Jim Ifko Scores Win for Canada in $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Traverse City, Mich. – July 27, 2018 – On Friday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), FEI CSI2* competition continued with the $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* in the Grand Prix Ring. In his first trip to Traverse City, Michigan, Canada’s Jim Ifko took home the top prize with Rachel Cornacchia’s Un Diamant Des Forets.

Ifko and the 9-year-old Selle Français stallion bested a total of 52 international horse-and-athlete combinations and outpaced nine in the jump-off in 32.99 seconds. The pair was one of four to jump double-clear around Friday’s courses, designed by Germany’s Olaf Petersen, Jr.

Luis Pedro Biraben of Argentina and his own and Claudia Pedroso’s Eres Tu were the early clear pathfinders in the jump-off, setting the pace to beat at 36.34 seconds.

Theo Genn (USA) and Eduardo Leon’s Firewall produced the next double-clear effort one round later in 37.34 seconds to move behind Biraben in the standings.

Yet it was 20-year-old Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and her own Hadja Van Orshof who raced across the timers fault-free in 35.50 seconds as seventh in the jump-off order-of-go to take over the top spot on the leaderboard with two left to go.

Following Cruciotti was Ifko, who flew around the short course and stopped the clock a full three seconds faster to claim the win, while Cruciotti finished in second place and Biraben and Genn settled for third and fourth place, respectively.

FEI competition during Week IV kicked off on Thursday at GLEF with the Staller 1.40m Jumper CSI2* class, which was won by Sloane Coles (USA) and MTF Saint Simeon, owned by Morningside Training Farm.

Thirty-five athletes and horses turned out to compete in the one-round competition, but none could catch Coles’ clear and quick performance in 70.56 seconds. Second place honors went to Olivia Chowdry (USA) riding Atlas Equine Holdings LLC’s Chuck Berry 8, who crossed the finish line fault-free in 71.32 seconds, while Abigail McArdle (USA) and Plain Bay Sales’ Fanta Light B rounded out the top three with a clear round in 71.83 seconds.

Additional FEI show jumping highlights for GLEF Week IV include the $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* set to take place on Sunday, July 29, at 3 p.m. To purchase tickets for Sunday, click here.

Click here to watch Jim Ifko’s interview!


Jim Ifko – $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* winner

On how he acquired Un Diamant Des Forets:
“We found [Un Diamant Des Forets] in France. We made a trip over and we were looking for three mares. We were having no luck and my friend Scott Smith in France said, ‘You’ve really got to try this stallion. Don’t leave without trying him.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not interested in a stallion.’ He talked me into it the day before I had to get on the plane and thank goodness he did. We just finished off a tour at Spruce Meadows and he was really fantastic there so we were really looking forward to seeing what he’d be like here.”

On his jump-off round:
“I was lucky to be able to watch some of the others go before me. Truth be told, I didn’t think I’d be able to find a spot where I could catch up to the ones just before me. I thought I could make it up to the last fence and possibly with a tighter turn to the second to last fence because everywhere else people were just making it look amazing.”


$35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Un Diamant Des Forets / Jim Ifko / CAN / Rachel Cornacchia / 0 / 0 / 32.99
2. Hadja Van Orshof / Kelli Cruciotti / USA / Kelli Cruciotti / 0 / 0 / 35.50
3. Eres Tu / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Claudia Pedroso/Luis Biraben / 0 / 0 / 36.34
4. Firewall / Theo Genn / USA / Eduardo Leon / 0 / 0 / 37.34
5. Dingeman / Santiago Lambre / MEX / Santiago Lambre / 0 / 4 / 33.41
6. Ibabco / Santiago Lambre / MEX / Santiago Lambre / 0 / 4 / 36.09
7. Shet Du Thot / Katie Tyler / USA / Katie Tyler / 0 / 4 / 37.71
8. Colora / Theo Genn / USA / Paula Quinn/Nina Moore / 0 / 4 / 37.95
9. Dominique / Willie Tynan / IRL / Shannon Hughes / 0 / 8 / 34.88
10. Caillou / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Miguel Madero/Luis Biraben / 1 / 77.04
11. Liroy 30 / Taylor Land / USA / Taylor Land / 1 / 79.57
12. Cerano Vin Dingenshof / Diego Javier Vivero Viteri / ECU / Javier Estrada Gonzalez / 4 / 69.35

Peter Pletcher and Tamara Provost Prepare for $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby in Professional Hunter Divisions

In the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring, the professional hunter divisions saw championships awarded on Thursday during Week IV of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), and it was Peter Pletcher of PJP Farm based in Magnolia, Texas, who took home the top tricolor in the Wrenwood Farms Green Conformation Hunter division.

Pletcher piloted Quintessential, a 7-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Linda Southern-Heathcott/Spruce Meadows, to a clean sweep on Wednesday, winning the model, over fences and handy rounds of the division. On Thursday, the pair received a first and second place in the final two over fences rounds as well as a third place in the under saddle to win the championship. The reserve championship went to Courtney Lenkart and Balto Z, owned by Mercedes Flett.

In the Sugar Run Farm High Performance Hunter division, Tamara Provost of Meadow View Farm in Sheridan, Indiana, was crowned champion with her and Wendy Hofmeister’s Fashion.

A strong start on Wednesday was enough to keep Provost and the 7-year-old Warmblood gelding in the lead, after securing a blue ribbon over fences and in the handy round, at the conclusion of competition on Thursday. Martha Ingram and I Love Lucy, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC, took home the reserve championship, claiming first and second place over fences on Thursday.

Hunter action at GLEF continues as Week IV highlights the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox LLC, where Pletcher and Provost will return to the competition ring with Quintessential and Fashion, respectively, along with 30 other top hunter combinations. The highly anticipated class is set to be held in the Grand Prix Ring on Saturday at the Flintfields Horse Park.

Click here to watch Peter Pletcher’s interview!

Click here to watch Tamara Provost’s interview!


Peter Pletcher – Wrenwood Farms Green Conformation Hunter division champion

On Quintessential:
“Quintessential is 7 years old. He had been doing the jumpers. This is our seventh horse show, and he’s come around really quickly. We were having a debate whether we were going to do derby finals or not so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll bring him here and see how he does.’ He was reserve champion the first week, champion the next two weeks and he’s gone around just as good as I could expect for as much as he’s done. I think he has a good shot at derby finals. He’s super brave and super, super scopey. He’s a great horse to ride. In the handy, he’s super quick, he’s really easy to turn and he stays very much the same speed all the time.”

On his clients’ success at GLEF:
“The ponies have done great. They’ve been champion or reserve each week in the small, mediums and larges. We also have some good adults here who have done well as well as some kids starting in the 3’3″ juniors moving up and in the equitation. So far, it’s all gone according to plan. We’re all very happy; we love it here. The weather you can’t beat. I can’t say enough good things about this place!”

Tamara Provost – Sugar Run Farm High Performance Hunter division champion

On Fashion:
“Fashion’s barn name is ‘Teddy.’ He’s an 8-year-old. We just imported him from Europe last fall. Pretty much every time out he’s been champion or reserve. I’m starting to do him in the international derbies and I’m very excited about it. It’s nice to have your own horse to do something like that on. I own him jointly with Wendy Hofmeister and my friend. We’re very excited about him and very excited for [the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox LLC, on] Saturday. I think he has a great future ahead of him.”

“I have 24 horses here [with Meadow View Farm]. It’s been a little crazy. We compete in a little bit of every division from the high amateur jumpers to the 2’6″ hunters. It’s nice here. These rings are so big.”

Noa Diener Claims Second Consecutive THIS National Children’s Medal to Conclude Equitation Tuesday Competition at GLEF

Equitation Tuesday competition at the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded during Week IV, where Noa Diener and Albano B, owned by Rachel Croft, topped the field in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal for the second consecutive week.

Trained by Tiffany Morrissey of East Wind Farms, Diener executed a smooth and tidy first round over fences, which earned her a spot among the top four combinations who were selected by the judges to return for the test.

The 16-year-old junior rider from Indian Creek, Florida, stayed consistent to deliver another seamless performance with the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding to secure the blue ribbon out of 16 original entries, earning more points towards her goal of qualifying for this year’s Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show Sept. 28–Oct. 7.

Trainer Frank Madden of Capital Hill Show Stables guided students Taylor Griffiths and Nora Andrews to other top finishes during the final Equitation Tuesday of the 2018 GLEF. Griffiths took home the WIHS Equitation – Hunter Phase as well as the Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 1* for the second week in a row aboard Mac One III, owned by Lauren Hough, while Andrews and Ces Caro Mio, owned by Cassidy Equestrian Services, secured first place honors in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal.

Rounding out Tuesday’s equitation highlights was Erin Dolson, trained by Kim Carey of Huntington Ridge Farm, who won the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Horsemanship class with her own Trans Atlantic. Dolson and Trans Atlantic also finished in second place behind Andrews in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal.

The 2018 GLEF marks the second year the circuit has hosted Equitation Tuesday competitions, which allow equitation exhibitors the chance to collect double the amount of valuable qualifying points per week in one location.

Click here to watch Noa Diener’s interview!


Noa Diener – Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal winner

On her performances on Tuesday:
“I really liked the rhythm and the smoothness. [Albano B] felt perfect; I was really happy with how perfect he was. I really liked the course because there were a lot of options and places you could go. The lines all worked out really well.”

On Albano B:
“I started leasing him in the spring. I bought him to try to qualify for [Taylor Harris Insurance Services National Children’s Medal Finals] and so far we are doing great. I’m really excited to hopefully qualify.”

On GLEF and Equitation Tuesdays:
“GLEF is actually my favorite show. I love it. I was here last summer for six weeks and I’m here again this summer for six weeks. I love that I get an extra opportunity to qualify with Equitation Tuesdays and I love spending my summers here.”


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