Mimi Gochman’s long trip from Aachen to Traverse City was well worth it, as she found herself in the winner’s circle for the second time in a week after representing the United States at the FEI Youth Equestrian Games. She stayed hot to claim top honors in the $37,000 Innovo CSI3* Welcome Stake during week one of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
Aboard Celina BH, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare (Canstakko x Carthago Z), Gochman secured one of a dozen clear rounds over the first-round track, set by Mexico’s Catsy Cruz. Early to go in the jump-off, Gochman set the pace with daring turns and incredible scope, clearing all the fences in a time of 34.87 seconds. With nine still to come behind her, she knew her win wasn’t secured but she put it all on the line.
Rails began to fall as the remaining horse-and-rider combinations chased her quick time. The only pairs close to Gochman’s time were American rider Cathleen Driscoll and Arome, the first of two qualified for the jump-off, and amateur Kelly Arani (USA) with Impossible Dream. Driscoll, second to navigate the short course, clocked in at 36.34 seconds to claim second place with the Plain Bay Farm entry, while Arani and her Sweet Oak Farm-owned gelding took third place in 36.93 seconds.
Coming off a gold-medal finish for USA jumping in Aachen just one week ago, Gochman is making waves at the international level as she nears the end of her junior career. “This year has been my move up year,” she said of her advancement in the sport. “I’m trying to jump three and four-stars more and figure it out. I’m very confident now in this division.”
Though her win in Aachen was not aboard her “heart horse” Celina BH, the pair has accomplished incredible things in their time together. “My horse is incredible and thankfully I have a good partner, a good team, an amazing trainer, and it’s coming together. The jump from the high junior jumpers and national grand prix to CSI3* is a little much for me but now I’m starting to grasp it and I’m very proud of my horse.”
The relationship between Gochman and Celina BH has been one in progress for over four years as the pair have moved up the ranks in the jumper ring. “We’ve had Celina since she was seven turning eight. She’s an incredible mare. She’s smart and she knows her job. We’ve been able to develop a very good partnership. I started her in the medium and high junior jumpers and it’s been about four years of riding her. We trust each other a lot; she knows my ride, I know her well, and we can play to each other’s strengths and that makes us a strong team. She always tries her best and she knows what she’s doing. I’m very lucky to have her. I’ll love her forever – she’s my heart horse.”
Nothing was going to stop Gochman from returning to Traverse City this summer, where she’s been competing since she was six years old. “I love it here,” she continued. “I’ve done pony hunters through junior hunters, and now to be able to compete now at the CSI3* level in the big ring against top professionals is incredible. I love the atmosphere here. The show itself is beautiful and everything is very well kept. The horses love it and there’s a lot of space for grazing, plus big rings and big stalls. I try to come back every year and I think it keeps getting better, so I’m very grateful to get to attend this show.”
International competition resumes Sunday with the $138,600 Meijer CSI3* Grand Prix.
Final Results: $37,000 Innovo CSI3* Welcome Stake
1. CELINA BH: 2010 HOLST mare by Canstakko x Carthago Z
MIMI GOCHMAN (USA), Gochman Sport Horse LLC: 0/0/34.87
2. AROME: 2010 SF gelding by Norway De La Lande x Attila III
CATHLEEN DRISCOLL (USA), Plain Bay Farm: 0/0/36.34
3. IMPOSSIBLE DREAM: 2013 KWPN gelding by Cardento x Peter Pan
KELLY ARANI (USA), Marigot Bay Farm, LLC: 0/0/36.93
4. FOREVER ALVE: 2010 KWPN mare by Numero Uno x Berlin
EMMA CATHERINE REICHOW, Emma Catherine Reichow: 0/0/38.33
5. NAMASTE VAN HET EYCKEVELD: 2013 BWP gelding by Elvis Ter Putte x Coriall
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/0/38.89
6. BIRDY DU THOT: 2011 SF mare by Magic D’Elle x Le Tot De Semilly
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Ashley Vogel: 0/0/39.11
7. FLOTYLLA: 2011 PZHK mare by Alvaro 121 x Bajou Du Rouet
CATHLEEN DRISCOLL (USA), Donald Stewart: 0/4/35.02
8. GOTCHA: 2011 HOLST mare by Stakkato x Cassini I
SIMON MCCARTHY (IRL), Rock Ridge Farms: 0/4/35.70
9. FRASIER: 2010 KWPN gelding by Carambole x Padinus
SAMANTHA FRASIER (USA), Bonne Vie LLC: 0/4/37.91
10. IDEAL: 2012 SWB gelding by Cardento x Cortez
TANNER KOROTKIN (USA), Castlewood Farm Inc. & Sandalwood Farms: 0/4/38.31
11. CORNWALL BH: 2008 HOLST gelding by Con Air x Cambridge
AMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), Gochman Sport Horse LLC: 0/4/38.33
12. MORRIS HORTA: 2012 BWP stallion by Eldorado VD Zeshoek x Vigo D Arsouilles STX
MARTIEN VAN DER HOEVEN (USA), Luccirelli International, LLC: 0/4/38.54
Wire-to-Wire Win for Jake Endicott in Kasowitz Benson Torres High Junior/Amateur Jumper
Jake Endicott made it clear he did not come to mess around as the first and ultimately fastest rider to contest the clock in the Kasowitz Benson Torres High Junior/Amateur Jumper Class Friday morning. Endicott and the Pegasus Show Stable Inc.’s 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Diarado x Chacco Blue) Diamant’s Aurora dominated from the minute they stepped foot into the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring after clearing the timers in an unmatched time of 60.250 seconds.
“She has jumped some bigger classes around the world and her experience definitely helped me out today,” he said of the mare – a former ride of international competitor Jessica Mendoza. “She has a huge stride so she covers the ground deceivingly well, and she is easily able to leave out strides in every line. She makes my job pretty easy.”
A total of 13 top junior and amateur athletes put forth their best efforts to overtake the top honors but Endicott, from Rancho Santa Fe, CA, maintained a lead of nearly one second faster than the closest challenging rider, Stella Wasserman.
“I was very tight in my turn back to jump four, and I did seven strides out of the double combination to fence nine where most other riders did eight strides,” explained Endicott.
Wasserman piloted Karen O’Connor’s Clear Water into the second place position with a finishing time of 61.350 seconds, and Skyler Fields rounded out the top three aboard her own Elegance De Pessel after crossing the timers in 62.562 seconds.
For Endicott, the win is a great start to his first experience at GLEF and the beginning of what he hopes will be an exciting season.
“We are here for the full six weeks this year, and I absolutely love it so far,” he stated. “I am hoping to be able to finish the season out with some two- and three-star classes with this horse; that would be great.”
Saturday of GLEF I features the $25,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix, followed by Sunday’s $10,000 Kasowitz Benson Torres Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.
Final Results: Kasowitz Benson Torres High Junior/Amateur Jumper
1. Diamant’s Aurora / Jake Endicott / Pegasus Show Stable Inc / 0/60.250
2. Clear Water / Stella Wasserman / Karen O’Connor / 0/61.350
3. Elegance De Pessel / Skyler Fields / Skyler Fields / 0/62.562
4. Elektrisk / Erin Haas / North Face Farm / 0/62.655
5. Isabelle / Tessa Downey / Horse Orchard LLC / 0/62.989
6. Cubiki / Emma Catherine Reichow / Emma Catherine Reichow / 0/64.805
7. Byzance Mail / Lacey Gilbertson / Seabrook LLC / 4/60.293
8. Fresca / Augusta Iwasaki / Roberto Teran / 4/60.867
9. Vox Dei / Daneli Miron / Miron Sport Horses LLC / 4/60.960
10. Kadafi Van’t Hof Van Payz / Katarina Ammann / Ammann Equestrian LLC / 4/63.649
11. Cornetta / Skyler Fields / Skyler Fields / 4/64.507
12. Jolene AK / Anna Beth Athey / Anna Beth Athey / 4/65.736