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Press Release

ATTACHED PHOTOS

Emma Wujek and Lucky Times

Lindsay Lyden and Just Magic

Martha Ingram and Tenacious

Martha Ingram and Tenacious_champ

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Week One of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Concludes with Repeat Winners in the Hunter Classics and Derby

Written by: Elaine Wessel
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG) http://www.stadiumjumping.com/sj/index.cfm
Release Date: 2015-07-05

Traverse City, MI – July 5, 2015 – The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival saved the best for last as accomplished hunter riders took to the ring for a chance to end the week leading a victory gallop in one of the Junior/Amateur-Owner Classics or the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. A few select riders are going to have to make room in their tack trunks for multiple GLEF champion coolers and scrims, as more than one weekly division winner added another accolade to their résumé with a top placing today.

Both the $3,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter Classic and the $2,500 Junior/Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter Classic consisted of two rounds over designer Dean Battaglia’s natural track. The 3’6” horses and riders were the first to go for the blue, with numerous grand champions from the prior days of competition hoping to continue their winning streaks Sunday morning.

Headed into the second phase of the Classic, two riders were neck-and-neck at the top of the standings. Martha Ingram and John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC’s Absolut scored an initial 88, followed closely by Emma Wujek and Claire Azar’s Lucky Times’ score of 86. In the third position with an 82 was Boggs Hill Farm’s Anytime, with Vivian Yowan aboard, and Cole Battershall and her own Wayfarer rounded out the top four with a score of 76.

Ultimately it was Wujek and the grey gelding who came away with the highest cumulative score, earning a second trip tally of 88, boosting their score to a 174, two points ahead of Ingram and Absolut, who earned a second-round score of 84 for a total of 172.

The champion impressively just picked up the ride this week on Azar’s horse, as the owner was unable to attend the first week of the series. Still, that didn’t seem to slow them down any; the pair also rode to the champion tricolors earlier in the week in the Junior 3’6” Hunters.

“He is very trustworthy and a lot of fun to take into the show ring,” Wujek noted of her ride, claiming that their focus on producing two fluid rounds helped them to the top of the judges’ cards.

Michigan-native Wujek has made the trip to Flintfields Horse Park five times in the past, and had kind words for the new management of Stadium Jumping, Inc.

“This is one of the best management companies around, and they’re doing a great job with this beautiful show, especially considering they had such short notice that they were taking over this show,” she complimented.

Wujek will remain in Traverse City for one more week, followed by an appearance at the North American Junior Young Rider Championship in Lexington, Kentucky, as a member of the Junior Show Jumping Team for the United States.

Yowan retained third place with Anytime, while Battershall also held on to fourth with her mount Wayfarer.

The 3’3” entrants were invited to the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring next, again with weekly winners vying for the largest share of the prize money. In the end, it seemed as if the results could have been pegged after only the first phase, as all of the top four riders earned scored that maintained their position after their second trips. Just Magic and owner-rider Lindsay Lyden, champions yesterday in the Amateur-Owner Hunter division, bested the field to earn the blue ribbon, followed by Kandis Wrigley’s Friend Request and Helen Voss, champions in the Junior 3’3” Hunters earlier in the week.

Bocelli, with owner Marianne Giovenco in the irons, clinched the third position with two strong performances, while Isabel Hermelin and Gg Equine Holdings, LLC’s Zekiel claimed fourth.

Next on the agenda was the highlight of the day, the $5,000 USHJA National Derby, attracting 18 eager competitors. Formatted slightly differently than the morning’s Classics, the Derby still entailed two rounds, but only the top 12 highest-placing pairs were invited to return for the handy phase.

Battaglia’s creation presented riders with a number of inside track opportunities, as well as four high options that allotted for the potential of up to four extra points to be added to the handy score. Most riders took the higher fence options, but spectators were treated to a variety of differing turns taken by the competitors.

It was still anyone’s class to win as the handy phase got underway, with 10 of the top 12 riders garnering scores of 80 or above. Greg Crolick and Lugano, owned by Courtney Schwabauer, led the class with the high score of 90. Tied for the second spot was Hillary Johnson and Copper Fox LLC’s Voyager and Martha Ingram and her family’s own Tenacious, both awarded score of 88 from the judges. J’Adore, owned by Team Rasakowsky and navigated by Geoffrey Hesslink, sat in the next spot with an 86-score, with Addison Piper and Cory Olson’s Billy the Kid and Tiffany Morrissey and East Wind Farms’ Belucci close behind with scores of 85 and 84, respectively.

With the points so close, the handy round opened the door for competitors to either gain ground on their counterparts or falter to mistakes. Taking advantage of the opportunity better than the rest, with only a few trips remaining, Ingram and Tenacious earned the highest second-round score of 90 to take over the lead. Two more riders would enter the ring hoping to take control of the class, but their efforts would prove fruitless.

The champion horse Tenacious has been owned by the Ingram family for nearly four years, and the horse has proved to be versatile as both a hunter derby winner and a successful equitation horse. Ingram rode the gelding in the WIHS Equitation class, the Pessoa US Hunt Seat Medal, and the ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay earlier in the week, never placing lower than third.

“Greg [Crolick] and I were the only ones to ride between the trot jump and the island, as well as take all the inside turns and high options. Our trips were very smooth; that was the main thing that helped us. We didn’t have any rubs, either, which sometimes is a challenge with this horse,” the champion commented of her rounds.

This is Ingram’s first show back in the saddle after a hand injury thwarted her riding plans, and it was “exciting to get off to such a great start this summer,” according to the rider. Even more fitting is the fact that Ingram’s first show of the season is in Traverse City, where she has been coming every summer, since she was a small pony rider, to compete. The pair will once again be on the showgrounds next week, later travelling to the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show in North Carolina and then the Hampton Classic.

The first week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival came to a close today, but three more weeks of competition still remain. The action resumes again this Wednesday in the hunter ring, with the Professional Hunter divisions taking center stage. For more information, results, or to take a look at the schedule, please visit www.greatlakesequestrianfestival.com or www.stadiumjumping.com.

 

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