Beat Mändli (SUI) capped off an extraordinary two weeks in Traverse City with a win in Sunday’s $138,600 Serra Traverse City CSI3* Grand Prix. His winning mount, Chartraine Pre Noir, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, posted one of only two double-clear efforts to take home the top prize. After a win in Thursday’s $37,000 Launch Consulting CSI3* Welcome Stake, Mändli took home decadent prize money during the final week of Traverse City Spring, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.
With the 10-year-old Selle Français mare by Kannan, Mändli scored a clear round in his second attempt, after bringing down the final rail on course with his first mount and second place winner in the CSI3* Grand Prix during week two, Dsarie. Iván Tagle (ARG) set a challenging track with questions throughout, but perhaps the toughest element was fence 13, set at 1.60m, which fell for many competitors in the first round. The tall vertical proved to be even more difficult in the jump-off as it served as the final fence on the short course as well.
“It was a little unexpected to be honest today,” Mändli said of his victory with the mare he’s been riding since November. “I tried to do a bigger class for the first time today and she was just perfect. I’ll try to move her up another step, to the CSI4* or CSI5* level but slowly. She did it very well here. She did everything she had to, she answered every question, and I’m very happy with her.”
The first two pairs on course in the jump-off, Lisa Carlsen (CAN) and Margie Engle (USA) went for the win, but both fell victim to the final fence, leaving the door open for a clear jump-off effort to take the lead. Eliza Lehrman (USA) got the job done, coming home clear in 49.52 seconds with Eluna CL Z, owned by Five Way Farm LLC.
Mändli and Engle, as the last two to go and the joint leaders of the CaptiveOne Advisors Leading Open Jumper Rider Bonus–tied on 30 points–went head to head to top the leading time with the final fence intact. Mändli was able to do so even with a rub on the final fence produced a clear round in 46.10 seconds, shaving nearly three seconds off the leading time.
Engle, already on the leaderboard with Dicas in fourth place, was out pace to edge out Mändli with Royce, but was called out yet again by the final fence, finishing on four faults to award Mändli the win, with Lehrman taking second and Carlsen in third.
“I could see everyone had trouble with the last fence, so I tried to be a little faster than Eliza to beat her,” Mändli remarked of his jump-off strategy. “It worked out perfectly. I was a little lucky on the last fence but I came home clear and Margie had the last fence which was obviously good for me.”
“She has an unbelievably nice mind and character,” Mändli continued about Chartraine Pre Noir. “She really wants to please you, you just need to keep her happy and play her way a little bit. She just wants to clear the fences. I think she placed in every class she jumped. She’s a lovely horse and just wants to be good.”
Mändli and student, Katie Dinan, will now head to Europe to compete at the CSI5* level with hopes to both earn spots on their respective Nations Cup teams at the Dublin Horse Show CSIO5*. Traverse City Spring, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, served as stellar preparation with unbelievable results for all six horses owned by Grant Road Partners LLC.
“[Aside from Brego R’N B] we have our six best horses here,” Mändli said of the team’s string. “We chose them to come here before Europe to be competitive and to get into shape. It was two perfect weeks. Everyone’s super happy: grooms, horses, owner, and riders.”
The victory also handed Mändli the lead in the CaptiveOne Advisors Leading Open Jumper Rider Bonus standing as the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, came to a close.
Final Results: $138,600 Serra Traverse City CSI3* Grand Prix
1. CHARTRAINE PRE NOIR: 2012 SF mare by Kannan
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/46.01
2. ELUNA CL Z: 2012 ZANG mare by Emerald x Nabab De Reve
ELIZA LEHRMAN (USA), Five Way Farm LLC: 0/0/49.52
3. LIVESTREAM 2: 2010 OLDBG gelding by Lordanos x Landadel
LISA CARLSEN (CAN), Lisa Carlsen: 0/4/42.43
4. DICAS: 2009 RHEIN gelding by Diarado x Cassini I
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/4/43.90
5. DEZ OOKTOFF: 2008 KWPN stallion by Colandro x Lys Rouge
ROBERTO TERAN TAFUR (COL), Roberto Teran Tafur: 0/4/45.43
6. ROYCE: 2004 OS stallion by Cafe Au Lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/4/45.82
7. FANTASY BB: 2010 KWPN mare by Cardento x Labor’s VDL Indorado
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Windsor Show Stables: 4/73.36
8. FOR GOLD: 2011 HOLST gelding by For Fashion x Heraldik
ALEC LAWLER (USA), Lawler Show Jumping LLC: 4/73.45
9. MANHATTAN VAN’T LEEUWERIKENHOF: 2012 BWP gelding by Emerald x Kashmir Van Schuttershof
FILIP DE WANDEL (BEL), Five Way Farm LLC: 4/73.89
10. ATIKA DES HAUTS VENTS: 2010 SF mare by Rock’n Roll Semilly
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 4/74.30
11. DSARIE: 2008 KWPN mare by Veron x Ahorn
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 4/74.53
12. DIJON TERDOORN Z: 2011 ZANG gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Lord Z
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 4/75.24
Trademark Triumphs in Traverse City
Geoffrey Hesslink scored an emotional win Sunday morning in the $10,000 Traverse City Hunter Derby, presented by Alltech. Aboard the stunning Trademark, owned by Shadowfax Equestrian, LLC, Hesslink and the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Balou Du Rouet bookended their week at Traverse City Spring III with a championship in the USHJA 3’ Hunters and a win in the Derby, besting 46 entries.
“It’s been a very emotional rollercoaster with this horse,” Hesslink remarked. “This was my number one horse for most of the year last year and he had a freak accident in Kentucky last year, getting cast in his stall and ended up having surgery. It’s been a very long and emotional process to bring him back but we’re so grateful he’s even able to be ridden, let alone compete again. I’m so thankful to every vet, person, owner that helped me and him get to that point.
Hesslink’s first round score of 96 propelled them to the top of the leaderboard, taking all four high options and showing off the flashy gelding’s scope and style. Not missing a beat, the pair returned for the handy round and executed neat turns and beautiful jumping efforts, taking the high score in round two of 94 for an overall 190 and the win.
“He’s extremely light and agile and turns on a dime so the handy rounds are his specialty,” Hesslink continued. “I just tried to not get in his way and make some neat turns and let him jump the way he jumps.”
The entire team behind Trademark is thrilled to have the horse back and in top form. “He is the sweetest, most genuine horse I’ve ever had,” Hesslink said. “He’s like a puppy dog and has the best personality. I just love him with all my heart. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.”
Jacob Pope held onto his second highest first round score of 92, securing second place at the close of the class with J’Adore, owned by Team Rakowsky Equestrian, LLC, on a total score of 185.5. Scores of 90 and 91 put Pope’s second mount Ziggy Stardust, owned by Opening Bell Sporthorses LLC, into third place.
Nayyar Nabs $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic
In her first trip to Traverse City Horse Shows, Maya Nayyar wrapped up the spring series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, with a win. Nayyar and Vertige De Vigneul, last to go in the nine-horse jump-off, sped to victory in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic, taking the blue ribbon and the lion’s share of the prize money.
First to jump off over Iván Tagle’s track, Caroline Nadalin and El Classico had the leading time until Nayyar shaved three tenths of a second off to claim the win in a time of 28.238 seconds. Nadalin took home second place with a time of 28.568 seconds, while Emma Catherine Reichow and Cubiki took third in 28.593 seconds.
“The jump-off was a big left circle so my plan was to gallop and hope we won on footspeed,” Nayyar remarked on her strategy with the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Ogano Sitte x Axion Du Gue). “Everything came up nicely and my horse was great so it worked out. I have had him for a couple years now and he’s a really reliable partner. He’s super solid and really sweet. He jumped great today and I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Balancing both a professional life outside of horses along with two top mounts in both the High Amateur Jumpers and the FEI divisions, Nayyar stays busy and values her time spent in the show ring.
In the barn, Nayyar says that Vertige De Vigneul is “very sweet. He likes to whinny and call out to everyone. He’s good friends with my horse [Nadal VD Wateringhoeve] that my trainer, [Jonathan Corrigan] is riding in FEI. They haven’t stabled next to each other so he’s been a little lost without his buddy. He’s a really good, sweet, low-maintenance horse all around.”