Traverse City, Mich. – July 17, 2021 – World-class show jumping competition continued Saturday, July 17, at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Competitive classes in the inaugural Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) CSI5* tour kicked off earlier in the week, with excitement for the highlighted team competition ramping up on Saturday. The newly introduced 2021 Major League Show Jumping tour hosted at North America’s premier equestrian venues 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 the ten events. After a tight race to the finish, it was the Lucky Charms team, comprised of Shane Sweetnam, Andrew Bourns, and Jordan Coyle who emerged victorious with the top podium position in the MLSJ $200,000 Team Competition CSI5*.
With many of the MLSJ teams’ competitors getting warmed up in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring earlier in the week, the eight organized teams were revving to go for the $200,000 Team Competition CSI5*. The new team competition format for the MLSJ entailed all three riders of the eight teams battling it out over the first round course of the class to determine the top four who would advance to the second round, the speed phase. Once one member in each of the top four teams, determined by their teammates to be the quickest, had completed their second round course, the top two teams carrying the least amount of faults would battle it out for the gold medal. The third and fourth place ranked teams following the second round advanced to round three to determine who would claim the bronze medal and third podium position.
First to go, Sydney Shulman of A.I.M. United stepped foot on the course that designer Marina Azevedo fashioned, featuring 12 obstacles and 15 efforts in a time allowed of 66 seconds. Although the A.I.M. United team, consisting of Shulman, Andrew Welles, and Brianne Goutal-Marteau, made a solid effort around the course, the group accumulated 24 faults and a team total time of 180.02 seconds. After their first attempts around the course, the Blazing 7’s, made up of Nicolette Hirt, Chandler Meadows, and Rodrigo Lambre, finished with a combined fault score of 12 and a combined time of 198.04 to settle into fourth place, just earning their ticket into the second round.
Eye Candy, composed of Jacqueline Steffens, Amy Millar, and Paul O’Shea, added their team’s name to the second round order-of-go with a combined fault score of 12 and combined time of 197.14 to sit in third place going into the speed round. The Lucky Charms riders, Shane Sweetnam, Andrew Bourns, and Jordan Coyle, set the standard after their first round performances, with all three riding clear and quick to sit in first place with a combined time of 196.79. Roadrunners, Kyle King, Erin Davis-Heineking, and Kaitlin Campbell, held the second place position with a combined fault score of 8 and a combined time of 196.44 after round one. The Diamond Devils, Otomi Warriors and Crusaders all made a valiant effort as well, but were short of the cutoff for round two.
Moving on to the second round, the Lucky Charms, Eye Candy, Blazing 7s and Road Runners decided amongst themselves which two riders from each of their respective teams was quickest on their feet to tackle the speed round. Blazing 7’s chosen riders took to the speed course first, finishing with a combined time of 99.76 seconds. The Road Runners finished with a combined time of 97.74 seconds to sit just ahead of the Blazing 7’s. Eye Candy competitors had the top podium positions on their minds, finishing round two with a combined time of 87.66, but the Lucky Charms were slightly quicker to finish with a combined 86.63 seconds. For the third and final round operating under a faults-converted format, the Road Runners and Blazing 7’s chose their final rider to take on the jump-off course for the bronze medal, with the Eye Candy and Lucky Charms teams going head to head for the gold medal.
First to return for the third round was Blazing 7’s rider Lambre, completing the course in 44.84 seconds to set the pace for the course. With that time in mind, Road Runners team member King aboard Etalon entered the ring, finishing the speed course in a time of 42.31 seconds to secure the bronze medal for his team. Next in, Eye Candy representative O’Shea rode Squirt Gun around the speed course to trip the timers in just 41.72 seconds, which Lucky Charms’ rider Coyle would have to best in order to claim gold for his teammates. Leaving nothing up to chance, Coyle and Picador blazed around the arena, completing the course 38.27 seconds with no faults to claim the top podium position. Eye Candy settled for the silver team medals.
MLSJ $36,600 Innovo Development Group Speed Stake CSI5*
Earlier in the day, athletes showcased their speed specialists in the MLSJ $36,600 Innovo Development Group Speed Stake CSI5*, where the best was saved for last. Karl Cook set the early pace to beat in the faults-converted class, where any rails were translated to time. He was quick and clear with Signe Ostby’s Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet, breaking the beam in 57.45 seconds. Midway through the class, Bliss Heers and Bridgeside Farms LLC’s Goodbye took a two-second lead with a fault-free round in 55.13 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen was the last athlete to tackle the track with her known speedster Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili. They once again showcased their winning ways, using sharp turns to gallop across the finish line in 54.77 seconds with every rail intact. Vanderveen stayed in the ring to lead the lay of honor while Heers and Cook placed second and third, respectively.
MLSJ $15,000 Cabana Coast 1.25m CSI2*
The MLSJ $15,000 Cabana Coast Medium Tour 1.25m CSI2* victory also belonged to Kristen Vanderveen, this time with Bull Run’s Agape. Nine combinations advanced to the tiebreaker with seven producing a second faultless effort. Emily Aitken and her own Binja were the first to cross the timers in under 26 seconds, finishing the jump-off course in 25.50 seconds, which would be good enough for second place. She topped Natalie Pauska and Vert De Gris’ clear effort that clocked in at 26.10 seconds for third place. Vanderdeen once again had the lucky draw at the end of the class, and was able to just edge out Aitken with a clear round in 25.16 seconds.
MLSJ $7,500 Callidae 1.15m CSI2*
Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Agape began their winning ways with the first class of the day during the MLSJ $7,500 Callidae Small Tour 1.15m CSI2*. The duo produced the only clear round during the first event in the Turtle Creek Casino International Ring to score the top prize. Emily Aitken had a single time fault with Caretinhus to earn the second place honors. Canada’s Emily King also had a single time fault with Cornancer, but was slightly more coservatuive than Aitken to round out the top three.
Australia’s Katie Laurie still holds her top spot on the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard with a whopping 42 points after a successful Traverse City Spring Horse Show series. Karl Cook (USA) sits in the second place position on a total of 37 points after his win in the $137,000 Staller Grand Prix CSI3* during the final week of Traverse City Spring Horse Show, and another victory in last week’s $137,000 Meijer Grand Prix CSI3*. Currently rounding out the top three on the leaderboard is Tiffany Foster of Canada with 27 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows 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.
Show jumping competition in Week II of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, will wrap up on Sunday, July 18, with the MLSJ $230,000 Grand Prix CSI5*.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Shane Sweetnam on team strategy:
“So obviously three strong combinations from the start — my mare has a bit of experience. I knew Andrew’s horse is a good horse and would be very close to clear or a clear round, if we needed a fast round at the end, Jordan is naturally a very fast rider and I thought he could add something at the end even in the first round. Then in the jump-off, I personally felt Jordan was the fastest, as he proved, he was three seconds faster than every other rider in the last round and I thought I was going pretty fast. Paul O’Shea, who I thought for sure was going pretty fast and then Jordan took two and a half seconds off me and Paul so it just shows how fast he is. I thought it was a good tactic and it worked out for us.”
Andrew Bourns on Major League Show Jumping format:
“Like Jordan said, in a normal Nations Cup Jordan would have had to jump two rounds and then do the jump-off as well. I think this set-up and style of competition was good for Jordan because he can save his horse effectively in the second round and then really go for it in the jump-off.”
Andrew Bourns on being a part of the Lucky Charms:
“I was a late comer to the Lucky Charms actually in the whole scheme of things — I was on the fence a little bit until I saw who my teammates were going to be and that was a deciding factor for me because everybody likes to be on a winning team. I think it is certainly one of the stronger teams here today and going forward in the other rounds.”
Shane Sweetname on his strong team:
“Like anything, when you’re dealing with horses, you just never know. So we go week by week, and like I said we will probably freshen it up next week and see what we’ve got – the horses have to tell you when they are in the form, little things can happen and can change plans so we shall see.”
Major League Show Jumping $200,000 Team Competition CSI5*
R1 Team Faults / R1 Team Time / R2 Team Faults / R3 Team Faults
1. Lucky Charms
0 / 196.79 / 0 / 86.63 / 0 / 38.27
Shane Sweetnam / Indra Van De Oude Heihoef / Shane Sweetnam
Andrew Bourns / Darquito / Andrew Bourns
Jordan Coyle / Picador / Elan Farm
2. Eye Candy
12 / 197.14 / 0 / 87.66 / 0 / 41.72
Jacqueline Steffens / Freaky Liefhebber / Team Eye Candy
Amy Millar / Christiano / Future Adventures
Paul O’Shea / Squirt Gun / Eye Candy Jumpers
3. Road Runners
8 / 196.44 / 0 / 97.74 / 0 / 42.31
Kyle King / Etalon / Christine Maclean
Erin Davis-Heineking / Leonie / October Hill Sales Limited
Kaitlin Campbell / Palina De L’escaut / SWS Training and Sales
4. Blazing 7s
12 / 198.04 / 0 / 99.76 / 0 / 44.84
Nicolette Hirt / Fleurette / St. Bride’s Farm
Chandler Meadows / Zamia 3 / Chandler Meadows
Rodrigo Lambre / Chapilot / Mario Onate
5. Diamond Devils
20 / 192.57
Kristen Vanderveen / Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC
Natalie Dean / Cocolina / Marigold Sporthorses LLC
Erynn Ballard / Classic Penny / Ilan Ferder
17 / 207.52
Charles Jacobs / Est Di Palatina / CMJ Sporthorse LLC
Peter Leone / Cedric 84 / Maarten Huygens
Molly Ashe Cawley / Berdien / Louisberg Farm
7. A.I.M. United
24 / 180.02
Sydney Shulman / Contefina LVF / Ashlee Bond Show Jumping
Andrew Welles / Catoki’s Son Z / Andrew Welles LLC
Brianne Goutal-Marteau / Tanael des Bonnes / Gerald Ford
8. Otomi Warriors
Nicolas Pizarro / Atlantica Du Soleil Z / Arianna Azcarraga
Julio David Vainer / De Flor 111 Z / Julio David Vainer
John Perez Bohm / Voodoo 10 / John Perez Boh