Traverse City, Michigan, USA. – July 17, 2020 – The Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring played host to a new and eclectic set of contenders Friday for the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 2* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC. The third week of riding brought new chances for FEI competitors to chase down the top spot as well as try to earn points towards the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus. Of the sizable field of 61 entries, Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) and Rich Fellers (USA) were the only representatives who had previously won a Welcome Stake or Grand Prix from the Traverse City season thus far, opening the door for a new name to rise to the top. Jumping at their chance, Catherine Tyree (USA) and her own BEC Lorenzo bested their counterparts to capture the title and lead the lap of honor as Friday’s big winners.
Designed by Anderson Lima (BRA), the first-round track featured 16 efforts that served to pare down the pack from its original size to the top-tier contenders of the day. Flag bearers from nine nations, including the United States, Great Britain, Chile, Argentina, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Turkey and Canada, battled over the initial pattern to qualify for the jump-off, with 16 successfully managing to do so. Fellers and Lux Lady led the way as the pathfinders, turning in the first clear round of the morning within the first ten horse-and-rider pairs, and a subsequent penalty-free ride from Alice Oken (USA) on Hitchcock VD Broekkant forced a jump-off. The first half of the round saw six more challengers leave all the rails in the cups within the time-allowed, including Hunter Holloway (USA), Isabella Russekoff (USA), Andrew Welles (USA), Gavin Harley (IRL), Margie Engle (USA) and Alison Robitaille (USA). Back for the latter portion of the first phase, the zero-fault streak continued with Tyree, Nicholas Dello Joio (USA), Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), another for Fellers, Taylor Flury (USA), Tomas Yofre (ARG), Adam Prudent (USA) and a second mount for Holloway.
Trimmed to eight fences, Lima’s pattern tested the 16 eligible combinations for the tie-breaker round. Second to try the track, Oken and Hitchcock VD Broekkant set the pace in 43.88 seconds as the first duo to turn in a second clear ride, but their lead would not hold long as Welles and Primo Troy upped the ante to shave a few seconds off the clock, tripping the timers fault-free in 41.07 seconds to emerge as the frontrunners. Aboard Ginger Pop, Robitaille turned up the heat a little bit more, lowering the standard by a full second to edge out the leaders with a clear time of 40.01 seconds, quick enough to jump to the top of the standings. The lead immediately changed hands once more, though, following Tyree’s navigation of the track with BEC Lorenzo, who broke the beam galloping in 39.83 seconds with half of the pack still to ride.
The remaining eight duos chased down Tyree and BEC Lorenzo, but none would prove able to eclipse them, solidifying the pair as Friday’s victors in the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI2*. Robitaille and Ginger Pop, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Robitaille, maintained their status in second-place overall, and Welles bookended the podium with Itasca Group LLC’s Primo Troy.
Friday’s class marked the beginning of the fifth week that riders had opportunities to earn points towards the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus. Over the course of 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City, classes offering $25,000 or more in prize money were eligible towards the grand finale prize, which will be awarded to one lucky rider following the conclusion of the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI4* on September 13. At the end of the day, Corrigan still held a narrow lead with 26 points, two points ahead of Shane Sweetnam (IRL).
The third week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, will continue throughout Sunday, when the $72,900 North Face Farm Grand Prix CSI2* will highlight the talents of some of show jumping’s brightest stars.
Winner’s Circle – Catherine Tyree (USA)
On competing in Traverse City:
“I’m really happy with the horse. It feels so great to be back in the ring. I can’t thank everyone enough, like the Morrissey family, who is behind this horse show, for putting on such a great event and making us all feel safe during these crazy and uncertain times.”
On her rides:
“I felt a little bit rusty because I haven’t competed at bigger heights since the beginning of March, so I’m coming off a little bit of a break. Lorenzo was amazing. As I kept going in the jump-off I knew I could rely on his big stride. He is such a fighter and he is always so game – those are his best qualities – so I knew, especially to the last jump, I could turn back at the wall and really go to the last.”
On her plan for Sunday’s Grand Prix:
“Hopefully to keep going how we have been doing. He feels great. It’s really his first time back other than two classes in June since February, so for him to come back and prove that he is more of a veteran really makes me happy and I’m lucky to have him as a partner. Fingers crossed on Sunday!”
Results – $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 2*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Catherine Tyree (USA) & BEC Lorenzo / Catherine Tyree LLC / 0 | 76.07 / 0 | 39.83
2. Alison Robitaille (USA) & Ginger Pop / / Mr & Mrs Bertram Firestone / 0 | 77.73 / 0 | 40.01
3. Andrew Welles (USA) & Primo Troy / Itasca Group LLC / 0 | 77.18 / 0 | 41.07
4. Hunter Holloway (USA) & Pepita Con Spita / / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 | 74.60 / 0 | 42.01
5. Alise Oken (USA) & Hitchcock VD Broekkant / / Hi Hopes Farm LLC / 0 | 66.21 / 0 | 43.88
6. Gavin Harley (IRL) & Very Chic Du Tillard / E2 Show Jumpers / 0 | 76.80 / 0 | 44.63
7. Adam Prudent (USA) & Baloutinue / Plain Bay Farm / 0 | 76.75 / 0 | 46.04
8. Isabella Russekoff (USA) & Balou’s Fly High / / Suave Pony LLC / 0 | 77.98 / 0 | 46.34
9. Richard Fellers (USA) & Mojo / Richard Fellers / 0 | 76.98 / 4 | 40.65
10. Hunter Holloway (USA) & Eastern Jam / / Hays Investment Corp. / 0 | 77.39 / 4 | 43.47
11. Taylor Flury (USA) & Carrasca Z / Aliboo Farm Inc. / 0 | 77.86 / 4 | 44.11
12. Tomas Yofre (ARG) & Kavalli Di Magico / / Clear Ride LLC / 0 | 77.36 / 0 | 4 / 47.36
Source: Press release by Elaine Wessel / Phelps Media Group for the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
Photo: © Andrew Ryback Photography