Traverse City, Mich. – July 24, 2021 – Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) competition continued Saturday, July 24, in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, with the MLSJ $200,000 Team Competition CSI5*. The eight teams who battled it out for top honors in last week’s team class returned to work together for the coveted team gold medal in the three-phase competition. In the end, it was Team Eye Candy, last week’s silver medalists, who stepped up to the top podium position and claimed the team gold medal.
The new team competition format for the MLSJ entailed all three riders of the eight teams battling it out over the first round course of the class to determine the top four teams who would advance to the second round, the speed phase. Once one member in each of the top four teams, determined by their teammates to be the quickest, had completed their second round course, the top two teams carrying the least amount of faults would battle it out for the gold medal. The third and fourth place ranked teams following the second round advanced to round three to determine who would claim the bronze medal and third podium position.
In the first round, the individuals from all eight teams took to the track the course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) set to see which teams would get the chance to advance to the second round. The challenging course was an apt test for the teams, enabling only the most technically correct and efficient to move on. Once the three riders from all eight teams had tried their hand at the course, Eye Candy, Diamond Devils, Road Runners and Crusaders were in the top four positions. Advancing on to the second round where speed was the name of the game in a faults-converted format, the teams had to choose who would tackle the second round course, and who would be reserved for the final medal-deciding showdown.
The Diamond Devils’ two speediest riders, Sam Walker (CAN) on Hermelien VD Hooghoeve, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, and Bliss Heers (USA) on Goodbye, owned by Bridgeside Farms LLC, were the first to tackle Petersen’s speed track. The riders completed quick and careful rounds, taking an early lead with a combined time of 102 seconds. Crusaders’ riders Peter Leone (USA) on Cedric 84, owned by Maarten Huygens, and Alessandra Volspi (MEX) on her own Foster 39 were next in, but accumulated several faults around the course to give them a combined time of 110.82 seconds.
Road Runners teammates Kyle King (USA) and Kaitlin Campbell (USA) took to the ring next, turning up the speed a notch, but also knocking unfortunate rails that were added onto their time, giving them a total of 105.09 seconds.
Molly Ashe-Cawley (USA)and Berdien, owned by Louisburg Farm, for the Crusaders, were first in the third round jump off to face-off against Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) aboard Lafayette Van Overis, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, for the bronze team medal. Ashe-Cawley navigated the course fast and clear to cross the finish in 47.94 seconds. Sternlicht entered the ring shortly after, but had a refusal on course that cost them a chance at the third podium position.
The final two riders battling it out for the gold team medal were Paul O’Shea (IRL) on Eye Candy Jumpers LLC’s Squirt Gun, and Kristin Vanderveen (USA)on Bill Run’s Risen, riding for Diamond Devils. With Eye Candy’s anchor rider O’Shea in the arena first, he set a new standard and completed the jump-off round in just 47.70 fault-free seconds. Vanderveen and Bill Run’s Risen tried to best O’Shea’s speedy time, but fell just short of their goal, crossing the finish in 48.20 seconds with one rail knocked down. With O’Shea claiming victory in the final gold medal phase, Eye Candy was awarded the top podium position, while Diamond Devils settled for the silver team medal. The Crusaders finished with the bronze team medal.
MLSJ $36,600 1.45m Speed Stake CSI5*
After weather canceling the first two Major League Show Jumping classes of the day, the MLSJ $36,600 1.45m Speed Stake CSI 5* proved to be worth the wait. A total of 17 entries contested for the top honors, creating a tight leaderboard with thrilling competition. Ultimately, the podium was formed in the second half of the class. Christina Heineking (GER) set the bar with a clear round of 61.69 seconds aboard NKH LLC’s NKH Cento Blue. Heineking was shortly overtaken by Andrew Bourn (IRE) and his own Darquito, who created a new time to beat in 59.78 seconds. In the end, it was Ilan Ferder’s 9-year-old Norwegian Warmblood mare, Classic Penny, who clinched the win with Erynn Ballard (CAN) in the irons, riding a brilliant 56.04 second round.
Australia’s Katie Laurie has kept a tight hold on the lead position of the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard with 42 points after a successful Traverse City Spring Horse Show series. Karl Cook (USA) sits in the second place position on a total of 37 points after his win in the $137,000 Staller Grand Prix CSI3* during the final week of Traverse City Spring Horse Show, and another victory in last week’s $137,000 Meijer Grand Prix CSI3*. Currently rounding out the top three on the leaderboard is Tiffany Foster of Canada with 27 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. The CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus is a highly sought-after prize among the field of international competitors that attend Traverse City Horse Shows.
Competition during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, will conclude Sunday, July 25, with the highlight event of the week, the $230,000 TraverseCity.com Grand Prix CSI5* rounding out the afternoon. Sunday will also see theMLSJ $72,900 1.45m Winning Round CSI5* and the MLSJ $36,600 Groulx Family 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2*.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Eye Candy Jumpers team – gold medalists
Amy Millar on the new MLSJ format:
“Just this whole format is so fun — it’s such a pleasure to ride with this team. You try your best and we are all supporting each other. Today you know if you made a little mistake, your other team riders would cover for you and you can still win. It’s just so much fun that way.”
Jacqueline Steffens on her team’s horsepower:
“I think all three horses [Squirt Gun, Freaky, and Christiano] are really strong partnerships that we’ve had a little bit of time to get to know and I think we were really pleased with them. All three jumped great clear rounds in the first and did enough in the second and third rounds to bring it home.”
Paul O’Shea on his gold-medal jump-off plan:
“The plan was fast without going too crazy. I did nine strides to the last line and I planned an eight stride line, so I was lucky there because you can get beat for that, but [Squirt Gun] jumped amazingly and it was a great atmosphere.”
Jacqueline Steffens on the experience of being on a MLSJ team:
“I think it’s an incredible experience. Both [Paul O’Shea and Amy Millar] bring so much experience.They’re both incredible riders and to be in that environment, get the team experience and be able to learn from them is really valuable.”
Amy Millar on her next competitions:
“I’m really, really excited about going back home to Canada for a CSI5*. COVID-19 has been really hard on show jumping in Canada, Ontario specifically, and it has been sad for me not to be able to compete at this level in the country that I love so much. I am so super excited for the tour at Angelstone and the one at Caledon later on. Cian [O’Connor] knows exactly how to get the crowds up there and get everyone pumped up. It’s an electric venue at Angelstone and I think everyone’s going to love it.”
MLSJ $200,000 Team Competition CSI5*
R1 Team Faults / R1 Team Time / R2 Team Faults / R3 Team Faults
1. Eye Candy
0 / 206.78 / 104.85 / 47.70
Amy Millar / Christiano / Future Adventures
Jacqueline Steffens / Freaky / Team Eye Candy
Paul O’Shea / Squirt Gun / Eye Candy Jumpers
2. Diamond Devils
8 / 207.27 / 102.00 / 48.20
Sam Walker / Hermelien VD Hooghoeve / Evergate Stables LLC
Bliss Heers / Goodbye / Bridgeside Farms LLC
Kristen Vanderveen / Bull Run’s Risen / Kristen Vanderveen
4 / 212.13 / 110.82 / 47.94
Peter Leone / Cedric 84 / Maarten Huygens
Alessandra Volpi / Foster 39 / Alessandra Volpi
Molly Ashe / Berdien / Louisburg Farm
4 / 210.62 / 105.09 / 70.66
Kyle King / Enzo / Seabright Investments
Kaitlin Campbell / Palina De L’escaut / SWS Training & Sales
Adrienne Sternlicht / Lafayette Van Overis / Starlight Farms 1 LLC
8 / 221.24
Nicolas Pizarro / Atlantica Du Soleil Z / Nicolas Pizarro
Juan Carlos Martin Del Campo / La Costa / Juan Carlos Martin Del Campo
John Perez Bohm / Gerdinieke / Daniel Rihan
6. A.I.M. United
16 / 203.16
Brianne Goutal-Marteau / Tanael de Bonnes / Gerald Ford
Andrew Welles / And Action / Evergreen Stables LLC
Sydney Shulman / Contefina LVF / Ashlee Bond Show Jumping
7. Blazing 7s
16 / 206.02
Lauren Hough / Paloma / Kathleen Kamine
Chandler Meadows / Christy JNR / Chandler Meadows
Rodrigo Lambre / Chapilot / Mario Onate
8. Lucky Charms
Alison Robitaille / Happiness / Alison Firestone LLC
Lacey Gilbertson / Byzance Mail / Seabrook LLC
Jordan Coyle / Picador / Elan Farm