Traverse City, Michigan, USA – July 24, 2022 – Schuyler Riley (USA) and Robin De Ponthual ran away with the victory in Sunday’s $73,800 Traverse City Grand Prix CSI 2* to wrap up the third week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Riley and Katherine Gallagher’s 17-year-old Selle Français gelding (Elf D’Or x Calypso D’Herbiers) set the pace to beat early and could not be caught.
An international field of 34 came forward in Sunday’s class to test Manuel Esparza’s (MEX) first-round course. The field was whittled down to nine clear round efforts, with seven U.S. riders and one from Canada. Riley, second to jump off, omitted strides nearly everywhere she could on the short track, racing to a time of 34.91 seconds and leaving the remaining seven pairs to try and catch her.
“Robin has a massive stride and the jump-off suited his stride,” Riley said of her top mount. “We walked specific numbers. I was on my plan until the vertical [at the second to last] and did one extra. Then I saw one less to the last. So the math all worked out in my favor!
“He always had the talent,” she continued about Robin De Ponthual, a horse she’s had the ride on for several years. “He is a very sensitive animal and it took about a year and a half for us to really bond. Since we’ve bonded he will turn himself inside out for me. I trust him completely and he is amazing.”
Just behind Riley in second place by less than two-tenths of a second was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata, owned by Silver Raven Farms.
Jonathan McCrea (USA) and Fantasy BB, a horse owned by Windsor Show Stables, rounded out the top three in 37.45 seconds.
“We used this week as a prep for the five-star because it’s two weeks out,” Riley said of her plan for Robin De Ponthual. “As an older horse, even though he’s super talented and scopey, it’s nice for them to have a week where they don’t have to bust their butts all the time. It keeps them sounder in the long run. He’s an amazing creature. I’m so lucky to have him.”
With one week remaining before CSI 5* competition resumes at the Flintfields Horse Park, Robin De Ponthual will get the following week off to flat and recover to face even bigger tracks in the coming weeks, hoping for a top result in the Major League Show Jumping Grand Prix CSI 5*.
Riley’s arrival in Traverse City was delayed this season due to moving from her farm in New Jersey, but the season is off to a winning start. “It’s amazing,” she echoed. “I love it here. Between moving boxes and unpacking and repacking, I’m just happy to be at a horse show.”
Margie Engle (USA) still tops the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider leaderboard with 47 points, and Cathleen Driscoll (USA) sits closely behind in second with 44 points.
Final Results: $73,800 Traverse City Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Schuyler Riley (USA) & Robin de Ponthual: 2005 SF gelding by Elf D’Or x Calypso D’Herbiers, Katherine Gallagher – 0 / 0 – 34.91
2) Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Mattata: 2008 AHHA mare by Quinar Z x Landwind II, Silver Raven Farms – 0 / 0 – 35.06
3) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Fantasy BB: 2010 KWPN mare by Cardento x Labor’s VDL Indorado, Windsor Show Stables – 0 / 0 – 37.45
4) Anna Wilks (CAN) & Ma Pomme de Tamerville: 2012 BWP mare by Deauville Van T&L x Contendro II, IN Showjumpers – 0 / 0 – 37.87
5) Wesley Newlands (CAN) & Maestro van het Binnenveld: 2012 BWP stallion by Hunter’s Scendix x Conan Z,Weslands Farm – 0 / 4 – 37.61
6) Eva Fisherman (USA) & Casallvano: 2009 HOLST gelding by Casall x Gestion Silvano N, Eva Fisherman – 0 / 4 – 37.90
7) Natalie Dean (USA) & Maestro Vica vd Ark: 2012 BWP stallion by Lordanos x Heartbreaker, Marigold Sporthorses LLC – 0 / 8 – 35.40
8) Victoria Ketchum (USA) & Isaac 22 ISAAC 22: 2008 BWP gelding by Nonstop x Darco, Copperline Farm LLC – 0 / 8 – 39.74
9) Emma Sargent (USA) & Giolita: 2011 KWPN mare by C-Ingmar x Padinus, Emma Sargent – 0 / WD
10) Mavis Spencer (USA) & Carissimo 25: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cascadello x Clinton, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman – 2 -78.30
11) Hailey Royce (USA) & Sonic Boom: 2012 SWB gelding by Seacoast Wonderful, Double Clear LLC – 4 – 71.51
12) Olivia Chowdry (USA) & Chuck Berry 8: 2007 HANN gelding by Chacco Blue x Watzmann, Atlas Equine Holdings LLC – 4 – 71.83
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography