Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 10, 2021 – Kicking off another day of top sport at the Flintfields Horse Park for the Traverse City Tournament of Champions, 35 horse-and-rider combinations made their way under the arch of the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring for the final jumping effort before the crowning of the Equiline 1.30m Jumper championship. Besting the competitive field to take home the blue ribbon in the final class and the championship tricolor was Anna Wilks and Fly Seby LLC’s Miss Blue.
Wilks and the 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare made their first appearance of the week during Wednesday’s class, and returned to the arena Friday hungry for a win in the class worth bonus points towards the championship. Cathleen Driscoll led the way for the majority of the lineup on a double-clear time of 35.091 seconds, but as the last to enter the arena, Wilks put the pedal to the metal. Miss Blue sliced and diced her way through the jump-off course, landing from the final fence in 34.062 seconds to claim the win and valuable bonus points toward the championship title. In the end, Wilks and Miss Blue’s additional points would prove to be unbeatable, leading them to the winner’s circle for the division’s championship honors.
Owned by Stefania De Felice, Wilks credited Miss Blue for her great attitude and winning spirit. After competing earlier in Friday’s class aboard another horse, Wilks knew the mighty mare could beat Driscoll’s time if she could just keep all of the fences intact. Miss Blue will go on to compete with De Felice in the Medium and Low Jumper divisions.
Earlier in the week, Kristen Vanderveen and Alexia Rule’s APG Everlasting Love topped the ranks of Wednesday’s Equiline 1.30m Jumper. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding sped his way through the speed format course in 41.093 seconds to finish in first place and garner 10 points towards the championship. A winning round from Ed Copeland and Necolas, an 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Ali Wolff, during Thursday’s event would force a tie for the reserve honors of the division, lending the title to both Vanderveen and Copeland.
Show jumping competition during Week II of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions will continue Saturday, September 11, welcoming athletes for the $30,000 National Grand Prix. Competition will come to a pinnacle Sunday, September 12, showcasing the $137,000 Agero Grand Prix CSI3* hosted as a part of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, presented by The Davis McCullough Foundation.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Anna Wilks – Equiline 1.30m Jumper division champion
On Miss Blue:
“Miss Blue is a little mare I ride for a client of ours called Stefania [de Felice]. She’s a super cool mare. She was originally from Europe. Stef does the medium and low jumper on her and then I get the joy of getting to compete her in between. She’s a real little winner, super careful and just so much fun.”
On her plan for the jump-off:
“I had one previously in the jump-off and I was trying to beat Cathleen [Driscoll] and I had a fence down behind. My plan was exactly the same. I wanted to get that inside turn in the beginning because I think that saves a lot of time and just try to save the jumps up everywhere else. I know naturally she’s quick across the floor and she wants to win. I knew if I stayed to my plan she would be fast.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“I love Traverse City. I was down here for seven weeks earlier on in the year. It’s such a beautiful show, it’s such a nice setup. The rings, everything is so well organized, AJ on the gates is the best ever. Taking the championship is always great against a lot of good riders and a lot of quick riders too, so it felt really good today. Thank you to my whole team, my groom Chewy that was down here with me, Andrew and Alex Welles who I work for, giving me the opportunity to ride the horses and obviously Miss Blue’s owner Stefania.”