Traverse City, Mich. – July 18, 2021 – On the final day of exciting hunter competition during World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, top riders returned with their mounts to the Polk Family Hunter Ring to close out the week. The feature hunter class, the $10,000 Traverse City Derby, presented by Luxe EQ, kicked off bright and early, seeing a field of 55 talented combinations tackle the derby course. At the conclusion of the class’ competitive two rounds, it was Samantha Schaefer and her long time mount, In The Know, who rode away with the top prize.
The 11-obstacle first-round course featured a two-stride combination and a total of four high options in the first round to give riders the opportunity to garner additional points and impress the panel of judges with their horses’ scope, ease of going, and adjustability around the track. Schaefer entered the ring about halfway through the class aboard the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by her sister, Madeline Schaefer. In The Know is no stranger to the derby ring and jumped around the course effortlessly to earn the highest first round score of the class, a 94, which included four additional points for taking all the high option fences.
Immediately following Schaefer’s round, Victoria Colvin entered the ring aboard Brad Wolf’s 8-year-old Westphalian gelding, Doctor’s Orders. Colvin piloted her mount around the course beautifully and also impressed the judges for a first round score of 90.75. Preceding Schaefer and Colvin in the ring, was Tiffany Morrissey with Ella Short’s Color-Coded. The 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood paint gelding was an eye catcher and proved to be just as scopey over the fences, receiving a first round score of 93 from the judges. The pair held the class with that score until Schaefer and In The Know made their way around the course.
Returning for the handy round, Colvin was the first of 12 to earn an impressive score in the second round over the eight-obstacle track. Doctor’s Orders galloped to the first fence and took all of the inside turns to earn a 96, which ended up being the highest score given in the second round.
Morrissey returned with her third and final mount in the handy round and also took all the inside turns to receive a score of 90.25, which put her in second until the final rider. Morrissey also rode two other mounts who qualified for the second round, AM Sporthorses South Inc’s Bon Ami and Lisa Berger’s On Your Mark.
Schaefer was the last to ride the second round course, putting everything on the line. The pair galloped to the first jump and demonstrated their handiness by slicing and dicing their way through the inside turns while looking smooth and effortless. Ultimately, the judges rewarded them with a handy round score of 94, which landed them the top spot on the leaderboard. In The Know was also crowned the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week for WCHR Week and GLEF Week II.
Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will kick-off Tuesday, July 20, highlighting the equitation divisions. Hunter competition will resume Wednesday, July 21, with the start of the professional hunter divisions showcased in the Polk Family Hunter Ring.
$5,000 USHJA Traverse City Derby, presented by Perfect Products
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Score / R2 Score | Total
1. In The Know / Samantha Schaefer / Madeline Schaefer / 94 / 94 | 188
2. Doctor’s Orders / Victoria Colvin / Brad Wolf / 90.75 / 96 | 186.75
3. Color-Coded / Tiffany Morrissey / Ella Short / 93 / 90.25 | 183.25
4. Counselor / Jacob Pope / Judgement Farms LLC / 92 / 89.5 | 181.5
5. Bon Ami / Tiffany Morrissey / AM Sporthorses South Inc. / 90.5 / 89 | 179.5
6. She’s All That / Jef Lauwers / Linda Yarborough / 89 / 88.75 | 177.75
7. Calipso / Jef Lauwers / Johnnie Martin-Carey / 87.5 / 90 | 177.5
8. Cloud 9 / Kristy Herrera / ETA Equestrian LLC / 90 / 87 | 177
9. Abel Crawford / Kelly Soleau-Millar / Millar Equine Sales / 88 / 86 | 174
10. Jon Snow / Hillary Piper Benjamin / Piper Benjamin / 89.5 / 84 | 173.5
11. Balousock B.B.S. / Philippa Ammann / Katarina Ammann / 88.5 / 84 / 172.5
12. On Your Mark / Tiffany Morrissey / Lisa Berger / 91 / 64 / 155
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Samantha Schaefer – $10,000 Traverse City Hunter Derby, Presented by Luxe EQ Winner
On In The Know:
“In The Know is a horse we’ve had for five years, going on six years. We bought him from Chad Keenam to be my sister’s equitation horse, and he did that job for a year or two. Then he started doing the hunters and the derbies here and there. We ended up getting my sister a different equitation horse, and he kind of took over the role of my derby and High Performance horse. The rest is history. He’s my best friend and my rock, I can always count on him. We know each other as well as any teammate. He’s always there and trying to win. We don’t show him that often, he’s here gearing up for the [$25,000 Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox] in Week IV. I rode him in two classes on Thursday to just get him in the ring and keep him in the groove. We’ll save him and prime him for the big events.”
On the handy round:
“When I walked up, I saw the tail end of Tori Colvin’s round and it looked pretty spot on. That’s a great horse and obviously Tori is an incredible rider. I know I have an advantage with Spyder [In the Know] because he’s kind of the handy king, so I knew I had to go all out to try to win. She was pretty far ahead and he was great. He was right with me everywhere. He was a little fresh when I turned back to the combination, but once he got his eyes on where we were going, he focused back in. All in all, he was his perfect self.”
On her summer plans:
“We’re here for two more weeks after this one. We’ll aim for that [$25,000 Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Copper Fox] during Week IV, then I head to Kentucky for [USEF] Pony Finals. He’ll go home for two weeks then meet me in Kentucky for [the 2021 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship]. From there I’ll probably bring him back here in September for the American Gold Cup and the Derby Incentive Finals.”