Rowan Willis and Blue Movie Set the Scene at Major League Show Jumping in Traverse City

Rowan Willis (AUS) arrived in Traverse City just a few hours before the course walk for the $138,600 Premier Equestrian CSI5* 1.50m during week five of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. He adjusted quickly, and with his longtime partner Blue Movie, secured the win in a 12-horse jump-off.

Rowan Willis and Blue Movie with Keean White, co-founder of Major League Show Jumping. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“I’m lucky that I’m on a naturally very fast horse,” Willis said of the Anglo-European mare (Chacco-Blue x Pilot). “It really suited ‘Carrots,’ as she’s known, and I could trust her. I don’t need to think fast with her. I just have to keep it smooth for her and she’s always fast enough.”

With the advantage of jumping late in the order, several other pairs had jumped double-clear, including Alex Matz (USA), who led before Willis stepped in. Using the mare’s natural speed, Willis set a new time to beat of 37.70 seconds. Matz and Dorothy Matz’ Cashew CR took second in 38.43 seconds.

Alex Matz and Cashew CR. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Willis will be the first to admit Blue Movie is not the easiest ride, and getting to know her was a challenge as well. “It took me a long time to work her out,” he commented. “She didn’t jump her first 1.40m until she was 9. It took her many years to understand her but once that happened when she was 11 or 12, she really rewarded me.”

Willis believes Blue Movie, at 16, is arguably at her best, and plans for several more big years with her. “I think she’s as good as ever, if not better,” he continued. “I’m looking forward to the next few years with her. I think she’s still up there for Paris and she’s got a few big grand prixs to come before then. I enjoy every day I have with her.”

Sydney Shulman Desiderio and Narcotique VH Dingenshof. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

While Willis did just arrive earlier Thursday to compete in this class, he isn’t staying long. “Not sure if it’s ambitious or desperate, but I’ve got a couple horses to jump in Chicago tomorrow,” he said. “Then I’ll be back for the [CSI5*] Grand Prix Saturday and then back to Chicago Sunday. Luckily I’ve got a great team behind me so they make it all possible.”

Friday evening of GLEF V features the CSI5* Major League Show Jumping Team Competition, where eight teams will vie for top honors and prize money in the second leg of the 10-stop tour.

Final Results: $138,600 Premier Equestrian CSI5* 1.50m

1. BLUE MOVIE: 2006 AES mare by Chacco Blue x Pilot
ROWAN WILLIS (AUS), Rowan Willis: 0/0/37.70

2. CASHEW CR: 2008 HOLST gelding by Cassini II x Quinar
ALEX MATZ (USA), Dorothy Matz: 0/0/38.43

3. NARCOTIQUE V/H DINGENSHOF: 2013 BWP mare by Harley VDL x Chacco Blue
SYDNEY SHULMAN DESIDERIO (ISR), Ilan Ferder: 0/0/38.55

4. BIRDY DU THOT: 2011 SF mare by Magic D’Elle x Le Tot De Semilly
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Ashley Vogel: 0/0/39.79

5. BULL RUN’S RISEN: 2006 KWPN gelding by Utopie x Indoctro
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers, Inc.: 0/0/39.87

6. KALINKA VAN’T ZORGVLIET: 2010 BWP mare by Thunder VD Zuuthoeve x Flipper d’Elle
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 0/0/40.11

7. GARANT: 2011 KWPN gelding by Warrant x Verdi TN
CALLIE SCHOTT (USA), Southern Arches LLC: 0/0/41.45

8. KINKY BOY VAN HET GILDENHOF: 2010 BWP gelding by Nabab De Reve x Darco
JUAN ORTIZ (VEN), Blue Trim LLC: 0/0/42.40

9. CHATOU 7: 2009 OS gelding by Chacco Blue x Toulon
NICOLETTE HIRT (USA), Iron Horse Equestrian: 0/0/46.44

10. HESTER: 2005 BWP gelding by Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Palestro VD Begijnakker
LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA), Lisa Deslauriers: 0/4/38.33

11. CAPTAIN Z: 2012 ZANG gelding by Calvino Z x Voltaire
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/4/41.77

12. HELLCAT: 2011 BWP mare by Cassander Van Het Bremhof x Conan Z
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Team Eye Candy: 0/4/42.61

Tanner Korotkin Takes Over in Iguana Yachts CSI5* 1.45m Speed Stake

The first CSI5* class of the day was all about speed, a gear in which Tanner Korotkin is quite comfortable. The young rider for the United States took the win aboard a new ride for him, Quinn 33, owned by Zascha Nygaard Andreasen.

Tanner Korotkin and Quinn 33. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Korotkin and his new mount, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Quidam De Revel x Contender), took an early lead and were untouchable by all remaining entries. The closest to catch his time was Alberto Michan (ISR) who snagged both second and third places aboard Firewall and Bugatti, respectively, both owned by Eduardo Leon.

Quinn 33 is exactly Korotkin’s ride: fast. “I’ve always loved hot-headed horses like this that are naturally quick and love to jump,” he remarked. “He’s a bit similar than my other horse Ideal in certain ways. The horse has done a lot. It jumped the European Championships a couple years ago, has been everywhere and is a fantastic horse. I’m excited for the future.”

Tanner Korotkin and Quinn 33 in their winning presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

“We were planning on going somewhat quick, but it’s only my second week showing the horse,” Korotkin said of his plan. “It’s a very naturally fast horse so we cruised around and did our numbers. His natural speed took over and no one was able to catch it.”

“In this sport the name of the game is speed,” Korotkin commented on his preference for ride type. “If you look at any top rider in the world, their horses that win the most are the naturally quick ones. If that’s the type you like then you’re lucky because you need that advantage.”

Alberto Michan and Firewall. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

While his top horse, Volo’s Diamond, is not in Traverse City this summer, Korotkin has racked up top placings with Ideal and is now off to a winning start with Quinn. “It’s been incredible,” he said of his summer at Flintfields Horse Park. “We’ve come to Michigan for years. This is a fabulous show and I’ve always loved being here. We came early to get our feet wet and now we’re ready to rock and roll for Major League.”

After Major League Show Jumping, where he’ll compete a few times, Korotkin will compete with Ideal in the FEI North American Youth Championships to close the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival.

Final Results: Iguana Yachts CSI5* 1.45m Speed Stake

1. QUINN 33: 2012 HOLST gelding by Quidam De Revel x Contender
TANNER KOROTKIN (USA), Zascha Nygaard Andreasen: 0/61.31

2. FIREWALL: 2010 KWPN gelding by Lexicon x Padinus
ALBERTO MICHAN (ISR), Eduardo Leon: 0/66.37

3. BUGATTI: 2006 KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Pilot
ALBERTO MICHAN (ISR), Eduardo Leon: 0/67.73

4. QUILIMBO: 2009 HOLST stallion by Quidam De Revel x Limbus

5. COACHELLA 4: 2012 OS mare by Christian 25 x Last Liberty 2
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 0/70.20

6. NKH CENTO BLUE: 2010 OLDBG gelding by Centadel x Chacco Blue
ERIN DAVIS-HEINEKING (USA), October Hill Sales Limited: 0/71.52

7. ITALY HDH: 2013 KWPN gelding by Cream On Top x Numero Uno
CHANDLER MEADOWS, Chandler Meadows: 0/73.47

8. COSTA DIAM: 2012 SF mare by Componist Champblanc x Allegreto
JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Elan Farm: 0/75.15

9. CHANCE STE HERMELLE: 2008 SBS mare by Calvaro x Hemmingway
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 0/76.41

10. CAPPUCCINO 194: 2012 WESTF gelding by Comme Il Faut x Sir Shutterfly
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/77.83

11. GAZELLE: 2006 BWP mare by Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Indoctro
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Cleary Parsky: 0/79.55

12. BREITLING LS: 2006 SLS stallion by Quintero x Accord
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 1/80.29

Swail Speeds to $37,000 Callidae CSI2* Speed Stake Win

Ireland’s Conor Swail topped 64 entries Saturday afternoon in the $37,000 Callidae CSI2* Speed Stake. Aboard Errol, the Sagamore Farms-owned 12-year-old gelding (Luidam x Le Tot De Semilly), Swail sped to a time of 58.79 seconds around the halfway point and could not be caught. Using the small horse’s natural footspeed and taking an inside turn that no one else chose, the world-ranked number four show jumper sealed the deal as the class came to a close.

Conor Swail and Errol. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

The only pair close to catching his convincing lead was Kent Farrington (USA) with Chato Lou, owned by Haity McNerney. Farrington’s time of 59.04 seconds earned him second place, while Wednesday’s winner Layla Kurbanov (USA) and Ronja, owned by Ilan Ferder, took third in 60.80 seconds.

Conor Swail (IRL) and Errol in their winning presentation with Harriet Posner of Callidae. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

CSI2* athletes will take on the $37,000 1.45m Cabana Coast CSI2* Grand Prix Saturday afternoon to conclude international competition.

Final Results: $37,000 Callidae CSI2* Speed Stake

1. ERROL: 2010 BE/SIES gelding by Luidam x Le Tot De Semilly
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Sagamore Farms: 0/58.79

2. CHATO LOU: 2013 OS gelding by Chacco Blue x Dobel’s Cento
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/59.04

3. RONJA: 2011 CH mare by Conteur x Czandor
LAYLA KURBANOV (USA), Ilan Ferder: 0/60.80

4. BULL RUN’S FAUSTINO DE TILI: 2005 BWP stallion by Berlin x Darco
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC: 0/61.37

5. CEROLINO: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cero x Come On
MICHAEL MURPHY (USA), Esperanza Imports LLC: 0/61.54

6. HIGHWAY FBH: 2012 KWPN gelding by Plot Blue x Cornet Obolensky
JACOB POPE (USA), Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC: 0/61.86

7. HYPERBOLICS: 2012 KWPN gelding by Berlin x Tlaloc M
ALEXANDRA PIELET (USA), Co-Pielet LLC: 0/63.93

8. JUJU VDM: 2009 BWP mare by Toulon x For Pleasure
SAVANNAH HEMBY (USA), Todd Minikus, Ltd.: 0/64.17

9. AQUILES DEL CARIBE Z: 2014 ZANG mare by Action-Breaker x Gerlinus
NIKKO RITTER (USA), Nikko Ritter: 0/64.28

10. EHRENS: 2009 KWPN gelding by Cardento x Concorde
LUCIANA ROBERTA GONZALEZ GUERRA (MEX), Luciana Roberto Gonzales Guerra: 0/64.48

11. MAESTRO VAN HET BINNENVELD: 2012 BWP stallion by Hunter’s Scendix x Conan Z
WESLEY NEWLANDS (CAN), Weslands Farm: 0/64.53

12. CHARLIE: 2008 OS gelding by Chacco Blue x Charlie Z
CALLIE SCHOTT (USA), Southern Arches LLC: 0/64.94

Medalists Crowned in USHJA Platinum Jumper Team Championships

The Markel/USHJA Platinum and Zone Jumper Team Championships are two days underway, and Platinum Jumper athletes were crowned Thursday for their efforts on team day, while 1.20m/1.25m and 1.10m/1.15m athletes completed their first individual qualifier.

1.40-1.45m teams stood atop the podium to accept awards. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

In the 1.40m/1.45m Platinum Team Final, the Frogs took home the gold medal on a total score of 12 faults. The winning team consisted of Lisa Smolen with Sovereign, Natalie Jayne with Juanito Van De Zeilhoek, and Adeline Rohrback with MM Cooper. The silver medal went to the Bobcats, consisting of Ava K Myers with Dreamgirl 22, Erin Davis-Heineking with Contan, and Nicolas Gamboa with NKH Mr. Darcy on 16 faults. The Rams took the bronze with Hillary Johnson on Eastpoint, Ryan Sassmannshausen with Suewind’s Im Udo, and Alexandra Ansteth with Mandras van de Pannehoeve.

The Platinum 1.30m/1.35m Team Final ended in two exciting jump-offs for both gold and bronze. The jump-off for bronze sent in Mary Roskens for the Hawks against Caitlin Hope Rose for the Eagles. As the only clear, Rose secured the bronze and she and her teammates, Alex Veleris, Serah Vogus, and Sophia Keolian, earned their medals.

1.30-1.35m teams stood atop the podium to accept awards. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Kaylee Rayner for the Vultures jumped off against Olivia Lawton for the Falcons and, while both jumped clear, Lawton was half a second quicker, securing the gold medal for the Falcons, consisting of herself, Maggie Bresch, Skyler Hendricks, and Taylor Flury. The silver medal went to the Hawks, including Rayner, Rebecca Gutstein, Dan Urban, and Mary Roskens.

Winning the first individual qualifier for the Children’s 1.10/1.15m section was Kait Meggenhofen with VDL Ivar. Olivia Parr and Falco van de Noordhoek took the win in the Adult Amateur 1.10/1.15m section. Laurel MacAllister-Calado and S&L New Diamond claimed the blue ribbon in the Junior/Amateur 1.20m/1.25m section.