Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) competition continued Friday, July 23, during Week III of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOneAdvisors. With multiple MLSJ CSI5* and CSI2* classes on the roster in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring, the day was packed with tough competition among the world-class competitors. In Friday’s featured event, the MLSJ $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m Jump-Off CSI5*, it was Sydney Shulman (ISR) aboard Villamoura who was crowned the victor and took home the lion’s share of the prize money. A field of 37 horse-and-rider combinations entered the scenic arena in Traverse City to battle it out for their chance at a ticket to the jump-off round. The first round course, designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER), featured 16 obstacles including a tricky triple combination, a triple bar jump and many twists and turns around the arena. While the first six riders in the order rode clear, hinting at a larger jump-off lineup, there were just 13 fault-free efforts in the time-allowed and advanced to the final phase.
Once the shortened track was set, qualified horse-and-rider combinations returned to try their hand at the course that Petersen Jr. had designed. Third in the jump-off order, Shulman and Villamoura, a 12-year-old Selle Francais mare owned by Jill Shulman, quickly jumped to the top of the leaderboard, tearing around the course’s sharp turns and technical combinations to finish in just 36.39 seconds. Peter Leone (USA) and Donner, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Lionshare Farm, put in a solid effort shortly after and left all rails intact, but finished short of Shulman’s time in 38.89 seconds. Show jumping superstars Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling put in a clear effort shortly after, but were also unable to best Shulman’s time, finishing in 39.28 seconds.
Towards the end of the order, veteran show jumper Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) entered the ring aboard Dicas, a 12-year-old Rhinelander gelding owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC. The pair picked up the pace and flew carefully around the course, completing a fault-free effort as well in a time of 38.77 seconds to settle into second place. Cat Tyree and her own BEC Lorenzo, a 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, entered the arena next with their sights set on besting Shulman and Villamoura’s time. The pair blazed around the track, taking out strides wherever they could and not misplacing a foot until they reached the final jump. Tyree and BEC Lorenzo tripped the timers with the fastest time of the jump-off at 36.34 seconds, but unfortunately knocked a rail at the course’s final fence. With Shulman’s fast and clear effort still unchallenged at the conclusion of the class, she took home the top prize of the day. Goldstein-Engle and Dicas finished in the second place position, while Leone and Donner claimed third place.
Shulman was thrilled to add another victory to Villamoura’s long list of victories. While she had to add in many of the lines, she trusted that her mare’s quick speed on the ground and in the air would be good enough to stay at the top of the leaderboard. Now, Shulman is looking ahead to the Saturday’s $200,000 MLSJ Team Competition CSI5*, where she will join her A.I.M. teammates as they aim for the night’s winning honors. Australia’s Katie Laurie remains in the top spot for the 2021 CaptiveOne Advisors Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard with a whopping 42 points after a successful Traverse City Spring Horse Show series. Karl Cook (USA) sits in the second place position on a total of 37 points after his win in the $137,000 Staller Grand Prix CSI3* during the final week of Traverse City Spring Horse Show, and another victory in last week’s $137,000 Meijer Grand Prix CSI3*. Currently rounding out the top three on the leaderboard is Tiffany Foster of Canada 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.