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Press Release


Tim Goguen and Capella

Tim Goguen and Anytime

Hillary Johnson and Rogelio

Geoffrey Hesslink and Jos Van Kouterhoeve

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Tim Goguen and Hillary Johnson Control the Hunter Ring at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Written by: Elaine Wessel
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2015-07-02

Traverse City, MI – July 2, 2015 – If the first two days of competition are indicative of what is to come the rest of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, then Tim Goguen and Hillary Johnson are pegged to have successful showings throughout the series. Goguen began his day with an easy sweep of the first three divisions of the morning, claiming three champion honors and the reserve championship, while Johnson stayed busy with multiple mounts in the $1,000 Pre-Green Hunter Incentive and Performance 3’6” Working Hunters.

An 8:30 a.m. start time brought the combined Conformation Hunter divisions to the forefront, with Jennifer Nadalin and Catango V, owned by Samantha Gajoch, hoping to retain their lead position after two blue ribbons in the first classes of the division yesterday. Unfortunately for that pair, Gougen and his Boggs Hill Farm’s mount Anytime gained momentum and were able to overtake them in the point standings due to three first place finishes today. Combined with Wednesday’s first and second, the duo just edged out Nadalin in the rankings.

Next on the schedule were the combined divisions of the Second Year Green Working Hunters and the PJP Farm High Performance Working Hunters, and Goguen had his eye on the prize once again. He and his mount Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, added another win to the résumé by beating out the competition with a near-clean sweep of the day’s classes, only falling short of the first in the hack.

The champion attributed much of his success to his wife and the rest of his team, stating that “they do a great job prepping the horses for the ring, and I just try to do my thing when it counts.” He continued on, noting that the horses seem to be settling in to the facility and the unpredictable Michigan weather.

“It was tough yesterday with the unexpected cold front, but we are in a good groove now,” Goguen claimed. “The facility here is beautiful, and now that we have some nice weather, it is much more noticeable. This is and always has been a wonderful show, and I only expect it to grow in the coming years,” he went on, complimenting the show, which is now under the management of Stadium Jumping, Inc.

Laura Stern and her personal horse Harrison were able to hold on to the second-place position after strong performances both days. Rounding out the top three was Tommy Brawley and his own Snapchat.

Still not relenting, Goguen rode his way to yet another tricolor in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring, this time aboard Capella in the First Year Green Working Hunters, sponsored by Wrenwood Farm and Jen Sutton. As if that was not enough, the champion had another horse in the running. Belhaven Stables LLC’s Rookie carried Goguen to the reserve championship honors, just a few points behind his counterpart.

Capella is coming off a number of impressive placings at top-tier venues in both Florida and Kentucky as a new addition to Goguen’s repertoire of horses, having just joined the rotation this past season at the end of the Florida show circuit.

Geoffrey Hesslink and Salim Radi’s Jos Van Kouterhoeve, Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox LLC’s Moonwalk, and Sarah Mechlin in the irons aboard Mary Otto’s Enterprize all also provided solid trips, consistently place-swapping in the third through fifth positions.

Another standout competitor for the day, Hillary Johnson, was a common sight in the side-by-side hunter rings. With 13 horses in the barns this week, and expecting 8 more to arrive in the following weeks, Johnson definitely keeps busy.

Riding her way to a score of 84, the Michigan-native and Copper Fox LLC’s Sorrento produced the highest score of the all the entrants in the $1,000 Pre-Green Hunter Incentive.

“We will definitely be travelling to Kentucky next month for the Pre-Green Finals. We have a herd of Pre-Green horses, with three that will for sure be showing at the Finals,” Johnson noted of her upcoming travels.

Johnson and Sorrento took the win above the second-place finisher Goguen and Clever, another of his Belhaven Stables LLC rides. It was a good day for Copper Fox LLC as another one of their contending horses finished in a top placing, with Voyager and Kendall Meijer clinching the third spot above the rest of the field.

Dismounting one horse only to climb aboard another, Johnson took the ride on Rolling Acres’ Rogelio for the final classes of the Performance Working Hunters at the 3’6” height. The division proved to be a close race, with all the competitors vying for points and exchanging placings during their five opportunities to gain the favor of the judges. With each passing class, a different competitor topped the judges’ cards, keeping the door open for anyone to break out of the pack and take the lead headed into the point tabulation. Ultimately, Rogelio came out on top.

“We love having such a quality horse show here in Michigan so close to home,” Rogelio’s rider reflected. “We have been coming here for many years. I’m glad to see that the transition from Horse Shows by the Bay to the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival has been so smooth, and everyone has been so kind, accommodating, and welcoming here.”

Reserve champion to the winning partners was Salim Radi’s Jos Van Kouterhoeve with Geoffrey Hesslink in the irons. The pair accumulated enough points with today’s fifth and third place finishes, combined with the prior day’s second and third place positions, to claim the runner-up spot.

Stadium Jumping, Inc. has gained recognition not only as a premier horse show management company, but the family-owned business is now able to add a championship tricolor to their list of Traverse City successes, as well. Tiffany Morrissey, the wife of Matt Morrissey, co-manager of the show and a prominent contributor to Stadium Jumping, Inc., led the hunt of 17 entries and came away with the win in the Pre-Green Hunter division, never placing below third in today’s competition. Morrissey rode East Wind Farms, LLC’s Belucci.

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival at Flintfields Horse Park will continue to serve as host for competition over the course of the next four weeks. Tomorrow’s hunter action continues with the championships awarded to the Junior Hunters as well as the onset of the Amateur Owner divisions. Highlighted in the hunter ring will be the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay and Pessoa US Hunter Seat Medal. Riders will also have the opportunity to compete in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby this Sunday. For more information, please visit or


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