Traverse City, Michigan, USA – June 12, 2021 – The penultimate day of the first week of the Traverse City Spring Horse Show (TCS), presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, kicked off Saturday afternoon with a schedule packed full of exciting show jumping competition taking center stage in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. The $36,6000 1.45m Winning Round CSI 4* saw a talented field of international athletes compete for their shot at the top prize, but it was Israel’s Daniel Bluman (IRL) who saved the best for last to nab the win aboard Over the Top Stables LLC’s Cachemire de Braize.
In a unique two-round format, athletes vied for a spot in the top ten in order to advance to the shortened jump-off track. Guilherme Jorge (BRA) prepared a 10-obstacle course for the first round set at an 80-second time allowed. The course offered various challenges for competitors including several difficult turns throughout the arena as well as a double oxer combination. In order of rank at the end of the first round, the top ten athletes who would advance to the jump-off included Daniel Bluman (ISR), Jonathan McCrea (USA), Tiffany Foster (CAN), Katie Laurie (AUS), Roberto Teran Tafur (COL), Caitlyn Connors (USA), Ben Asselin (CAN), Andrew Welles (USA), Lisa Carlsen (CAN) and Serena Marron (USA).
Returning in reverse order, just nine of the 10 qualified athletes elected to try their hand at the jump-off, with Marron saving her mount Sebastian for another day. The win was anyone’s for the taking as each athlete started the second round with a clean slate of zero faults. The first two competitors, Carlsen and Welles, incurred faults on course, leaving the top spot open for Ben Asselin (CAN) to slide into riding Veyron on a clear time of 48.10 seconds. Following Asselin, Connors and Teran Tafur also knocked rails out of the cups, allowing Asselin to hold his lead. As the winning pair during Thursday’s $36,600 Limitless Performance Speed Classic CSI 4*, Katie Laurie (AUS) and Carissa McCall’s Cera Caruso entered the arena with confidence, shaving over 5 seconds off of Asselin’s time to move into the first place position on a time of 43.06 seconds.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) tried her best to take the win for herself, but she was just short of Laurie’s time, riding Artisan Farms LLC’s Vienna to a 44.05-second finish. McCrea navigated Jasmijn with ease throughout the course but had an unfortunate rail, leaving him out of contention for the blue.
As the final pair to go, Bluman and Cachemire de Braize were determined to close out the afternoon with a win. Though not as quick off the ground as Laurie’s Cera Caruso, Cachemire de Braize’s big stride gave Bluman an advantage in order to leave out strides to save time on the clock. The duo narrowly slipped into the top spot, finishing just over one-tenth of a second faster than Laurie in 42.89 seconds, ultimately lending her the second place honors with Foster rounding out the top three. Bluman spoke highly of the 9-year-old Selle Français gelding’s promising future and looks forward to aiming him for his first CSI4* grand prix Sunday with the hope of notching another win in the $213,300 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix CSI 4*.
Claiming valuable points toward the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus, Bluman’s win allowed him to move into the third position with a total of 12 points. Laurie’s impressive finishes throughout the first week of TCS gives her an advantage as she currently sits in the top position with a total of 16 points. Jonathan McCrea (IRL) sits close behind Laurie in the second position on a total of 14 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series, the bonus is 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 attend Traverse City Horse Shows.
Winner’s Circle – Daniel Bluman (ISR) $36,600 1.45m Winning Round CSI 4*
On his two rounds:
“It is a nice format that we don’t get to do very often anymore. I had to go at the end in the first round and I had already jumped on one horse [Marilyn], so I sort of already knew what the plan was and I knew that even having one down, if I was the fastest one, I had the chance to be in the second round. I was already pretty neat in the first round so it gave me a good position for the jump off and I knew exactly what I needed to do. I had to let [Cachemire de Braize] go. Katie [Laurie] posted a very fast time and won the other day. I was trying my best the other day and it was not quite enough. I also saw Tiffany [Foster] go very fast and I knew that I didn’t have much to lose, so I sort of just let him go. He has a really, really big stride and down the middle line I ended up doing six strides, which I was not planning but at that point I knew I had it.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“I am really pleased and happy to see that they don’t stop putting back into the facility. It is a facility that benefited a lot from COVID-19 because they did the work and made sure that we could compete while many others did not. We did not have many places to go last year so we all came here and many of us had never been here. Once we came and saw how amazing it was, we wanted to come back and they had a great year here last year in Traverse City. I think they went back and put a lot of hard work into making the facility better. We have rings all over the place, the footing is nice and the FEI is great. I think it is becoming a premiere facility that has the jumping capacity to host any event. I want to try every year to catch one or two dates in the calendar. It is fun to be here.”
Final Results – $36,600 1.45m Winning Round CSI 4*
Place / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Cachemire De Braize – 0 / 0 – 42.890
2) Katie Laurie (AUS) & Cera Caruso – 0 / 0 – 43.060
3) Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Vienna – 0 / 0 – 44.05
4) Ben Asselin (CAN) & Veyron – 0 / 0 – 48.100
5) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Jasmijn – 0 / 4 – 45.530
6) Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) & Eldorado V – 0 / 4 – 46.490
7) Lisa Carlsen (CAN) & Livestream 2 – 0 / 8 – 48.310
8) Andrew Welles (USA) & And Action – 0 / 8 – 48.960
9) Caitlyn Connors (USA) & Express Blue GP Du Bois Madame – 0 / 8 – 49.070
10) Serena Marron (USA) & Sebastian – 0 / 86.340 / Withdrawal
Source: Press Release by Allyson Lagiovane / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Allyson Lagiovane