CSI 2*

Samantha Schaefer & Frasier Fly to First in the $39,000 Speed Challenge CSI 2* at Traverse City

Traverse City, Michigan, USA – September 14, 2023 – Samantha Schaefer (USA) brought her longtime partner Frasier into the $39,000 Speed Challenge CSI 2* 1.45m Thursday afternoon with no expectation to win. “I went into the class not thinking that winning was my goal,” she said. But her faith in Frasier and their partnership led them to pick up the pace and take victory out of 60 pairs.

“I was just thinking of setting up for [the Grand Prix CSI2*] on Saturday,” she continued of her plan. “I put him in this division to have fun and he felt great, so I went with it. It’s unexpected to win a speed on Frasier out of 60 horses.”

Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier

Back at Traverse City Horse Shows almost solo for the week for the American Gold Cup, Schaefer has the opportunity to focus on her own riding without teaching her various clients at the same time.

“I’m actually here just with myself and Grace Debney (GBR),” she explained. “We brought eight horses between the two of us. It feels like a vacation so it’s really nice. I’m lucky that [the team is] able to keep everything going back home.”

Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier

With her two top show jumpers, both owned by Bonne Vie LLC, she split her time between the CSI 2* and CSI 5* divisions, letting James Bond HX try something new while Frasier steps back slightly  into a very comfortable level. 

“He’s the best,” she said of Frasier, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Carambole x Padinus). “He is awesome all around. He’s great in the barn and day to day. Anytime I can call on him he’s always there. Even today, he’s not necessarily a speed horse but he was so rideable and in the game today.”

Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier

Her round was early in the field of 60, over a course set by Alan Wade (IRL), and her time of 69.67 seconds held all the way through.

Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Cachemire de Braize

Daniel Bluman (ISR) was second with Cachemire de Braize, owned by Over the Top Stables LLC, crossing the timers in 69.99 seconds.

Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & RR Combella

Shane Sweetnam (IRL) took third with RR Combella, who he co-owns with Voquest LLC, registering no penalties in 70.45 seconds.

Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier

Schaefer is making this week count, knowing a demanding indoors schedule will limit her time in the saddle. “This is both James Bond and Frasier’s last show before the National [Horse Show] or Florida,” she explained. “I have to focus on my clients and indoors, so they get a little bit of a break. They go hard in Florida, and this is my last hurrah before they head south.”

Major League Show Jumping presents riders a unique opportunity to ride in two FEI divisions in the course of one weekend. Schaefer is one of several taking advantage of that.

“I love having the opportunity to ride in the five-star and two-star this week,” she reflected. “I didn’t really have a horse for the [CSI5* American Gold Cup], so I split them up and I’m testing the younger horse in the [five-star] ranking classes. For someone like me, being able to do both divisions in the same weekend is really special and makes it more worthwhile being here.”

Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier with Ivan Rakowsky during the awards ceremony

Final Results – $39,000 Speed Challenge CSI 2*

1) Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier – 0 – 69.67

2) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Cachemire de Braize – 0 – 69.99

3) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & RR Combella – 0 / 0 – 70.45

Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Shows

Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography / Megan Giese Photography