Exciting Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) competition during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, continued on Thursday. The inaugural MLSJ Tour, now underway with its second week of top-tier classes, will feature eight teams of six high-performance show jumping athletes from across the globe, and will offer over $6 million dollars in prize money throughout its ten events. The day’s highlight event in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, the MLSJ $5,000 Groulx Family 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2*, saw Great Britain’s Grace Debney and Boheme De La Roque take home the top prize.
The two-phase 1.40m class tested the power and speed of 59 horse-and-rider combinations who entered the arena with their eyes on the prize. The track, fashioned by designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER), featured long bending lines, rollbacks and a two-way fence, keeping riders on their toes throughout the course. In the first half of the large class, many riders struggled to leave rails intact in the first phase in order to advance on to the immediate speed-focused second phase. At the mid-way point of the class, Katherine Dinan held the top position on the leaderboard with Athos De’Elle, riding clear through both parts of the course to finish her speed phase in just 23.86 seconds.
After watching many other competitors pilot their mounts around the challenging course, Ashley Vogel guided Lucy in the Sky, her own 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, around in a clear effort, taking over first place with a second phase time of 22.88 seconds. Vogel and Lucy in the Sky started off the MLSJ CSI2* Tour with success during Week II of GLEF, winning the MLSJ $5,000 NetJets 1.40m Two-Phase CSI2* with their speedy ways and hoping to repeat their luck Thursday afternoon.
Other riders attempted to match Vogel’s time, with Mexico’s Alberto Sanchez-Cozar and Abril Hilcha Z, a 9-year-old Argentinian mare owned by Claudia Michel Rodriguez, coming the closest to touching her time after crossing the finish line in 23.06 seconds. However, it was not until Debney and Boheme De La Roque, a 10-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by Temple Equestrian LLC, entered that ring that Vogel could be challenged. Riding close to the end of the class order, Debney strategized where to take extra care around the ring and where to pick up the pace to shave off precious seconds if she wanted to overtake her friend, Vogel. Thanks to Boheme De La Roque’s nimble ways and quick foot speed, Debney was able to claim a clear effort and cross the finish line in their second phase in just 21.58 seconds.
Source: Press Release