Traverse City, Michigan, USA – June 22, 2023 – The pace in Thursday afternoon’s $38,700 Welcome Stake CSI 3* like it couldn’t get any quicker as the field reached the halfway point of the class. But then Quentin Judge (USA) stepped in.
With a relatively new mount, HH Jamil Field, Judge had something to say about the time to beat, shaving nearly two seconds off an already quick pace.
“This is actually his first international class,” Judge said of the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mylord Carthago x Chin Chin). “He’s my favorite horse that we have, which I’m embarrassed to say because he’s bad in the barn. He’s mean, he kicks, but he’s really a fun horse to ride.”
Speed riders came out in force for Thursday’s class, with 25 combinations giving their best shot over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) course, and each one coming faster than the last. Coming off a CSI3* grand prix win the previous week, Katie Dinan (USA) held the lead for quite some time with Atika des Haus Vents, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, but Judge came in on a relatively unknown horse and showed everyone in Traverse City and beyond what the horse was made of.
Securing the win as his own, Judge pushed Dinan into second, where she remained until the end of the class. Roberto Teran (COL) claimed third with DSP Callas. The class kicked off international action during the third and final week of the Traverse City Horse Shows, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.
“We bought him as an 8-year-old last year,” Judge continued about HH Jamil Field. “We didn’t jump him at all at WEF. We gave him a little extra time because he’s such a specific, weird horse. I built him up in the spring up to this level and it was his first ranking class. He was great from jump one all the way to the end. He’s a real fighter and he’s going to be a really good horse for our string long term.”
As for what makes the horse special enough to overlook the difficulties, Judge said, “He’s a trier. Every jump, even if it’s not the prettiest jumping effort, he tries not to knock it down. He turns, he can go fast, he can leave out; it’s his own style but he does everything really well and you can feel him really trying. My wife always says I like bad horses who are naughty and he is the epitome of that, but he’s a good horse all around.”
Judge and his home team at Double H Farm manage the gelding very carefully, with a padded stall, plenty of turnout, and priority on the feeding schedule. The thought given to the horse’s care schedule is clearly starting to pay off in results.
While Judge came during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in 2022, he had an up-and-coming string and wasn’t a top contender in FEI classes. With more horsepower, he’s excited to return for a shot at the big prize money and ranking points.
“I’m here this year with a bigger string for FEI,” he continued. “I think this is a great show. I’ve never come during the spring series and I’d always see the results from this part of the year; it seemed like it was great competition. For younger horses like I have, it’s a really good taste of FEI competition.”
Judge himself isn’t the only one enjoying everything Traverse City has to offer. “We have hunters, jumpers, all levels, so it’s a good show for us because we can go in every ring,” he shared. “I have young kids who are in camp here on the lake. It’s all in all a great show for us.”
With his other top mount, HH Zorro Z, aimed at the $145,100 Grand Prix CSI 3* Sunday afternoon, Judge is sitting in a promising position with his string and looks forward to a successful summer achieving more top results and enjoying the Michigan backdrop.
Final Results–$38,700 Welcome Stake CSI 3* – 1.45
1) Quentin Judge (USA) & HH Jamil Field – 0 – 58.71
2) Katherine Dinan (USA) & Atika Des Hauts Vents – 0 – 60.33
3) Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) & DSP Callas – 0 – 60.54
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography