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Press Release


Dana Wille and Mach 5

David Beisel and Rumorosa

David Dorner and Chaciara

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Mach 5 and Dana Wille Speed to High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Victory at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2016-07-21

Traverse City, Mich. – July 21, 2016 – The grey gelding, Mach 5, lived up to his name on Thursday afternoon as rider Dana Wille led the way during the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF). Wille imported the Dutch Warmblood from Germany two years prior, expecting that he would max out at the 1.20m-level; however, as Thursday proved, he not only has the speed, but also the scope. The duo surpassed a field of 14 contenders to race to the top of the leaderboard with nearly a four-second margin.

It was Lindsay Strafuss and Troya Montecristo, owned by Castle Pointe Farm, LLC, who took the early lead in the class, riding to a clean and clear time of 39.560 seconds. Following consecutively, Sophie Michaels and MCB Maya shaved the time with a tight rollback to a tall vertical that put them just ahead at 38.546 seconds.

Wille tackled the course like a professional, never hinting that she only recently turned 17 years old. “There is a reason he is named Mach 5,” Wille laughed. “He showed it out there today for sure.”

More affectionately known as ‘Speed’ around the barn, the gelding left all rails in place and turned with clear agility through the serpentine course, designed by Pierre Jolicouer. They broke the beam in 33.640 seconds. The only other rider to nearly catch their time was Daisy Farish and Great White, who fell shy of the finish with a time 37.099 seconds.

“This year has been a big surprise for us,” Wille said. “He has been amazing so far, and we know each other so well. We can read one another’s minds out there. He is just the sweetest horse you will ever meet. He loves to joke around with you, he is really special.”

Wille continued, “This is a stepping stone into where I want to go, which is the grand prix. We are waiting on his FEI passport so that we can do some bigger stuff. We did a couple of the U25 classes when we were in Kentucky, which he was amazing at, top eight there. He won multiple prix during the Wilmington series this winter. It is great for both of us to get out there and gain the confidence in these classes.”

It was David Dorner and Chaciara who sped to the victory during the 1.35m Open Jumpers. The duo took the win with a time of 73.339 seconds. Second place was awarded to Douglas Boyd and Calvigo, owned by the Sapphire Riding Academy of Mettawa, Illinois, who finished with only four faults. Taylor Reid and her own Ugano rounded out the final placings with the third place finish, following a more conservative path than her prior contenders.

Dorner said, “Chaciara is a young 8-year-old who is just moving up. We have competed in the 1.30m and 1.35m classes, and we are hoping to move her up to the 1.40m classes next week. She has jumped a couple of prix in the Mid-West, but nothing of this caliber. The course today was a little difficult, but she jumped clean, which was very good.”

He continued, “She is just starting to come into her own and she had a good time out there. She needs a soft ride, as soft as I can be. She is delightful, the friendliest horse I have been around. Every morning she whinnies at me, turns her head sideways and wants for me to come and pet her. She has the personality and the talent.” 

David Beisel had a back-to-back victory in the Open Jumpers, riding to his second win of week three with Rumorosa. Beisel has worked with the mare for the last two years, and is aiming to compete in the $25,000 Devocoux Welcome Stake on Friday. He has been preparing her through the Open Jumper divisions, giving her an easy school and win on Wednesday in the 1.30m Open Jumpers, and then taking the lead in the 1.40m Open Jumpers on Thursday.

The pair entered the ring at a gallop, taking a direct approach to the first vertical of the track. As one of only three to clear the first-round course, Beisel knew that he could leave little room for error, and took the course at a more conservative pace. They completed the shortened track with no faults and a time of 44.519 seconds. Douglas Boyd and Berkley III finished second, while Taylor Reid and Boucanier captured the third.

GLEF will continue to welcome riders and thrill spectators over the next two weeks throughout the first series of competition, which runs July 6–31. Week Three runs July 20–24 and will feature highlighted jumper events such as the $25,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake on Friday, July 22, and the $50,000 Great Lakes Grand Prix, presented by the Ingram family on Sunday, July 24.


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