Traverse City, Michigan, USA – July 06, 2023 – Cathleen Driscoll (USA) knows she can rely on her partner Flotylla to carry her to a speed win, and that’s exactly what she brought home in the $38,700 Speed Classic Thursday to open FEI competition for the 2023 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
Coming first in the order, Driscoll and Flotylla, a 12-year-old Polish-bred mare owned by Don Stewart, proved they would be tough to catch, blazing around Catsy Cruz’s (MEX) single-round course in an impressive 56.12 seconds.
“She’s naturally very fast so I wanted to put a little pressure on those coming later without going too crazy or too extreme,” Driscoll, of Elk Mills, MD, said of her plan for Thursday’s class. “I just kept the big stride and the turns tight. She’s naturally so quick across the ground that it just ends up working out for us in the end.”
While riders attempted to catch the leading time from the outset, only a few riders were able to come within a second, and several of them had a rail down on the way.
Daisy Farish (USA), coming in closer to the end of the order, came close with Etonemoi del Cabalero, owned by Lanes End Showjumping, clocking in at 57.57 seconds.
She took second place while Samantha Schaefer (USA) took third on a clear effort of 61.45 seconds with Frasier, owned by Bonne Vie LLC.
“Flotylla has been in our barn for about two and a half years now and I know her like the back of my hand,” Driscoll said of her relationship. “She’s my go-to horse for these 1.45m speed classes. We have such a good partnership and good relationship. I know where I can call on her and count on her, and she trusts me now so it’s a fantastic feeling walking into the ring on a horse like that.”
Driscoll is rising through the ranks of international show jumping with her elite string, with plans to compete at the CSI5* level later on this season at the Flintfields Horse Park. Until then, Flotylla will continue to pull her weight in the CSI3* speeds.
“She’s such a special mare and we really try to place her in classes where she can shine,” she continued. “I also have two grand prix horses so I use them a little more in these three-star grand prixs and the five-star Major League week coming up. I also have two younger horses that will be stepping up into the two-stars later this circuit as well. It’s nice to have those opportunities to bring young horses along here.”
The summer season in Traverse City has been a fruitful one for Driscoll in the past, so she looks forward to competing the rest of her string as the summer goes on.
“I can’t complain; Traverse City has always been a fantastic horse show for us,” she remarked. “We get a house on the lake and it’s really nice being up here for the summer. The horses jump fantastic, the footing is great, and I’m really happy with the improvements they’ve made this year. The FEI barns are beautiful so we’re glad to be back.”
Final Results – $38,700 Speed Classic CSI 3*
1) Cathleen Driscoll (USA) & Flotylla – 0 – 56.12
2) Daisy Farish (USA) & Etonemoi del Cabalero – 0 – 57.57
3) Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier – 0 – 61.45
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © GLEF / Megan Giese Photography / Andrew Ryback Photography