Mardi Gras! Earns His Party with Kelsey Epperson as Hunter Champion in Traverse City

Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 2, 2019 – With only two weeks of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, remaining, hunter competitors showed up in droves at Flintfields Horse Park for their chance to add a tricolor championship ribbon to their collections. In the Baby Green Hunters, Kelsey Epperson helped the young Mardi Gras! to display his prowess in the ring, jockeying him to a number of standout results that put him at the top of the scorecard to earn the division championship.

Kelsey Epperson and Mardi Gras! Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

Ridden by Epperson, Margaret Hackstedde’s Mardi Gras! shone the brightest of the pack of challengers in the Baby Green Hunter division over two days of competition. Jumping at the 2’6” to 2’9” fence height, the 6-year-old gelding consistently drew eyes to accrue a series of impressive results from the judge which ultimately earned him the tricolor ribbon as the division champion. On Wednesday, the Williamsburg Ring hosted the first two over fences classes, and Epperson piloted Mardi Gras! to first place and fifth place finishes to commence the division with a respectable place in the overall standings. Not settling for anything less than the championship, the duo took to the show ring for three final opportunities to showcase their abilities Thursday, racking up a first place and third place over fences plus second place in the hack to propel them to the top of the leaderboard.

Kristen Collins and Monkey Business. Photo: Andrew Ryback Photography

Reserve champion in the division was awarded to Dapple LLC’s Monkey Business, who was ridden by Kristen Collins to a series of noteworthy results. The pair began strong on the first half of riding Wednesday with a first place and third place over fences, then returned to the ring Thursday to add to their success. Rounding out the latter portion of divisional classes, Collins and Monkey Business garnered the high score in one of the over fences classes, and then earned two fourth-place results over fences and under saddle to earn enough points to capture the second-highest composite score of the Baby Green Hunter field.

Hunter competition will continue during Week V of GLEF, with the highlight event serving as the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Sunday morning.

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