Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 10, 2018 – On Friday afternoon, Molly Ashe Cawley of the United States claimed the $35,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3* aboard D’Arnita at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). After previously holding the lead with her second mount qualified for the jump-off, Cat Ballou, Cawley returned on D’Arnita to best her first time by one second to earn both first and second place honors.
The first round course, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt, saw nine out of 46 finish faultlessly to advance to the jump-off. With eight electing to return for the tie-breaking round, only four completed the class double-clear.
The early clear pathfinder was Peter Leone (USA) riding his first of two mounts in the jump-off, Capito Z, owned by Capito Group LLC. They set the pace to beat at 44.30 seconds.
However, his lead was short-lived as Peter Lutz (USA) followed Leone with another clear round on Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses‘ Camillo VDL, stopping the clock two seconds faster in 42.33 seconds to take over the lead.
The top spot on the leaderboard continued to change hands as Cawley produced the next clear round with Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou, an 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding, in 41.29 seconds.
Cawley held her lead until she returned again with D’Arnita, also owned by Louisburg Farm. As second to last in the jump-off order-of-go, and already in the first place position, she embraced the 10-year-old KWPN mare’s competitive spirit and naturally quick pace to finish with another blazing fast round in 40.63 seconds, garnering them the win and pushing her round with Cat Ballou into second place. Lutz rounded out the top three, while Leone took home fourth place.
Cawley and D’Arnita achieved another top result at GLEF during Week V in the $35,000 East Wind Farms Welcome Stake CSI3*, where they finished in the same time as Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and Ibabco to tie for third place.
The 2018 GLEF will conclude on Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Flintfields Horse Park at 2 p.m. with the highly anticipated $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*. Prior to Sunday’s main event in the Grand Prix Ring, the Karin Flint Perpetual Trophy will be presented to the rider/trainer who has demonstrated outstanding horsemanship and achievement throughout GLEF. To purchase tickets for Sunday, click here.
Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) – $35,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3* winner
“We got her when she was 7. [Elizabeth] Johnson and Louisburg Farm bought her and she’s just been an amazing partner and competitor in the sport so far. I’m really excited about her future. I can’t say enough good things about her. D’Arnita’s just quick. She’s handy, she’s savvy and she always looks for the jumps so you can really whip back on a vertical or oxer without too much concern because she’s always eyeing it right up.”
On her jump-off strategies with D’Arnita and Cat Ballou:
“D’Arnita is naturally a faster horse than Cat Ballou, who’s a big horse. He’s great in wide, open spaces. There were quite a few really tight turns in this jump-off, both to the right, which hasn’t, in the past, been [Cat Ballou’s] strong suit so I was really impressed with how he actually handled the turns. Everything just came right up out of stride. He’s got such a big step and was able to do one less to the last than most others did. With D’Arnita, I was trying to be clever and outrun [Cat Ballou]. I almost shot myself in the foot at fence four in the jump-off because I turned back and I was like, ‘Oh boy, there is no distance.’ She fixed it for me. She wanted to win today.”
On what’s next for D’Arnita and Cat Ballou:
“D’Arnita goes to the Hampton Classic next and Cat Ballou will go to the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament just for the grand prix. He’s going to show Sunday here.”
“This is a great show. I haven’t been here in the last four years but I came before then a couple of times. We really enjoy this show and the area. It’s nice with the new management. It’s been beautiful. We’ve had a great two weeks. It’s been great to have [my son] Connor with me both weeks. [My daughter] Taylor was here the first week but she had to go to Pony Finals so I’ve only got one [this week], but he’s my partner in crime.”
$35,000 Great Lakes Classic CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. D’Arnita / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / Louisburg Farm / 0 / 0 / 40.63
2. Cat Ballou / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / Louisburg Farm / 0 / 0 / 41.29
3. Camillo VDL / Peter Lutz / USA / Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses / 0 / 0 / 42.33
4. Capito Z / Peter Leone / USA / Capito Group LLC / 0 / 0 / 44.30
5. Exotik Sitte / Ali Wolff / USA / Double H Farm / 0 / 4 / 41.68
6. Bull Run’s Almighty / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC / 0 / 4 / 42.23
7. LS Donner / Peter Leone / USA / Lionshare Farm / 0 / 4 / 44.29
8. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 0 / 38 / 81.18
9. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 / WD
10. Fee Des Sequoias Z / Juan Gallego / COL / Juan Gallego / 1 / 76.74
11. Enjoy / Manuel Alvarez Ruizgalindo / MEX / Manuel Alvarez Ruizgalindo / 1 / 76.83
12. Messenger / Quentin Judge / USA / Double H Farm / 1 / 77.36
The first set of Week VI hunter championships were awarded on Thursday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), where Maggie Gould and Karoleena rode to the top tricolor in the GLEF Low 2’6″ Hunter division in Hunter Ring II.
Assistant trainer at East Wind Farms based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Gould and Karoleena, owned by Christy Powell, kicked off the division on Wednesday with a fourth place finish over fences. The pair returned on Thursday feeling more confident and relaxed, which certainly showed as they swept the remaining classes in the division, winning two blue ribbons over fences as well as claiming the under saddle to secure the championship.
The 11-year-old mare, who primarily competes with owner Powell in the Low Adult Hunter and Adult Amateur Hunter divisions, has been on a break from competition since August 2017. With almost a year off, Gould, who first began riding Karoleena in spring 2015 in the pre-green divisions, has been working on gradually getting her back in the show ring this summer. So far, Karoleena has picked right back up where she left off with consistent top finishes at Country Heir and throughout the GLEF circuit.
Reserve championship honors in the GLEF Low 2’6″ Hunter division went to Kelsey Wickham, assistant trainer at Hillside Farm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and Monterey, owned by Ilana Mark-Fisher, who won both over fences classes on Wednesday and finished third in the under saddle on Thursday.
Hunter competition at the 2018 GLEF will conclude on Sunday, where the final division championships will be awarded.
Maggie Gould – GLEF Low 2’6″ Hunter division champion
“[Karoleena] came over from Europe. I started her out of quarantine and we took our time [with her]. [We competed for] two years in the pre-greens and then Christy Powell, who owns her, has done her in the Low Adults and was circuit champion at [the Winter Equestrian Festival] last year. She’s probably one of my favorite horses. She’s quite a character in the barn. She loves her treats, she loves her carrots and I love her very much.”
On Karoleena’s performances throughout Week VI at GLEF:
“I was really happy to see her settling in a little bit. She had the winter off and this week, on the second day, she really felt like her old self. She was really good. Anything that I asked, she did. She was just a joy to ride in the ring.”
“I love Traverse [City]. The footing now is spectacular; it couldn’t be any better. It didn’t matter rain or shine, you never missed a day. I love the area. The restaurants are so lovely, the food is fantastic and the weather is great. It’s so pretty and it’s probably my favorite horse show to come to.”