Traverse City, Michigan – June 11, 2021 – Show jumping athletes took to the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, Friday afternoon hopeful to nab a coveted spot in the highlight event of of the week, Sunday’s $213,300 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix CSI4*. A total of 22 athletes put forth their best effort in the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI4* as they navigated their way through the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, with just seven managing double clear rounds. In the end, it was Canada’s Ali Ramsay (CAN) who would take the top title riding Bonita VH Keizershof Z, marking the mare’s first CSI4* win of her career.
Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge set forth a 12-effort first round track to whittle down the field of athletes who would ultimately qualify for the jump-off. A clear round would not be produced until the fourth pair in the order of go, with Ramsay and Lutz showing the rest of the contenders how it’s done. Following their clear effort, the United State’s Margie Engle and Royce left all of the rails intact to guarantee a jump-off, with seven additional athletes adding their name to the list, including Ramsay with her second mount as well as Megan McDermott (USA), Katie Laurie (AUS), Tiffany Foster (CAN), Anna Wilks (USA), Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), John Perez Bohm (COL) and Jonathan McCrea (CAN).
Just nine athletes elected to return to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring for the tie-breaking jump-off. Coming back as the pathfinder from the first round, Ramsay (CAN) took to the arena aboard Ramsay Equestrian Inc.’s Lutz, showcasing a clear round and setting the pace for those to follow at 44.01 seconds. Fellow Canadian, Foster (CAN), gave Ramsay a run for her money with Artisan Farms LLC’s Northern Light, slipping into the top spot on an impressive time of 42.69 seconds.
As the penultimate pair to try their hand at the shortened 7-obstacle jump-off track, Ramsay returned to the ring once more, hopeful to unseat Foster. This time riding Ramsay Equestrian Inc.’s 10-year-old Zangersheide mare Bonita VH Keizershof Z, Ramsay just narrowly managed to take over the leading position after shaving two-tenths of a second off Foster’s time, finishing in 42.49 seconds.
Though the final pair, Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Fantasy BB, were not quite close enough to emerge victorious, they managed to take the second place position from Foster after finishing just four one-hundreths of a second faster in a time of 42.65 seconds. Foster and Northern Light would ultimately claim the third place honors, with Ramsay also earning fourth place aboard Lutz to round out her afternoon of awards.
In addition to McCrea’s top placing during Friday afternoon’s class, he also nabbed valuable points toward the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which offers show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series. Awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus is a highly sought-after prize among the field of international competitors that will attend Traverse City Horse Shows.
Combining both his second place finish in Thursday afternoon’s $36,600 Limitless Performance Speed Classic CSI4* and his second place finish during Friday’s $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI4*, McCrea has placed himself at the top of the CaptiveOne Advisors Leading Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard with a total of 12 points. Australia’s Katie Laurie currently holds the second place position with 10 total points, with Ali Ramsay moving up the ranks following her top placings Friday afternoon to sit in the third place position with 9 points.
Winner’s Circle – Ali Ramsay (CAN) $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 4*
On the jump-off:
“I was lucky enough to have both of my horses in the jump-off, [Lutz and Bonita VH Keizershof Z]. I went first on Lutz and he was super. I was able to lay down a quick clear round and then two fast riders came after me. Of course Tiffany [Foster] went and showed me what I had to do on my next horse [Bonita VH Keizershof Z] and I was able to catch her. This is Bonita’s first CSI4* win today which is really exciting! With Lutz I felt like I was a little bit slow on my rollback to the liverpool that I caught it a little backwards, and so that’s what I wanted to do [with Bonita VH Keizershof Z], just be a little quicker from one to two, gallop down and be able to rollback tighter to the liverpool. If I just kept everything at the end I thought I could do it. Jonathan [McCrea] and I had a little banter going before the class so I thought I really had to lay a good one down so he couldn’t catch me and I got lucky that he didn’t!”
On Bonita VH Keizershof Z:
“I got her when she was six years old and she’s always been my baby Bonita. She’s very special. She’s very sassy and is a fighter. As long as you can stay out of the way and stay on her good side then she will fight for you until the end.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows
“This is my first time here. I really wanted to come last year but of course I wasn’t allowed out of my country, so this year we are really excited to get to come down and it’s lovely here. There is good jumping, the horse show is lovely and I just go to downtown Traverse City and it’s beautiful, the lakes and everything. We are really happy to be here.”
Final Results – $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 4*
1) Ali Ramsay (CAN) & Bonita VH Keizershof Z – 0 / 0 – 42.49
2) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Fantasy BB – 0 / 0 – 42.65
3) Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Northern Light – 0 / 0 – 42.69
4) Ali Ramsay (CAN) & Lutz – 0 / 0 – 44.01
5) John Perez Bohm (COL) & Voodoo 10 – 0 / 0 – 44.71
6) Katie Laurie (AUS) & Django II – 0 / 0 – 44.99
7) Anna Wilks (USA) & Loeki Van Het Lindenhof – 0 / 0 – 45.42
8) Margie Engle (USA) & Royce – 0 / 4 – 42.55
9) Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) & Eldorado V – 0 / 4 – 42.55
10) Megan McDermott (USA) & HH Callas – 0 / 81.46
11) Andrew Welles (USA) & Catoki’s Son Z – 4 / 77.63
12) Rowan Willis (AUS) & Ashton Dakota – 4 / 77.95
Source: Press Release by Allyson Lagiovane / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photo: © Phelps Sports / Allyson Lagiovane