Traverse City, Mich. – June 28, 2020 – Following a successful two weeks of competition at the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, the pinnacle of the inaugural event came Sunday afternoon in the form of the $72,900 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix CSI 2*, which saw 28 horse-and-rider partnerships vie for the lion’s share of the prize money. The international field consisted of combinations from seven nations, including the United States, Chile, Israel, Colombia, Ireland, Germany and Canada. Saving the very best for last, the Daisy Farish (USA) put in a great performance with her own Great White to take the biggest bite out of the purse and lead the victory gallop.
Proving why he is one of the most well-respected veteran course designers in the game, Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) crafted a technical, yet fair, track of 16 efforts, and 11 contenders from the original group of challengers rose to the challenge to keep themselves in contention for the top prize. Riding early in the order, Wilhelm Genn (GER) and Bugatti served as the trailblazers with the first clear ride, and they were soon joined by Megan McDermott (USA) on HH Callas, Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) aboard Super Chilled and Michael Murphy (USA) with the reins on Chaccofina, each of whom left all the rails in the cups within the time-allowed by the halfway point to quality for the tie-breaker round. The latter half of the first round brought even more fault-free efforts, with Genn, McDermott and Murphy each adding a second mount to the list of returners. Sloane Coles (USA) on Coldplay, Margie Engle (USA) with Cesna M, Daniel Bluman (ISR) aboard Gemma W and Daisy Farish (USA) riding Great White also added their names to the list of clears.
Returning first in the order, Genn and Bugatti once again left all the fences intact to set the pace in 42.020 seconds, but were quickly outdone by McDermott and her first mount, HH Callas, who laid down a confident and clear effort in 40.35 seconds. Fifth to take to the ring, Coles and Coldplay proved that McDermott and HH Callas’ time could be beat and put the pressure on the frontrunners with what looked to be the new leading performance, ultimately crossing the finish line in 39.310 seconds, but dropped a rail to move them down the rankings. Similarly, Genn and his second horse, Van Gogh, followed suit with another efficient trip in 39.900 and a single rail.
As the class progressed, subsequent horse-and-rider pairs tried and failed to catch the leading duo until the final entry, Farish and Great White, tackled the track with quick precision, logging a clear effort and slicing nearly two full seconds off the clock with a final time of 38.400 seconds to claim victory.
Megan McDermott (USA) and HH Callas, owned by Counter Balance LLC, captured second place, and Bluman jumped to third position overall in the saddle aboard Blue Star Investments’ Gemma W, the third-fastest of six total double-clear combinations.
With Sunday afternoon’s results, Corrigan retained his lead in the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus standings. Already ahead by a number of points thanks to multiple top-two finishes, the Irish rider continued to add to his tally with a fifth-place finish Sunday. Farish moved into the third-place spot due to Sunday’s win. The CaptiveOne Advisors Leading Jumper Rider Bonus will be awarded to the rider who accumulates the most points in competitions $25,000 or more in prize money over the course of 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City, with the honor presented following the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* on September 13.
Winner’s Circle – Daisy Farish (USA)
On Great White:
“My horse’s name is Great White, and we call him Bruce in the barn. He’s quite the character! We’ve had him for about five years now so we have had a lot of firsts together throughout the years, firsts of mine and his since I got him as a 7-year-old. This would be our first grand prix win! I’m lucky to have him and build that relationship with him.”
On her win:
“I am ecstatic. He has been performing really well this year; he was jumping the U25 classes throughout the [Winter Equestrian Festival] and jumped the 2* Grand Prix the last week, then obviously our season got cut short. He came back after our time at home stronger than ever and he jumped clear in the 2* Grand Prix last week at Split Rock. We came here confident and ready to jump in and try again! I’m so grateful to the whole team at Ashland Farms for their support and for working with us to help us get to this point.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“I love coming to this horse show. It is actually a horse show I used to come to frequently when I was a small kid, and then about five years in between I hadn’t been to the show. Then I was able to come the last two years and I can say the improvements to this facility have been incredible. The footing is impeccable in these two rings. The hunter rings are very special and I think that is something that gets overlooked at some horse shows for the smaller classes, but here it all feels special and important. There is no ring with poor footing; it’s all treated the same and I love coming here every year.”
On being back in Traverse City:
“I love going out on the lake when we’re here. It’s very nice when we get done a little bit early – we get to go out on the lake on the boat, the whole barn, with waterskis and jet skis, it’s very fun. The town of Traverse City itself is definitely somewhere I look forward to coming to every year. My favorite restaurant, Red Ginger, is the first stop and there are so many fun things to do. There are great ice cream spots in Traverse City and it’s such a nice little quaint but relevant town and I love that.”
Results – $72,900 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix CSI 2*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Daisy Farish (USA) & Great White / Daisy Farish / 0 | 75.86 / 0 | 38.40
2. Megan McDermott (USA) & HH Callas / Counter Balance LLC / 0 | 77.99 / 0 | 40.35
3. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Gemma W / 0 | 76.62 / 0 | 40.53
4. Michael Murphy (USA) & Quick Bob / Ashland Farms / 0 | 75.50 / 0 | 40.64
5. Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) & Super Chilled / Debra Wycoff / 0 | 75.76 / 0 | 41.08
6. Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Bugatti / Eduardo Leon / 0 | 75.44 / 0 | 42.02
7. Sloane Coles (USA) & Coldplay / Spring Ledge LLC / 0 | 77.73 / 4 | 39.31
8. Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Van Gogh / Wilhelm Genn / 0 | 76.12 / 4 | 39.90
9. Michael Murphy (USA) & Chaccofina / Ashland Farms / 0 | 75.75 / 4 | 40.82
10. Megan McDermott (USA) & Entanto / Over The Top Stables & Bluman / 0 | 75.79 / 4 | 42.09
11. Margie Engle (USA) & Cesna M / Virginia Bartholomay / 0 | 74.07 / 4 | 44.94
12. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Ubiluc / Blue Star Investments / 1 | 78.26
Source: Press release by Elaine Wessel / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Spring Horse Show
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography