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Press Release


Abigail McArdle and Comeback

Mattias Tromp and KM Whatever RV

David Jennings and KM Corfina

Wilhelm Genn and Dieta

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Abigail McArdle and David Jennings Kick-Off GLEF Week Six with Wins in 1.40m and 1.35m Open Jumpers

Written by: Taylor Renner
Client: Morrissey Management Group (MMG)
Release Date: 2016-08-17

Traverse City, Mich. – Aug. 17, 2016 – Week Six of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) got underway on Wednesday as the 1.40m, 1.35m and 1.30m Open Jumpers took center stage in the Grand Prix Ring. Abigail McArdle and David Jennings kicked the week off strong by taking home blue ribbons in their respective classes.
In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, 12 horses and riders competed for the top spot on the leaderboard with only four jumping clear over the Jose Gamarra-designed first round course to move on to the immediate jump-off round.
Mattias Tromp and Beyaert Farm Inc.'s KM Whatever RV started the class off and produced the first double clear round to take the early lead in 32.008 seconds. McArdle followed Tromp, duplicating his round with another double clear performance aboard Plain Bay Sales' Comeback in 31.357 seconds to take over the first place ranking. Five rounds later, Dana Wille and her own Mach 5 produced a clear first round to move on to the jump-off, but collected 8 faults in 32.807 seconds to move behind Tromp in the standings.
Lisa Goldman and her own Hindsight entered the ring as the last of the challengers to try and catch McArdle's lead. They advanced to the jump-off and finished on 4 faults in 31.476 seconds to take third place honors, while Tromp took second place and Wille finished in fourth place.
"I thought the course was good," said McArdle. "There were some choices in the jump-off — an inside turn and a leave-out. I ended up doing one more stride. There was a little bit of a tighter turn coming to the liverpool and I believe that ended up being the faster track."
Comeback, an 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, and McArdle were the winners of Saturday's $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix during Week Five and are looking to continue their winning streak throughout Week Six and at their next show, the American Gold Cup, where McArdle won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman FEI Open Jumper class and the $35,000 Don Little Memorial Welcome Stake with Cosma 20 in 2015.
"Comeback was excellent today," said McArdle. "Our plan is to do the two 1.40m classes this week since there is no U25. He is not quite ready for the FEI classes; he is only 8 and doesn't have enough experience yet. He went early in the class and was able to hold the first place spot and really put in a good round in the 1.40m. I am just working to really prove him as a great horse at that level.
"After GLEF I will go home with the horses, they will have a couple of weeks off and then my next show will be the American Gold Cup," continued McArdle. "I am looking to hopefully get into the U25 National Championship [at the National Horse Show] as a wildcard since I placed well in Tryon and here in the U25."
The 1.35m Open Jumpers immediately followed the 1.40m competition and saw another 12 exhibitors vie for first place honors with six advancing to the short course and producing double clear rounds.
Wilhelm Genn and Taylor Reid's Dieta were the early double clear pathfinders as first in the order of go, finishing in 36.339 seconds. The pair maintained their lead for nine rounds until David Jennings and KM Corfina, owned by KM Farms, bested their time by one second with another double clear round in 35.106 seconds. David Blake and Pine Hollow Farm's Deavantus entered the ring after Jennings and finished double clear in 36.934 seconds to round out the top three behind Genn in the final standings.
"KM Corfina is a great mare," said Jennings. "She is a 9-year-old Sella Italiano mare. I've jumped a couple of grand prix events with her, and won a couple of grand prix events last year with her. The first week here I won every single class she was in. We won the 1.30m and two 1.35m. She is a true winner. She is a sale horse — here to be sold. She just keeps jumping clear round after clear round.
"The courses were very nice today," continued Jennings. "There was a lot of counting and it was very technical. It was a perfect size for the first day — a nice, soft 1.35m. I have jumped this course designer's courses and classes before for many, many years. He always does a very fine job with the courses."
Jennings has been traveling to Traverse City to compete for years and, although he missed GLEF's inaugural event last year, has been impressed with this year's show since attending all six weeks of the circuit thus far.
"I love every person that works here," said Jennings. "They are so nice and so accommodating. I love people who actually try to make things run better and try to improve everything, as opposed to just horse showing and taking your money and saying, 'Thanks for coming.' This week is a busy week for us. I have a few clients flying in to show in some of the amateur classes. I have two horses that will be going in the FEI this week, and Corfina again is going to keep on trying to win."
The 1.30m Open Jumpers was next up on the Grand Prix Ring's schedule for Wednesday. Sixteen horse and rider combinations were entered in the class where only five jumped clear to move on to the jump-off round. Of the five who jumped off, the top three were the only ones to finish double clear.
Adam Prudent took the blue and yellow ribbons aboard Plain Bay Sales and Katherine Monahan-Prudent mounts. He finished in 33.115 seconds with Douwe, owned by Katherine Monahan-Prudent, to take the win and in 36.635 seconds aboard Uhlane Sainte Odile, owned by Plain Bay Sales, to take third place honors, while David Beisel and Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC's Rumorosa claimed second place in 33.219 seconds.
Week Six of GLEF runs through Aug. 17–21 at the Flintfields Horse Park and will continue to welcome riders and thrill spectators over the next two weeks throughout the second series of competition, which runs Aug. 10–28. Feature jumper events for Week Six include the $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI2* on Friday and the $50,000 Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday.
Series Two kicked off on Aug. 10 and will run through Aug. 28, featuring three weeks of hunter and jumper competition with a FEI CSI2* rating Week Five and Six and a FEI CSI3* rating during Week Seven, culminating in the $100,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Hunter competition for Week Six will pick back up on Thursday. Hunter highlights include the Glory Days Farm, LLC USHJA National Hunter Derby, which will take place each Sunday through the end of the second series.
Horses are not the only form of entertainment lined up for this year's Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. The festival has teamed up with top musicians and entertainers from around the country to offer fun-filled evenings for this year's concert and dinner series.
Week Six will host the Kari Lynch Band and farm BBQ dinner by on Friday, Aug. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Flintfields Horse Park, while Week Seven will headline the Billy Strings Bluegrass Closing Party by at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28.
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 onsite campgrounds and weekly nights of entertainment for a truly unique attendee experience.

For more information or to view schedules, please visit or


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