Traverse City, Mich. – July 8, 2018 – Week I of the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded on Sunday with the first grand prix competition of the six-week circuit, the $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, going to the veteran duo of Wilhelm Genn and Bugatti in the Grand Prix Ring at the Flintfields Horse Park.
Keith Bollotte designed a challenging first round track, which saw many horse-and-athlete combinations fall victim to the final double combination and tight time-allowed. Out of 24 starters, only three finished clear to advance to the tiebreaking round.
First to return back under the signature GLEF blue archway was 23-year-old Liza Finsness and her own Shiver. They tackled the short course and crossed the finish line with no faults, setting the pace to beat at 41.290 seconds.
Lorcan Gallagher and Phoebe Backman’s Billy Onslow were next in the ring and finished on 4 faults in 40.706 seconds, leaving Finsness at the top of the leaderboard.
Last to go in the jump-off was Genn aboard Bugatti, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Eduardo Leon. The pair galloped around the course, with Bugatti throwing a celebratory buck after the final fence, to produce to only other double-clear effort of the class in a swift 39.552 seconds, shaving two seconds off Finsness’ time to secure the win.
Finsness, who also finished third in Friday’s $30,000 Welcome Stake, settled for second place, while Gallagher rounded out the top three.
Although Genn is no stranger to the winner’s circle at GLEF, Sunday was the pair’s first grand prix victory at the festival since 2015. The seasoned athlete also finished fifth with 2 time faults aboard his own Van Gogh.
Week II of GLEF will kick-off with the first Equitation Tuesday of the circuit on July 10, followed by World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week in the Grand Prix Ring. Additional show jumping highlights for Week II include the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan on Sunday, July 15, and $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake on Friday, July 13.
Wilhelm Genn – $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, winner
On Bugatti’s progress:
“I think it’s just age and maturity, just like with humans. He won grand prix events as an 8-year-old but he really didn’t know what he was doing at that point. It seems like every year is a fantastic year for him but I really feel, from last year to this year, he turned professional in his game. He loves it and he loves to go fast now. Three years ago, every time I wanted to go fast, he said, ‘No, I’m scared, I don’t want to go this fast.’ It’s really fun and he’s at the point where he allows me to make a mistake and can make up for it, and that’s really special for a rider.”
On returning to compete at GLEF:
“The footing is fantastic. There are always great course designers. Everybody’s nice. We love the area of Traverse City, it’s fantastic. We love the cherries. We always take cherries home and make a nice cherry vodka. It’s fantastic. We just have a great time here. We love the footing, the courses and the jumper ring is amazing. We’ll be here maybe the whole time, we’re not sure if we’re going to be here the last week. It just depends on what the horses tell us.”
$50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / Eduardo Leon / 0 / 0 / 39.552
2. Shiver / Liza Finsness / Liza Finsness / 0 / 0 / 41.290
3. Billy Onslow / Lorcan Gallagher / Phoebe Backman / 0 / 4 / 40.706
4. Elana 22 / Pablo Barrios / Pablo Barrios / 1 / 82.706
5. Van Gogh / Wilhelm Genn / Wilhelm Genn / 2 / 83.423
6. Compis / Stephen Foran / Lauren Robishaw / 4 / 76.285
7. For Serrano SR / Anna Beth Athey / Anna Beth Athey / 4 / 76.868
8. Idefix De Laubry / Javier Berganza Anderhub / Keystone Show Stables / 4 / 76.908
9. Halibo Van Texelhof / Hayley Barnhill / Reid Patton / 4 / 77.279
10. Chabello / Bruno Cavalheiro Rebello / Alfonso Gutierrez / 4 / 78.663
The Polk Family Main Hunter Ring highlighted the $5,000 Ingram Family USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday afternoon at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), where Jacob Pope executed both rounds, designed by Nick Granat, flawlessly to claim the top two positions in the standings with his two new mounts Lovely Charity and Cariatide, both owned by Over Fences Farm LLC.
The class saw 34 riders contest over the classic round course, while the top 12 returned to compete in the handy phase of competition.
Pope, who earned additional championship honors earlier in the week in the professional hunter divisions at GLEF, and Lovely Charity, a 14-year-old Oldenburg mare, continuously impressed the judges throughout both rounds, skillfully navigating the two courses, to earn the win on Sunday.
The professional rider/trainer at Team Rakowsky Equestrian based in Wellington, Florida, and Lexington, Kentucky, also brought home the red ribbon with the 11-year-old Selle Français mare, Cariatide, while Maggie Gould piloted Lexx, owned by Paul Macrae, to third place honors.
In addition to his ribbons and prize money, Pope also won the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week award with Lovely Charity.
With weekly national derby competitions, the 2018 GLEF will also feature World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week during Week II (July 10–15) as well as the $7,500 Camping World USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday.
Jacob Pope – $5,000 Ingram Family USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
On Lovely Charity:
“She’s a pretty special mare. She’s won a lot with her owner and previous rider. She just came to us a couple of weeks ago. She’s owned by the Weskamps and she’s definitely one of my all time favorites. She’s lovely to ride — she really is. She’s totally my type and my ride. You don’t touch the reins. She’s sweet, smooth, jumps a 10 every time and is beautiful to watch across the ground. I think it was really just smoothness and having a great horse [that helped us win today].”
On finishing second with Cariatide:
“[Cariatide] is also owned by the Weskamps. Thank you very much to both of them and the whole family really for letting me show them. It was pretty special to bring home a one-two finish, especially during Week I. These are two new horses for us so I was really, really pleased with the results.”
$5,000 Ingram Family USHJA National Hunter Derby:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Lovely Charity / Jacob Pope / Over Fences Farm LLC
2. Cariatide / Jacob Pope / Over Fences Farm LLC
3. Lexx / Maggie Gould / Paul Macrae
4. Stallone VDL / Martha Ingram / North Star
5. Hannes / Tiffany Morrissey / East Wind Farms LLC
6. Blackcomb / Alina Zappone / Alina Zappone
7. Pointe Milou / Maggie Gould / Starbit Partners, LLC
8. Comtico / Gabriel Rodrigues Honorio / Equinvest Partners LLC
9. Everglade VDL / Saylor Shea / Strawberry Hill LLC
10. Greetings / Haley Hammer / Haley Hammer
11. Honor / Ashleen Lee / Ashleen Lee
12. Caritas / Maciek Pestka / Christine MacFarland
Sunday morning at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival highlighted the Render Construction NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic, which saw 19 turn out to compete in the Grand Prix Ring over the Keith Bollotte-designed course. Lindsey Tomeu followed in her younger sister, Kaely’s, footsteps, who won Friday’s $30,000 Welcome Stake, to claim Sunday’s prize with Bonapart, owned by DBHC, Inc.
Following their recent wins at Country Heir in June as well as reserve championship and classic win in the Adult Amateur Jumpers at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in May, the pair bested an eight-horse jump-off, leaving strides out in multiple lines, to take first place honors in 30.715 seconds.
Lindsey, who trains out of Sweet Oak Farm, and Bonapart, a 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding known as “Bono” in the barn, have been partnered together since 2014 and have won the North American League (NAL) Adult Amateur Jumper Final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show a total of three times in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
The championship went to Angela Swanson and Dilona Blue, owned by AE Swanson Farms LLC, who won the division’s opening class on Friday and was second to Lindsey in Sunday’s classic, finishing double-clear in 32.033 seconds. The reserve championship was awarded to Marco Polo Uchoa and Roc N Groovy, owned by Melissa Hirt, who won Saturday’s class and finished second on Friday.
Switching over to the hunter ring, Lindsey concluded Week I of GLEF sweeping the Gene & Georgetti Adult Amateur 18–35 Hunter division with her two mounts Statement and Due West, both owned by Popish Farms, LLC, who were champion and reserve champion, respectively.
Lindsey Tomeu – Render Construction NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic winner
“He’s just so special. Every venue we’ve gone to he’s won at — he always tries. He is really simple. He doesn’t really ever jump at home. When we do jump at home, it’s usually over hunter jumps just to make him go in straight lines because, if anything, he over anticipates turning. I was gone for two weeks and he just flatted around the farm. He’s really easy, he knows his job. He doesn’t need to practice.”
On where she made up the time in Sunday’s jump-off for the win:
“I did seven strides from one to two, which I don’t think anybody else did. It just showed up really nicely. He’s just so fast across the ground and he’s always with you when you’re turning. I also did seven in the last line, which I don’t think anybody in this class did.”
On returning to compete at GLEF:
“I love it here. The weather is beautiful, the venue is great, the footing is amazing this year, which is really great, and there is so much to do in town!”
Render Construction NAL/WIHS Adult Amateur Jumper Classic:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Bonapart / Lindsey Tomeu / DBHC, Inc. / 0 / 0 / 30.715
2. Dilona Blue / Angela Swanson / AE Swanson Farms LLC / 0 / 0 / 32.033
3. KT Forest / Marisa Malevitis / Michael Kirby / 0 / 0 / 33.238
4. Lord Arthur 1916 / Stephanie Ann Cook / Lionsway Farm / 0 / 0 / 33.400
5. Apollo Lux / Lily Nisenbaum / Lily Nisenbaum / 0 / 0 / 34.964
6. Serafina / Michelle Durpetti / Durpetti Equestrian LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.498
7. Roc N Groovy / Marco Polo Uchoa / Melissa Hirt / 0 / 4 / 32.025
8. San Quinta SN / Francesca Damasceno / Francesca Damasceno / 0 / Refuse
9. Davillant H / Angela Swanson / AE Swanson Farms LLC / 1 / 71.115
10. Henry / Kathryn Hartshorn / Kathryn Hartshorn / 1 / 71.834