Quentin Judge Leads Off Traverse City Spring Series

Quentin Judge (USA) christened the season in Northern Michigan by claiming the $32,000 Traverse City Record-Eagle CSI3* Speed during opening week of the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Judge piloted 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion HH Medarco PS to the first international win of the week in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring at Flintfields Horse Park.

Speed was put to the test by course designer Peter Grant (CAN) with Judge being the only rider to break the 70-second mark and stop the timers at 68.66 seconds for the win. He unseated current leader Spencer Smith (USA) aboard Quibelle (70.75 secones), while Lacey GIlbertson rounded out the all-American podium riding Karlin van’t Vennehof (73.010 seconds).

Quentin Judge & HH Mdarco PS, winners of the $32,000 Traverse City Record-Eagle CSI3* Speed. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

HH Medarco PS, owned by Double H Farm and The Creel Family, joined Judge’s string at the end of the 2023 winter season. The stallion (Messenger x Darco), however, has a unique connection to Judge having been sired by his former five-star grand prix horse, HH Messenger.

“He definitely piqued my interest [as a young horse] more than others because he’s by Messenger,” said Judge. “I have a very good friend who owned the horse before and said he’s really special and he has definitely become that for us.

“I’m always surprised to win, but I’m not surprised how good he was,” continued Judge, who is returning to the international ranks with a strong group of horses, including HH Medarco. “He’s such a trier and I can trust him 100%. We’ve taken the last season or two to build up our string. I had a lot of really great horses that all seemed to retire at the same time, so last season I only had one grand prix horse as I was building these young ones up. It’s all slowly coming together.”

Watch How They Won

Judge, his family and team at Double H Farm are competing at Traverse City for the complete Spring Series and enjoying both what the region and show have to offer. “This being a three-star this year was really enticing for us, but the show is also good for our whole stable; young horses, FEI horses, our clients, hunters. All the rings here feel special and offer something for everyone.”

With the first 1.45m win of the circuit—presented by representatives from Traverse City Record-Eagle Marketing team, Megan Fuller (left) and Jamie Holmes (right)—Judge sits atop the Traverse City Leading Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which will award $30,000 in bonus money to one rider at the conclusion of the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows in September.

Show jumping during the opening week of competition at Traverse City Spring Horse Shows, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel continues on Friday with the $32,000 FreeJump CSI3* Welcome, culminating in Sunday’s $120,000 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel CSI3* Grand Prix.

To see full results from the $38,700 CSI2* 1.45m Speed, click here.

Jennifer Murray and Casio Champion the HayNet USHJA 2’6” Hunter Division

Jennifer Murray & Casio with owner Carol Walters are presented as champions of the HayNet USHJA 2’6” Hunter Division by representatives from HayNet, Christopher Jenkins (left) and Brenda Cook (right). Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Professional hunter rider Jennifer Murray of Milford, MI, made the most of opening week at the Traverse City Spring Series, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, kicking off the horse show season in Northern Michigan with a tri-color. Shining in her own backyard, Murray piloted Casio, owned by Carol Walters, to champion in the HayNet USHJA 2’6” Hunter Division.

“He’s like a favorite pair of blue jeans. I put them on and I know what I’m going to get,” said Murray of the 16-year-old Warmblood gelding by Cosmeo. “We’ve had him in the barn for nine years and he is truly a unicorn. His owner is 75 years old, and he takes his job so seriously when she rides him. He’s amazing.”

Murray and Casio earned the championship after winning three of the division’s over fences and placing second in the under saddle. “He has the most adjustable canter and knows when he’s performing; he’s always been a good listener.”

Jennifer Murray & Casio, champions of the HayNet USHJA 2’6” Hunter Division. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Murray and her team at Huntsover Farms based out of Holly, MI, will make the most of their time at the Flintfields Horse Park during the Spring Series and return in July for the six-week long Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by B&D Builders.

“The crowd that it brings to Michigan, the blue skies, the footing, the arena crew, the staff, everyone does a great job keeping everything moving forward here,” said Murray of her experience at the Traverse City Horse Shows. “It’s great to have it in our backyard.”

Hunter action continues on Friday as Junior Hunters soak up the spotlight in the Main Hunter Ring ahead of Sunday’s featured USHJA National Hunter Derby and presentation of the Platinum Performance Hunter of the Week. Sunday’s derby also marks the first opportunity for riders to gain points towards the $5,000 Leading Amateur and Junior Hunter Rider Bonuses, which will be presented by Makoto Farms and Walkenbach Equestrian at the conclusion of GLEF IV.

For full results, click here.