Big Horse, Bigger Win: Cathleen Driscoll Tops $73,800 NetJets CSI2* Grand Prix


Cathleen Driscoll (USA) has a lot to smile about after her week at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Following her victory Friday aboard Magnolia, Driscoll scored her first FEI grand prix win with Dame De Pique in the $73,800 NetJets CSI2* Grand Prix to close GLEF II.

Cathleen Driscoll stands with NetJets representatives for her presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Cathleen Driscoll stands with Laura Southard, of NetJets, representatives for her presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Twelve pairs managed to jump fault-free over Bernardo Costa Cabral’s (POR) track and advance into a highly competitive jump-off. Francisco Goyoaga Mollet (ESP) set the early pace with his first of two qualified mounts, the Spencer Smith owned Ice Zoetendaele Z, clocking in at 37.01 seconds. While many tried to catch his time, it took until Driscoll came in, tenth in the jump-off order and aboard Plain Bay Farm’s 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Crawford 5), that the pace was increased. Coming home on a clear effort in 35.72 seconds, she captured the lead and ultimately pushed Goyoaga Mollet into second, with Alec Lawler (USA) and Condalou taking third in 37.39 seconds.

The last two to jump off, Simon McCarthy (IRL) and Tanner Korotkin (USA), brought the heat and almost caught Driscoll, both beating her time but each with a rail down, with respective sixth and fifth-place finishes. 

Francisco Goyoaga Mollet and Ice Zoetendaele Z. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Francisco Goyoaga Mollet and Ice Zoetendaele Z. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Standing at 18.1 hands, Dame De Pique would not always be the obvious winner judging by her stature, but Driscoll knows how to use the horse’s stride to her advantage. “This mare and my other mare, Magnolia, are opposites,” she said of her two mounts in Sunday’s class. “I think I had the biggest horse in the class and the smallest horse in the class. So my strategy with each was quite different.

“I thought the course today suited my big mare a little better,” Driscoll continued. “She can do leave-outs that no other horses can do. For the jump-off I was able to do eight [strides] from [fences] one to two. A horse like this where I can continue galloping, she can be quite competitive with the best of them.”

Newer to her string, Driscoll has been bringing Dame De Pique through the levels and anticipates she will jump very big tracks in her future. “I’ve been working on the rideability and building up our confidence,” the 29-year-old rider remarked. “This was a great class for her today. I was able to test the buttons and she was right with me everywhere. It was a fantastic win.”

The class Sunday was like jumping two separate grand prixs considering the difference in her two mounts. “When I walk the course, I walk for Magnolia and I walk for Dame De Pique,” She reflected. “After my ride on Magnolia I took what I learned and tried to reset my frame of mind to ride the course in a way that would suit [Dame De Pique]  and make her jump her best.”

Alec Lawler and Condalou. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Alec Lawler and Condalou. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

With her two wins during GLEF II, Driscoll jumped her way onto the leaderboard for the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus to be awarded at the end of the 2022 season.

TCHS presented $3,635 from ticket sales to Step Up Northern Michigan’s President Cathy O’Connor and daughter, Board Member Rebecca Galasterer, and volunteer Susan Rauser. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Show jumping continues at Flintfields Horse Park with another week of CSI2* international competition. 

Final Results: $73,800 NetJets CSI2* Grand Prix

  1. DAME DE PIQUE: 2011 HOLST mare by Casall x Crawford 5
    CATHLEEN DRISCOLL (USA), Plain Bay Farm: 0/0/35.72
  2. ICE ZOETENDALE Z: 2013 ZANG gelding by Iceberg ZT x Burggraaf NV
    FRANCISCO GOYOAGA MOLLET (ESP), Spencer Smith: 0/0/37.01
  3. CONDALOU: 2011 Oldbg gelding by Contendros 2 x Balou Du Rouet
    ALEC LAWLER (USA), Alec Lawler: 0/0/37.39
  4. CESNA M: 2012 OS gelding by Check In x Sandro Boy
    MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Virginia Bartholomay: 0/0/38.68
  5. IDEAL: 2012 SWB gelding by Cardento x Cortez
    TANNER KOROTKIN (USA), Castlewood Farm Inc. & Sandalwood Farms: 0/4/34.64
  6. GOTCHA: 2011 HOLST mare by Stakkato x Cassini I
    SIMON MCCARTHY (IRL), Rock Ridge Farms: 0/4/35.02
  7. CELINA BH: 2010 HOLST mare by Canstakko x Carthago Z
    MIMI GOCHMAN (USA), Gochman Sport Horse LLC: 0/4/35.33
  8. UPPER: 2008 SF gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Nadir Di San Patrignano
    DAVID OBERKIRCHER (USA), Southfields Farm LLC: 0/4/36.77
    CHRIS EWANOUSKI (USA), Polo Jump LLC: 0/4/36.87
  10. KARLIN VAN’T VENNEHOF: 2010 BWP mare by Fantomas De Muze x Quasimodo Van De Molendreef
    LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook LLC: 0/4/37.85
  11. ICARUS: 2008 BWP stallion by Douglas x Sioux de Baugy
    FRANCISCO GOYOAGA MOLLET (ESP), Strasburg Moring Inc.: 0/4/49.20
  12. LIVESTREAM 2: 2010 OLDBG gelding by Lordanos x Landadel
    LISA CARLSEN (CAN), Lisa Carlsen: 0/8/45.39

Show-Stopping Sunday for Samantha Schaefer 

No day in a professional equestrian’s life is boring, but Samantha Schaefer had a particularly exciting few hours as she bounced between the grand prix and the $10,000 Traverse City Pro Hunter Derby, presented by The Ingram Family. After her first round on her grand prix mount, she returned to the Main Hunter Ring, sitting in second place aboard Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know, and eventually captured the win during World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week.

Samantha Schaefer and In The Know. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Samantha Schaefer and In The Know. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

After scoring a second-place finish the week prior, Schaefer was determined to take all the necessary risks to secure the win during Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) II, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Sitting ahead of her after round one, the victor during GLEF I, was Jacob Pope and Don Stewart’s San Pedro 15 on a score of 93. “Last week, Jacob [Pope] and I came in pretty close [after round one],” she explained. “I ran over from the grand prix and noticed we were just half a point apart. I was really determined.”


Schaefer’s strategy involved a risky inside turn that no one else attempted, but she knew her partner, the 13-year-old Warmblood gelding by Arkansas, would be up for the task. “I saw there was an inside turn to the oxer,” she continued. “It was tight but I surveyed the crowd to see if anyone had done anything crazy, and they said no. He landed super soft and just went inside. Everything was smooth and came up nicely. The slice to the oxer on the rail probably impressed [the judges] the most.”

Samantha Schaefer and In The Know stand for presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Samantha Schaefer and In The Know stand for presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Her second-round score of 98 proved the judges were adequately impressed. Combined with her first-round score, she totaled 191 for the victory by over five points. Pope captured second with a 185.5 total and Jamie Sailor took third with a 182.5 total score aboard Meadowgrove Farm’s Charisto.

“I think they play into each other,” Schaefer said about excelling in both the hunters and jumpers. “‘Spyder’ is a horse I’ve had for seven years now and I’d say his specialty is the handy. He’s so with me and I can ask pretty much anything of him. The jumpers definitely help me in the hunters, and vice versa. They go hand in hand.”

Switching gears with a group of horses heading home, Schaefer and her team look forward to the rest of the season in Traverse City. “This is my summer vacation, but we work long days,” she continued. “I love it here. This is definitely something we look forward to every year. We look forward to Torch [Lake] tomorrow and a fun week again with a variety of different horses. We do ponies, grand prixs, derbies, and a little bit of everything.”

With the win, In The Know earned the title of Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week.

Final Results: $10,000 Traverse City Hunter Derby Pro, presented by The Ingram Family

  1. In The Know / Samantha Schaefer / Madeline Schaefer / 93 + 98 = 191
  2. San Pedro 15 / Jacob Pope / Donald Stewart / 93 + 92 = 185.5
  3. Charisto / Jamie Sailor / Meadowgrove Farm / 93 + 89.5 = 182.5
  4. On Your Mark / Tiffany Morrissey / Lisa Berger / 91 + 90.5 = 181.5
  5. Didgereedoo VDL / Kelsey Epperson / Lashier Properties LLC / 88.5 + 91 = 179.5
  6. Baron Z / Tiffany Morrissey / Heidi Chase / 89 + 89.5 = 178.5
  7. Royal Balou / Jacob Pope / Opening Bell Sporthorses LLC / 87 + 90 = 177
  8. Whisper / Caroline Weeden / Charlotte Harris / 87 + 88.5 = 175.5
  9. Cedric / Caroline Weeden / Santa Burke / 86 + 87 = 173
  10. Apparently / Tamara Provost / Elliott Hodge / 88 + 84 = 172
  11. Book Of Eli / Katie Uloth / Chance Arakelian / 82 + 88 = 170
  12. Petit Ami / Meagan Murray-Tenuta / Heidi Avedisian / 82 + 84 = 166

Stella Wasserman Saves the Best for Last 

An impressive 61 horse-and-rider combinations kicked off the final morning of WCHR week in the $10,000 Traverse City Non-Pro Hunter Derby, presented by Luxe EQ on Sunday. After tough competition, the top-12 entries with the highest scores were invited back to the Main Hunter Ring to contest for the lead over the shortened handy track. Ultimately, the win went to Stella Wasserman with Don Stewart’s G. Eleven as they added a score of 91.5 to their first-round score of 92 for a winning total of 183.5.

Stella Wasserman stands with Megan Odozynski of Luxe EQ for presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

As the handy round dwindled down to the final few entries, Wasserman was feeling the heat from fellow competitor Augusta Iwasaki as she sat in both second and third place after round one with Elizabeth Reilly’s Small Moments and Ashland Farms’ Attendu De Lannois Z, respectively. Wasserman was the final rider to enter the arena after taking the early lead aboard the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. 

“This is actually a catch ride for me and a horse I’ve only shown twice before this,” Wasserman said of G. Eleven. “He’s a really special horse who knows his job and loves to win. He is very competitive and goes into the ring every time with his game face on.” 

Eleven’s game face was enough to secure the win as Wasserman piloted him to another impressive performance and produced the highest total score for the blue. The victory also earned the gelding the title of the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week for the non-pro divisions. 

Stella Wasserman and G. Eleven. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography
Stella Wasserman and G. Eleven. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“It’s always great to have a win like this, especially during such a special week,” Wasserman added. “This horse has really been a match made in heaven for me, and I am so grateful for the ride on him. I have had a great time here in Traverse City so far, and this is another high note to add to my time.” 

Iwasaki acquired several more top hunter derby ribbons as she claimed the runner-up position aboard Small Moments with a total score of 181.5, and slid into the third place position with Attendu De Lannois Z claiming the high score in round two and on a finishing score of 181. 

Hunter riders return during GLEF III as anticipation builds for the Traverse City Hunter & Derby Finals during the American Gold Cup in September. The week will offer more than $325,000 in guaranteed prize money. Learn more about enrolling HERE

Final Results: $10,000 Traverse City Non-Pro Hunter Derby, presented by Luxe EQ

  1. G. Eleven / Stella Wasserman / Donald Stewart / 92 + 91.5 = 183.5
  2. Small Moments / Augusta Iwasaki / Elizabeth Reilly / 91 + 90.5 = 181.5
  3. Attendu De Lannois Z / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms / 89 + 92 = 181
  4. Jarabel K Z / Jordan Allen / Ashland Farms / 88.5 + 91 = 179.5
  5. Black Label B / Owen Gajoch / Owen Gajoch / 87.5 + 91 = 178.5
  6. Coppertone / Olivia Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm / 88 + 90 = 178
  7. Game On / Charlotte Harris / Stephanie Harris / 82.5 + 169.5
  8. Herr Drosselmeyer / Anneliese Kolaska / Anneliese Kolaska / 83.5 + 83 = 166.5
  9. Kingmaker / Cyndi Lewis / Cyndi Lewis / 84 + 82 = 166
  10. Constantin / Anna Koenig / Ashland Farms / 82 + 83 = 165
  11. Westeros / Owen Gajoch / Samantha Gajoch / 87 + 48 = 135
  12. Honor Roll / Margaret Pulte / Margaret Pulte / 83 + 43 = 126