Katie Dinan Doubles Down in Traverse City

Katie Dinan (USA) made her return to Traverse City Horse Shows and arrived in winning form, taking both first and third place in the $37,000 CSI3* 1.45m Two-Phase Friday morning.

Dinan piloted three of her up-and-coming mounts in Friday’s event, which welcomed 33 international entries over a track designed by Mauricio Garcia (PUR). The Wellington-based rider improved upon her time with each ride she brought forth.

Katie Dinan (USA) and Athos D’Elle. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

With her second mount of the class, Atika Des Hauts Vert, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, Dinan chased down the time of 28.03 seconds set by second-place finisher Kelli Cruciotti VanderVeen (USA) and Forever SFN, owned by Springpaarden Fonds Nederland. Coming up just short, Dinan clocked in at 29.94 seconds in the speed phase, which fell within the sub-30 second mark to land Atika Des Hauts Vert a spot on the podium, but it wasn’t enough to overtake the lead.

Dinan returned aboard Athos D’Elle, the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Apache D’Adriers x Papillon Rouge) owned by Grand Road Partners LLC, from 26th in the order and laid it all on the line, crossing the timers in a speed-phase time of 27.63 seconds.

“I saw Kelli on her horse and she was super fast,” Dinan commented. “I went right after her on Atika and I thought I was really fast but was still a second behind so I knew I’d have to really take a risk. It was nice that it paid off.”

“I love a [two-phase] class,” Dinan continued. “It’s nice early in the week because it gives you the first phase to let you get comfortable in the ring, the horses get a feel for things, and then you can start to be faster in the second phase. [Athos] is a 12-year-old with a lot of experience now. He was really fighting for me today and trying to win the class too, which is always a great feeling.”

Kelli Cruciotti VanderVeen and Forever SFN. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Between Dinan and her trainer, Swiss Olympic silver medalist Beat Mändli, several stars have collided in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring this week. “It’s great to be here,” Dinan remarked on the venue. “I was laughing to myself yesterday that I no longer need to use the GPS with my rental car because we’ve come so often the past few years. I think that really speaks to it being a great facility. The footing here is fantastic. For the horses it’s a really nice place to be.”

Katie Dinan (USA) and Atika Des Hauts Vents. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

While her top mount, Brego R’N B, takes a rest during this series, the five-time FEI World Cup Finalist is putting valuable miles on her three developing mounts to aim them for similar achievements. “I thought two CSI3* shows would be perfect for them. They’re – I hope – my horses for the future. I’m hoping to go to Europe for about six weeks after these shows so this is a great place to prepare.”

International athletes return Saturday for the $37,000 CSI3* Welcome Stake before taking on the $138,600 Staller CSI3* Grand Prix Sunday.

Final Results: $37,000 CSI3* 1.45m Two-Phase

1. ATHOS D’ELLE: 2010 SF stallion by Apache D’Adriers x Papillon Rouge
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/27.63

2. FOREVER SFN: 2010 KWPN gelding by Azteca VDL x Nonstop
KELLI CRUCIOTTI VANDERVEEN (USA), Springpaarden Fonds Nederland: 0/0/28.0

3. ATIKA DES HAUTS VENTS: 2010 SF mare by Rock’n Roll Semilly
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/29.94

4. ELUNA CL Z: 2012 ZANG mare by Emerald x Nabab De Reve
ELIZA LEHRMAN (USA), Five Way Farm LLC: 0/0/30.13

5. CHARTRAINE PRE NOIR: 2012 SF mare by Kannan
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/30.92

6. FLINTSTONE: 2010 gelding by Mr Blue x Caretino
SARAH SEGAL (USA), Horatio Street Ventures LLC: 0/0/30.58

7. DIJON TERDOORN Z: 2011 ZANG gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Lord Z
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/30.60

8. JACKOFHEARTS: 2012 DWB gelding by Toulon x Baloubet Du Rouet
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/0/30.88

9. MASSIMO: 2012 BWP gelding by Otangelo x Electro
MICHAEL MORRISSEY (USA), Imperial Show Stables: 0/0/31.38

10. GAZELLE ES: 2011 KWPN mare by Diarado x Ukato
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/31.55

11. DSARIE: 2008 KWPN mare by Veron x Ahorn
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/31.66

12. NALINI VAN HET WILDERHOF: 2013 BWP mare by Ogano Sitte x Nabab De Reve
JONATHAN CORRIGAN (IRL), Twin Oaks Ventures LLC: 0/0/31.68


Tiffany Morrissey and Heartfelt II. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

A Heartfelt Performance from Tiffany Morrissey

Tiffany Morrissey found herself in the winner’s circle again at the Traverse City Horse Show. During Spring II, it was aboard Heartfelt II, owned by Diener Farms, LLC, as she rode to the division championship in the 3’6” Performance Hunters. After two days of stellar rounds, the pair claimed two first-place ribbons over fences and third place under saddle to take home tri-color honors.

“[Heartfelt] was a jumper,” Morrissey remarked on the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Baltic VDL x Great Pleasure). “Then I actually ended up buying him from Jimmy Torano. He did one derby with Danielle Torano, and then [Diener Farms, LLC] bought him a few years ago. He was really good in all the big derbies this winter, and he’s definitely a hunter.” Canada’s Erynn Ballard had the ride on Heartfelt with Ilan Ferder Stables before Torano debuted the horse in the hunter ring.

Tiffany Morrissey and Heartfelt II. Photo ©Andrew Ryback Photography

It’s been smooth sailing ever since for Heartfelt’s owner, Noa Diener, and for Morrissey while Deiner is away at Cornell University. After a successful season in Wellington, where he collected two top-10 derby placings, Heartfelt was given a much-deserved break before reemerging for the Traverse City Spring Series.

“He’s a great horse,” Morrissey continued. “He hasn’t shown since [we were in] Florida, so I’m just getting ready for WCHR week next week. He’ll do the WCHR Hunter Spectacular next Saturday.” Diener also shows Heartfelt in the Amateur-Owner Hunters.

The hunters have a new home for the 2022 season, in the Main Hunter Ring alongside the VIP Club, allowing VIP table holders to now view the highest level of competition across hunter and jumper divisions.

“I like that all of our owners can watch their hunters on one side and their jumpers on the other side,” Morrissey remarked about the relocation of the hunter rings for the 2022 season. “[It’s] the best of both worlds down here, and we love it so far. I just really love that everybody’s here. The weather’s nice, and we’re happy to be back. I’m looking forward to a successful season, especially because we have some new up-and-coming riders.”

Didgereedoo VDL and Kelsey Epperson, owned by Lashier Properties, LLC, received reserve champion in the 3’6” Performance Hunters division.