Traverse City, Mich. – July 13, 2018 – The second week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) kicked off on Tuesday, July 10, featuring World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) as the hunters take center stage in the Grand Prix ring at Flintfields Horse Park. Friday night, however, returned the spotlight to the jumpers in the $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake. It was Liza Finsness and Shiver that bested a field of 43 riders to ultimately take home the win in the class.
Finsess and Shiver were Week I’s $30,000 welcome stake third place finishers, and the pair came back strong during Week II to claim the top spot. The 24-year old rider out of Wellington, Florida took to the jump-off with 15 other horse-and-athlete combinations to tackle the Guilherme Jorge-designed course. Finsness and Shiver made it look easy as they soared to an impressive 43.48 seconds in the jump-off.
Finsness brought Shiver up from the low junior jumpers and has been riding the 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding for almost seven years. Between exams and classes at the University of Kentucky’s physician assistant school, Finsness trains and competes with Chris Ewanouski and Federico Sztyrle at Napiday Horse Sales in Wellington, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky.
Second place went to Bruno Cavalheiro Rebello riding Alfonso Gutierrez Diaz’s Chabello. The pair rode to a clean finish in 45.20 seconds to put them in the second place position. Rounding out the top three was Week I’s $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by East Wind Farms, winner Wilhelm Genn riding his own Van Gogh. Genn and Van Gogh completed the jump-off in 45.48 seconds to claim the third place spot.
Additional show jumping highlights for this week include the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan set to take place on Sunday, July 15, at 2:00 p.m.
Click here to watch Liza Finsness’ interview!
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Liza Finsness – $30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake winner
“I got Shiver when he was seven and he’s thirteen now and we’ve really grown together. I know him so well and he trusts me a lot and I think that’s super important to be successful in these classes. And every time I walk the course, I walk it for Shiver. He’s my one horse so every single time it’s pretty consistent how he is, how he comes out, I can always rely on him.”
On clinching the win:
“I think I won first in the first line in the seven, I really ended up having to move for it where as other people were kind of slowing down a little bit. And then also going to the in-and-out I might have galloped him a little bit but also to the last jump I think he really was diving in for it which helped me with the pace and the speed getting to that last oxer.”
On what’s next:
“I’m going home on Sunday after the Grand Prix and we’ll do Kentucky schools. I’m in [Physician Assistant] school, so I’m pretty much based out of Kentucky and doing those Lexington shows.”
“I love it here! I think the footing is great, I think the ring is awesome. It flows a lot, it’s not a square or a circle and every single turn really does flow and I appreciate that a lot.”
$30,000 Ingram Family Welcome Stake:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Shiver / Liza Finsness / Liza Finsness / 0 / 0 / 43.48
2. Chabello / Bruno Cavalheiro Rebello / Alfonso Gutierrez Diaz / 0 / 0 / 45.20
3. Van Gogh / Wilhelm Genn / Wilhelm Genn / 0 / 0 / 45.48
4. Charlie / Lorcan Gallagher / Southern Arches LLC / 0 / 0 / 45.62
5. Cantero Da Lagoa / Anna Beth Athey / Anna Beth Athey / 0 / 0 / 48.37
6. Inesse / Anselmo Alvarada / Anselmo Alvarado / 0 / 0 / 48.62
7. Idefix De Laubry Darco / Javier Berganza Anderhub / Keystone Show Stables / 0 / 4 / 41.91
8. Quality On Top / Erin Haas / North Face Farm / 0 / 4 / 46/09
9. Binja / Chris M Ewanouski / Castle Point Farm LLC / 0 / 4 / 46.12
10. Espatako’s Electra R / Savannah Talcott / Sea Investments LLC / 0 / 4 / 46.53
Grady Lyman and Emma Wujek Take Home Top Hunter Honors During WCHR Week
Week Two of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) kicked off World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week in the Grand Prix Ring.
Eighteen-year-old Grady Lyman of San Diego, California, who trains with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms, walked away with the championship tricolor on Thursday aboard Cohiba VDL, owned by Ashland Farms, in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division.
Lyman and the 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion finished in second place in the division’s first over fences class with a score of 83 and won the handy portion of competition on Wednesday with a score of 82.
The pair, who have been partnered together since the end of 2017, returned on Thursday to claim another win in the stake round with a high score of 81 and took home second place honors in the under saddle to secure the division championship.
Lyman just graduated high school in the spring and is headed to the University of South Carolina in the fall, where she will be on the school’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) riding team.
The reserve champion in the High Performance Conformation Hunter was awarded to Ehrin Rittmueller and Chicago, owned by Christine Braeutigam. The pair earned two thirds and a second place over fences and finished with a first place in the under saddle.
In the Hillside Farm Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division, Emma Wujek, 17 years old of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, and John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s Puppet finished on top to claim the division tricolor in the Grand Prix Ring on Friday.
Wujek, who trains with Tim and Kelly Goguen of Boggs Hill Farm, piloted the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding to high scores of 87 and 85 in Thursday’s over fences and handy rounds, respectively. They grabbed another blue ribbon in the stake round on Friday with a score of 88 as well as a second place under saddle to clinch the championship.
WCHR week in the Grand Prix Ring at GLEF will continue throughout the weekend, and will be highlighted by the $7,500 Camping World and Gander Outdoors USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday at 8 a.m.
Click here to watch Grady Lyman’s interview!
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Grady Lyman – High Performance Conformation Hunter division champion
On Cohiba VDL:
“Cohiba VDL is easily the most incredible horse that I’ve ever ridden. He’s the sweetest horse in the stall and he has the biggest heart in the ring. There’s really no other horse like him.”
On Wednesday and Thursday’s courses:
“I liked that the jumps were a little bit bigger – it gave him a little bit more of a challenge because he used to jump the bigger grand prix classes. The little equitation gets a little boring for him I think sometimes so I think it was fun for both of us to go out there and jump some of the bigger jumps.”
On her competition schedule at GLEF:
“I basically bounce from ring to ring everyday – a little bit of jumpers, a little bit of hunters and some equitation – but it’s all really fun. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities that have been given to me that allow me to do this. This is what I love to do.”
“My personal favorite thing about this horse show is that it’s so close to the lake. We get to spend time on the lake, we get to spend time with the horses, the footing is great and the horses love it here. Overall, it’s a really good atmosphere.”
Click here to watch Emma Wujek’s interview!
Emma Wujek – Hillside Farm Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division champion
“I’ve had him for three years now, and he was actually off for the first six months of the year and he’s just getting back. He’s jumping absolutely incredible, his feet are fresh, he loved going in that ring. I feel like in there, he’s able to hunt because his stride is so big. I was able to canter a little bit more and he was able to push off and really get a good jump. I just love his canter! It feels like you’re floating and you can just get anywhere on it. His jump, also, when you set him up, it’s like a balloon. He really spends time in the air and he’s a good hunter.”
“I like the weather. I feel like you get that perfect breeze and then in the mornings it’s always light which is perfect, I love that. And then just the ability to go everywhere, there’s always a little pathway to go places. And the facilities are just absolutely incredible! They’re doing a great job.”
Elise Buhl Shines During First Equitation Tuesday
During the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF)’s first Equitation Tuesday of the 2018 series, Elise Buhl of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, rode to the top of the leaderboard out of 14 entries in the Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS) National Children’s Medal aboard Captain Jack, owned by Clear Ride LLC.
Trained by Tim and Kelly Goguen of Boggs Hill Farm, Buhl 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 17-year-old junior rider stayed consistent to deliver another seamless performance with the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding to secure the blue ribbon.
Buhl just got the ride on Captain Jack during the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, earlier this year, which is also when she first began competing in the equitation divisions.
Other top finishes from Week II’s Equitation Tuesday were claimed by Grady Lyman, trained by Emily Smith of Ashland Farms, and Cohiba VDL in the WIHS Equitation – Hunter Phase, Caelinn Leahy, trained by Steve Schaefer of Bellis Show Jumping, and Sonas Douglas in the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and Hannah Hoch, trained by Caitlyn Shiels of True North Stables, and E.V. Comander in the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Horsemanship class.
The Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 1* closed out Tuesday’s equitation competition at the Flintfields Horse Park with Natalie Jayne and Cinzano, trained by Lynn Jayne of Our Day Farm, grabbing the first place prize.
GLEF Weeks III and IV will also feature Equitation Tuesdays, which provide equitation exhibitors the opportunity to collect double the amount of valuable qualifying points per week in one location.
Click here to watch highlights from Elise Buhl’s winning test in the THIS National Children’s Medal!