Traverse City Horse Shows Releases List of Distinguished 2020 Course Designers

Traverse City, Mich. – Nov. 15, 2019 – The Traverse City Horse Shows, LLC team is thrilled to announce its superstar line-up of course designers for the eight weeks of competition taking place at Flintfields Horse Park in 2020. Beginning with two weeks of the Traverse City Spring Horse Shows (TCSHS) and followed by six weeks of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, eight distinguished designers will be at the helm of the jumper rings across the property, each bringing their own flair to their patterns. With the designers collectively hailing from Argentina, Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, Ireland and Germany, exhibitors in Traverse City will be treated to a variety of beautiful tracks that will appropriately challenge each pair and contribute to the level of sport that has come to be expected in Traverse City.

“We could not have asked for a better roster of course designers for 2020, especially considering the addition of two new horse show weeks. Each designer brings a wealth of experience to the table, and we are excited to see all of their creative courses, which we know will enhance the experiences of competitors in the Grand Prix Ring,” commented horse show organizer, Matt Morrissey. “The Traverse City Horse Shows team has been striving for years to be one of the most sought-after horse shows in the country, and we believe that our incredible list of course designers who were interested in working here is a great testament to our progress.”

Traverse City Spring Horse Shows

Week I – Ivan Tagle (ARG)

A course designer for more than 25 years, FEI Level 3 Course Designer Tagle started his career as a rider and trainer, allowing him a unique knowledge and understanding of course design. He is a frequent designer on the West Coast, and has also built for the South American Games and qualifications for the Pan American Games.

Week II – Catsy Cruz (MEX)

Boasting an FEI Level 3 distinction as a course designer, Cruz is a well-traveled designer, having created tracks for major classes for the Winter Equestrian Festival, Tryon International Equestrian Center, Blenheim Equisports, Caledon Equestrian Park and more.

Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Week I – Manuel Esparza (MEX)

In 2019, Esparza brought his talents to GLEF and he will reprise his role in 2020 to kick-off the series. With an FEI Level 3 Course Designer distinction, he has been the Assistant Course Designer for the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and Rio de Janiero in 2016. He has also designed at national shows such as the Vermont Summer Festival and Caledon Equestrian Park.

Week II – Bernardo Costa Cabral (PRT)

Cabral is an FEI Level 4 Course Designer whose long list of technical designs have been used around the world in countries including the USA, Dubai, Great Britain, Belgium, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Spain, Portugal and more. He has built or assisted at events such as the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games, the European Championships and national championships.

Week III – Anderson Lima (BRA)

An FEI Level 3 Course Designer, Lima has created jumper patterns in North American venues and horse shows such as Winter Equestrian Festival, HITS Ocala, Lamplight Equestrian Center, Temecula Valley National Horse Show and Caledon Equestrian Park, among many others internationally.

Week IV – Guilherme Jorge (BRA)

An FEI Level 4 Course Designer, Jorge has built courses for international events across the globe, including the FEI World Cup™ Finals, the Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic Games. Additionally, he has constructed tracks for shows such as CSI5* Spruce Meadows and CSI5* Balmoral, and in 2020 he will make his return to GLEF after serving as the course designer in years past.

Week V – Alan Wade (IRL)

One of the few designers to have earned the status of an FEI Level 4 Course Designer, Wade is considered one of the best designers in the world by many. His resume includes the World Equestrian Games and the FEI World Cup™ Finals, plus shows such as the Dublin Horse Show, Winter Equestrian Festival, American Gold Cup and Palm Beach Masters Series. He designed at GLEF in 2019 and will return in 2020.

Week VI/NAYC – Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER)

An FEI Level 3 Course Designer, Petersen, Jr. has created patterns for CSI5* events across the globe, including Nations Cup and World Cup classes, in addition to events such as the Asian Games and the North American Junior/Young Rider Championships. Recently he built the track for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington and he has been selected to create the courses for the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals Las Vegas in April 2020.       

The 2020 course designers will create track for classes in the Grand Prix Ring. Photo: Dani Mac Photography

The 2020 course designers will create track for classes in the Grand Prix Ring. Photo: Dani Mac Photography

One of the major components of a successful horse show, course designers smartly create tracks using appropriate fences for each level of competition. The mark of a good course designer, some of the best are able to build a course that challenges and questions the horse and riders, while also raising the level of sport and making the competition more exciting and thrilling for spectators to enjoy. 

Between all of the designers that will be in Traverse City in 2020, decades of experience will be brought to TCSHS and GLEF. The group is comprised of five Level 3 designers, with Cabral, Jorge and Wade each holding the status of Level 4, the highest distinction for an FEI course designer. Patterns used in World Cup Finals, the World Equestrian Games, Nations Cups and more were the creations of the masterminds that will call Traverse City home for a week in 2020. With the final week of GLEF overlapping with the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships, Petersen, Jr. will take on double duty as the designer for both competitions taking place on the show grounds.

One of the staple summer shows in the Midwest, GLEF attracts national and international competitors from multiple continents to participate in its summer circuit. A popular summer destination for both equestrians and non-equestrians alike, Traverse City offers plenty of dining and shopping options while the surrounding area is prime for outdoor activities to take advantage of the perfect mild climate. Due to high demand, lodging in and around Traverse City will fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve your accommodations as soon as possible. 

The Traverse City Horse Shows, LLC team hopes you consider joining them for a fun and competitive eight weeks of competition in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan, at the 2020 Traverse City Spring Horse Show and Great Lakes Equestrian Festival!

For more information, please visit greatlakesequestrianfestival.com.