Traverse City, Michigan, USA – September 18, 2021 – The final day of Major League Show Jumping Competition got underway in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring with the MLSJ $36,600 Cabana Coast Large Tour 1.45m Grand Prix CSI 2*. The class showcased 45 horse-and-rider combinations, ending in a competitive and close fight for the top placings. Saving the best for last to nab the win by only three-tenths of a second, Tomas Yofre (ARG) of Argentina took home the lion’s share of the prize money aboard Cardora. Karl Cook (USA) and Ircos IV secured the second place finish, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) rounded out the top three with Alejandro.
Georgina Bloomberg (USA) set the pace during the first round of the class by being the first rider to jump Alan Wade’s (IRL) 12-obstacle course clean on Sempa Fidelis, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, LLC. After Bloomberg, nine other riders were able to complete the course without penalty to earn their right to come back to the ring to complete the shortened jump-off course.
Bloomberg again set the pace in the jump off with a second clear effort, stopping the clock in a time of 33.690 seconds. Immediately following, Christine McCrea (USA) tried to catch Bloomberg’s effort, but came up short, finishing in a time of 37.530 seconds. Cook (USA) was the next rider to take a shot on Ircos IV, a horse that he has already been successful with during the Traverse City Horse Shows series, winning the $137,000 Agero Grand Prix CSI 3* just one week ago.
Karl Cook (USA) used Ircos IV’s huge stride to his advantage and easily overtook Bloomberg’s leading position to trip the timers in 33.020 seconds. Cook (USA) had extra incentive to win class, as he was looking to secure points toward the $30,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus up for grabs.
Another rider known to be one that is difficult to out run in the jump off, Shane Sweetnam (IRL), tried his hand at Wade’s shortened course riding Alejandro, but fell just short of Cook’s (USA) time, crossing through the timers in 33.450 seconds.
The final rider in contention for the top title was Argentina’s Tomas Yofre (ARG) riding Stellium Sport Horse LLC’s Cardora. Yofre, who has been competing in the United States successfully for more than five years, left it all on the line as he pushed the 11-year-old Holestiner mare to victory in 32.710 seconds after galloping the last line in six strides, where all of the previous athletes had been more conservative to ride the line in seven strides. The win marked a turning point in Yofre’s (ARG) relationship with Cardora. After starting the mare in the 1.30m classes in Wellington, Florida, earlier in the year, Yofre recognized the untapped potential Cardora possessed and started working towards testing her at bigger classes throughout the summer. Yofre has high hopes for the partnership and looks forward to entering the FEI CSI5* class later in the year and in 2022.
Winner’s Circle – Tomas Yofre (ARG) $36,600 Cabana Coast Large Tour Grand Prix 1.45m CSI 2*
On his plan for the jump-off:
“I know [Cardora] is not the fastest one, but I have a huge stride, so I knew if I could do one less in every line, I could beat the time. I was lucky that in the last line everyone else did seven [strides], and I asked some people if the six was possible and they told me yes, so that that part was the best for me. I ended up with the six and it worked out!”
“I want to say thank you to the Broder Family that gave me the chance to ride the mare. She is amazing. I started to ride her in Wellington, Florida, so I have had her for seven months. We started doing the 1.30m and the 1.35m, then she started to show a lot of scope and that she wanted to do it. She is super brave and last week, to start, she was super good, so we put it a little down and she was perfect. Now, she is ready to go again!”
“Outside of the ring she is amazing. She is super quite, amazing to ride, she is a big mover, a little stiff, but everything she is doing, she is doing really great, so I am happy. In the ring she is so brave that you can trust her and she will jump from anywhere. I am really happy. I will try to jump CSI4* and CSI5* competitions with her – I think she can do it. We will go slow, but next we will go to a show in West Virginia, so we will go there and try to do the CSI5* classes. Probably not the big one, but we will start to move up a little bit.”
On his Stellium Sport Horses LLC:
“We are based in Wellington in the winter and then Kentucky in the summer. I am training Oliva Broder, and she owns a stable so I am the main trainer there, and then I do somet stuff for my uncle because he always helps me a lot, like he helps me with this mare all the time, so we keep it in the family all the time! I have been based in the U.S. for five years, so hopefully I can stay a little more. I am happy here and everything is working, so I am really happy.”
“Stellium Sport Horses is owned by Olivia Broder and the Broder family. She is doing the Medium, High and Low Amateur Jumpers. She has a big future in front of her – She is really nice and loves the horses, so that is really good for me because they don’t ask for results for anything. I am really grateful for that.”
On competing in Traverse City:
“I have been coming here for four years and I love it, it’s amazing! This week the weather was amazing, so I am really happy! It is amazing [to win on the day of the American Gold Cup]. It is always good to win, for everybody, for the sponsors, for your family in Argentina that is far away! It is super nice to win during this prestigious event, so I am really happy.”
On competing in the CSI2* Major League classes:
“I think it is really nice and a good idea. The more classes you can do, for me, it’s better. I like it and I think it’s really nice and more people come here and jump better. I am not part of the league but we came for the CSI2* competition.”
Final Results – $36,600 Cabana Coast Large Tour Grand Prix CSI 2*
Place / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / R2 Time
1) Tomas Yofre (ARG) & Cardora – 0 / 0 – 32.710
2) Karl Cook (USA) & Ircos IV – 0 / 0 – 33.020
3) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Alejandro – 0 / 0 – 33.450
4) Georgina Bloomberg (USA) & Sempa Fidelis – 0 / 0 – 33.690
5) Jennifer Waxman (USA) & Scato van de Molenbrug Z – 0 / 0 – 34.790
6) Jonathan Millar (CAN) & Isotropic Shadow – 0 / 0 – 35.520
7) Christine McCrea (USA) & Julieta – 0 / 0 – 37.530
8) Ashley Vogel (USA) & Madiba AG Z – 0 / 4 – 34.590
9) Lauren Hough (USA) & Christy JNR – 0 / 8 – 35.100
10) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Glen – 0 / 12 – 37.740
11) Christian Heineking (USA) & NKH Shiloh – 1 / 73.940
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photo: © Andrew Ryback Photography