Lake Placid, NY – May 25, 2017 – Olympic course designers Guilherme Jorge and Steve Stephens headline an impressive line-up of course designers at the 2017 Lake Placid Horse Shows, presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC and sponsored by Bainbridge Farm. Joining Jorge and Stephens is Michel Vaillancourt to design the courses for the 48th annual event that will take place June 27- July 9 for two weeks of spectacular world-class show jumping competition!
For almost five decades, the Lake Placid Horse Shows have hosted the nation’s top horses and riders at their world-class venue. With three top course designers set to design the tracks at this year’s event, the competition will be second to none! The 2017 shows will offer more than 100 classes of competition each week for riders at all levels, from children on ponies to grand prix competitors and Olympic medalists. Each show is USEF ‘AA’ rated for hunters and 6* rated for Jumpers and this year’s shows offer over $535,000 in prize money.
“We are so thrilled to have three phenomenal course designers coming to the Lake Placid Horse Shows this year,” said Richard M. Feldman, Chairman of the Lake Placid Horse Show Association. “It’s an absolute privilege to have Guilherme Jorge join us together with Steve Stephens and Michel Vaillancourt. What a fantastic opportunity for riders to jump courses designed by Olympic and other world-class course designers!”
Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, the Course Designer for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, is an FEI Level 4 course designer. He has been designing courses around the world for over 20 years, including, in addition to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the 2007 and 2005 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas, the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, the Hampton Classic, Spruce Meadows, the Winter Equestrian Festival and many other international competitions. He also worked as an Assistant Course Designer at four Olympic Games, several FEI World Cup™ Finals and two FEI World Equestrian Games™. He is highly respected by the world’s leading riders. This is the first time that Jorge will be designing courses at the Lake Placid Horse Shows.
One of the most highly respected and experienced course designers in the world, Steve Stephens, course designer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong has been involved with the Lake Placid Horse Shows for decades. In addition to Lake Placid, Stephens has been course designer at dozens of major horse shows including the Washington International, National Horse Show, Royal Winter Fair, Winter Equestrian Festival, Pennsylvania National, Devon and the American Invitational for which he was the only course designer for nearly 30 years. Internationally, he has designed courses in Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico, and at the 1987 Pan American Games. He won the award as Course Designer of the Year for two consecutive years and in 2004 he was certified through the Aachen School of Course Design.In 2013 he was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and also honored with the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Stephens was also a successful Grand Prix rider. He trained with the USET and competed from 1968 through 1986. He won such major events as the Cleveland Grand Prix, American Gold Cup, Grand Prix of Montreal and the American Grandprix Association Championships. Stephens has also served as U.S. Chef d’Equipe five times. His teams won the Nations’ Cup four of those times, most notably, the Nations’ Cup World Final in Lanaken, Belgium in 1991. Stephens has also served as manager of some of the nation’s biggest and most significant horse shows including the Winter Equestrian Festival, National Horse Show and Hampton Classic where he served as manager for 30 years. He has also been Technical Delegate at four FEI World Cup Finals. He also owns Stephens Equestrian Designs, which specializes in the design and manufacture of show jumps for horse shows.
Originally from Quebec, Canada, and now based in the U.S., Michel Vaillancourt is an FEI Level 4 course designer who designs jumping courses all over the world at top international competitions. He was the Course Designer at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto where his courses received numerous accolades from the top competitors. He was honored as the 2016 Jump Canada Official of the Year. Vaillancourt is known for producing challenging yet fair courses and he attributes his success as a course designer to his success as a competitor. This is also his first time designing courses at Lake Placid.
At the age of 22, Vaillancourt became the youngest rider ever to win an Olympic medal in show jumping (a record he still holds today) after claiming the individual silver at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. This performance also put him into the history books as the first Canadian rider to win an individual Olympic medal. Vaillancourt was part of the Canadian Show Jumping Team at the 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games, bringing home Team Bronze and Silver medals, respectively. He also helped Canada win Team Gold at the 1980 Alternate Olympics in Rotterdam. In 2009, Vaillancourt was inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame.
The Lake Placid Horse Show will take place June 27- July 2, highlighted by the $75,000 Devoucoux Grand Prix on Sunday, July 2. The I Love New York Horse Show will follow on July 4-9, featuring the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix on Saturday, July 8 followed by the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Eastern Hay & Grain and Purina Animal Nutrition on Sunday, July 9. The National Show Hunter Hall of Fame named the Lake Placid Horse Shows as one of the nation’s top-ten horse shows and top-six Derbys of 2016, a double honor bestowed upon them for the second consecutive year.
Further information on the Lake Placid Horse Show Series, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC and Sponsored by Bainbridge Farm, is available by calling the Lake Placid Horse Show Association at 518-523-9625 or online at www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com.