Cormac Hanley and RMF Chacco Top Race to 36.000 Speed Classic CSI3* victory to open Great Lakes Equestrian Festival I

Cormac Hanley and RMF Chacco Top Race to 36.000 Speed Classic CSI3* victory to open Great Lakes Equestrian Festival I

The first week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, saw international show jumping competition kick off Thursday afternoon in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring with the $36,600 Speed Classic CSI3*. Crossing the finish line the quickest was Ireland’s Cormac Hanley and RMF Chacco Top who took home top honors in the first international class of the week. Karl Cook and Ircos IV finished second and Oliva Chowdry and Balkana Du Tillard rounded out the top three respectively.

The expansive course designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX) saw 60 top international athletes and 26 horse-and-rider combinations put down clear efforts. The track included multiple bending lines, rollbacks and plenty of options for riders to make up time. The path finder Quentin Judge and HH Zorro Z were quick and clear and held the lead with 65.70 seconds until the pair in the order of go, Hanley, entered the ring with Rushy Marsh Farm LLC’s RMF Chacco Top mount.

Hanley and the 12-year-old Hanovarian stallion blazed around the arena to the finish in 61.07 seconds, overtaking Judge and HH Zorro Z’s time with ease to take over the lead with a fast and faultless effort. Making tight turns and leaving out strides in the course’s long lines, Hanley and RMF Chacco Top remained unchallenged for much of the class with their impressively quick time. This marked Hanley’s fourth win of the week after taking the top spot in the Equiline 1.30m, 1.35m Jumper and 1.40m Jumper on Wednesday.

Cook crossed the timers in 61.34 seconds aboard Signe Ostby’s 13-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding, Ircos IV. The pair’s tight turns from fences two to three and seven and eight proved to be faster to shave time, although just fractions of a second divided the top two placings leaving Cook and Ircos IV with the second place ribbon for the day. Rounding out the top three was Chowdry and Balkana Du Tillard. Chowdry and the Atlas Equine Holding LLC’s 10-year-old Selle Francais mare finished just about three-tenths of a second behind Cook in 61.68 seconds. Hungry to best her own time, and that of Hanley, Chowdry also returned to the ring with her second mount, Chuckberry 8, tripping the timers in a unbelievable 57.93 seconds, but knocking an unfortunate rail at the second to last jump. With her effort aboard Balkana Du Tillard, Chowdry settled for the third place ribbon. Hanley’s win allowed him to earn eight valuable points toward the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus, placing him on the leaderboard for a shot at taking home the top prize. Cook’s success in the $137,000 Staller Grand Prix CSI3* during Week III of the Traverse Spring Horse Show (TCS), presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, already garnered him points toward the bonus, with Thursday’s second place finish allowing him to move into the fourth palace position on a total of 21 points. Australia’s Katie Laurie continues to sit in the top position with 42 points after consistent placings throughout the entire Traverse City Spring Horse Show, while Canada’s Tiffany Foster still holds her second place spot with 27 points. Offering show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series, the bonus is awarded to the athlete with the most points at the conclusion of the 2021 $230,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI5*, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. The CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus is a highly sought-after prize among the field of international competitors that attend Traverse City Horse Shows.

International show jumping competition during Week I of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, will continue Friday, July 9, featuring the $36,600 Keyser Welcome Stake CSI3*. The week will culminate in the $137,000 Meijer Grand Prix CSI3*, set to kick-off Sunday afternoon.