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Press Release


Alliy Moyer and Carlson

Susan Baker and Q

Jennifer Nadalin and Westeros

Tammi Clark and Extraordinaire

GLEF Wine Party

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Professionals and Amateurs Prepare for the Weekend’s Prize Money Classes at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival IV

Written by: Elaine Wessel
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2015-07-23

Traverse City, MI – July 23, 2015 – Traverse City played host to another day of competition at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival Thursday, and with only three days left of the four-week series, competitors seemed zealous to make the most of their final opportunities on the ring. For some, the week is drawing to a close, but for others, the main event is still to come in the form of the $25,000 USHJA International Derby, presented by the Gochman Family, scheduled for Saturday.

Amateur-Owner competition at the 3’6” height kicked off in the hunter ring with numerous entries hoping to claim the lead and head into Friday’s classes with an advantage above the rest of the pack. A number of horse and rider pairs are currently in contention with top placings. The point standings place Alliy Moyer and her own Carlson at the top with two second place finishes, followed by Emily Morin aboard Ace of Spades and Susan Baker with Q, both earning first and sixth place positions.

“Carlson is 11 years old now, and I’ve owned him since he was about five, so its second nature for us to be together now, we love each other,” Moyer said. “We bought him because of his jump, he is such a great jumper and that really helps us in the ring. He is generally just great all-around, and has a very sound mind.”

Moyer is no stranger to the leaderboard in both the hunter and jumper rings, showing strong finishes throughout the past weeks over the natural tracks as well as the brightly-colored jumps. She is looking to accumulate accolades in not only the Amateur-Owner Hunters, but the $15,000 SJHF High Junior/Amateur Classic, the $25,000 Welcome Stake, and the $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by Morgan Stanley, later in the week.

With no commanding leader, exhibitors will have to depend on Friday’s results to determine the victor. Moyer, Morin, and Baker will need to vie amongst themselves for the top rankings as well as fend off the rest of the competitors in the hunt.

A pair of newcomers made their presence known in Traverse City by sweeping four blue ribbons in the combined Second Year Green Working Hunter and High Performance Hunter divisions. Tommi Clark and Stephen Borders’ Extraordinaire, known in the barn as ‘Santos,’ just arrived at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and will be hopeful contenders in Saturday’s $25,000 USHJA International Derby.

“We just got into town from Colorado, where we rode in the Derby there, and are doing the Second Years as a warm-up for the International class this weekend. We’ve only been here a few days but I love it already, it is so beautiful and even though we are all the way in California, I think we will definitely be coming back next year,” Clark commented.

Clark and the stallion navigated their way to four top finishes over fences, only falling short in the hack.

“His jump definitely makes him a great hunter. He’s not the best mover, as you can see he got third in the hack, but his jump is amazing and he is really easy to ride,” Clark said.

Following this week, the California-based pair will make the trek to suburban Chicago for another Derby at Lamplight Equestrian Center, followed by Derby Finals in Lexington, Kentucky mid-August.

Reserve honors was awarded to Maria Rasmussen and Over Fences Farm, LLC’s Quite Chocolate, who earned consistent second-place finishes over fences, and topped the judge’s card in the under saddle portion.

The Performance Working Hunters also wrapped up Thursday afternoon, and Katie Jordan’s Westeros, with Jennifer Nadalin in the irons, carried his rider to the champion tricolors. The winning pair rode to first and second place finishes over fences to close out the second half of the division, although Geoffrey Hesslink and Jos Van Kouterhoeve, owned by Salim Radi, put up a good fight for the top honors. Hesslink and the gelding earned identical finishes as Nadalin and her mount in the final two classes, but Nadalin and the chestnut horse began the day with six points from a second place finish Wednesday, which ultimately pushed them to the top.

Hesslink and Jos Van Kouterhoeve performed strongly in the ring this afternoon, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take the reserve honors from Wednesday’s top contender, Tamara Provost and  Brenda Christenson’s Santerno. After winning the initial two fences classes of the division, Provost chose not to compete in the hack or Thursday’s classes to close the division, but instead used the classes as preparation for Saturday’s Derby. Still, the two blue ribbons was enough to earn the duo the runner-up spot behind Nadalin and Westeros.

In the spirit of Midwestern hospitality, exhibitors, patrons, and spectators, were all treated to an afternoon wine and cheese party sponsored by North Peak Brewery, a local favorite in the Traverse City area. Located in the spacious tent between the two main hunter rings, it was the ideal spot to wind down the day with fellow horsemen and horsewomen and watch the final classes of the day.

Great Lakes Equestrian Festival continues into its third day of competition Friday with Amateur-Owner champions named in the Polk Family Main Hunter Ring. The $25,000 USHJA International Derby, presented by the Gochman Family, will take place Saturday afternoon, and is sure to bring national competitors to Karin Flint’s Flintfields Horse Park.

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