Traverse City, Michigan, USA – July 29, 2022 – Olivia Chowdry (USA) chased down the victory Thursday afternoon to kick off the fourth week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, in the $37,000 Speed Classic CSI 2* aboard her longtime partner Chuck Berry 8, owned by Atlas Equine Holdings, LLC.
From a field of 46 international entries, Chowdry, of Denver, CO, came in just before the midway point to test the speed track built by Marina Azevedo (BRA).
First to go, Columbia’s Mark Bluman (COL) and his first of three rides, Noortje VD Windheuvel, owned by Over The Top Stables LLC, captured the first clear-round time of 64.05 seconds.
It took until Chowdry, 19th in the order, before his lead was disrupted. Chowdry sped to a time of 61.40 seconds, which would hold until the class closed.
“Today I went with what my horse’s strengths are,” Chowdry said of her strategy. “There were a lot of tight left turns and he likes to go left so that was definitely to my advantage. His scope and his speed are his best qualities. He was perfect. He loves to run, that’s the best thing for him. He’s a hot horse.”
“It started pretty rocky,” Chowdry said of the 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Chacco Blue x Watzmann). “He’s a quirky horse but his characteristics are what make him the best. He really taught me everything I know to this point in my career. He continues to teach me; Everyday I’m learning something new with him. He gives me 100% every time but the speed classes are definitely where he shines.”
The only pair close to catching her was Cathleen Driscoll (USA) with her on-form mount Magnolia in a time of 62.94 seconds. Their effort placed them second while Bluman settled for third.
Paired together for about three years, Chowdry had the benefit of her trainers getting to know Chuck Berry 8 before she took the reins. “I ride with Katie and Henri Prudent,” she continued. “They found him in Germany. He’s quite quirky so it was great because Katiehad him for over a year, so she knew what was best for him and what his secret recipe was. The first time he jumped FEI they brought the passport over and a letter fell out of it. When they opened the letter it said, ‘I’ve never been flatted; I’m only lunged and I go to the ring. I love speed classes, I love to gallop, and nobody ever flats me.’ It was signed by Chuck. It’s a funny story.”
With two podium finishes already under her belt this season at GLEF, Chowdry feels good heading into her final week here in Traverse City. “This has been a fantastic show,” she continued. “We’ve had great weather. There’s so much to do outside the horse show. It’s fantastic for sponsors; they’ve done such a great job with bringing in local sponsors to support the area in Traverse City. The footing is fantastic; it’s the same in all the rings so you have lots of places to ride. Even if it really rains, their system keeps the footing good. It’s great for owners, for spectators, for the horses, and there’s lots to do. It’s a lovely place to be in the summer.”
With her second-place position Thursday, Driscoll overtook the top spot on the CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus Leaderboard. International competition resumes Friday with the $37,000 Groulx Welcome Stake CSI 2*.
Final Results: $37,000 Speed Classic CSI 2*
1. Olivia Chowdry (USA) & Chuck Berry 8: 2007 HANN gelding by Chacco Blue x Watzmann, Atlas Equine Holdings LLC: 0/61.40
2. Cathleen Driscoll (USA) & Magnolia: 2012 KWPN mare by Mylord Carthago x Van Gogh, Plain Bay Sales: 0/62.94
3. Mark Bluman (COL) & Noortje vd Windheuvel: 2013 BWP mare by Farfelu De Muze x Kannan, Over The Top Stables LLC: 0/64.05
4. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) & Sempa Fidelis: 2009 HANN mare by Stakkato Gold x Concetto Famos, Gotham Enterprizes LLC: 0/64.95
5. Natalie Dean (USA) & Cocolina: 2011 OS mare by Conthargos x Papillon Rouge, Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 65.51
6. Ali Wolff (USA) & Casall: 2005 HOLST gelding by Casall x Capitol I, Blacklick Bend Farm: 0/65.99
7. Elena Haas (USA) & Centana: 2011 OS mare by Centadel x Contender, Elena Haas: 0/67.58
8. Freddie Vazquez (PUR) & KirschwasserSCF: 2010 BWP gelding by Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve, Freddie Vazquez: 0/68.54
9. Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Gazelle: 2011 KWPN mare by Diarado x Ukato, Windsor Show Stables: 0/68.80
10. Matthew Boddy (GBR) & Cliff Z: 2008 ZANG gelding by Canturano x Quasimodo Z, Gotham Enterprizes LLC: 0/68.95
11. Emma Catherine Reichow (USA) & Forever Alve: 2010 KWPN mare by Numero Uno x Berlin, Emma Catherine Reichow: 0/68.99
12. Mavis Spencer (USA) & Carissimo 25: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cascadello x Clinton, Georgy Maskrey-Segesman: 0/69.54
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography