TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Week One of the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded on Sunday with the first grand prix of the six-week circuit, the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix, where the veteran duo of Shane Sweetnam, of Sweet Oak Farm, and Cyklon 1083 took home their second win of the week in the Grand Prix Ring at the Flintfields Horse Park.
Fifteen horses and riders contended Keith Bollotte’s first round course, which saw seven jump clear to return for the jump-off.
Sweetnam, Friday’s $25,000 Welcome Stake, presented by East Wind Farms, winner, once again returned as the first to jump-off in Sunday’s grand prix. He and the 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC performed faultlessly and set the time to beat at a blazing 35.759 seconds, after opting to take an impressive inside turn between fences one and two – a triple bar to a tall, skinny vertical.
It wouldn’t be until three rounds later another pair would attempt the same inside turn to try and catch Sweetnam’s time. David Beisel and Equine Holdings LLC’s Ammeretto navigated the shortened course, imitating Sweetnam’s track almost exactly but leaving out one stride to the last fence, and crossed the finish line in 35.805 seconds – just one tenth of a second off Sweetnam’s winning time for second place honors.
Beisel also nabbed the yellow ribbon for third place with his second mount of the class, Call Me Hannes, owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC. The pair rounded out the three double-clear performances of the jump-off, finishing in 39.889 seconds.
GLEF will return next week with the first “Equitation Tuesday” of the series on July 11. Week Two will also be the first internationally-ranked week of competition, all leading up to Sunday’s grand prix, the $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan, on July 16 at 2 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Shane Sweetnam – $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix winner
On his jump-off round:
“I knew there were fast riders behind me, and I was first to go. I saw the [inside turn from fences one and two in the jump-off], and I knew I was on an experienced horse, so I tried it and it worked out. The last line walked an outside six [strides], but watching the riders that came after me do five, I thought I left the window open a little bit by not doing that but it worked out. David [Beisel] gave a great run to try to catch us and did the five, and we were neck-and-neck.”
On Cyklon 1083:
“I know [Cyklon 1083] very well, but he’s not a machine either. Normally with him, with an inside turn, once you can put his eye on a fence, he’s always going to find it. Once he got his eye on the [vertical] in the jump-off, I knew he was going to jump it. Everything else came up nice. I know him inside out. If I do my part right, he’s going to do his part right.”
On Cyklon 1083’s plan for the summer and fall:
“I’m headed to Falsterbo next week and [Cyklon 1083] will go back to Kentucky. He’s been doing a lot of breeding this year so he’ll be available to be collected once or twice. Then he’ll jump in Kentucky in three or four weeks and he’ll have a busy fall at the Hamptons, American Gold Cup and indoors.”
$50,000 Meijer Grand Prix:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Cyklon 1083 / Shane Sweetnam / Spy Coast Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.759
2. Ammeretto / David Beisel / Equine Holdings LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.805
3. Call Me Hannes / David Beisel / Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC / 0 / 0 / 39.889
4. Columbcille De Reve / Lauren Crooks / Crooks Show Jumping LLC / 0 / 4 / 40.183
5. Zephire / Hayley Barnhill / Barnhill Enterprises LLC / 0 / 4 / 41.285
6. Cordaba AG Z / Kristy Herrera / Dark Harbor LLC / 0 / 8 / 46.022
7. Rolls / Jacob Pope / Doublethink LLC / 0 / 17 / 58.493
8. Imprimis / Hayley Barnhill / Hayley Barnhill / 4 / 78.903
9. Hunters Conlypso II / Lorcan Gallagher / Dacantos Group / 4 / 79.421
10. Don’t Touch Du Bois / Shane Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, Paul Tracy / 4 / 81.229
Jacob Pope and J’Adore Top $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
The Vankampen Ring highlighted the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Greg Crolick Stables and Grosse Pointe Hunt Club, on Sunday afternoon. Jacob Pope tackled both rounds of the Jason Shelley-designed course flawlessly to come out on top to win the blue aboard Team Rakowsky Equestrian LLC’s J’Adore.
Round one of the class saw 29 riders, while the top 12 returned to compete in the handy portion of the competition.
Pope and the 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare continuously impressed the judges throughout both rounds, skillfully navigating the two courses, to earn the win on Sunday.
Tori Colvin, who earned championship honors earlier in the week in the professional hunter divisions at GLEF, finished behind Pope to claim both second and third place, respectively.
Colvin piloted Pitch Perfect, owned by Adele Norton, to second place and Harper Lee, owned by Laura Karet, to third place.
In addition to his ribbons and prize money, Pope also won the Platinum Performance Hunter Horse of the Week award with J’Adore.
With weekly national derby competitions, the 2017 GLEF will also feature World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week during Week Two (July 11-16) and a $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during Week Four on Saturday, July 29.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jacob Pope – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Greg Crolick Stables and Grosse Pointe Hunt Club, winner
On his win:
“It went exactly my way. The course was great for my horse, J’Adore, owned by Ivan Rakowsky. The course was really nice. The first round was flowing and she was really on her A-game. She’s amazing in the handy – she’s so careful and easy to turn. It really just went my way today.”
“[J’Adore] has been with Ivan since she was pretty young and she’s 8 now. She’s gone through the Pre-Greens and she’s done a lot of these national derbies and has even won quite a few. I took her to Deeridge’s inaugural Deeridge Derby Weekend in Wellington, Florida, and we won the national derby there. That was the last time I showed her so this is really our first time back in the ring. She’s just a really good horse and we really only bring her out for classes like this.”
On his plan in Sunday’s $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby:
“I really just stayed on my track and stuck with my plan and just tried to execute it as smoothly as possible, knowing that I had a fantastic horse and a great trainer at the ring. Ivan’s amazing. I just stuck with my plan and did all of the inside turns I felt were good for me and the horse and that would be smooth and show her off nicely. I’m hoping to bring her out for at least a few more of the national derbies here at GLEF.”
— Great Lakes Equestrian Festival
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