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Press Release


Peter Pletcher and Q

Maria Rasmussen and Corporate

Tim Goguen and Capella

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Second Week of Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Commences with Peter Pletcher, Maria Rasmussen, and Tim Goguen Leading Professional Hunter Divisions

Written by: Elaine Wessel
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2015-07-08

Traverse City, MI – July 8, 2015 – Following a successful first week of competition, exhibitors were eager to return to the show ring for more chances to take home the blues at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival at Flintfields Horse Park. With nearly 400 more stalls occupied in the barns, the competition gained another element due to the increase in entries. Although they were not attending the first week, the familiar faces of Traverse City veterans Peter Pletcher and Maria Rasmussen were quick to make their presence known in the professional hunter divisions, facing off against last week’s frontrunner Tim Goguen and his numerous mounts.

The combined divisions of the Second Year Green Working Hunter and the High Performance Working Hunters, sponsored by PJP Farm, will begin again tomorrow with Peter Pletcher at the head of the pack. Pletcher, owner and trainer of the Texas-based PJP Farm, rode Susie Baker’s bay gelding Q to the first and second place finish Wednesday morning to earn an initial 16 points in the division. Goguen and Saddle Ridge LLC’s Ransom currently sit in the second position with 12 points, having earned the first and the fourth from the judges. Today’s competition consisted of an eight-effort over fences and handy round designed by Danny Moore. The divisions conclude tomorrow with two more over fences portions, as well as the under saddle.

Pletcher returned to the ring with two more rides in the first portion of the Green Conformation Hunter division, once again proving why he is one of the premier hunter riders in the nation, with strong showings on both horses. Repeating his efforts aboard Rancho De Los Arboles, LLC’s Thanks For The Gold, Pletcher earned another first and second place spot to kick off the division.
“He is our pretty horse, and has been doing great in the show ring. This is a super steady horse,” Pletcher complimented of his partner, known in the barn as “Hank.”

Hank is one of the 20 horses in Pletcher’s repertoire that made the trek to Michigan. The farm will continue to be in attendance at Flintfields Horse Park for the next three weeks, with a number of horses making appearances in the week-end derbies.

“Everything looks great so far. We were nervous when the future of the show was up in the air, and were so happy and excited to hear that it was continuing this year. We come every year and always love it here,” Pletcher reflected, a frequent face in Traverse City.

Ashley Netzky’s Corporate, shown by Maria Rasmussen, will try to take over the lead tomorrow. The pair is close behind Pletcher and Hank, having been awarded the first and the third position in the fences and handy portions, respectively. Rasmussen and Pletcher both had other rides in the class—the former riding another Netzky horse, the chestnut Subject To Change, and Pletcher with the ride aboard Cancara.

Next on the card, the First Year Green Working Hunters, generously sponsored by Wrenwood Farm, attracted the likes of the morning riders Pletcher, Rasmussen, and Goguen, as well as Hillary Johnson, Meagan Murray, and Geoffrey Hesslink. Goguen started out with the win in the fences class aboard Garland Alban’s Capella, followed by a fourth, and also navigated Belhaven Stables LLC’s Rookie to a second and fifth place ribbons. Johnson and the grey Moonwalk, owned by Michigan-based Copper Fox LLC, stayed consistent with two finishes in the third position.

Her competitors may still be in the hunt, but it will be Rasmussen leading the field headed into the final half of the division tomorrow. Once again in the irons aboard Corporate, the two improved upon their performance in the morning’s Conformation classes, this time claiming the blue and red ribbon to top the judges’ cards.

Of her mount, the rider attributes his hunter prowess to his scopey and dedicated jump. “He really puts his whole body into his jumping effort, and gets so high through the back, withers, and legs. He tries so hard, which definitely helps us in the ring,” Rasmussen noted. The pair is coming off of strong showings last month at the Showplace Spring Spectacular in Wayne, Illinois.

Rasmussen and her mounts will stick around for the next three weeks of the series, and plan to give Pletcher a run for his money in the weekly $5,000 USHJA National Derbies and the Week IV $25,000 USHJA International Derby, sponsored by the Gochman Family. The $10,000 Great Lakes 3’6” Hunter Classic this upcoming Sunday may also see an appearance from Rasmussen and Corporate.

The second day of competition will continue tomorrow at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, with the professional divisions once again highlighted in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring as champions are named. Sunday will be the showcase day of the week, with horses and riders competing for a stake in the $5,000 USHJA National Derby and the two-round $10,000 Great Lakes 3’6” Hunter Classic.

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