Traverse City, Michigan, USA – July 17, 2021 – It was a busy Saturday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), a much awaited day for the inaugural Major League Showjumping Team competition. Earlier in the day, before the launch of the athletes showcased their speed specialists in the MLSJ $36,600 Innovo Development Group Speed Stake CSI5*, where the best was saved for last.
Karl Cook (USA) set the early pace to beat in the faults-converted class, where any rails were translated to time. He was quick and clear with Signe Ostby’s Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet, breaking the beam in 57.45 seconds.
Midway through the class Bliss Heers (USA) and Bridgeside Farms LLC’s Goodbye were slick and smooth, taking a shortcut by going jumping over the podium before to take a two-second lead with a penalty-free round in 55.13 seconds.
One by one, the remaining combinations fell short either by being two slow, or having one rail down, adding more to their time total. However, their mark would still be challenged by the last pair, certainly one of the fastest in the world.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) was the last athlete to tackle the track with her known speedster Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili (Berlin x Darco). They once again showcased their winning ways, using sharp turns to gallop across the finish line in 54.77 seconds with every rail intact. Vanderveen stayed in the ring to lead the lay of honor while Heers and Cook placed second and third, respectively.
Final Results – $36,600 Innovo Development Group
1) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili – 0 / 54.77
2) Bliss Heers (USA) & Goodbye – 0 / 55.13
3) Karl Cook (USA) & Kalinka van’t Zorgvliet – 0 / 57.45
Source: Press Release by Allyson Lagiovane / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photo: © Andrew Ryback Photography