Traverse City, Mich. – July 25, 2021 – Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, concluded Sunday afternoon in the Polk Family Hunter Ring with the highly anticipated $5,000 Traverse City Derby, featuring an impressive 48 talented horse-and-rider combinations all the way from California to Boston. In the end, Greg Crolick dominated the field of derby competitors to take first place with Calisto.
Course designer Joe Carnicom laid out a beautifully decorated 10-obstacle course for the first round, allowing the hunter athletes to open up their horses’ strides and carry a flowing pace throughout the entirety of the course. A few riders found issues with the last line, which was a long bending line where riders either held their lead or changed.
The path finders, Greg Crolick and his first ride Catwalk, laid down a beautiful round with a nice open stride, and would prove to be a strong combination with a first-round score of 88. Crolick rode three others, but it was the 9-year-old Selle Francais gelding Caristo, owned by Jon Cotton, who ultimately brought home the win. The pair was towards the end to go in the first round and earned the third highest score of 89.5. With all four of Crolick’s mounts end in the top twelve in the first round, he and Calisto ended up being the last combination to return for the second round.
The handy round started with the same jump as the first round, which gave riders the opportunity to get a strong gallop to the first fence. Rider were then asked rolled back to a birch oxer and then continue around to a single fence in front of the judges. Having the option to go around fences, every rider snuck right inside to the first high option oxer and then a tight turn again to another high option. Following that was a bending line to the trot jump right past the judges and then a rollback turn to the final two high-option fences in a bending line.
Crolick and Calisto proved to be the handiest and earned the highest second round score with an impressive 92 for a two round total of 181.5, almost three points above second place. Clasito was also named Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week for his efforts throughout hunter competition during Week III.
Ultimately taking second place with a final score of 178.75 was another one of Crolick’s rides, the 9-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding Kuore, owned by Renaud Farm LLC. The duo also had a beautiful and smooth first round, scoring an 87.75,and continued their consistency and skill into the handy round and proved to be almost as handy as Calisto, earning a score of 91.
Finishing just a quarter of a point behind Crolick in third place was Kelsey Epperson. She was aboard the Lashier Properties LLC’s entry Didgeridoo VDL. Epperson and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding showcased their beautiful efforts in the first round to earn a score of 88.5 and a spot in the top 12 for the handy round. Coming back in the second half of the handy round, the pair continued to impress, and posted a second round score of 90 to finish with a 178.5 total.
Hunter competition will continue Wednesday July 28, 2021 to start Week IV of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
From the Winners Circle
Greg Crolick – $5,000 Traverse City Derby Winner
“We’ve had him for about a year, his own is Jon Cotton and he’s a horse that does a beautiful job for his student who jumps up to three foot right now. For me, he has been outstanding — he shows in the Gree Conformation he also does a lot of derbys and has won a couple already this year. He’s just such an easy horse from the stall to the ring and very brave and simple to get around the ring.”
On the handy round:
“I think with that horse in the handy rounds you can just have so much trust — you can do as sharp of a turn as you want to — he is just easy to collect and also easy to go forward. He is just so compliant all the way around and that makes him so fun to ride as well as when you get to the jump he has a beautiful jump.”
On finishing first and second:
“This is our first derby so far — last week was our first week up here and I decided not to do the derby and to give the horses a break, so this is our first one. Kuore, the horse that came in second, was outstanding. He really does the international derbys but I wanted to get him in and get practice for next week. As well as the other two horses I showed, they are going to do the international next week.”
On Traverse City:
“We’ve been here every single year — before it was [the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival]. It’s a lovely place to come in the summer, we are about three hours south. We have a lot of shows on our schedule so we usually plan the month of July up here and then we are looking forward to coming back in September for two weeks.”
$5,000 Traverse City Derby
Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total Score
1.Calisto / Greg Crolick / Jon Cotton / 89.5 / 92 | 181.5
2.Kuore / Greg Crolick / Renaud Farm LLC / 87.75 / 91 | 178.75
3.Didgereedoo VDL / Kelsey Epperson / Lashier Properties LLC / 88.5 / 90 | 178.5
4.Alajolie / Augusta Iwasaki / Farber Farms / 85 / 93 | 178
5. In The Know / Samantha Schaefer / Madeline Schaefer / 91 / 86 | 177
6. Gratitude PS / Jacob Pope / Zoe Schiefer / 87.5 / 89 | 176.5
7. Attendu De Lannois Z / Augusta Iwasaki / Ashland Farms / 86 / 88.5 | 174.5
8. Catwalk / Greg Crolick / Jodi Lennox / 88 / 84 | 172
9. Heartbeat Z / Abigail Gordon / Mary Jane King / 84 / 88 | 172
10. Testify / Greg Crolick / Jon Cotton / 89 / 79 | 168
11. Nice To Have / Sarah Duhon / Down To The Line Equine LLC / 90 / 76 | 166
12. Georgian Bay / Michael Dennehy / Sheryl Dennehy / 87 / 49 | 136