Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 9, 2021 – Competition during Week II of the Tournament of Champions continued Thursday, September 9, with the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament, presented by The Davis McCullough Foundation. A field of 31 decorated international athletes stepped foot in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring for their shot at the top prize in the $36,600 Malvern Bank 1.45m Two-Phase CSI3*. In the end, it was Great Britain’s Gracey Debney aboard Temple Equestrian LLC’s Boheme de la Roque who emerged at the forefront of the victory gallop, also earning valuable points toward the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus that will come to a pinnacle in just over one week.
Anderson De Moura Lima (MEX) set forth an 8-obstacle first-phase track, testing athletes’ power through the technical course. Those who navigated a clear effort would advance to the six-fence power phase in a race against the clock that would determine the top spots on the leaderboard. Setting the pace with the first double-clear effort was Debney aboard Faro, owned by Temple Equestrian LLC, her first of two mounts in the class. As the fifth pair in the order of go, the duo was able to learn from previous competitors’ mistakes, and they navigated their way around the first phase to a fault-free finish for their shot at the second phase, stopping the clocks in 33.390 seconds.
The lead immediately exchanged hands as Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam was the next contender to enter the ring riding Sweet Oak Farm’s Birdy Du Thot. Shaving over three seconds off of the leading time, Sweetnam and the 10-year-old Selle Francais mare crossed through the timers in a swift 30.290 seconds, leaving all of the rails in the cups. Ali Wolff (USA) and Quirie 2, owned by John Wolff, would attempt to slip into the leading position just six rounds later, falling just short with a second phase time of 31.110 seconds to move into second place. Sweetnam would continue to hold his lead until Debney returned to the arena with her second mount Boheme de la Roque 13 rounds later.
Debney piloted the 10-year-old Selle Francais mare with ease, clearing the first round track for her shot at the speed phase. Coming off of an impressive finish with her earlier mount Faro, Debney knew where she needed to make up the time in order to overtake Sweetnam. She confidently made her way around the ring with her trusted mount, narrowly nabbing the lead with a time just under one second faster than Sweetnam to finish in 29.300 seconds. Though the remaining five competitors would try, none could quite match the speed and finesse of Debney and Boheme de la Roque, ultimately lending them the victory. Sweetnam and Birdy Du Thot took home second place honors,while Wolff and Quirie 2 rounded out the top three.
Debney added to her afternoon of awards by claiming the top prize in the $5,000 Rood & Riddle 1.40m earlier in the day riding Temple Equestrian LLC’s Zarina de Vidau. She topped a field of 32 athletes after riding to a jump-off time of 32.672 seconds. It was Jonathan Millar (CAN) and Millar Equine Sales’ Favoriet U who took home second place for their jump-off time of 33.378, while Anna Wilks (USA) and Ma Pomme de Tamerville, owned by IN Showjumpers, after crossing through the timers in 34.748 seconds.
Thursday’s class finally saw a shift of the top spot on the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus Leaderboard, as Sweetnam’s second place finish earned him enough points to overtake Katie Laurie’s (AUS) long-standing lead. After receiving the sought-after bonus in 2020, Sweetnma has set himself up nicely for a shot at the prize money again, currently sitting on a total of 44 points. Laurie has dropped down to the second position with her total of 42 points, while Kyle King (USA) sits in the third position with 38 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Show series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. The CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus is a highly sought-after prize among the field of international competitors that attend Traverse City Horse Shows.
To conclude the afternoon, the Stud Tree High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumpers took to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. A field of 13 junior and amateur athletes put their names forward for the winning title, but it was Vanessa Hood and Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto who raced to victory in a double-clear time of 34.957 seconds. Hood also claimed second place aboard her other mount Lou Lou VLS who completed the track without tipping any rails in 36.129 seconds. Charlise Casas and Mustique VZ, owned by Always Faithful Equine LLC, rounded out the top three with a clear time of 35.099 seconds.
Show jumping competition at the Traverse City Tournament of Champions will see a continuation of the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament Friday, September 10. International athletes will take to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring Friday for the $36,600 GGT Footing Welcome Stake CSI3* to vie for a qualifying spot in Sunday’s $137,000 Agero Grand Prix CSI3*.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Grace Debney – $36,600 Malvern Bank 1.45m Two-Phase winner
On Boheme de la Roque:
“She felt amazing! She is always really in it to win it, honestly. She has the biggest heart that I have ever seen in a horse. She has a lot of drive and really wants to do well. I can always tell in the schooling ring, how things are going to go. Today she felt awesome, like I could run around in there and she would keep all the jumps up.”
On her plan for the course:
“The first horse that I rode is newer to me. This is the first time that I did FEI on him, so I planned on doing a slower approach on him. I planned on doing the same track with Boheme de la Roque, maybe just a little tighter, and it really worked out. I think from 9 to 10a,b is where I made up the most time. I think that I did 8-strides from those two, so I was pretty tight and I really trusted her there.”
On her partnership with Boheme de la Roque:
“I think overall we make a really great match. I owe so much to her. I have not even had her for a year yet and we have really clicked quite fast. My trainers did a great job putting us together. It was really a good match.”
On showing at Flintfields Horse Park:
“This entire show is so fun and so well put together. Everything about it is fun, the music, the people, and the format. I have really enjoyed showing FEI here. I showed here earlier in the summer and had the best experience.”
On her plans for the rest of the week:
“I will show tomorrow in the Welcome and then in the National Grand Prix on the horse that I won the 1.40m on. I also have my equitation horses here. After this, we are going to go to Regionals to qualify for the ASPCA Maclay Finals.”
$36,600 Malvern Bank 1.45m Two-Phase:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / Faults | Time
1. Boheme de la Roque / Grace Debney / GBR / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 29.300
2. Birdy Du Thot / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Sweet Oak Farm / 0 | 30.290
3. Quirie 2 / Ali Wolff / USA / John Wolff / 0 | 31.110
4. Centuria / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / OWNER / 0 | 31.240
5. And Action / Andrew Welles / USA / Evergreen Stables LLC / 0 | 31.690
6. Volo’s Diamond / Tanner Korotkin / USA / Sandalwood Farms / 0 | 33.240
7. Faro / Grace Debney / GBR / Temple Equestrian LLC / 0 | 33.390
8. Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet / Karl Cook / USA / Signe Ostby / 0 | 34.260
9. Dontez / Freddie Vazquez / PUR / Freddie Frazquez / 0 | 35.180
10. Button Sitte / Richie Moloney / IRL / Equinimity LLC / 0 | 35.920
11. Dacil / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Kristen Vanderveen / 4 | 29.330
12. Frasier / Samantha Schaefer / USA / Bonne Vie LLC / 4 | 31.050