Traverse City, Mich. – July 22, 2021 – Exciting Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) competition during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, continued on Thursday. The inaugural MLSJ Tour, now underway with its second week of top-tier classes, will feature eight teams of six high-performance show jumping athletes from across the globe, and will offer over $6 million dollars in prize money throughout its ten events. The day’s highlight event in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, the MLSJ $5,000 Groulx Family 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2*, saw Great Britain’s Grace Debney and Boheme De La Roque take home the top prize.
The two-phase 1.40m class tested the power and speed of 59 horse-and-rider combinations who entered the arena with their eyes on the prize. The track, fashioned by designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER), featured long bending lines, rollbacks and a two-way fence, keeping riders on their toes throughout the course. In the first half of the large class, many riders struggled to leave rails intact in the first phase in order to advance on to the immediate speed-focused second phase. At the mid-way point of the class, Katherine Dinan held the top position on the leaderboard with Athos De’Elle, riding clear through both parts of the course to finish her speed phase in just 23.86 seconds.
After watching many other competitors pilot their mounts around the challenging course, Ashley Vogel guided Lucy in the Sky, her own 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, around in a clear effort, taking over first place with a second phase time of 22.88 seconds. Vogel and Lucy in the Sky started off the MLSJ CSI2* Tour with success during Week II of GLEF, winning the MLSJ $5,000 NetJets 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2* with their speedy ways and hoping to repeat their luck Thursday afternoon.
Other riders attempted to match Vogel’s time, with Mexico’s Alberto Sanchez-Cozar and Abril Hilcha Z, a 9-year-old Argentinian mare owned by Claudia Michel Rodriguez, coming the closest to touching her time after crossing the finish line in 23.06 seconds. However, it was not until Debney and Boheme De La Roque, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by Temple Equestrian LLC, entered that ring that Vogel could be challenged. Riding close to the end of the class order, Debney strategized where to take extra care around the ring and where to pick up the pace to shave off precious seconds if she wanted to overtake her friend, Vogel. Thanks to Boheme De La Roque’s nimble ways and quick foot speed, Debney was able to claim a clear effort and cross the finish line in their second phase in just 21.58 seconds.
Vogel and Lucy in the Sky settled for second place at the conclusion of the class, while Sanchez-Cozar and Abril Hilcha Z took home the third place ribbon.
MLSJ $2,000 Callidae Small Tour 1.15m CSI2*
Immediately following the Major League Show Jumping $5,000 Groulx Family 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2*, the MLSJ $2,000 Callidae Small Tour 1.15m CSI2* took center stage in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. Eleven horse-and-rider combinations put their names forward for contention, with just four going clear in the first round to move on to the jump-off. In the end, it was Carla Buch Molina (MEX) and Antonio Maurer’s 12-year-old mare, Chapella, that raced to the win, putting in a clear jump-off effort in 31.42 seconds. Claiming the second place honors was Tanya Jarvis and Kennedy McCaulley’s Absolhut, while Buch Molina also rounded out the top three with Sunnybrook Farm’s Momento LS.
MLSJ $3,000 Cabana Coast Medium Tour 1.25m CSI2*
Wrapping up a day of top sport, riders for the Major League Show Jumping $3,000 Cabana Coast Medium Tour 1.25m made their way through the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel arches. A total of 11 athletes and their mounts tried their best to produce a clear round and secure a ticket to the jump-off, which all 11 would successfully do. Showcasing their quick footwork and agility through the shorented jump-off track, Lorenza Mena and Cristal Utopia Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide mare, would top the leaderboard for the Thursday afternoon class. Sarah Segal aboard Elaine B and Xaviera Maurer Buch aboard Puertas LIZ would complete the podium, taking second and third place, respectively.
Show jumping competition will resume during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, on Friday, July 23. Competition in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring will feature the MLSJ $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m Jump-Off CSI5*, MLSJ $1,000 Two-Phase CSI5*, MLSJ $36,600 Groulx Family 1.45m Speed Stake CSI2*, MLSJ $3,000 Cabana Coast 1.25m Speed CSI2*, and MLSJ $2,000 1.15m Speed Stake CSI2*.
From the Winner’s Circle
Grace Debney – MLSJ $5,000 Groulx Family 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2* First Place
On the class:
“I’m so grateful to be here — it’s such a beautiful show and I know there are a lot of really good FEI riders here. It is so busy this year so I am just so grateful to be here. My horse is amazing. We kind of went in there just trying to go for it, but she pulled it out and I really trusted her. She was amazing.”
Her plan for the course:
“I went on my first horse earlier and I think that really helped. I had a really good time, I think I was also [21 seconds] on the other horse, but I cut it a little and I had one down. I think I learned from my mistake and was able to come back and execute the plan way better. I was so much smoother in the second phase with the second horse and was really able to gallop so everything came up nice.”
On Boheme De La Roque:
“She’s such a fighter — sometimes I think she wants to win more than I do. I think that really makes a difference, the horse has to be all in it too. I’ll do the 2* next week and I plan to keep being consistent with her in FEI. She had my first FEI win, she’s really been the one that’s so speedy all the time and so in it to win it. I just really want to keep going with that.”
MLSJ $5,000 Groulx Family 1.40m CSI2*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Boheme De La Roque / Grace Debney / GBR / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 21.58
2. Lucy In The Sky / Ashely Vogel / USA / Ashley Vogel / 0 | 22.88
3. Abril Hilcha Z / Alberto Sanchez-Cozar / MEX / Claudia Michel Rodriguez / 0 | 23.06
4. Athos D’Elle / Katherine Dinan / USA / Grant Road Partners LLC / 0 | 23.86
5. Coach / Katherine Strauss / USA / Katherine Strauss LLC / 0 | 24.32
6. Iceman De Muze / Elli Yeager / USA / Elli Yeager / 0 | 24.44
7. TylientJe Z / Shawn Casady / USA / Corinne Bevis / 0 | 24.53
8. Faberlys / Cara Raether Carey / USA / Trelawny Farm LLC / 0 | 24.74
9. Italy HDH / Lauren Hough / USA / Chandler Meadows / 0 | 24.85
10. Cesna M / Margie Engle / USA / Virginia Batholomay / 0 | 24.87
11. Amazing / Dominic Gibbs / USA / Brush Hollow Sales / 0 | 25.14
12. Jewel LVP / Teddi Pritzker / USA / Evergreen Stables LLC / 0 | 25.37