Traverse City, Mich. – June 26, 2020 – Hunter competition returned to Flintfields Horse Park for the second week of riding at the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Always a force in both the hunter and jumper rings, David Beisel piloted his own The Boy Friend to a clear-cut championship in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, never falling below second place over the course of five classes. During his fourth year in Traverse City, Jacob Pope continued to add to his list of accomplishments from the showgrounds with a championship tricolor aboard Bon Chance in the USHJA 3’ Hunters.
During the first day of competition, Beisel and his mount, The Boy Friend, earned blue ribbons over fences and under saddle, in addition to a second-place result in the handy class, to jump to the early lead, which they would ultimately retain. Stepping back into the ring Thursday, the combination continued to impress with high marks over fences that pulled in final placings of first and second to secure the championship, having won three of the five classes and placing second in the remainder. The previous week, Beisel’s wife, Paige, navigated The Boy Friend to third place overall in the $1,000 Voltaire Design Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic and a top-12 finish in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.
Michael Murphy and Screenshot, owned by Esperanza Imports LLC, nabbed the reserve championship tricolors just a hair behind the leaders. Similar to Beisel and The Boy Friend, Murphy and Screenshot also earned steady results and were never placed below the second spot by the judges, winning two classes and finishing in second place in the rest.
In the USHJA 3’ Hunters, Pope and Bon Chance, owned by Judgment Farms, LLC, proved their prowess in the ring by topping the scorecard in three of the division’s five classes. The talented partnership started strong Wednesday to secure the early frontrunner’s position thanks to back-to-back victories in two over fences classes and a third-place finish in the under saddle portion of competition. Back in the ring Thursday hoping to clinch the championship, Bon Chance pulled away from the pack with two more point-earning trips, garnering first place and sixth place in the final two over fences classes.
Finishing as the reserve champions, Ehrin Rittmueller and Kimberly Blasko’s Blaze were hot on the heels of the championship pair for most of the division. Rittmueller and Blaze won the blue ribbon in the hack, and turned in consistent performances to earn three second-place honors in over fences classes.
The second week of the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, will continue throughout the weekend, with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby serving as Sunday’s highlight.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
David Beisel – Performance 3’6’’ Hunter champion
On The Boy Friend:
“The Boy Friend is my wife’s horse and he is 12 years old this year. He is super sweet and super fun. I was competing with him to warm him up for my wife to do the Amateur-Owner Hunter division on the weekend and I had a great time.”
On winning champion:
“This is my first time having [The Boy Friend] here with us and it was great. It’s such a big ring and he really seemed to enjoy it. The jumps looked beautiful, he gave it a nice effort and I think he enjoys the Michigan weather! He will do the Amateur-Owner Hunter division with my wife this weekend and when we come back for the final two weeks we will probably compete with him in the same thing – the Performance Hunter division and the Amateur-Owner Hunter division.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“It just keeps getting better and better. I think the Morrissey Management Group is putting on a great product and we enjoy coming back every year. I will leave after this week and then I come back in a month for the final two weeks, and then we will be back for the entire fall series.”
Jacob Pope – USHJA 3’ Hunter champion
On Bon Chance:
“Bon Chance just came to us last week from Washington state. Morgan and Nora Thomas sent him to us for the summer with their client, Claire Mullally. We’re helping them out for a couple of weeks here in Traverse City.”
On winning champion:
“Wednesday we won both classes, then today he was a superstar and we won the first round. Claire [Mullally] hopped on him for the second round and she had a really good ride.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“I’m always surprised every year at the horse show, it keeps getting better. I never thought after the first year I came here that it could get any better but somehow they keep finding ways to improve the footing and the spectator areas and improve the way the show runs. It surprises me every year, but they really find ways to make it even better.”
On being in Traverse City:
“The town is actually being really conscious about COVID-19, and they’re doing a great job. We’ve gone to a couple of places downtown for outdoor seating, they are doing a nice job. Front Street is closed so that there can be outdoor seating, people can be spaced out, and, of course, the town is wonderful so it’s been a pleasure to be here this June.”