Traverse City, Mich. – July 12, 2019 – World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week began during Week II of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, with GLEF veterans Maria Rasmussen aboard Hobbs Lane and Victoria Colvin in the irons on Koala capturing the championships in the Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunters and Performance 3’6” Hunters, respectively.
A returning exhibitor at GLEF, Rasmussen is no stranger to the winner’s circle, having championed hunter divisions in the past. Based out of Sea Change Farm located just outside Chicago, Illinois, Rasmussen added another accolade to her list during WCHR week, this time campaigning Sunset View Farm LLC’s 4-year-old Hobbs Lane to victory in the Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunters. The team started strong with first place in the model, subsequently adding another first place over fences and fourth place in the handy. Thursday brought further success, with results of first place over fences in two classes plus a second place in the hack to secure the division championship. Tim Goguen jockeyed Gossi, owned by Garland Alban, to the reserve honors.
Winning more than half of the division’s classes, Colvin and Koala, an 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, rode to the top spot on the leaderboard to sweep the Performance 3’6” Hunters. The 21-year-old professional rider and trainer based out of Loxahatchee, Florida, navigated Koala to a strong position following Wednesday’s first half of competition, earning first place over fences, first place in the handy round and second place under saddle. Returning Thursday to the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring, the duo added more top results in the form of first and second place over fences to solidify themselves as the clear division victors. Escondido, ridden by Sarah Duhon and owned by ABA Hunter Ponies, claimed the reserve tricolor.
WCHR week at GLEF will continue throughout the weekend, and will be highlighted by the $5,000 Outdoors USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Camping World and Gander Outdoors, that takes place Sunday at 9 a.m. The presentation of the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week will be awarded, as well, to top off the second week of hunter action.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Maria Rasmussen – Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunter division champion
On Hobbs Lane:
“We have had him since he was 4 years old, and he has always been very simple and fun. He is just a happy horse that loves doing his job. He did the First Year Greens [in addition to] the Wrenwood Farm Green Conformation Hunters.”
On the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring:
“This was a great ring for him because it is so big. You can get a nice gallop and you have a lot of time in the ends of the ring, so it makes it a really fun ring to ride in.”
“Traverse City is great. We love it here. When we aren’t showing we try to go into town or out on the boat and do other fun things like that!”
Victoria Colvin – Performance 3’6” Hunter division champion
“He is a very easy horse that [owner] John Ingram does in the amateurs. I have been riding him for a couple of years and he has become a saint. He was great. I showed him here last year and he was amazing, and he followed up and did the same thing this year. I will probably ride him next week in the Performance 3’6” Hunters again, and then John will take over in the amateurs.”
On the property improvements:
“I think it looks really good. I have been here for the last couple of years, and the new rings down below are really great, especially for the jumpers. It is like a mini grand prix ring, so that makes it a little bit special. All the new buildings and everything looks great.”
“I love the area. There is a lot to do and the lake is beautiful. There are so many things that you can do. Going to the casino is one of the things I like to do sometimes, but I also like to be out in the beautiful area and the weather is usually always great.”
For more information, please visit greatlakesequestrianfestival.com.