Copper Fox, LLC Returns as 2021 Sponsor for Great Lakes Equestrian Festival $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Traverse City, Mich. – May 3, 2021 – For the fourth year in a row, Copper Fox, LLC will return to sponsor the highly anticipated $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby hosted during the 2021 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) series, taking place from July 7-August 15. A distinguished equestrian sales business based out of Michigan, Copper Fox, LLC is a perfect fit for the popular Midwest show as its team includes longtime Traverse City Horse Shows (TCHS) exhibitors that are passionate about the hunter discipline. The TCHS management team is thrilled to welcome back this influential sponsor during Week IV of GLEF.

Courtney Lenkart and Glorieus, winners of the 2020 $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox, LLC
Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography

“Copper Fox, LLC has been a long-time supporter of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, and we are excited to welcome them back as the presenting sponsor of the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby,” commented Matt Morrissey, Event Director of Traverse City Horse Shows. “It is important that we continue to offer hunter athletes the opportunity to compete against some of the best in the country, and thanks to continued supporters like Copper Fox, we can continue to do so.”

The Copper Fox, LLC team is composed of Kendall Meijer, Hillary Johnson and Cathy Johnson. Hailing from Grand Rapids, Mich., Meijer is a top amateur rider who has excelled to the top level of amateur riding, competing mainly in the Amateur-Owner and Adult Hunter divisions with various Copper Fox horses. A professional rider and trainer, Hillary trains the younger up-and-coming horses at Copper Fox, LLC through the professional hunter ranks, having earned notable achievements across the country. After previously training both Meijer and Hillary, Cathy continues to work with daughter Hillary to plan the training and show programs and uses her keen ability to spot talent and potential in young horses.

Copper Fox, LLC’s Hillary Johnson and Elliot

The $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox, LLC, has featured some of the most talented hunter competitors in the country. Athletes and horses will take center stage in the Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel International Ring to impress a top-rated panel of judges. Some of these well-known riders have included last year’s winner Courtney Lenkart, as well as Victoria Colvin, Peter Pletcher, Kelli Cruciotti-Vanderveen, Jacob Pope and several other decorated hunter athletes.

“Born and raised in Michigan, I love that I don’t have to travel too far from home to participate in and support GLEF, my favorite horse show of the year,” remarked Kendall Meijer of Copper Fox, LLC. “As a hunter competitor myself, it is natural for us to sponsor the $25,000 International Hunter Derby, which I personally find to be the most exciting hunter event of the entire circuit. Traverse City is like a second home to me now, and I enjoy spending my time there every summer thanks to the horse show and everything the town has to offer. We want to wish good luck to everyone competing this summer and we can’t wait to see you at the ring!”

Hunter athletes can expect 12 weeks of unbelievable competition during this year’s TCHS series, including a brand new hunter incentive program as well as the highly competitive Traverse City Derby Finals in the fall, offering over $275,000 in prize money. Competitors can look forward to Traverse City Hunter Derby classes throughout the year, as well as Traverse City Spring III and GLEF II featuring a World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) designation. Riders will have plenty of opportunities to obtain valuable points this summer to count towards the end-of-the-year finals!

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