Joao Eduardo Ferreira De Carvalho knew he had a winner on his hands with And Action. He proved it to all in attendance at Flintfields Horse Park on Saturday of the third week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), as the duo took top honors in the $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix.
Over a track built by Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR), the duo was one of eight to jump clear and advance to the jump-off, going up against other top international athletes for the biggest prize. Hoping for her second win of the week in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, Cathleen Driscoll posted a quick time to beat aboard Magnolia, owned by Plain Bay Farm. But, ultimately placed second after her time was improved upon by Ferreira De Carvalho. Jacob Pope and Hannah Hink’s Casper claimed third place with another double-clear effort.
And Action, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Evergreen Stables LLC, has miles up to the CSI5* level, but since Ferreira De Carvalho acquired the ride, the horse has been most comfortable at the 1.45m height.
“The horse is from Teddi Pritzker; she is a client of Team KPF,” Ferreira De Carvalho said. “It’s a pleasure to ride the mare, and she’s a super, super mare. I’ve been riding her since the end of last year. We’ve had great results in the 1.40m. I won four or five classes, and now we’re building her to the grand prix level again. She’s going really well.”
The mare was up for the task Saturday, but it helped them being second to last in the jump-off order. Ultimately, the win was a step in the right direction towards their goal. “It was a good step because the jump-off had eight so it was really fast,” Ferreira De Carvalho remarked. “I had to push a little more than normal and she was perfect.
“We were lucky to go at the end,” Ferreira De Carvalho continued about his jump-off strategy with And Action. “We saw [Cathleen Driscoll] jumping off and saw what she did. I think I turned really tight to the last vertical and did nine strides to the last line, so that made us faster than she was at the end of the jump-off.”
While the win is a big move in the build-up of the horse, they don’t have any major expectations as the mare continues to progress. “We go day by day,” he explained. “We don’t have big plans so we go step by step.”
Show jumping during GLEF III concludes on Sunday with the $77,300 CSI2* Grand Prix.
Caprice and Abigail Roberts Capture Huntsover Farm 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic Victory
Abigail Roberts had only shown Caprice once before, but in their second show ring appearance together they took top honors in the Huntsover Farm 3’3” Junior Hunter Classic, as well as the division championship in the 3’3” Junior Hunters during GLEF III.
“I was actually riding this horse for another girl at our barn, Ellie Spitzer, who owns him,” Roberts said of Caprice. “I showed him once before in Kentucky but this was a great opportunity to do a catch ride. He used to be a jumper so this is very new to him. I was thankful to get the opportunity to show him since Ellie wasn’t here this week.”
With a two-round total of 166, Roberts, of Dublin, OH, bested the field of junior riders and took the top call. She also won both over-fences classes Saturday and took first- and third-place finishes Friday for the overall championship.
“Having shown him before, he’s a very straightforward guy,” she explained of the 7-year-old Brazilian Sport Horse gelding. “He’s very sweet and he’ll do anything you ask. He is easy to flow around the course. The biggest thing with him is he likes to shift a little bit so keeping him straight is the goal since he is a young horse.”
As a successful catch rider, Roberts was pleased to have recalled what she learned about the horse when she showed him in Kentucky, because she was able to implement similar tactics and have the results fall in their favor.
“I’d say the highlights were my rounds today because I felt like all the pieces came together,” she said of the pair’s performance. “Yesterday was really nice too, but I had to remember the ride and the pieces about him, like keeping him straight and following the rhythm. It all came together in the end.”
The 17-year-old has attended Traverse City Horse Shows the past two summers, including an appearance at the USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, and is pleased to be back. “I personally love the venue,” she said. “It’s one of my favorite shows. It’s competitive but at the same time laid back. Everyone there is very friendly. I’ve had a great experience here, and I’ve enjoyed last summer and this summer being here.”
Hunter action concludes for GLEF III Sunday with hunter derby mania, featuring the $5,000 3’ Non Pro Traverse City Derby, the $25,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, and the $2,500 Pinecone Shavings 2’6” Non-Pro Traverse City Derby.