Traverse City, Michigan, USA. – Augusst 7, 2020 – The $36,600 Traverse City Speed Classic CSI 3* offered international challengers an extra chance to score prize money and FEI ranking points Friday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC. Now in its sixth and final week before a short hiatus that leads into the Traverse City Fall Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, later in August, the event has attracted the likes of some of the globe’s most talented competitors. Friday’s highlight class featured 51 entries bearing the flags from nine nations, but ultimately it was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) who defended her title. The Week Five winner of both the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 3* and $36,600 T&R Development Classic CSI 3* on Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, this time Vanderveen notched her third victory riding Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC.
For the one-round speed class, designer Manuel Esparza (MEX) crafted a 15-effort that proved to be especially tricky for the field. Third in the ring, Alise Oken (USA) and Hitchcock VD Broekkant turned in the first clear effort over the pattern to emerge as the early trailblazers in a time of 80.830 seconds, a time that proved to be quite conservative but held the lead a major portion of the contest. Though plenty of subsequent horse-and-rider partnerships managed to cut a significant amount of time off of Oken’s lead, even slicing it down to the 70-second mark, none managed to turn in a fault-free round by the halfway point in the order. Both Alison Robitaille (USA) on Ginger Pop and Lauren Crooks (USA) aboard Dinamika had come the closest after taking the more careful routes to keep all the fences up, but fell victim to single time faults.
Following the midway drag, Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) with Catemaco LS and Ali Wolff (USA) on Footloose HX both piloted their mounts to the same fate, never touching a rail but accruing one fault for time. Though the time-allowed is not usually a factor in a speed class, the challenging nature of the course kept combinations moving a little slower in order to ensure proper set ups for the fences, which cost them valuable seconds. As the thirty-third entry to contend, Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Colestina H finally forced a change in the standings with their penalty-free performance in 73.01 seconds to jump to the lead by a large margin. Now with two in the clear, more continued to follow, with Vanderveen living up to her speedy reputation in the irons aboard Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, breaking the beam with no faults in 68.70 seconds to propel themselves to the top of the leaderboard with 13 remaining.
In the end, no partnerships were able to match the galloping pace set by Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, solidifying them as the winners and marking Vanderveen’s third major FEI triumph in less than two weeks. Bluman and Kim Douglas’ Colestina H maintained second position, a welcome addition to their third-place finish the day prior, and Wolff captured the third spot riding John Wolff’s Quirie 2 with a time of 74.33 seconds. A total of only seven duos finished with no faults to their name, with the majority finding the formula for success in the latter half of the class.
Leading since the very first week of Traverse City competition in June, Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) maintained his lead in the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus standings. Though he did not compete Friday, his series of top results that included multiple victories at the onset of the season have kept him as a tough performer to match. With Vanderveen’s performance Friday, she jumped from sixth place to second place, and is hot on Corrigan’s heels only six points off the lead. The 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, concluding with the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI 4* on September 13.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, will wrap its six-week series Sunday following the highlight event, the $137,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix CSI 3*. A short break will then lead into the Adequan/USEF Junior Hunter National Championships East Coast from Aug. 23 – 25, followed by the Traverse City Fall Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, beginning Aug. 26.
Winner’s Circle – Kristen Vanderveen (USA)
On her strong winning streak:
“Traverse City is becoming one of my favorite places! The horses have been jumping great here!”
On her win with Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace:
“I feel like [Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili] actually stole Prince’s first win when we were first and second because he should have had that class, but Frosty wanted to make sure he was still the boss in the barn. It was fun today for that horse to get to shine!”
On the course:
“The turns were really challenging. Today seemed kind of like an all-in course – either you were going to win or die trying! I like that. For both of those horses, it is a great experience and for Frosty, he knows the job and I think actually had three seconds on the one that I did win with, but he had an unfortunate rail at the end.”
On who she will compete in the grand prix:
“I actually have a third horse [that will do the grand prix this week]. I have a big bay horse named [Bull Run’s] Risen and I am going to end up using him for the grand prix, as tempting as it is to use Frosty or Prince.”
On competing at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
“We have really had a great few weeks here and we are excited to come back for the fall. These horses will get a little vacation but they will stay up here in the cooler weather and we will hopefully be back on form.”
On the 2020 American Gold Cup:
“We are super excited for American Gold Cup. I haven’t decided yet which horse will get to jump the main course, but Frosty will be there for sure!”
Results – $36,600 Traverse City Speed Classic CSI 3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace / Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC / 0 | 68.70
2. Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Colestina H Daniel Bluman / Kim Douglas / 0 | 73.01
3. Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2 / John Wolff / 0 | 74.33
4. Margie Engle (USA) & Dicas / Storm Ridge Capital Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 | 76.63
5. Andrew Bourns (IRL) & Darquito / Andrew Bourns / 0 | 77.09
6. Alise Oken (USA) & Hitchcock Vd Broekkant / Hi Hopes Farm LLC / 0 | 80.83
7. Nicolette Hirt (USA) & S.I.E.C. Larissa / / Iron Horse Equestrian / 0 | 81.06
8. Ali Wolff (USA) & Footloose HX / Claudia Harrison-Guess / 1 | 82.520
9. Alison Robitaille (USA) & Ginger Pop / Mr & Mrs Bertram Firestone / 1 | 84.65
10. Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) & Catemaco LS / Hackamore Farms / 1 | 84.66
11. Lauren Crooks (USA) & Dinamika / Dinamika Group / 1 | 84.74
12. Schuyler Riley (USA) & Robin De Ponthual / Katherine Gallagher / 2 | 87.27
Source: Press release by Elaine Wessel / Phelps Media Group for the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography