Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 3, 2018 – International horses and athletes returned to the Grand Prix Ring at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) on Friday to go head-to-head in the $35,000 Grand Traverse Classic CSI3*. Continuing FEI competition for Week V, it was the USA’s Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili who produced the quickest, clear performance in the one-round speed class to earn the win.
Thirty-three combinations came forth to challenge the technical track designed by Mexico’s Manuel Esparza. While nine jumped fault-free, it all came down to time.
As second to last in the order, Vanderveen raced around the course and left all of the rails intact to finish in 58.62 seconds, stealing the lead from Chile’s Samuel Parot and his own Atlantis who clocked in at 60.44 seconds.
Vanderveen and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC, have been competing in international competition together since the start of 2015 and have collected numerous wins over the course of their partnership.
Thus far in 2018, they qualified for and competed at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Paris, France, in April after winning the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Qualifier Grand Prix CSI3*-W at Live Oak International one month earlier in March.
Since then, they’ve gone on to secure multiple FEI wins at the Tryon International Equestrian Center this summer, including the $204,000 Coca-Cola Grand Prix CSI4* in June.
Not showing any signs of slowing down, literally and figuratively, Vanderveen and “Frosty” returned to GLEF to claim another Week V win after the pair also won the Walsh $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI2* during Week V of GLEF in 2017.
With Parot finishing behind Vanderveen in second place, Luis Pedro Biraben (ARG) rounded out the top three with Claudia Pedroso and his own Eres Tu in 62.99 seconds. Vanderveen also rode to a fourth place finish with her second mount of the class, Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC, in 63.20 seconds.
Week V of GLEF runs through Sunday, Aug. 5, and will culminate with the week’s main event, the $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI3*, on Sunday at 2 p.m. To purchase tickets for Sunday, click here.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) – $35,000 Grand Traverse Classic CSI3* winner
On Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili’s performance on Friday:
“Honestly, he was so fast today. He’s coming off of a week and a half break. He was just in the paddocks while I was away so he’s quite fresh. From start to finish felt quite fast. I left out a couple of strides down the last line. I did six in a seven and left out coming in to a combination, which was a little risky but he was super sharp and really good to me there.”
On Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili:
“What makes him special is that he loves to come out here and do these speed classes. He’ll go out here and give it a run against the fastest speed horses and then he’ll still be ready to jump on Sunday in a $100,000 grand prix. That makes him quite fun.”
On Friday’s course:
“I loved [the course]. I thought it was really nice today. It was challenging enough, where when you were going for speed, it was able to catch you at the vertical-vertical combination. There were a couple of careful spots to keep it really interesting but there were definitely enough places with options to do inside turns, leave-out strides, etc. Really the top three spots weren’t close. We were all two seconds apart from each other and I think classes like that are quite exciting.”
“I like winning so I love coming here! The footing here has been great and the rings are great. It has such a cool feel and the horses jump great here. On top of that, the area is really fun for us. The weather’s perfect — it’s not too hot — and with the lake, there’s so much to go and do. Overall, it’s really a great show to come to.”
$35,000 Grand Traverse Classic CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / Time
1. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 0 / 58.62
2. Atlantis / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 0 / 60.44
3. Eres Tu / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Claudia Pedroso/Luis Biraben / 0 / 62.99
4. Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC / 0 / 63.20
5. Colorado 210 / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Miguel Madero/Luis Biraben / 0 / 64.08
6. Fee Des Sequoias Z / Juan Gallego / COL / Juan Gallego / 0 / 67.36
7. Boucanier / Theo Genn / USA / Taylor Reid / 0 / 68.04
8. Camillo VDL / Peter Lutz / USA / Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses / 0 / 71.87
9. Casall / Ali Wolff / USA / Blacklick Bend Farm / 0 / 73.54
10. Quick Du Pottier / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 4 / 64.43
11. Cassandra / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / Louisburg Farm / 4 / 65.37
12. VDL Bravo S / Hunter Holloway / USA / Hays Investment Corp. / 4 / 65.44
Jill Gaffney and Graf Balou Belle Kick-Off Week V with Professional Hunter Tricolors
Opening day of the professional hunter divisions during Week V of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) commenced on Wednesday and featured the Performance 3’3″ Hunter division in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring.
After winning the handy round on Wednesday and adding two more blue ribbons to their collection in the final two over fences classes on Thursday, Jill Gaffney and Graf Balou Belle, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Freestyling Farms LLC, secured the championship. The reserve championship was awarded to Emily Caldon and Firestone II, owned by Trinity Farm LLC.
Originally from and previously based in California, Gaffney, who owns and operates Freestyling Farms with her husband, Trevor, recently moved to Batavia, Ohio, in May to be closer to the East Coast horse show circuits, including the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival.
During Week V, Gaffney and Graf Balou Belle also picked up another tricolor in the Green 3’3″ Hunter division, claiming the reserve championship with two wins over fences.
To conclude the week, the pair will compete in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at 8 a.m. on Sunday in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jill Gaffney – Performance 3’3″ Hunter division champion
On Graf Balou Belle’s development as a hunter:
“She has this metronome canter — this beautiful canter. The thing that we’ve been working on the most with her is relaxing. She was able to just go in and be very relaxed [this week], and, of course, her jump is just unbelievable. She’s my favorite to ride. She is a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse. She is by Balou Du Rouet. We actually bought her as a 5-year-old. She showed incredible potential to be my next grand prix prospect, but her amazing scope did not want to play in the jumpers. Last August, we were at a show and it just wasn’t going the way we wanted it to in the jumpers and someone said, ‘She would make a beautiful hunter.’ So we thought, ‘Well, let’s just do it. Let’s take her in the hunters and see.’ She got an 89 and a 90 and we were like, ‘Done, that’s it.’ She was so happy and that was the most important thing — that she was happy doing her job.”
On her Freestyling Farms:
“My husband, Trevor Gaffney, and I are really excited to be east of the Mississippi. There are so many horse shows and so many more opportunities out here. We just bought a beautiful farm outside of Cincinnati. I think my husband and I run a really good program. Horse care is the most important thing. We offer a really well-rounded program that can be tailored to hunters, jumpers and equitation. We had pony kids when we were out in California so that’s an option as well. We love to do the jumpers and I really like doing the hunters. We’re really excited to be here.”