Cathleen Driscoll Can’t Stop Winning in Traverse City

Cathleen Driscoll (USA) continued her fierce winning streak in international competition Friday afternoon at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, winning the $38,700 GGT CSI3* Welcome Stake and further solidifying her lead on the Open Jumper Rider Leaderboard at Flintfields Horse Park.

With Arome, a 13-year-old Selle Français gelding (Norway De La Lande x Attila III), Driscoll bested an 11-horse jump-off with over a second to spare over second-place finisher Francisco Goyoaga Mollet (ESP) with Icarus. Grace Debney (GBR) and Jesprit H.S. finished just a hair behind Goyoaga Mollet to finish third. Driscoll’s gutsy slice to the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament oxer in the jump-off helped save precious time and secure the win as the class came to a close. 

“I’ve been with Arome for about two years now and we’ve built a great partnership together,” she said of the horse owned by Plain Bay Farm. “I’ve jumped five-stars and Nations Cup competitions on him, and we’ve learned a lot together. I can call on him and trust that he’ll do right by me. He is becoming a super competitive horse. In the beginning he wasn’t so fast but now he’s learning to be fast and tidy.”

Arome certainly came through for Driscoll Friday when asked to take on a challenging slice, but it’s actually a move Driscoll practices quite often at home so she can execute in the show ring.

Cathleen Driscoll and Arome. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“I have a background in eventing, so I’m very comfortable on the slice,” Driscoll said of her past working for several eventing stables near her home base in Maryland. “That’s something we school a lot with the event horses and I’ve carried over into my training with the show jumpers. You see [fences to slice] so often in the jump-offs and I find it’s a place where you can make up a lot of time if you have a horse that’s good on the slice.”

Though eventing left its mark on Driscoll and made her braver to the jumps and more willing to take risks, once she headed into the show jumping world, she never looked back. “I always wanted to jump, but at the time [eventing] fell into my lap,” she explained of her time in eventing. “I grew up in an area that was rich with eventers so that’s where my path took me at that time. In the end, it led me to the Prudents at Plain Bay Farm so I can’t be upset about that.”

Francisco Goyoaga Mollet and Icarus. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Driscoll typically aims Arome for CSI5* classes, and she isn’t making an exception for the CSI5* American Gold Cup at the Traverse City Horse Shows, set for Sunday, September 17. The win Friday is a great step toward their next goal of a top finish in a CSI5* grand prix.

“This is a super confidence builder,” she continued. “We love it here in Michigan. We had a great summer so I’m coming off those good results as well. It’s nice to have good performances in the ring the week leading up to [a big event]. He feels super and I think he’s due a good result in these bigger classes. I hope it’s coming soon.”

Grace Debby and Jesprit H.S. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Cathleen Driscoll and Magnolia Stay on Winning Form in Stud Tree 1.30m

Cathleen Driscoll and Magnolia. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Driscoll was on winning form earlier Friday as well, speeding Magnolia to the win in the Stud Tree 1.30m out of 33 entries. Magnolia, owned by Plain Bay Farm, has won grand prix at the national and CSI2* level, but is dipping her toe back into action following a short break after her last victory.

“Magnolia is a fantastic mare. I’ve had a lot of success with her,” Driscoll said of the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare. “We’re gearing her up for the two-star here next week so I wanted to let her come in and jump a couple nice rounds in the 1.30m division. She’s so competitive and so fast, I don’t even really have to do that much. I can just use her footspeed and turning.”

Further proving Magnolia and Driscoll are a duo to watch out for. They were nearly two seconds faster than any other combination and with big wins under their belts in Traverse City, Driscoll feels the mare is ready to keep moving up the ranks.

Cathleen Driscoll presented as winner with Jeff Papows. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“I’ll be doing the Major League (Major League Show Jumping) competitions this fall, so I think she’s going to tag along with my string of five-star horses and we’re looking to start moving her up into the 1.50m this fall. I think she’s ready; she’s in fantastic form,” she explained.

As a previous competitor at the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, Driscoll knows how impactful the show is and she appreciates the extra mile the management goes to celebrate her wins.

“This is a very special show,” she said. “It’s fabulous the support they give the Kevin Babington Foundation. The management does a fantastic job of making it feel special this week. The presentations are top notch, the prizes are super, and it’s always fun to have a show that puts importance on the sponsors and makes a good show for the public.”

Roberto Teran and Escada 289 Top $5,000 Davis McCullough Foundation 1.40m

Roberto Teran Tafur and Escada 289. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Olympian Roberto Teran was in the winner’s circle earlier Friday in the $5,000 Davis McCullough Foundation 1.40m with Escada 289, an entry owned by Caitlyn Connors LLC. Of 30 entries, Teran rode to the fastest jump-off time, beating out top pairs including CSI5* competitors Shane Sweetnam and Birdy Du Thot.

“She’s a really good grand prix horse,” Teran said of the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Clearway x Coriano). “She has done up to four-star grand prixs. Because I was away in Canada and the Hamptons she hadn’t shown for a while, so that’s why I did these national classes this week. She’s careful and very competitive.”

As Teran continues to campaign Escada, he will move her back into her competitive comfort zone in FEI action. “She’s going to do a couple of three-stars and maybe in Tryon she’ll do a four-star,” he explained. “She has done many big classes under the lights. I think she has a great future ahead.”

With only a few days left before the most exciting week of the season, Teran is preparing his horses, including top mount, Dez’ Ooktoff, for a week of CSI5* action for the American Gold Cup. Last year, the pair just missed out on the jump-off in the big class, bringing home fourth place.

Roberto Teran Tafur presented as winner with Jeff Papows. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“There were three clears and I had a time fault,” he said of his result in last year’s highly technical CSI5* Grand Prix. “My horse has been jumping amazing in all the five-stars this year. He was second in the [CSI5* Rolex] Grand Prix at WEF. I had a time fault in the last five-star [Grand Prix] I did here. We have been working on that and I think we are on point to hopefully be double-clear in the Gold Cup.”

A staple in top competition in Traverse City, Teran, who rides internationally for Colombia, is thrilled to be back for the Tournament of Champions. “I love being here; I always come back,” he shared. “I have had great success here. I love the show grounds, I love the town, and usually the weather is fantastic. I am very happy to be here.”

Show jumping continues Saturday with the $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix, the $5,000 Kevin Babington Benefit Classic, presented by Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Five-, Six-, Seven-, and Eight-Year-Old Finals in the USHJA Young Jumper Championships. Full details for the Tournament of Champions can be found at