Traverse City, Michigan, USA – August 5, 2021 – Jumper competition during Week V of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, continued Thursday, August 5, at the Flintfields Horse Park. A new week of sport brought new athletes to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, including a field of 45 competitors for the $36,600 Winning Round CSI 3*. Taking the top prize at the conclusion of the competitive class was Kyle King (USA), who rode Seabright Investments’ Enzo to the fastest, fault-free ride of the day.
Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge was tasked with crafting the 12-effort course fit for the CSI 3* ranking. The 1.45m first-round track tested riders and their mounts through a series of obstacles, including a double and triple combination that served as determining factors in which 10 athletes would advance to the second round. As the first to enter the arena, Gabriela Reutter (CHI) and Maharees Rock set the precedent for the remaining pairs, posting a time of 72.323 with 4 faults to the scoreboard. Only one round later, Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) and Mighty Mouse would become the pathfinder of the first round track as the first combination to put in a fault-free round in 70.140 seconds. A total of 17 riders would replicate the clear effort, putting themselves in contention for the jump-off, however, only 10 of the fastest clear rounds would be invited back to battle it out for the leading position, including Ireland’s Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Chancelloress, who had the fastest first round time of 64.16 seconds.
Bliss Heers (USA) and Goodbye were the first combination to return for the jump-off, tripping the timers in 37.28 seconds with 4 faults to their names. Second to enter the arena, Catherine Tyree (USA), rode the first clear round aboard her own 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Bokai.
Tyree’s time of 36.45 seconds would place her in the lead, but three trips later Ireland’s Gavin Harley (IRL) would bump her down on a clear round time of 36.41 seconds with Clear Ride LLC’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, Kavalli di Magico. Harley’s lead would be short lived, however, as King (USA) and Enzo put the pedal to the metal to race through the timers in 35.14 seconds without tipping any rails. The remaining three athletes would try their best to catch King’s time, but none could do it without accruing faults to their scores, ultimately crowning him the winner and leaving Harley in second place while Tyree rounded out the top three.
King (USA) spoke highly of his partner of three years, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Seabright Investments, stating that the jump-off format played in his favor with room to open up his large stride and gallop between fences to leave strides out across the course. King has celebrated a number of podium finished throughout his time at Flintfields Horse Park, including a second place finish in the $230,000 TraverseCity.com Grand Prix CSI5* with Magic Mike and helping Team Road Runners to a third place finish in the Major League Show Jumping $200,000 Team Competition CSI5* aboard Etalon. However, an unfortunate accident for one of King’s friends, Stuart Belkin, made his win in the $36,600 Winning Round CSI 3* and his other top results at GLEF all that more meaningful for him and his trusty partners.
Jumper competition at Week V of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will continue Friday, August 6, with the Kasowitz Benson Torres High Junior/AO Jumper taking to the Turtle Creek & Casino International Ring at 8:00 am. CSI3* competition will resume immediately after with the $36,600 Welcome Stake, and the Markel/USHJA Zone 5 & 6 Jumper Team / Platinum Jumper Championships will continue later that afternoon.
From the Winner’s Circle
Kyle King (USA) – $36,600 Winning Round CSI3* winner
“Enzo is a 12-year-old gelding that I have had in my string for like three years now. He is the [horse I have had the] longest that I have had that I competed in the grand prixs. He is a very consistent player and it was a super jump-off format today because he has that big stride so it worked out good and I could really carry it! Jim and Maureen Kungle own him and they have been really patient with him. They have owned him I think since he was five years old and I got the ride three years ago and we have had a lot of success. I was a little worried going down to the last jump because we could have won about 10 more grand prixs then we have one [if we didn’t have the last raild down]. It was a really good jump-off and I think I did enough early that I could be patient at the end. I have been riding with a pretty heavy heart here. A really good friend of mine named Stuart Belkin, who really supports me a lot, had a bad accident right before I came here and I really feel like that has added to my focus. The horses are jumping great and it has been a great tour. We love it up here!”
On the top 10 returning for the jump-off:
“Yeah, [I felt like it played to my advantage]. I like these classes because some days you can actually have a rail and still get a chance to come back in the jump-off. Not here! Here you have to go ride the first round like it’s a speed, which is a little bit my style anyway, so they kind of suit me. I was really happy to see how the jump-off was laid out. Two weeks ago, I did the same class with Enzo and the jump-off was only six, maybe seven efforts and was a little twisty-turny course. Today they really allowed you to open up your stride, which was to my advantage. I liked it today!”
On the jump-off:
“I think [fence] one to two showed up really good. I was able to watch [Gavin Harley] go right before me and see where his footsteps went. I think coming to the blue oxer at the end of the jump-off I saw where he [waited] a little bit in the 10 [strides], so I went a little bit wider, was able turn inside and leave a stride out going to the black vertical, [the second to last fence].”
On showing at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival:
“It has been great! You know, it has been a whirlwind. Like I said, we had that really rough week when we were getting ready to come here. I don’t have my normal team with me so it was a little bit of a struggle, but the horses have all jumped great, so that has made it great and it is starting to come around! I am getting comfortable being here. The footing has been fantastic here and I think the horses jump great on it, so it has been great!”
Final Results – $36,600 Winning Round CSI 3*
1) Kyle King (USA) & Enzo – 0 / 0 – 35.14
2) Gavin Harley (IRL) & Kavalli Di Magico – 0 / 0 – 36.41
3) Catherine Tyree (USA) & Bokai – 0 / 0 – 36.45
4) Schuyler Riley (USA) & Quilimbo – 0 / 0 – 38.72
5) Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) & Pia Contra – 0 / 0 – 39.12
6) Bliss Heers (USA) & Goodbye – 0 / 4 – 37.28
7) Shawn Casady (USA) & Kaiser Van Het Lambroeck – 0 / 4 – 37.77
8) Schuyler Riley (USA) & Sandilot PS – 0 / 4 – 39.60
9) Antonio Maurer (MEX) & Sandorado – 0 / 4 – 39.95
10) Paul O’Shea (IRL) & Chancelloress – 0 / 8 – 37.15
Source: Press Release by Georgie Hammond / Phelps Sport for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography