Traverse City, Michigan, USA – June 19, 2021 – The penultimate day of Week II of the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, spotlighted international show jumping competition Saturday afternoon in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. A total of 23 hopeful horse-and-rider combinations took to the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI2* looking to nab a spot in the highlight event of the week, the $72,900 Four G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI2*, set to take place Sunday, June 20. In the end, it was Canada’s Sam Walker (CAN) who emerged at the forefront of the victory gallop riding MarBill Hill Farm’s Evita.
Course designer Nick Granat (USA) built a challenging 12-obstacles track for the first round of competition, asking athletes to navigate their way through tactful turns and various combinations. By the conclusion of the first round, just nine pairs managed clear efforts, including Santiago Lambre (MEX) and Easy Girl, the first duo to leave all of the rails intact. Additional clear athletes included Jonathan Corrigan (IRL), Wilhelm Genn (GER) with two mounts, Vani Khosla (USA), Victoria Colvin (USA), Juan Pablo Gnecco (COL), Walker (CAN) and Will Simpson (USA).
As the pathfinders for the shortened seven-fence jump-off track, Lambre (MEX) and Mario Onate’s Easy Girl put forth a decent double-clear finish in 29.59 seconds to set the pace for those to follow. Quickly taking over the top spot was Corrigan (IRL) aboard Super Chilled, owned by Debra Wycoff, as they stopped the clock nearly one second faster in 28.68 seconds.
The lead would quickly exchange hands again to Colvin (USA) riding BMT Partner’s Gemino after their tidy jump-off time of 28.64 seconds.
Her spot at the top of the leaderboard was short lived, however, as veteran show jumping competitor Will Simpson (USA) slipped into the first place position with his trusted partner Chacco P, owned Will Simpson Stables Inc., notching 21.12 seconds on the clock
Walker (CAN) and Evita were the final pair to tackle the jump-off course, and after earning seventh place in Friday’s $36,600 Speed Classic CSI2*, they were hungry for a win. Walker took advantage of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare’s experience and quick pace across the ground in order to leave out strides throughout the course. Finishing strong, Walker and Evita crossed through the timers in an impressive 27.40 seconds to close out the class with the blue. Walker recently took over the ride on Evita in 2020 from previously ranked Longines FEI World Number One Steve Guerdat (SUI), and the pair has quickly grown into a force to be reckoned with. Walker looks forward to his future with the talented mare and hopes to notch more wins throughout his summer competing in Traverse City. Simpson and Chacco P would ultimately receive second place honors for their efforts, with Colvin and Gemino rounding out the top three.
Finishing out the afternoon strong, young Canadian talent Walker earned valuable points toward the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus. Australia’s Katie Laurie held the first place position with 26 points after her top placings over the past two weeks. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. 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 during Week II of the Traverse City Spring Horse Show, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, will conclude Sunday, June 20, featuring the $72,900 Four G Surfaces Grand Prix CSI2* set to kick off at 2:00pm.
Final Results – $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI 2*
1) Sam Walker (CAN) & Evita – 0 / 0 – 27.40
2) Will Simpson (USA) & Chacco P – 0 / 0 – 28.12
3) Victoria Colvin (USA) & Gemino – 0 / 0 – 28.64
4) Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) & Super Chilled – 0 / 0 – 28.6
5) Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Bugatti – 0 / 0 – 29.16
6) Santiago Lambre (MEX) & Easy Girl – 0 / 0 – 29.59
7) Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Van Gogh – 0 / 0 – 30.31
8) Vani Khosla (USA) & Amerigo – 0 / 4 – 30.59
9) Juan Pablo Gnecco (COL) & VT Majeur de Brecey – 0 / 4 – 32.82
10) Santiago Lambre (MEX) & Comtess 202 – 1 / 65.13
11) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Superwoman DK Z – 1 / 65.90
12) Andrew Welles (USA) & And Action – 4 / 61.51
Source: Press Release from Traverse City Horse Show
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography