Traverse City, Mich. – July 22, 2018 – Sunday at the Flintfields Horse Park was action-packed, offering an array of activities for families and spectators to enjoy, with the afternoon leading up to the main event of Week III at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF): the $50,000 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*.
Week I’s $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, winners, Wilhelm Genn (GER) and Bugatti, returned to claim the first FEI grand prix of the 2018 season, besting an original starting field of 36 international horses and athletes and outpacing a nine-horse jump-off.
The course, designed by Portugal’s Bernardo Costa Cabral, challenged horses and athletes over 13 obstacles in the first round. Those who successfully completed the course with no faults returned for the tie-breaking round over a shortened course.
Speed was definitely the key to winning on Sunday as six of the nine horse-and-athlete combinations produced a second clear round in the jump-off. The early double-clear pathfinders were Martien Van Der Hoeven (USA) and Augusta Pines Farm’s Zerro Leone as first to return in 48.04 seconds, however their lead was short-lived and soon overtaken by Peter Wylde (USA), who was third in the order, aboard Kathleen Kamine’s Canamera 2 in 45.81 seconds.
The top spot on the leaderboard continued to change hands with Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Farm, entering the Grand Prix Ring next and stopping the timers in 42.96 seconds.
Cruciotti was able to hold on to her lead throughout the remainder of the class until the final combination, Genn and Eduardo Leon’s Bugatti, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding, took their turn over the short course. Leaving the best for last, the veteran duo blazed around the Grand Prix Ring, galloping flat out to the final oxer, and crossed the finish line just two-tenths of a second faster than Cruciotti to take the win in 42.74 seconds.
As a result, Cruciotti settled for second place honors, while Wylde rounded out the top three.
GLEF will return with another Equitation Tuesday on July 24. Week IV (July 25–29) will also feature more international show jumping competition with a FEI CSI2* rating, and will highlight the $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* on Friday and the $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Wilhelm Genn – $50,000 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* winner
On Bugatti’s win on Sunday:
“He really can reach deep down, even if he doesn’t feel at his best. That’s what it takes to be a champion and that’s what it takes to be a winner. It’s the same with humans, there’s no difference. We have plenty of days when we get up and we’re sore, we’re in pain and we don’t feel like it, but the winner just tries extra hard and that’s what Bugatti is doing now. I cannot tell you how proud I am of that horse and what he’s done so far this year.”
On his jump-off round and plan for Bugatti:
“I was very tight to the combination. That’s his good direction so I knew I could go tight there. I didn’t see Kelli [Cruciotti] go. I know I went a little bit wider to the white oxer. He knows how to go fast now so I was counting on his experience. I feel like when I turn and step on the gas pedal, he’s going to wake up and reach down and get his adrenaline going. He’s going to have next week off and then he’ll compete in two weeks [at GLEF] in the CSI3*.”
$50,000 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / GER / Eduardo Leon / 0 / 0 / 42.74
2. Chamonix H / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / Serenity Farm / 0 / 0 / 42.96
3. Canamera 2 / Peter Wylde / USA / Kathleen Kamine / 0 / 0 / 45.81
4. Ziezo / Scott Lenkart / USA / Fleur De Lis Farms / 0 / 0 / 47.07
5. Zerro Leone / Martien Van Der Hoeven / USA / Augusta Pines Farm / 0 / 0 / 48.04
6. Quality On Top / Erin Haas / USA / North Face Farm / 0 / 0 / 48.68
7. Classic Roc / Nick Novak / USA / Nick Novak / 0 / 4 / 47.00
8. Imerald Van’t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / IRL / Tequestrian Farms LLC / 0 / 8 / 47.92
9. Boucanier / Theo Genn / USA / Taylor Reid / 0 / 16 / 47.01
10. Baloucento 2 / Ailish Cunniffe / USA / Whipstick Farm / 4 / 68.46
11. Elmo 19 / Simon Salame Farca / MEX / Simon Salame Farca / 4 / 70.92
12. Shet Du Thot / Katie Tyler / USA / Katie Tyler / 4 / 71.08
The Polk Family Main Hunter Ring highlighted the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday, which saw 28 combinations compete in the classic round over the Keith Bollotte-designed course.
The top 12 returned to try to impress the panel of judges once more in the handy round, but it was Caitlyn Shiels, owner and head trainer of True North Stables based in Illinois and Florida, and Cassius, owned by Durpetti Equestrian LLC, who topped the field.
The pair was sitting in fourth place after the first round with a score of 87, and showcased adjustability and skillful tight turns, in addition to taking advantage of the high options offered, to earn a 93 in the handy round for a total score of 180 to secure the win. The 9-year-old Warmblood gelding also received the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week award following his win.
Behind Shiels by three points was Will Baker and Portofino Ramiro, owned by Hannah Jablons. They finished on a total score of 177, with scores of 85 and 92 between both rounds, for second place honors. Finishing in third place was Martha Ingram and North Star’s Stallone VDL with a combined score of 176.
In addition to weekly national derby competitions every Sunday, the 2018 GLEF will also feature the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox LLC, during Week IV on Saturday, July 28, at 4 p.m.
Caitlyn Shiels – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
“He is very special to me because I basically started him when he was 7. He didn’t really have much experience and he’s been a nice little project for us. He just rises to the occasion when he knows he needs to. He’s like our big honey ham. He’s brave, he’s got a huge heart, he’s my pal and we really have an awesome partnership. I’m really looking forward to derby finals this year. It’ll be a good time.”
On Cassius’ performances on Sunday:
“He was a little bit up in the first round. This week was his off week. Next week is preparation for the international derby. We’re qualified for the [Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship] so next week is really my focus. This week, I just wanted to do a nice, easy, soft class with him and practice some real handy turns, and it worked out in our favor today. He was excellent.”
On competing at GLEF:
“For True North Stables, [this show has] been great. This is my first time up here with True North Stables. We’ve had a great circuit so far. We’ve got one more week. All of the horses and clients have been fantastic. I’m really looking forward to one more week here, then home for a little R&R, then we’ll be gearing back up for Kentucky.”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Total Score
1. Cassius / Caitlyn Shiels / Durpetti Equestrian LLC / 180
2. Portofino Ramiro / Will Baker / Hannah Jablons / 177
3. Stallone VDL / Martha Ingram / North Star / 176
4. Quasa Granda / Angela Calicchio / Cali Horse Sales LLC / 172
5. It’s Top Del Maset / Siena Vasan / Palm Ponies LLC / 170
6. Cakewalk / Caitlyn Shiels / Elise Ledsinger / 168
7. Nobel Laureate / Erika Jakobson / Barn Rat LLC / 167
8. Enchanted / Lauren Ditallo / Marcia Richardson / 164
9. Le Charmeur / Kelsey Wickham / Suzanne Lewand / 159
10. Calvin Klein / Marcus Cmola-Au / Palm Ponies LLC / 156
11. Lexx / Hailey Berger / Paul MacRae / 148.5
12. Beckham / Lillie Parr / Pinecone Farm LLC / 138
On Saturday, Paige Matthies, 17 years old, claimed the Albion College 15–17 Equitation championship with Dudley B. Smith’s Conto Blue in the Jumper Annex Ring.
Matthies from Lake Leelanau, Michigan, won the flat class and finished second and third over fences aboard the 8-year-old Oldenburg gelding to earn the tricolor with the help of trainer Melissa Hirt of Northern Pines Farm.
After high school, the junior rider will head to Auburn University in 2019, where she will compete on the school’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) riding team.
The reserve championship went to Annalise Reed, trained by Dorothy Campbell of Just A Folly Farm based in Oxford, Michigan, and her own Commendable, placing first and second over fences.
Paige Matthies – Albion College 15–17 Equitation winner
On Conto Blue:
“‘Blue’ I’ve had for a year and a half. He started the equitation with me but before I got him he did the 1.30m and 1.35m jumpers over in Europe. He was previously owned by Schuyler Riley.”
On her performances on Saturday:
“I was very happy with how my horse performed. I have to thank the horse show because even though it was raining, the footing managed to stay complete and together. My horse never slipped even though it was very, very rainy yesterday. I’m very happy with that.”
On her competition schedule:
“I’m here next week and I will go to the [FEI Jumping North American Youth Championship] to compete on the junior team with Dirkie Z during Week V then I’ll come back here for Week VI then it’s on to finals for the rest of the year.”
“This is my home show so I get to stay at my own house. Besides that, the weather is always amazing. The show does an amazing job with the footing and courses. It’s one of my favorite shows for sure.”