Traverse City, Michigan – September 10, 2021 – The third day of competition at the Traverse City Tournament of Champions saw a continuation of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, presented by The Davis McCullough Foundation. Taking center stage in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring Friday afternoon was the $36,600 GGT Footing Welcome Stake CSI 3*. Not only were valuable points up for grabs towards the coveted CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus, each athlete was hopeful to put forth a solid effort in order to qualify for a spot in Sunday’s highlight event, the $137,000 Agero Grand Prix CSI 3*. Out of a total of 37 athletes, it was Israel’s Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura who emerged victorious to take home the top prize.
Mexico’s Anderson Lima (BRA) crafted the 13-obstacle first round track fit for the CSI 3* lineup. Taking athletes and their horses on a winding tour around the expansive arena, the course featured a double and triple combination, in addition to a careful wall jump that was the source of many faults on course. Navigating the first clear round of the class was Great Britain’s Grace Debney (GBR) and Faro. A jump-off was forced when Argentina’s Tomas Yofre (ARG) and Cardora crossed through the timers with all of the rails intacat. A total of 16 additional athletes would add their name to the jump-off order of go, including Tanner Korotkin (USA), Shane Sweetnam (IRL), Andrew Welles (USA), Ali Wolff (USA), Eric Krawitt (CAN), Brooke Kemper (USA), Beat Mandli (SUI), Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Richie Moloney (IRL).
Eight efforts would make up the shortened jump-off course with Grace Debney (GBR) taking to the arena first in the lineup. A clear effort in 43.26 seconds from her and Faro, owned by Temple Equestrian LLC, would put the pressure on for the remaining 15 pairs who would need to leave all fences intact while shaving seconds off of the clock. Second into the arena, Tomas Yofre (ARG) and Cardora, owned by Stellium Sport Horses LLC, completed a tidy track, crossing the timers in a clear 40.720 seconds to immediately take over the lead. Korotkin and Deauville S were next to challenge, but an unfortunate 4 faults would leave them out of contention. Ireland’s Sweetnam was nearly fault-free aboard Ideal, but the pair would tip the rail of the final fence to end on 4 faults.
Turning and burning through the shortened track, Andrew Welles (USA) and Evergreen Stables LLC’s And Action would become the new leaders after a clear effort in 40.590 seconds. Two others would try to unseat Welles, but neither were quick enough without accruing faults until Wolff (USA) and Quirie 2 put their best foot forward to take over the lead in 39.82 seconds. Shulman (USA) and her trusty mount, Villamoura, were next on course. The notoriously quick pair did not disappoint, overtaking the lead in a blazing 36.64 seconds, more than three seconds faster than Wolff’s leading time.
Krawitt (CAN) and Cactus de Cosniere put in a valiant effort on the heels of Shulman, producing a round quick enough to slide into second place in 38 seconds.
Faults on course for Kemper and Mandli would bump them down the leaderboard, but a speedy 38.08-second round from Vanderveen (USA) and veteran mount Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili would put them in third place. Sweetnam (IRL) and Moloney were the final two to try their hand at the course, but neither could produce top-three ribbon rounds, ultimately lending Shulman and Villamoura the top honors. Eric Krawitt (CAN) and Cactus de Cosniere would settle for second place, while Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili would take home third place.
Shulman (ISR) and the 12-year-old Selle Français mare are known for their speed and agility through tracks up to the CSI 5* level. Partnered together for five years now, the feisty mare recently helped Shulman break into the top 100 in the FEI World Rankings after taking three CSI5* wins in just two weeks during the 2021 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. Following their successful weeks in Traverse City earlier in the year, Villamoura enjoyed a month off at Shulman’s home base in Greenwich, Connecticut, which made her eager to step back into the arena for the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament.
Following Friday’s competition, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) continues to hold his lead on the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus Leaderboard. After receiving the sought-after bonus in 2020, Sweetnam has set himself up nicely for a shot at the prize money again, currently sitting on a total of 44 points. Laurie has dropped down to the second position with her total of 42 points, while Kyle King (USA) sits in the third position with 38 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Show 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 CSI 5*, 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.
Show jumping competition during Week II of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions will continue Saturday, September 11, spotlighting one of the highlight events of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, the $5,000 Kevin’s Benefit Classic, presented by Greenberg Traurig. Saturday’s Silver Oak Jumper Tournament competition will conclude with the $7,500 Rood & Riddle 1.35m Jumper.
Winner’s Circle – Sydney Shulman – $36,600 GGT Footing Welcome Stake CSI 3*
“She is amazing and every time that I come to show, I think it is possible that she wants to win more than I do or vice versa. The two wins that she won this summer during the Major League Show Jumping shows, she was just flying and totally unbelievable. I felt a little pressure coming back here for [the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament] and [American] Gold Cup, but she actually jumped better after having a month off at home and we were hungry to get back into the show routine.”
On her plan for the jump-off:
“[Villamoura] is like a junior jumper turned grand prix horse. She is everything that you could ever want and more in any type of horse that you would want in a jump-off. She is so brave and so hungry to jump the jumps. If you are in the near vicinity of a jump and think a step ahead, then you are flying and naturally end up so much faster. When I jumped fence one, I got a really good gallop to it. To the wall, she actually zoned into it for the eight strides and I was like ‘No Minnie, we are fitting in nine!’ Her stride is actually very big when she gets cruising and nine [strides] was the right number for her. After that, I just tried to look and stay inside of everybody else’s footprints to the CaptiveOne [Advisors] jump. I personally think that I won it to the next jump, the eagle jump, where I did eight strides. Even though I did not plan a number there, it just happened. She jumped it incredibly. There are not many horses that you can run at a vertical-vertical [combination], but she jumped it amazing in the first round and I knew that I could take a shot. I think that when I went around the water, before the cards jump, I actually took a minute and set it up which gave me an extra stride there. I got lucky with a rub there because I was anxious looking for the last jump too soon but she just flew to the last. She is pretty hard to beat when she is on her game. She is really fun.”
On competing at the Traverse City Tournament of Champions:
“This is our fourth or fifth year coming here. We come with a big group during the summer with Back Country Farm and I am going to be here for the next two weeks with Major League Show Jumping. We also used to show at the Silver Oak Show Jumping Tournament when it was in Fieldstone and we have always been drawn to it’s family atmosphere. It is a great feel and they offer so many great classes. The weather has been phenomenal, the horses have been amazing and Anderson Lima is my go-to course designer and his tracks always ride really nicely. We are excited for the next two weeks!”
Final Results – $36,600 GGT Footing Welcome Stake CSI 3*
Place / Horse / Rider / R 1 Faults | R2 Faults | R2 Time
1) Sydney Shulman (ISR) & Villamoura – 0 / 0 – 36.640
2) Eric Krawitt (CAN) & Cactus de Cosniere – 0 / 0 – 38.000
3) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili – 0 / 0 – 38.080
4) Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2 – 0 / 0 – 38.080
5) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Birdy du Thot – 0 / 0 – 40.470
6) Andrew Welles (USA) & And Action – 0 / 0 – 40.590
7) Tomas Yofre (ARG) & Cardora – 0 / 0 – 40.720
8) Grace Debney (GBR) & Faro – 0 / 0 | 43.260
9) Jennifer Waxman (USA) & Scato Van de Molenbrug Z – 0 / 44.370
10) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Ideal – 0 / 4 – 39.140
11) Tanner Korotkin (USA) & Deauville S – 0 / 4 – 41.060
12) Lacey Gilbertson (USA) & Viti De Longa – 0 / 4 – 44.820
Source: Press Release by Georgie Hammond / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography