As the kick-off event for the 12-week 2021 Traverse City Horse Shows (TCHS) series, the Traverse City Spring Horse Show (TCS), presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, welcomed a field of international show jumping competitors. A total of 30 athletes took to the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring to contend for top honors in the $36,600 Limitless Performance Speed Classic CSI4* Thursday afternoon, but in the end, it was Australia’s Katie Laurie to slip into the leading position at the end of the class riding Carissa McCall’s Cera Caruso.
Run in a two-phase format, course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) tasked competitors with leaving all of the rails intact over the 8-obstacle power phase in order to advance to the 5-obstacle speed phase for their shot at the winner’s circle. Canada’s Tiffany Foster led the way as the first competitor in the arena, quickly advancing to the speed phase and claiming a double-clear effort to finish in 31.01 seconds aboard Hamilton, owned by the Hamilton Group.
Throughout the duration of the class, the lead would change hands nine different times as various talented horse-and-athlete pairs continued to knock time off of the clock, laying down impressive fault-free rounds. The twenty-third pair in the order of go, United States’ Jonathan McCrea and Windsor Show Stables’ Jasmijn, was among the group of riders to move into the top position, finishing on a time of 27.24 seconds. Just seven athletes would remain to attempt to nab a spot in the winner’s circle.
While the few to follow could not quite catch McCrea’s leading time, the second-to-last pair to tackle the combined 13-obstacle power and speed track would give it their best effort. Laurie piloted Cera Caruso, a 13-year-old Australian Warmblood gelding, with ease around the expansive arena, shaving six-tenths of a second off of McCrea’s time to slip into the first place spot in 26.83 seconds. The final pair on course, Makayla Barta and Cirdano, incurred four faults at the conclusion of the power phase, ultimately lending Laurie and Cera Caruso the blue. McCrea and Jasmijn ended the class in second place, with Israel’s Daniel Bluman and Over the Top Stables’ Marilyn rounding out the top three just narrowly behind McCrea on time of 27.47 seconds.
Laurie also claimed valuable points toward the CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which offers show jumping competitors the chance to accumulate points throughout the 12-week Traverse City Horse Shows series. 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 will attend Traverse City Horse Shows. With Thursday afternoon’s win, Laurie has already placed herself in top contention for the prize money as she heads into the remainder of the season.Show jumping competition at the Traverse City Spring Horse Show will continue Friday, June 11, highlighting the $36,600 Welcome Stake CSI4* as athletes battle it out for a spot to compete in Sunday’s $213,300 Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel Grand Prix CSI4*.