Traverse City, Mich. – July 26, 2020 – Week Four of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, concluded Sunday, but not before 47 combinations battled it out for the lead spot in the lap of honor as the victors of the $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2*. The competitive pack of contenders hailing from eight nations fought hard over the expert course designed by Guilherme Jorge (BRA), with 12 pairs qualifying for the jump-off. Stopping the clock as the most efficient double-clear duo and the last to go, Abigail McArdle (USA) and Victorio Equine Group LLC’s Victorio 5 captured the top spot on the leaderboard to wrap up the week of riding on a high note. McArdle and Victorio 5 are not strangers to the winner’s circle in Traverse City, as exactly one year ago on July 26, the pair won the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* during Week Four of the series, then added to their resume with a victory in the $133,700 Staller Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3* just over a week later.
For Sunday’s contest, course designer Jorge presented partnerships with a 16-effort pattern for the first round that served to trim down the pack. Tenth in the start list, Sydney Shulman (ISR) piloted Ardente Printaniere to the first fault-free performance of the class to serve as the trailblazers, and they were soon joined in the clear ranks by Margie Engle (USA) and Cesna M to force a jump-off. Adding more girl power to the tie-breaker round, Natalie Dean (USA) jumped Maestro Vica V/D Ark to the third zero-fault round of the class, but the men soon added their names as Teddy Vlock (ISR) with Volnay Du Boisdeville and Andrew Welles (USA) on Gablitz P logged clear trips, also. As the first round progressed, it was clear that riders had figured out an ideal track as seven more athletes kept all the fences intact to earn a spot over the short course, including Taylor St. Jacques (USA), Erynn Ballard (CAN), Tomas Yofre (ARG), Capt. Brian Cournane (IRL), Nicholas Dello Joio (USA), Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) and McArdle, each on their respective mounts.
In total, 12 partnerships were eligible to return to the jump-off, which featured an abridged pattern of eight fences spread across the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. Once again setting the pace, Shulman jockeyed Ardente Printaniere to another clear round to lay the gauntlet down in 38.68 seconds. Subsequent pairs chased down the leaders, with six duos keeping all the rails in their cups within two seconds of the pole-sitters’ time, but none could catch them. As the final pair entered the ring, Shulman and Ardente Printaniere still maintained the top spot, but McArdle and Victorio 5 galloped around the ring with precision and managed to edge ahead of the longtime leaders by a slim margin, tripping the timers in 38.01 seconds to triumph in the $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2*.
McArdle and Victorio 5 were the fastest of eight total double-clear duos, and Shulman claimed the runner-up honors aboard Jill Shulman’s Ardente Printaniere. The next quickest, Corrigan and Debra Wycoff’s Super Chilled earned the third-place position thanks to a time of 39.36 seconds.
The series has passed its halfway mark for riders hoping to earn valuable points towards the CaptiveOne Advisors $30,000 Leading Jumper Rider Bonus, which will be awarded following 11 weeks of riding in Traverse City at the conclusion of the $213,300 CaptiveOne American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI4* on September 13. Leading since the very first week of competition, Corrigan still maintained the lead headed into Sunday’s class, and had a strong chance at maintaining that status since only one other rider in the top six, Rich Fellers (USA), was competing. With Corrigan’s third-place finish Sunday, he has extended his lead headed into Week Five.
Prior to the grand prix, Jose Dominguez was honored as the winner of the $2,000 Grooms Class, presented by Meadowview Farm, Inc., thanks to the superior presentation and turnout for the horse in his care, Ebony M, trained by Kristen Collins. Due to his efforts, Dominguez earned the largest share of the class’ prize money.
Earlier in the day, the $2,500 Pinecone Shavings Adult Amateur Jumper Classic saw tight competition from 21 entries, with 13 of them impressively earning a slot over the short course. Going head-to-head against her peers, Kimberly Swenson ultimately emerged victorious with the reins on her own Eloma, edging out the field to win by mere milliseconds. The leading pair finished fault-free in 39.166 seconds, and the second-place duo, Gianna Pinto and Wendy Dixon’s Dollar Girl, broke the beam just off the pace in 39.205 seconds.
Immediately after, Anna Spitzer and Alexis Bodo’s Esparta topped the leaderboard in the $2,500 East Wind Farms Children’s Jumper Classic. Up against a talented field of 19 other teams, Spitzer and Esparta managed to turn in the fastest jump-off round ahead of eight other challengers, capturing the lead in 38.399 seconds, more than three full seconds faster than the next-closest finisher. Ella Duffy and Midonal Partners’ Cardi B captured the reserve honors in 41.482 seconds.
In the final class of the Forget Me Not Farm Low Children’s Jumpers, Ryann Grissom and Chuck Waters’ Sampras concluded the division with a bang, clinching the win in the $500 Forget Me Not Farm Low Children’s Jumper Classic. Of the original field of 24 contestants, 13 were eligible for the jump-off thanks to clear initial rounds, and six went double-clear, led by Grissom and Sampras’ fault-free time of 35.883 seconds. Just fractions of a second behind, Julianne Karol and Spring Ledge LLC’s Zoe earned second place after leaving all the rails in the cups in 36.189 seconds.
The swiftest of only two short course qualifiers, Crystal Lettinga and Jamie Stryker’s Quanita impressed in the $500 Low Adult Jumper Classic, earning a bit of prize money to close out the week. In the small two-horse jump-off, Lettinga and Quanita needed to turn in a quick round in order to best their competitors, Cassandra Armento-O’Neill on her own Balounist JSF, and they did just that with a clear effort in 40.001 seconds. Armento-O’Neill and Balounist JSF rode a more conservative round in 43.902 seconds to earn the runner-up spot.
Sunday concluded Week Four of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors LLC, but the show will continue for two more weeks until its conclusion August 9.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Abigail McArdle (USA) – $72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2* winner
On her win:
“It was super. I got to watch Sydney [Shulman], she went first and really laid it down. She made me push myself, so I had to do five strides down that first line and I knew we could be a bit faster back to the yellow to bring it home.”
On Victorio 5:
“Now I have been riding him for a couple of years and I’d say it took a little while to be able to win at this level, but he has always been a great horse. I sort of made a bond with him but it’s definitely helped me. He’s very well-mannered and stallions are great because you can make a special partnership with them.”
$72,900 Staller Grand Prix CSI2*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Victorio 5 / Abigail McArdle / USA / Victorio Equine Group LLC / 0 | 75.200 / 0 | 38.01
2. Ardente Printaniere / Sydney Shulman / ISR / Jill Shulman / 0 | 74.25 / 0 | 38.680
3. Super Chilled / Jonathan Corrigan / IRL / Debra Wycoff / 0 | 74.530 / 0 | 39.36
4. Calva D’Or Z / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / Rocking D Ranch / 0 | 75.160 / 0 | 39.69
5. Volnay Du Boisdeville / Teddy Vlock / ISR / Vlock Show Stables LLC / 0 | 71.25 / 0 | 40.02
6. Armik / Captain Brian Cournane / IRL / Mr. & Mrs. Robert Stiller / 0 | 74.630 / 0 | 40.18
7. Kavalli Di Magico / Tomas Yofre / ARG / Clear Ride LLC / 0 | 75.540 / 0 | 40.61
8. Cesna M / Margie Engle / USA / Virginia Bartholomay / 0 | 73.43 / 0 | 45.130
9. Maestro Vica V/D Ark / Natalie Dean / USA / Marigold Sporthorses LLC / 0 | 74.58 / 4 | 39.390
10. Upsilon De La Liniere / Taylor St Jacques / USA / Taylor St Jacques / 0 | 75.580 / 8 | 40.39
11. Gablitz P / Andrew Welles / USA / Itasca Group LLC / 0 | 76.920 / 8 | 41.68
12. Bettina Des Celtes / Erynn Ballard / CAN / Ilan Ferder / 0 | 75.040 / 29 | 74.09