Traverse City, Mich. – July 19, 2020 – Sunday of Week Three of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, was the halfway point of the six-week series, and show jumpers marked the occasion with a series of top-tier performances in the $72,900 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*. Hailing from nine nations, including Argentina, Chile, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Hungary, Israel, Turkey and the United States, 52 entries battled for the top honors throughout the afternoon. Bearing the flag for Great Britain, Amanda Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Luibanta BH turned in the best jump-off performance of the day as the final challengers during the tie-breaker round to emerge victorious and earn valuable points towards the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus.
Aiming to improve their chances at victory and larger prize money earnings, a number of riders had entered two mounts in the class, giving them an edge over course designer Anderson Lima’s (BRA) 16-effort track strategically positioned across the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. One of those athletes was Capt. Brian Cournane (IRL), who turned in the first penalty-free ride of the class as the ninth in the start list aboard his first horse, Penelope Cruz. Soon thereafter, Jacqueline Steffens (CAN) rode to a clear trip with Freaky Liefhebber to force a jump-off, and she was joined in the clear ranks by Rich Fellers (USA), Gavin Harley (IRL), Adam Prudent (USA) and Alison Robitaille (USA) by the halfway point of the round. The second portion of the round saw eight more partnerships add their names to the list as Jacob Pope (USA), Isabella Russekoff (USA), Nicholas Dello Joio (USA), another for Harley, Samantha Kasowitz (USA), Teddy Vlock (ISR), Hunter Holloway (USA) and Derbyshire each left all the rails in the cups within the time-allowed.
With the jump-off field at 14 returners, eligible teams would have to be as efficient and precise as possible over the shortened pattern for a chance to capture victory. Once again serving as the trailblazers, Capt. Cournane and Penelope Cruz set the precedent with a clear ride in 40.69 seconds as the first back in the ring. With only five duos remaining, Capt. Cournane and Penelope Cruz still held the lead, with only one double-clear combination coming within a second of their time. Fellers and Lux Lady did prove that the time could be beaten as they stopped the clock in 40.61 seconds, just milliseconds faster, but downed two rails to incur 8 faults and push them down the list.
The last partnership to challenge the leaders’ time, Derbyshire and Luibanta BH proved to save the best for last as they swiftly sliced across the course, keeping all the fences intact and shaving time off the clock to break the beam in 38.80 seconds and claim the grand prix victory. Capt. Cournane and Penelope Cruz, owned by M/M Robert Stiller, finished in the overall runner-up spot, and Prudent rounded out the top three spots aboard Plain Bay Sales’ Baloutinue in 41.190 seconds as the third-fastest of only four double-clear duos.
Headed into Sunday’s grand prix, Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) held the lead by a slim margin in the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus, and he retained that status by the conclusion of the day. Corrigan has led the rankings since he won both two Welcome Stake classes during the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Following 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City, the rider who earns the most points in classes offering $25,000 or more in prize money will be awarded the grand prize after the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI4* on September 13.
Sunday was a good day for Hallie Grimes and Ace, owned by Can We Keep It? LLC, who topped the leaderboard in the $10,000 Kasowitz Benson Torres SJHF High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and claimed the division championship. Grimes and Ace were the speediest of only three jump-off contenders from the 24 pairs in the Classic, edging out the second-place finishers, Erin Haas and North Face Farm’s Elektrisk, by fractions of a second. Earlier in the week, the championship duo earned second place in the first class of the division just behind Sydney Berube and her own Uhlane Sainte Odile, who ended up achieving the overall reserve title for the division.
The day prior, the Team Welles Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers wrapped on a high note for Alliy Moyer and Moyer Farm LLC’s Galway Bay Pandora, who emerged victorious in the $7,500 Team Welles Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and captured the division championship. Moyer and her mare started strong Thursday with a sixth-place finish in the $1,000 class, then returned to the ring Saturday with even more momentum. The partnership upped the ante to best the field of 26 other horse-and-rider pairs in the Classic as the fastest of only two double-clear duos, tripping the timer in 31.985 seconds, more than two full seconds faster than the next-closest pair. Earning third in the $7,500 Classic and second place in Friday’s speed class, Hannan Hoch and Itasca Group LLC’s Shariva claimed the reserve championship in the division.
In the Sugar Run Farm Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, owner-rider Sarah Martin piloted Flexible Flyer to the championship tricolors thanks to two top-three performances. The combination started strong Friday with a blue-ribbon effort in the first class of the division as the quickest of 23 entries. Martin and Flexible Flyer added to their list of accolades with a podium finish in Sunday’s $5,000 Sugar Run Farm NAL Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, jumping to third place in the class to keep them at the top of the overall scorecard. Berube and her own Espri nabbed the reserve honors, the second for the rider over the weekend, after a first-place result in the speed class and a fifth-place finish, as well.
Show jumping will return to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, beginning Wednesday, July 22, as Week Four of the series gets underway.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) – $72,900 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* winner
On her win:
“[Capt. Brian Cournane] was fast, and I was the last to go so I had the best advantage. I gave it my all and [Luibanta BH] tried her best, as she always does.”
On the jump-off:
“I know Brian did 10 strides across the middle, and I did nine strides. I planned it so I knew that was where I could be a little faster, and I felt like I was pretty fast back to the double combination, as well. [Luibanta BH] is such a fast horse and she’s quick across the ground so it’s always an advantage in a big jump-off like that.”
On the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival:
“Everyone has had a great time, and the town is beautiful. The horse show has done an amazing job. It’s probably the closest to a European venue that you can get and I know our whole farm has had a really nice time. Mimi [Gochman] was third in the grand prix and Sophie [Gochman] had ribbons in both grand prix classes, so we go home very happy!”
$72,900 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / Gochman Sport Horse / 0 | 77.94 / 0 | 38.80
2. Penelope Cruz / Captain Brian Cournane / IRL / M/M Robert Stiller / 0 | 77.68 / 0 | 40.69
3. Baloutinue / Adam Prudent / USA / Plain Bay Farm / 0 | 75.00 / 0 | 41.19
4. Balou’s Fly High / Isabella Russekoff / USA / Suave Pony LLC / 0 | 75.88 / 0 | 45.29
5. Easern Jam / Hunter Holloway / USA / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 | 80.94 / 4 | 38.47
6. Very Chic Du Tillard / Gavin Harley / IRL / E2 Show Jumpers / 0 | 79.88 / 4 | 41.29
7. Columbcille De Reve / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / Wembley Farm Inc. / 0 | 78.61 / 4 | 42.11
8. Freaky Liefhebber / Jacqueline Steffens / CAN / Jacqueline Steffens / 0 | 81.75 / 4 | 42.20
9. Lux Lady / Richard Fellers / USA / Richard Fellers / 0 | 79.75 / 8 | 40.61
10. Ginger Pop / Alison Robitaille / USA / Mr & Mrs Bertram Firestone / 0 | 80.38 / 8 | 42.95
11. Fiero / Jacob Pope / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 | 80.60 / 8 | 45.27
12. Charlie / Samantha Kasowitz / USA / Fair Play Farm / 0 | 80.18 / 8 | 45.85