Flintfields Horse Park, Traverse City, Michigan, USA. – July 29, 2018 – After finishing close to the top of the leaderboard on multiple occasions thus far this season at the 2018 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), 20-year-old Kelli Cruciotti of the United States finally came away with a win on Sunday in the $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI 2* aboard her own Hadja Van Orshof.
Cruciotti, who hails from Elizabeth, Colorado, has been partnered with Hadja Van Orshof since 2016 and has slowly been developing the mare into a top grand prix mount. In their competition debut at GLEF during Week II, the pair finished second in the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan. They kicked off international competition during Week IV with another second place in the $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI 2* on Friday.
With Week IV being the young professional athlete’s final week at GLEF, Sunday’s victory capped off a fantastic three weeks of competition for Cruciotti.
Thirty-nine international show jumping athletes came forward to challenge the first round course, designed by Germany’s Olaf Petersen, Jr., but only nine jumped fault-free to advance to the jump-off.
Sloane Coles (USA) was the early clear pathfinder in the jump-off as second to go aboard Chippendale’s Boy DZ, owned by The Springledge Group, finishing in 42.39 seconds.
Scott Lenkart (USA) followed and produced another double-clear effort with Ziezo, owned by Fleur De Lis Farms. They crossed the finish line in 43.23 seconds, which would be good enough for fourth place in the end.
Second to last in the jump-off and third to jump double-clear was Luis Pedro Biraben of Argentina riding Miguel Madero and his own Caillou. They stopped the timers in 42.85 seconds, still keeping Coles in the lead.
The final entry of the afternoon was Cruciotti and the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood. Determined to claim a win before leaving Michigan, the pair galloped around the short course and over the final vertical, clocking in at 41.76 seconds to surpass Coles and secure their first international grand prix title. As a result, Coles finished in second place, while Biraben took home third place.
Kelli Cruciotti (USA) & Hadja Van Orshof
GLEF will return to the Flintfields Horse Park for Week V of competition beginning Wednesday, Aug. 1, and running through Sunday, Aug. 5, featuring more international show jumping competition with the first FEI CSI3* week of the 2018 circuit.
Competition in the Grand Prix Ring will highlight the $6,000 Staller 1.40m Jumper CSI3* class on Wednesday, the $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI3* on Thursday, the $35,000 Grand Traverse Classic CSI 3* on Friday and the main event, the $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*, on Sunday at 2 p.m.
From the Winner’s Circle
Kelli Cruciotti – $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* winner
On Hadja Van Orshof:
“Hadja Van Orshof I’ve had for about three years now. She’s an 11-year-old grey mare. Our partnership began a little bit slow. We took our time with her because she was a little bit young and green at this level. We’ve really built her up over the last three years and now I feel like this summer it’s really clicked. She really loves her job and I can trust and believe in her. She really rises to the occasion.”
On her jump-off round:
“I thought she was amazing to jump one. The turn to jump two, she was very good. After the double, I took a real shot to the vertical and she handled it unbelievably well. I don’t know how she did it. Probably to the last I took a shot. The nine was forward but I trusted her and it worked out. You had to go for it. It looked long but she’s such a quality mare. She did it easy.”
On winning at GLEF:
“It feels amazing. The show here is unbelievable. We’re so lucky to be able to show at such an amazing facility. To have a win under our belts the last week that we’re here is amazing. What brought us here was all of the great things people said about it. They said the footing is amazing, the weather is gorgeous, the people are so nice and everything has been completely true to that. We love being here. You’re never bored. The show is so kind and they accommodate you with whatever you ask. We really look forward to coming back.”
Results – $50,000 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI 2*:
Place / Rider (Country) & Horse / Owner(s) – R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) & Hadja Van Orshof / Kelli Cruciotti – 0 / 0 / 41.76
2. Sloane Coles (USA) & Chippendale’s Boy DZ / The Springledge Group – 0 / 0 / 42.39
3. Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) & Caillou / Miguel Madero/Luis Biraben – 0 / 0 / 42.85
4. Scott Lenkart (USA) & Ziezo / Fleur De Lis Farms – 0 / 0 / 43.23
5. Lisa Goldman (USA) & Sovereign / Barbara Disko – 0 / 4 / 42.86
6. Peter Wylde (USA) & Canamera 2 / Kathleen Kamine – 0 / 4 / 43.20
7. Stefano Baruzzo (ARG) & Copa Cabana / Stransky Mission Farm Inc. – 0 / 8 / 55.35
8. Adam Prudent (USA) & Vasco / Plain Bay Sales – 0 / Elim
9. Maria Costa (USA) & Terceira / Ravello Farms LLC – 0 / Ret
10. Paige Johnson (USA) & Eisemeis / Paige Johnson / Salamander Farm – 1 / 82.47
11. Rachel Cornacchia (CAN) & Valkyrie De Talma / Rachel Cornacchia – 1 / 83.78
12. Sloane Coles (USA) & MTF Saint Simeon / Morningside Training Farm – 4 / 76.69
Source: Press Release by Taylor Rains / Phelps Media Group for Great Lakes Festival
Photo: © Diana Hadsall Photography
Categories: CSI 2*