Following the exciting Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) $200,000 Team Competition CSI5* Saturday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, exhibitors kept the energy high for the MLSJ $230,000 TraverseCity.com Grand Prix CSI5* to close out the week. A total of 37 horse-and-rider combinations took to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring to vie for the class’ top honors, and ultimately it was Beezie Madden and her longtime mount Breitling LS who earned the victory gallop and took home the blue ribbon.
Course designer Olaf Petersen Jr.‘s (GER) first round track featured 16 obstacles, including several combinations and a triple bar jump. Despite the difficult combinations, many riders struggled most with two vertical fences on course that came off tight turns, requiring riders to pay careful attention to their approaches to the tricky fences. Brianne Goutal-Marteau (USA) and Viva Colombia, a 16-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Brianne Goutal-Marteau LLC, were the first pair to navigate the jumps clear, with Kyle King (USA) and Magic Mike, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Elizabeth Kilham, also going clear around the course shortly after. At the conclusion of the first round, a total of 10 pairs had added their names to the order of go for the second round, ensuring a top-tier line up for the final phase of competition.
Goutal-Marteau was the first to return to the arena, tackling the eight-obstacle track by Petersen Jr. King and Magic Mike were next, tearing around the course’s tight turns and bending lines with speed in mind to take the class’ first double clear effort and set a target time to beat of 36.30 seconds for the following riders in the order. Natalie Dean (USA) and Chance Ste Hermelle, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Marigold Sporthorses LLC, were next to go clear, but were not able to challenge King’s speedy time, tripping the timers in 42.65 seconds. Kristen Vanderveen (USA), second place finisher in last week’s MLSJ $230,00 Grand Prix CSI5*, took to the ring with Bull Run’s Prince of Peace, coming closer to King’s time with 37.83 seconds, but knocking an unfortunate rail on course.
King and Magic Mike’s effort remained unchallenged until queen of show jumping Madden and Breitling LS, a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Abigail Wexner, took to the ring as the last to go. With finesse only a master in the sport can display, Madden piloted Breitling around the twists and turns of the jump-off course, tripping the timers in just 34.78 seconds with no faults,ultimately overtaking King on the leaderboard and bringing home the top prize. King and Magic Mike finished in second place at the conclusion of the class, while Dean and Chance Ste Hermelle rounded out the top three.
On Breitling LS:
“He’s been an amazing partner, we’ve had him for nine years now. I’ve grown with him and he’s so fast and so careful. There’s all kinds of classes he can win, and when he’s feeling really good even at the age of 15 he can win a CSI5*.”
On the jump-off course:
“I think I have a little bit more natural footspeed to begin with on my horse. Kyle [King’s] horse is a little big strided and has an airy jump, and my horse has a spectacular jump at times as well but is still quick through the air. I matched him stride for stride on the first line, I was maybe a little quicker to the Just World [jump]. I did the same number of strides on the inside turn to the vertical, then I think we both were pretty quick back to that vertical, and maybe just a little more footspeed with the same number of strides to the last fence. It’s fun, it gives you confidence to know that I know his moves and he knows mine, he’s going to be there for me when I call on him.”
On showing at Traverse City Horse Shows:
“We loved this show the first time we came here so that’s why we came back. We love the area and coming back this year you can see they are making improvements and I think there is more to come which is nice to know. The rings and the footing are beautiful, my horses come away from here feeling really good and confident so it’s a nice place to be. With all the rain we had yesterday, and we were back showing a couple hours later, is pretty amazing.”
On her plans with Breitling LS:
"He is going to actually have a break now, almost five weeks, then he will go to Spruce Meadows and I’ll probably use him as my number one horse there. There’s three weeks there but we will probably do two there. We will also do some indoors, maybe Tryon [North Carolina] in the fall.”