Traverse City, Michigan – September 16, 2021 – Show jumping competition during Week III of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions continued Thursday, September 16, bringing a star-studded list of athletes and their mounts back to the Flintfields Horse Park for a final week of sport. A total of 33 horse-and-rider combinations put forth their names in the $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m CSI5*, all hoping to kick off the week with a win and claim the lion’s share of money. In the end, it was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) who rode Bull Run’s Risen to victory, also claiming the Horse & Style Magazine Style of Riding Award at the conclusion of the class.
Ireland’s Alan Wade crafter the 13-obstacle course fit for the CSI5* ranking. The winding path set across the expansive Turtle Creek Casino & International Ring featured a series of 1.50m fences, including a combination headed towards the ingate that was the source of many rails dropping to the ground throughout the first round. Beat Mandli (SUI) and Dijon Terdoorn Z were the pathfinders of the track, setting the tone for remaining competitors to earn a ticket to the jump-off. At the conclusion of round one, 18 athletes would advance to the jump-off, including Jonathan McCrea (USA), Vanderveen (USA), Andrew Welles (USA), Freddie Vazquez (PUR), Peter Leone (USA), Catherine Tyree (USA), Grace Debney (GBR), Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Alex Matz (USA), Jacqueline Steffens (CAN), Shane Sweetnam (IRL), Vanessa Hood (USA), Richie Moloney (IRL), Michael Morrissey (USA), Margie Engle (USA), Andrew Bourns (USA), Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Lauren Hough (USA).
Mandli (SUI) and Dijon Terdoorn Z were the first to try their hand at the shortened course, posting a time of 38.10 seconds without knocking any of the eight fences to the ground. Just one round later, Vanderveen and her very own Bull Run’s Risen slipped into the leading position after clearing the fences in 35.98 seconds. It became clear Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Risen were the frontrunners of the class as those who followed were unable to match their swift round. The battle was on to decide who would finish the class in second and third place.
Just seven rounds after Vanderveen’s (USA) impressive ride, Sweetnam (IRL) and Karlin Van’t Vennehof entered through the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel arch determined to slip into a top position. Sweetnam (IRL) is no stranger to a quick and efficient jump-off, known for turning and burning his way through the arena with finesse. Though his tactful efforts would not push him into the lead, his time of 36.56 seconds would be good enough to move him into second place.
As the final pair of the lineup to tackle Wade’s jump-off track, Hough and Paloma, owned by Kathleen Kamine, put forth their best effort for a podium finish. They would round out the class by crossing through the timers in a double-clear 37.29 seconds, quick enough to secure a third place spot. Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen ultimately emerged at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of the class, marking the duo’s first FEI win together. Sweetnam (IRL) and Karlin Van’t Vennehof claimed second place.
At the end of the $72.900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m CSI5*, the Horse & Style Magazine Style of Riding Award was presented to Vanderveen (USA). Awarded to a rider who stands out as respectful, dignified and courteous, Vanderveen displayed an impeccable American style of equitation in the ring and sportsmanship outside of the ring, making her deserving of the Horse & Style Magazine Style of Riding Award.
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’s (IRL) second place finish Thursday earned him valuable points toward the bonus, maintaining his second place position on the leaderboard but inching closer to Cook’s total, currently sitting on a total of 52 points. Katie Laurie’s (AUS) massive success during the three-week Traverse City Spring Horse Show has allowed her to maintain a top position on the leaderboard, currently sitting in third place with a total of 42 points. 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 during Traverse City Tournament of Champions will continue Friday, September 17, highlighting the $36,600 Staller 1.45m Speed CSI5*. Show jumping competition will come to a pinnacle Saturday, September 18, with the highly anticipated $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
From The Winner’s Circle
Kristen Vanderveen – $72,900 Premier Equestrian CSI5* winner
On being known as a competitive jump-off rider:
“I like to try and think that way, but this is actually [Bull Run’s Risen’s] first FEI win. He has been second quite a few times, so today with so many in the jump-off I had it in mind that I was going to do a few risky leave-outs and try and win this class.”
On Bull Run’s Risen:
“He is amazing and his character is fantastic. He always leaves the ground and never second guesses me. He can also be really careful while leaving out strides and that is why today I was able to almost do a double leave-out in the first line and then where he is really brilliant is being able to leave out a stride into a combination. I think it is pretty special for a horse of his size to be able to do that and still make the strides fit inside the combination.”
On the team format of Major League Show Jumping:
“I really enjoy this new team format. I have not had much experience with team things in the past and this has been a pretty fun experience for me, to be a part of a team. Our Diamond Devil’s team has great camaraderie and I think for the audience it is quite a fun format, with the two rounds with the jump-off and having the scores in the second round be faults converted really makes it fun, and we have enjoyed it as a team.”
On competing at Traverse City Horse Shows:
“Especially this time of year, the weather is great and it hasn’t been too cold. I love this time of year. I think it is great with Lake Michigan so close by. In the summer I think that it is the only place in America that is not so hot and I think that is great for the horses.”
On having the American Gold Cup host Major League Show Jumping:
“I think it is nice to give the Major League shows the publicity that comes with the American Gold Cup. People can really have their eyes open to the new team format that they are having, which is great. I have always loved coming to the American Gold Cup so I am excited for the [$230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors] this weekend. It is always a prestigious event.”
Final Results – $72,900 Premier Equestrian CSI5*
Place / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults | R2 Faults | R2 Time
1) Kirsten Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Risen – 0 / 0 – 35.98
2) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Karlin Van’t Vennehof – 0 / 0 – 36.56
3) Lauren Hough (USA) & Paloma – 0 / 0 – 37.29
4) Andrew Bourns (USA) & Sea Topblue – 0 / 0 – 37.34
5) Beat Mandli (SUI) & Dijon Terdoorn Z – 0 / 0 – 38.10
6) Vanessa Hood (USA) & Santander – 0 / 0 – 38.32
6) Margie Engle (USA) & Royce – 0 / 0 – 38.32
8) Catherine Tyree (USA) & BEC Lorenzo – 0 / 0 – 38.50
9) Richie Moloney (IRL) & Coco Beach – 0 / 0 – 39.06
10) Andrew Welles (USA) & And Action – 0 / 0 – 39.52
11) Grace Debney (GBR) & Faro – 0 / 0 – 40.20
12) Freddie Vazquez (PUR) & Kirschwasser SCF – 0 / 0 – 43.33
Source: Press Release by Georgie Hammond / Phelps Media Group for Traverse City Horse Shows
Photos: © Andrew Ryback