic Rose / Victoria Colvin / RM Agronegocias and Victoria Colvin LLC / 0 / 0 / 42.709
3. Shiver / Liza Finsness / Liza Finsness / 0 / 0 / 43.026
4. For Serrano SR / Anna Beth Athey / Anna Beth Athey / 0 / 0 / 44.232
5. Van Gogh / Wilhelm Genn / Wilhelm Genn / 0 / 0 / 44.880
6. Chaplin La Garette Z / Lorcan Gallagher / Sweet Oak Farm / 0 / 4 / 44.707
7. Binja / Chris Ewanouski / Castle Point Farm LLC / 0 / 8 / 42.569
8. Elizabeth / Kaely Tomeu / Siboney Ranch / 0 / 12 / 55.165
9. Stan / Juan Manuel Luzardo / Maurcio Guerra / 0 / Offcrs
10. Compis / Stephen Foran / Lauren Robishaw / 4 / 78.194
The professional hunter divisions kicked off the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring on Wednesday, where Jacob Pope, rider/trainer at Team Rakowsky Equestrian, and Sidarta, a 7-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Over Fences Farm LLC, got off to a great start winning the over fences and handy rounds of the Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunter division on Wednesday.
The pair returned on Thursday to continue their over fences sweep, winning two more blue ribbons in the final two over fences classes and placing third in the under saddle class to garner them the championship tricolor. Winner of the model and under saddle class was Martien Van Der Hoeven and Katie Lambert-Boone’s Downton, who claimed the division’s reserve championship.
Similarly, Tori Colvin, who returns to GLEF after making her competition debut at the festival in 2017, started strong in the Sugar Run Farm High Performance/Green 3’9″ Hunter division on Wednesday aboard John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s I Love Lucy.
The pair won the over fences, handy round and under saddle class on Wednesday, and came back to claim two red ribbons in Thursday’s over fences classes. The junior superstar turned professional and the 13-year-old Warmblood mare finished second to Tim Goguen and Belhaven Stables LLC’s Just A Cobbler on Thursday, but still walked away with the GLEF Week I championship, while Goguen took home reserve honors.
Hunter competition during GLEF Week I will highlight the $5,000 Ingram Family USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday, where the winner will receive the first Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week award of the circuit.
Jacob Pope – Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunter division champion
“[Sidarta] is a new horse. He just came to us a couple of weeks ago. He does the Green Conformation and the 3’6″ juniors with his owner. He’s super sweet. He can go on a loop-y rein, which is really nice. He doesn’t pull you around. He’s got an amazing canter, smooth jump and overall I think he’s going to be a real superstar.”
On Sidarta’s performances during Week I of GLEF:
“This is my first show with him and he just clocked right around like an old pro. He’s a great jumper and he is a beautiful horse, so he goes great in the conformation. He has really great owners so I’m really thankful to get to ride him.”
On returning to compete at GLEF:
“It’s been beautiful here [at GLEF]. They’ve revamped the footing and it’s really spectacular. I’m looking forward to the next six weeks!”
Tori Colvin – Sugar Run Farm High Performance Hunter division champion
On I Love Lucy:
“I used to do [I Love Lucy] in the under 25 jumpers. She’s just recently become a hunter and everybody’s like, ‘Wow, who’s that horse?’ They don’t even recognize her from when I did her in the jumpers.”
On I Love Lucy’s performances during Week I of GLEF:
“The courses were great and she handled them really well. She did the jumpers here last year so this was a different ring at the venue for her but she handled it great. I thought her last round was the best. We can’t get ear plugs in her so she’s a little sensitive with the noise, but she keeps staying quiet and level, which is the best thing.”
On her plan with I Love Lucy at GLEF and beyond:
“She might do the amateurs. She’ll do the derby and then Derby Finals is the end goal.”