Traverse City, Mich. – Sept. 17, 2021 – High performance show jumping action returned to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring Friday morning for the resumption of Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) competition. Blazing her way to yet another CSI5* win at Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, it was Sydney Shulman (ISR) and Villamoura who best the rest in the MLSJ $36,600 Staller 1.45m Speed Stake CSI5*.
The 13-obstacle course designed by Alan Wade (IRL) was set at the 1.45m height for the faults-converted format class, and left athletes with many decisions to be made as to where they could shave seconds off the clock. As one of the first combinations to try their hand at the track, the United States’ Brianne Goutal and Tanael Des Bonnes set an early time to beat after crossing the finish line in 74.410 seconds without tipping any rails to the ground. Soon after, Gustavo Prato (ARG) and King Van Het Keizershof would set a new leading pace in 73.020 seconds with no faults added to their score. As the lineup of talent continued to present itself in the arena, Alex Matz (USA) and Ibbo Van T’Kelderje were the next to overtake the lead for their swift and clear effort in 72.690 seconds. Matz’s lead would be short lived, however, when Shulman and the ever-so-speedy Villamoura entered the arena. Blazing their way through the course in 68.480 seconds, an unfortunate four faults left it down to the wire, but Shulman was ultimately awarded the win for her speedy effort as a result of a faults-converted time of 72.480 seconds. Matz and Ibbo Van T’Kelderje would settle for second place honors, while Prato (ARG) and King Van Het Keizershof completed the podium in third place.
Earlier in the day, the MLSJ $36,600 1.45m Speed CSI2* took center stage to host 41 horse-and-rider pairs. Always a force to be reckoned with, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) rode veteran mount Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili to victory. The pair posted a clear time of 65.390 seconds in the speed class to take home the top honors. Great Britain’s Grace Debney finished in second place on a time of 66.790 seconds with Temple Equestrian LLC’s Boheme de La Roque, while Ireland’s Paul O’Shea rounded out the top three with Eye Candy Show Jumpers’ Voodoo in 67.430 seconds.
Karl Cook (USA) still sits atop the CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus with a total of 57 points following multiple top finishes during Week II of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions and the Silver Oak Jumper Tournament. Sweetnam continues to maintain his second place position on the leaderboard, inching closer to Cook on a total of 54 points. As a new addition to the top three, Vanderveen (USA) has narrowly moved into the third place position with 44 points after her top finish in Thursday’s $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m CSI5* and Friday’s MLSJ $36,600 1.45m Speed CSI2*. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Show series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, Saturday, September 18. 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 will continue Saturday, September 17, coming to a pinnacle Saturday afternoon for the 51st Anniversary of the American Gold Cup. Set to kick off at 8:00am in the Turtle Creek Casino & International Ring, the highlight event will host a star-studded line up in an exciting battle for who will hoist the coveted trophy for 2021.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Sydney Shulman – $36,600 Staller 1.45m Speed Stake CSI5* winner
On her plan with Villamoura:
“I was a little bit lucky that I had the rail at the end, otherwise I don’t think I could have changed my plan that much. When I heard that Alex [Matz] went into the lead, and looking at the size of horses and way that they go, I thought the only way he could be winning was A, he rides amazing and B, that the size of stride [helped]. Gustavo [Prato]’s horse has a very similar stride to mine, but I thought I did a couple less strides than him, so I knew I was faster than him. Then, the only real number for [Villamoura] to leave out was to the last jump by doing nine or ten [strides]. I saw Gustavo do nine and I didn’t think it was for me or that I needed to do that, but then when I had the jump down I was like ‘Okay, the only way to win with one down is if I do nine,’ and I don’t think there are many horses I would do that on! She is ridiculously fast and also safe at the same time, so I was just kicking her and going faster and she was like ‘Where are we going? Where is the next jump?’ I was like ‘We will get there eventually! Nine strides is a lot of strides!’ She is just amazing and left [the last fence] up, so I got a little bit lucky today and she is phenomenal.”
On showing in Traverse City for Major League Show Jumping:
“We love it here! Back Country Farm, my farm with my mom and Gabby Hero, we base out of here basically all summer. I think this is our seventh week showing here and this weather could not be better, the footing is phenomenal and the horses fly off of it. They do such a good job with the course designers and there are a lot of top riders here, so they make you fight for it every time! I am obviously now very partial to showing here – I’ve won a lot of classes – but either way it is still a really good time and we love it here.”
On what is next for her and Villamoura:
“I don’t know if I am going to jump her tomorrow in the Winning Round or not. I have a newer horse to jump this afternoon in the team competition, and then I will decide. She will jump the CSI3* Grand Prix at the Greenwich Classic. It’s right across from my house, so it is a nice little local 3*! Then, she will go to [the Washington International Horse Show] in Tryon and do the CSI4* there.”
$36,600 Staller 1.45m Speed CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner | Time
1. Villamoura / Sydney Shulman / ISR / Jill Shulman | 72.480
2. Ibbo Van T’Keldertje / Alex Matz / USA / Beechwood Stables LLC | 72.690
3. King Van Het Keizershof / Gustavo Prato / ARG / Kisma Equestrian LLC | 73.020
4. Tanael Des Bonnes / Brianne Goutal-Marteau / USA / Gerald Ford | 74.410
5. Lou Lou VLS / Vanessa Hood / USA / Take Two LLC | 74.690
6. Gotcha / Simon McCarthy / IRL / Rock Ridge Farms | 74.910
7. Cat Ninja / Jacqueline Steffens / USA / Eye Candy Jumpers | 77.110
8. Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet / Karl Cook / USA / Signe Ostby | 78.080
9. Gazelle ES / Jonathan McCrea / USA / Windsor Show Stables | 79.100
10. Manhattan / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Gotham Enterprizes LLC | 79.810
11. Cinderella Z / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / C.K. | 81.380
12. Aston des Etisses / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital & Gladewinds Farm | 81.990