Callie Schott Can’t Be Beat in MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix

Callie Schott (USA) has plenty to smile about as she concludes the week of Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) in Traverse City. Aboard Garant, she cruised to victory in the $216,000 MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix, marking her first CSI5* grand prix win during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.

Callie Schott (USA) stood atop the podium in the $216,000 MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Cedric Longis (FRA) built a track worthy of the occasion. Fences fell throughout, but certain spots caused more issues than others, producing only one clear round in the first half of the 37 entries and three more in the second half. Schott was the final on course and the final to secure her spot in the jump-off.

Conor Swail (IRL) pulled one rail in the jump-off with Vital Chance de la Roque, eventually claiming third as the faster of the pair on four faults, beating out Sam Walker (CAN) and Hermelion vd Hoogehoeve for the final podium spot.

Nick Dello Joio (USA) and Cornet’s Cambridge. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Nicholas Dello Joio then (USA) took the lead aboard the Berry Group’s Cornet’s Cambridge as the first double-clear effort. His time in the limelight was short, however, as Schott, last to go, shaved just under one second off his leading time and pushed him to second, claiming the top spot on the podium for herself.

This win has been a long time coming for Schott, who has taken CSI5* wins before but had yet to score a victory in a CSI5* grand prix aboard the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Their first win will certainly be one to remember.

Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de la Roque. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“We’ve been building our partnership over the last few months,” Schott reflected on her confidence level with Garant, owner by Southern Arches, LLC. “Thursday’s [CSI5*] class was the first class that, from start to finish, was smooth and we were together. He gets very aggressive and wants to get too close to the jumps sometimes, then jumps too high, and then it gets a little erratic. It was the first course that I really put it all together, and I think it just carried over into today.”

Schott credits Garant not only for his ability but for his eagerness to perform and desire to jump clear. “Every day he comes out and he loves to work,” Schott said of her workhorse. “His ears are pricked all the time. He loves life and he loves his job. He wants to do this job. He really is a show jumper. He loves it.”

Unlike other riders in this class, Schott has expert guidance in the form of a past rider of Garant, Beezie Madden (USA). Prior to going in the ring for the jump-off, the former American Gold Cup champion and four-time U.S. Olympian offered words of wisdom. “We went over the plan and she helped me really think about it,” Schott continued. “[The plan was] to try to beat Nick, and to just to go as fast as I could, but feeling comfortable doing it.”

The final fence on the first-round track caused many a rail down, including for Madden, Kent Farrington (USA) and other CSI5* veterans. “It was set right on the half stride,” Schott said of the challenge presented by Longis. “You just had to commit. Also with the [VIP] tent being there, you really had to catch it straight.”

Major League Show Jumping heads to Canada for two events before returning to Traverse City from September 14-18, as part of the Tournament of Champions.

Final Results: $216,000 MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix

1. GARANT: 2011 KWPN gelding by Warrant x Verdi TN
CALLIE SCHOTT (USA), Southern Arches LLC: 0/0/40.61

2. CORNET’S CAMBRIDGE: 2012 OS gelding by Balou Du Reventon x Cambridge 8
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA), The Berry Group LLC: 0/0/41.97

3. VITAL CHANCE DE LA ROQUE: 2009 SF gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Conor Swail: 0/4/38.16

4. HERMELIEN VD HOOGHOEVE: 2007 BWP mare by Otangelo x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve
SAM WALKER (CAN), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/4/43.49

5. CARDORA: 2010 HOLST mare by Caretino x Clearway
TOMAS YOFRE, Stellium Sport Horses LLC: 2/78.12

6. ORAFINA: 2012 KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington LLC: 4/70.67

7. KALINKA VAN’T ZORGVLIET: 2010 BWP mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Flipper d’Elle
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 4/72.85

8. BIRDY DU THOT: 2011 SF mare by Magic D’Elle x Le Tot De Semilly
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Ashley Vogel: 4/73.64

9. CHACCO BLUE II: 2007 OS stallion by Chacco Blue x Cincaba Rouge
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (BRA), Santiago Lambre: 4/73.76

10. JAVAS MISS JORDAN: 2009 ISH mare by Luidam x Obos Quality
NICKY GALLIGAN (IRL), Nicky Galligan: 4/74.89

11. BULL RUN’S RISEN: 2006 KWPN gelding by Utopie x Indoctro
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers, Inc.: 4/75.83

12. CAPPUCCINO: 2012 WESTF gelding by Comme Il Faut x Sir Shutterfly
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 5/77.01

TCHS donated $1,820 to Interlochen Center for the Arts through its Charity Ticket Program. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Dean and Dotcom D’Athuit Dash to CSI2* Grand Prix Win

Natalie Dean (USA) reached a level of speed that neither spectators nor competitors alike anticipated in the $37,000 Cabana Coast CSI2* Grand Prix Saturday afternoon. With the Marigold Sporthorses LLC entry Dotcom D’Athuit, the young rider bested a field of 49 for the title.

Natalie Dean (USA) and Dotcom d’Athuit. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

The first-round track was built with challenges, but 10 managed to jump clear and advance to the jump-off. Dean returned seventh in the order, with Georgina Bloomberg (USA) in the lead with the Gotham Enterprizes, LLC, entry Sempa Fidelis in 38.55 seconds. Several pairs had broken beneath the 40-second mark, and it wasn’t obvious that there was much space to improve the time.

Natalie Dean (USA) topped the podium in the $37,000 Cabana Coast CSI2* Grand Prix. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Dean felt differently, though. With the 9-year-old Selle Français mare (Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel), she sped to a time of 35.84 seconds, finding nearly three seconds to shave off the leading time and claiming the win. Giavanna Rinaldi (USA) found a spot in second place but still a bit off the pace in 38.37 seconds aboard Andrew Welles LLC’s Onermie van het Weyenshof and Bloomberg took third.

Giavanna Rinaldi (USA) and Onermie van het Weyenshof. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Dean has been partnered with Dotcom D’Athuit for two years. The mount is another find of Dean’s trainer, Ilan Ferder. Saturday marked the mare’s first FEI grand prix victory. “She’s been an amazing horse,” she said of their relationship. “She has her own style and technique but it works with her and she is clear in almost every class. I’m really excited for the future with her.”

Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Sempa Fidelis. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Dean has had a spectacular few weeks in Traverse City, with FEI wins as well as victories in the young horse divisions aboard her up-and-coming mounts. “To be honest, this show has always been a top show for me with all my horses,” she said of GLEF. “They really like it here, the weather’s great, it’s such a nice facility, and we’re really lucky to spend our summers here.”

Final Results: $37,000 CabanaCoast CSI2* Grand Prix

1. DOTCOM D’ATHUIT: 2013 SF mare by Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 0/0/35.84

2. ONERMIE VAN HET WEYENSHOF: 2014 BWP mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Nabab de Reve
GIAVANNA RINALDI (USA), ANdrew Welles LLC: 0/0/38.37

3. SEMPA FIDELIS: 2009 HANN mare by Stakkato Gold x Concetto Famos
GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 0/0/38.55

4. CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: 2013 gelding by Comme il Faut
NICOLAS GAMBOA (COL), Maddee Morley: 0/0/39.06

5. ELITE CHIN DE SAULIEU: 2010 WB mare by Cassini II x Chin Chin
CARLIE FAIRTY (CAN), Fairgreen Sod Farm: 0/0/42.24

6. CUBA LIBRE V: 2012 WESTF mare by Cornet Obolensky x Gralshueter
SEAN JOBIN (CAN), Foxridge Farms Stables: 0/0/42.40

7. DARQUITO: 2011 HANN gelding by D’Inzeo x Contefino
AUDREY SCHULZE (USA), Riverbrook Sport Horses LLC: 0/4/40.29

8. CAMINA K: 2011 BRAND mare by Clarimo x Askari 173
KARIME PEREZ NUÑEZ (MEX), Karime Perez Nuñez: 0/4/40.76

9. EHRENS: 2009 KWPN gelding by Cardento x Concorde
LUCIANA ROBERTA GONZALEZ GUERRA (MEX), Luciana Roberto Gonzales Guerra: 0/4/43.76

10. HANAKINE: 2013 SBS gelding by Baltic Sitte x Acodetto
MARK BLUMAN (COL), Mark Bluman: 0/12/38.21

11. CONNOR 69: 2013 HOLST gelding by Connor x Contender
OLIVIA CLIVER (USA), On The Mark Equestrian LLC: 1/78.10

12. ZAMIA 3: 2007 HOLST mare by Aljano x Dream Of Glory
CHANDLER MEADOWS (USA) Chandler Meadows: 1/78.41

Cat Ninja Catapults to First in CSI5* Winning Round

Canada’s Jacqueline Steffens is on a roll since joining the Major League Show Jumping tour in 2021, securing her second CSI5* win aboard the Eye Candy Jumpers-owned Cat Ninja. The win Saturday afternoon came in the $37,000 Yvel CSI5* Winning Round.

Jacqueline Steffens (CAN) and Cat Ninja in their presentation with Alexandra Vlad (left) and Isaac Levy, owner of Yvel Jewelry. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“I’m really pleased with my horse,” Jacqueline, member of Team Eye Candy, said of the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. “She was fantastic today. She really really tried and put in a great effort.”

Over Cedric Longis’s (FRA) first-round course, Steffens was one of 10 to jump clear and be invited to the short course with a clean slate. Racing around the jump-off track, she set the time to beat at 46.46 seconds, and the only one to come close was her own trainer, Paul O’Shea (IRL) with Team Eye Candy’s Hellcat in 46.87 seconds. In third place was Lacey Gilbertson (USA) with Damzelle Ste Hermelle, owned by Seabrook LLC, in 48.70 seconds.

Jacqueline Steffens (CAN) and Cat Ninja. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“Cat Ninja is such a fighter,” Steffens continued. “She has a massive stride which is one of the things that really helped us today cover ground quickly. In the first round I gave her a couple spots that weren’t ideal and she really fought for it. She’s a pleasure to ride.”

Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Hellcat. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

In Friday evening’s $200,000 MLSJ Team Competition, Steffens piloted her other mount, Freaky, for Team Eye Candy, but she admits she doesn’t consider one her “top horse” over the other. “It’s a toss up at the moment between her and [my other horse] Freaky as contenders for the [MLSJ] team event,” she said. “They are both really special horses.”

Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Damzelle Ste Hermelle. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

In her second year as a part of the league, Steffens looks forward to exciting competition to come and what it will bring for the sport of show jumping. “The competition has definitely been elevated this year,” she remarked. “We are delighted to see that for the sport but it means we also have to step it up in the team event.”

Final Results: $37,000 Yvel CSI5* Winning Round

1. CAT NINJA: 2008 KWPN mare by VDL Zirocco Blue x Corland
JACQUELINE STEFFENS (CAN), Eye Candy Jumpers: 0/0/46.46

2. HELLCAT: 2011 BWP mare by Cassander van het Bremhof x Conan Z
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Team Eye Candy: 0/0/46.87

3. DAMZELLE STE HERMELLE: 2013 SF mare by Uppercut Kervec x Paladin Des Ifs
LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook LLC: 0/0/48.70

4. KAMILLA D: 2011 SCSL mare by Kashimir Van Schuttershof x Canturo Bois Margot
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 0/0/49.64

5. DICAS: 2009 RHEIN gelding by Diarado x Cassini I
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/0/49.78

6. GAZELLE: 2006 BWP mare by Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Indoctro
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Cleary Parsky: 0/4/48.18

7. BERDIEN: 2011 ZANG mare by Bustique x Querlybet Hero
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/4/48.24

8. BULL RUN’S JIREH: 2014 HOLST gelding by Uriko x Colman
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Inc.: 0/4/51.67

9. PAMPERO: 2010 OS gelding by Chacco Blue x Nekton
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (BRA), Mario Onate: 0/12/47.03

10. COSTA DIAM: 2012 SF mare by Componist Champblanc x Allegreto
JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Elan Farm: 0/32/79.22

11. COACHELLA 4: 2012 OS mare by Christian 25 x Last Liberty 2
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 1/78.42

12. ITALY HDH: 2013 KWPN gelding by Cream On Top x Numero Uno
CHANDLER MEADOWS, Chandler Meadows: 1/78.83

Jumpers Earn Individual Medals in USHJA Championships

As the morning got underway in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, Platinum Jumpers were awarded individual medals. In the 1.30/1.35m Platinum Jumper section, three riders tied on four faults over the three days of competition, forcing a three-way jump-off for gold. The quickest of the three was Kaylee Rayner aboard GQ, who stood atop the podium and captured the gold. Alex Veleris with Rise Above took the silver and Taylor Flury with Pharoah OBF took bronze.

Lisa Smolen and Sovereign. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

One rider emerged on a zero score in the 1.40/1.45m to take gold. Lisa Smolen managed to jump fault-free in all three rounds over the three days with Sovereign and topped the podium. Nicolas Gamboa and NKH Mr. Darcy took silver while Hillary Johnson and Eastpoint earned bronze.

Kaylee Rayner and GQ. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

The Children’s 1.10/1.15m section also faced a three-way tie for gold with three on a zero score, but only Hannah Votel with Leonardo RGS managed a clear jump-off to take the gold medal. Clayton Martines and Ultimate Touch ML Z, as the faster of the two on four faults in the jump-off, took silver, while Chloe Borrello and Celsy Bisschop Z took bronze.

Colby Kelly and Antor Z. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

The Adult Amateur 1.10/1.15m section had one clear winner on a zero score, gold medalist Colby Kelly with Antor Z. Olivia Parr followed closely behind on one time fault, taking silver. Two riders tied on four faults, so jumped off for bronze, but it was Jenna Buchan with La Douleur Exquise who earned the medal.

Hannah Votel and Leonardo RGS. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Only one section remains to determine individual medals. The 1.20/1.25m Junior/Amateur section will compete for top honors Sunday with five riders on a zero score hoping to take the top spot.