Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 13, 2017 – After six weeks of exciting, world-class equestrian competition, the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded on Sunday with the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* at the Flintfields Horse Park. Roberto Teran Tafur of Colombia piloted Brilliant Du Rouet to the fastest double-clear performance to win the most coveted prize of the summer at GLEF in 35.70 seconds.
Tafur and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Liubov Kochetova, have been consistently competing at the 3*, 4* and 5* levels as well as in Nations Cups since 2015, earning multiple top placings together, but had yet to claim their first FEI win. That all changed on Sunday as the pair were finally crowned victorious and led the victory gallop around the Grand Prix Ring at GLEF as the Colombian national anthem played.
Not only was Sunday’s featured event the most highly ranked FEI class of the 2017 circuit, but it also counted as an opportunity for athletes and horses to qualify for the upcoming 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Twenty-eight 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. Six were able to produce clear rounds throughout the first round to advance to the jump-off.
Olympian Margie Engle (USA) was the early double-clear pathfinder as second in the order-of-go in the tie-breaking round aboard Gladewinds Partners LLC’s Royce, stopping the timers in 37.26 seconds. Tafur followed Engle and achieved the only other double-clear round of the jump-off, outpacing the pair by two seconds to take over the top spot on the leaderboard and garner the first place prize. For the second time throughout Week Six, Engle, winner of Week Five’s $50,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI2*, and Royce would settle for second place.
Claiming third place honors, also for the second time throughout Week Six, was Scott Keach (AUS) and Southern Cross Equestrian LLC’s Fedor. They were the final horse-and-rider combination to compete over the short course, crossing the finish line with 4 faults in 36.40 seconds.
Taking both the fourth and sixth place positions was fellow Colombian athlete, Ilan Bluman, who was the only exhibitor to qualify two mounts, both owned by Blue Star Investments, for the jump-off. He rode Enzo to fourth place with 8 faults in 41.00 seconds and Eax Run Run LS to sixth place. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Sky Group’s Barnetta finished in fifth place with 8 faults in 43.11 seconds.
Before the start of Sunday’s grand prix, the 2017 GLEF circuit champions participated in the ROMFH Parade of Champions, while the ROMFH Leading Rider Awards were also presented. The Karin Flint Perpetual Trophy was also awarded to head trainer of Hillside Farm, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Heather Irvine. Irvine was recognized for her outstanding horsemanship and achievements throughout the 2017 GLEF circuit and also won the Leading Overall Trainer title in addition to a pair of F.lli Fabbri boots, provided by Luxe EQ and F.lli Fabbri, on Sunday.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival would like to thank the extraordinary sponsors, exhibitors and spectators who have helped make 2017 its best year yet and looks forward to returning to Traverse City, Michigan, once again in 2018!
Roberto Teran Tafur – $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* winner
On his first FEI win with Brilliant Du Rouet:
“I’m super excited. I have been working with this horse for three years. We have been all over the world together. He has given me many, many good placings and fantastic rounds, especially this last month. He was very close to winning a grand prix, and the last two grand prix events in Lake Placid and Saugerties he was super close to winning but he didn’t. Finally today I was able to ride him well enough to close the deal.”
On achieving a clear round in the first round:
“[Brilliant Du Rouet] has jumped many 1.60m courses. He competed in many 5* grand prix competitions in Europe last year so the height wasn’t really a problem. Michel [Vaillancourt] builds fantastic, technical courses. He designs very fair tests that are also very demanding. The key was to have a rideable horse who was scopey enough and a little bit of luck.”
On where he made up the time in the jump-off to beat Margie Engle:
“When I turned to the in-and-out, I knew I was right on her track. Then the last two jumps were really smooth and really fast. My horse is a little bit of a faster mover than [Margie’s horse, Royce], who spends a lot of time in the air. She’s a super fast rider but when she didn’t do five from one to two, I knew I had a shot for first place.”
On winning the biggest class of the 2017 GLEF circuit:
“I’m super excited. This is a fantastic show and it’s going to be bigger and bigger every year. We’re going to come back year after year. The footing is fantastic, the city is amazing and the management is wonderful. To be part of this is very exciting. We’ll be here next year for sure.”
$100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Brilliant Du Rouet / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / Liubov Kochetova / 0 / 0 / 35.70
2. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.26
3. Fedor / Scott Keach / AUS / Southern Cross Equestrian LLC / 0 / 4 / 36.40
4. Enzo / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 8 / 41.00
5. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 0 / 8 / 43.11
6. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 34 / 65.64
7. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tilli / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 4 / 72.34
8. Romance Du Criolo / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 4 / 72.45
9. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital LLC / 4 / 75.02
10. Redmond / Alberto Michan / MEX / Brianne Goutal LLC / 4 / 75.05
11. Bull Run’s Testify / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Inc. / 4 / 75.12
12. Chance STE Hermelle / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 4 / 75.72
Just as they had done during the opening week of the 2017 GLEF, 22-year-old professional rider, Jacob Pope, and J’Adore rode to their second hunter derby victory during the final week of the circuit on Sunday in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Pope and the 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, owned by Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC, received the high score of the classic round, earning an 88 from the judging panel, to return in first place as the top 12 competitors came back for the handy phase.
Demonstrating smooth inside turns, effortless adjustability and confidence over the high option fences around the Nick Granat-designed course, Pope and J’Adore scored an impressive 84 in the handy round to hold on to their lead and secure the win with a final tally of 172.
Finishing not far behind Pope was Roger Turner and Aviator, owned by Denise Short, with a final score of 167 for second place honors, while Kathryn Haefner and Endeavour, owned by Kathryn Haefner LLC, rounded out the top three with a final score of 161.
In addition to ribbons and prize money won, Pope’s mount, J’Adore, was also awarded the Week Six Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week.
The 2017 GLEF held national hunter derby competitions each week throughout the six-week event and also featured World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week during Week Two and a $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during Week Four, which was won by Courtney Calcagnini and Bowie for the second year in a row.
Jacob Pope – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
On his second hunter derby win during the final week of GLEF:
“This is great. We won the first one during Week One and now the last one. She did a few others [throughout the circuit] too and she was great in all of them. I’m super happy with her. She came out on top and now she’s finishing on top.”
On what set him and J’Adore apart from the rest of the competition:
“There were a couple of bending lines that matched on both sides with nine strides. I think I was really bold down both of those lines. I really galloped up and showed her off and really tried to have a nice derby pace. I think the rest of the jumps were really smooth, but I think taking a shot in both of those lines and doing nine, where some people did 10, set me apart.”
“This season was my first time here, and first time in Michigan even. It’s beautiful country. I love Traverse City and the horse show is also great. I see big things to come for it so I’m definitely looking forward to competing here next year. I hear talk about making the [WCHR] hunter week next year even more special so that’ll be exciting. Hopefully J’Adore is still around with us. I think it’ll be great!”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total Score
1. J’Adore / Jacob Pope / Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC / 88 / 84 / 172.00%
2. Aviator / Roger Turner / Denise Short / 86 / 81 / 167.00%
3. Endeavour / Kathryn Haefner / Kathryn Haefner LLC / 80 / 81 / 161.00%
4. Czech Mate / Arly Golombek / Pumpkin’s Patch Farms LLC / 78 / 82 / 160.00%
5. Act Of Valor / Olivia Parr / Pinecone Farm LLC / 72 / 86 / 158.00%
6. Arius / Kristen Berian / Coral C Stables LLC / 79 / 74 / 153.00%
7. Black Label B / Owen Gajoch / Owen Gajoch / 74 / 78 / 152.00%
8. Kennedy / Nikko Ritter / Kathryn Haefner LLC / 87 / 49 / 136.00%
9. Marshall / Nikko Ritter / Kathryn Haefner LLC / 84 / 49 / 133.00%
10. Nobel Laureate / Erika Jakobson / Barn Rat LLC / 85 / 46 / 131.00%
11. Concerto / Owen Gajoch / Owen Gajoch / 60 / 68 / 128.00%
12. Charmed Life / Lillie Parr / Pinecone Farm LLC / 66 / 0 / 66.00%
Prior to Sunday’s main event, the Grand Prix Ring hosted the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
Trained by world number one ranked show jumping athlete Kent Farrington, 16-year-old Charlise Casas, a junior rider from Chicago, Illinois, bested the competitive field of horses and riders with Carona 7, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare owned by Always Faithful Equine LLC.
The pair topped a seven-horse jump-off and was one of three combinations to finish double-clear in 31.871 seconds to claim the blue ribbon.
Sunday’s win, in addition to their other top placings throughout Week Six, helped Casas and Carona 7 capture the division championship, while the reserve championship went to Erika Jakobson and Up To Date Dodville, owned by Barn Rat LLC.
Charlise Casas – $7,500 SJHOF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
On Carona 7:
“I’ve had Carona 7 for about a year and a half. She was the first horse who helped me move up to the High [Junior Jumper division], and she’s an amazing horse. She’s always there and helps me out.”
On how she secured the win on Sunday:
“I think my turns were very efficient to the third fence in the jump-off and the vertical after the combination. Her step is very big and covers a lot of ground. I don’t have to worry.”
On training with Kent Farrington:
“While Kent is in Europe, I’ve been trying to stay in the U.S. so I can work on my junior status. Alex Warriner has been helping me out and I meet up with Kent when he’s in the States.”
On competing at GLEF:
“We came to Michigan because of the lake. My parents love the lake. It’s a beautiful area. The showgrounds here are awesome. I really like the setup of the show.”