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Courtney Calcagnini and Bowie

Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius

Maria Rasmussen and Memorable

Hillary Johnson and Sorrento

Maria Rasmussen and Subject to Change

Carloline Weeden and Corvine

Peter Pletcher and Columbia

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Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Shiels and Weeden Score Hunter Wins at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Written by: Sarah Harper
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2016-07-27

Traverse City, MI – July 27, 2016 – Week Four of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival kicked off with the professional hunter divisions in the R.L. Polk Family Main Hunter Ring. Wednesday’s classes saw many riders beginning to prepare their horses for the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Gochman Family and Baxter Hill Farm on July 30.

In the Second Year Green Hunters, the blue went to Maria Rasmussen and Memorable. The pair was also third in the handy round. Taking second place was Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius who took home the win in the handy round. Third place in the over fences class went to Oak Grove and Caroline Weeden. Second place in the handy round went to Hilary Johnson and Moonwalk.

Shiels was happy with the efforts of her young horse on Wednesday. “He was super, Shiels grinned. “I think was a nickel’s worth too fresh today but he held it together. We walked in the ring and he was staring at the rocks and the barrels, so I was a little bit reserved in how much I wanted to let him out of the bag.”

“This is his second time dong the second years,” Shiels continued. “He’s just getting more consistent with the height so I’m really happy with him. He is 7 and he is going to do the Second Year’s tomorrow, and then he’ll do the big derby on Saturday. It will be our second time doing it together, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

In the High Performance Working Hunters Courtney Calcagnini and Bowie a 10-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Fleur de Lis Farms were first in the over fences class repeating their performance from week three. Peter Pletcher and Columbia found themselves in the second spot and took home the win in the handy round. Pletcher also took third in both the over fences class and the handy round with Jus d’O. Second place in the handy round went to Caroline Weeden and Corvine.

Weeden praised the Thomas Hern Jr. designed course. “I thought it was super fun this week,” Weeden said. “The course designer did a really cool thing in the handy. We had a bunch of options so I actually did things differently on my First Year Horse, than I did on my Second Year Horse, than I did on my High Performance horse. You could do the handy according to what worked best for your horse so that was fun, it was something different.”

Earlier in the day, Voyager an 8-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Copper Fox LLC and Hillary Johnson took the blue in the over fences class in First Year Green Working Hunters. They were also second in the handy round. Following in second place in the over fences class was Kelsey Wickham and Wait and See Farm’s Pick Six. Rounding out the top three was Kim Carey and Goodman. In the handy round it was Caroline Weeden and Poetry who took home the win with Melissa Donnelly and Corlando 49 in third place.

Hillary Johnson again found herself in the top spot in the Regular Conformation Hunter Class over fences aboard Sorrento, a 9-year-old Westphalian owned by Copper Fox LLC. Second place went to Maria Rasmussen and Subject to Change a 7-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Corporate Way LLC. Third place went to Greg Crolick and Outshine, a 9-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Top Call Farm.

In the handy round it was Maria Rasmussen and Subject to Change who claimed the top spot with second place going to Kelsey Wickham and Pick Six. Jennifer Nadalin and Catango V rounded out the top three.

Hunter competition will continue Thursday in the R.L. Polk Family Main Hunter Ring with division championships.

Highlights in the Hunter divisions in week four include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby presented by the Gochman Family and Baxter Hill Farm on July 30 and the $5,000 Glory Days Farm LLC, USHJA National Hunter Derby on July 31.

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival is set on 88 beautiful acres and showcases five world-class competition rings in addition to spacious schooling rings. The property features don't stop there as the park offers convenient on-site campgrounds and weekly nights of entertainment for a truly unique attendee experience.

To view the competition schedule, please click here.

For travel and housing information, please click here.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Brook Berganza at

For questions and comments, feel free to contact 


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