Peter Pletcher and CR Beethoven in Perfect Harmony at Horse Shows by the Bay

Traverse City, MI – July 3, 2014 – Peter Pletcher added to his blue ribbon collection from yesterday with a variety of tricolor honors as the first hunter champions were crowned during the 11th Annual Horse Shows By the Bay Hunter/Jumper Series. 

Margaret Anderson’s CR Beethoven clinched the Wrenwood Farm Grand Performance Hunter Championship and combined High-Performance/Second Year Green Hunter Championship, sponsored by Top Call LLC  and Missy and Doug Smith, by winning four out of the five classes with Pletcher in the irons.

The 14-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood (Concorde–Mythe) brought his winning ways north after victory in two USHJA International Hunter Derby classes earlier this year in Texas.

“He does the Amateur-Owners with his owner, and I do him in the High Performance here and there,” said Pletcher. “He’s been great this year.”

Pletcher also collected tricolors in the 3’3″ Performance Hunters, sponsored by Baxter Hill, and the 3’3″ Pre-Green Hunters, sponsored by Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars. He guided Rancho De Los Arboles LLC’s Thanks For The Gold to the Performance championship and Lindsay Holstead’s Cupid to the Pre-Green reserve championship.

The beautiful dapple gray Cupid turned heads as he cantered around the ring. “Cupid went nicely today. We imported him after Florida,” said Pletcher. “He’s really pretty and super, super brave, so I knew when I picked him out that he’d be a great derby horse when he’s ready.”

The 3’3″ Pre-Green championship cooler and ribbon also returned to PJP Farm under the ownership of Pletcher’s student, Kyle Owens. He guided his own Voila to three blue ribbons in the section. Owens, who rides as an amateur, also earned the 3′ Pre-Green Hunter reserve championship with Messick.

Pletcher said Owens was especially pleased to win today against the professionals. “He works so hard and has done such a good job,” said Pletcher. “He wants to eventually do this for a living.”

PJP Farm, Inc., in Magnolia, Texas, brought 22 horses for this week’s Series I competition and will have 30 next week. Pletcher has been traveling to Traverse City since the show’s inception and enjoys the competition as well as the many local activities and attractions, including the Turtle Creek Casino where he’s already hit a jackpot playing the slots.

“I won $5,000,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s just as easy to lose as it is to win. It was just a lucky start!”

Scott Stewart’s 5-year-old Celebration topped the 3′ Pre-Green Hunter section, sponsored by Martin Insurance Agency, and won the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program Stake, sponsored by PJP Farm, Inc., with a score of 87. The 5-year-old bay might look familiar to a few hunter fans as he’s a Baden-Wurttemberg by Dedication, the mount Stewart and Victoria Colvin have piloted to so many major hunter championships and titles.

In the Horse Shows by the Bay Grand Prix Ring, Michael Dorman sped to impressive performances in the $2,500 1.40m Jumper Speed Stake, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone. The class, with a course designed by Kenny Krome, was one of today’s featured events.

Dorman guided Wyndmont Inc.’s Valisnki S to the blue ribbon and placed second with Wyndmont Inc.’s IV Ever, both under the watchful eye of trainer Ronnie Beard.

Valinski S, a Dutch Warmblood gelding (Nijinski–Rockina), is an up-and-coming grand prix horse imported two years ago from Peter Charles in England. “He’s started his grand prix classes the last couple of months,” said Dorman. “He’s pretty consistent already and a nice jumper. He needs a little more experience, but he has the desire to do well, and he likes to go fast.”

IV Ever is a newer ride for Dorman but a more experienced competitor. “He’s 12, and he has a big grand prix career,” he said. “I’m just getting to know him, and I did him in the speed to get to go faster with him. He came from Jill Henselwood in Canada.”

This is the first time Dorman and Beard have traveled to Horse Shows by the Bay from their home base of Wellington, Florida.

“I’ve always heard it was great here,” said Dorman. “Last year [I saw] a video of a horse for sale, and it was here at this facility. On the video I saw the grand prix, and I said, ‘I’m going to go there.’ The effort they put in here is amazing. The jumps are beautiful, and the whole place is nice. The horses are very happy, and it’s peaceful.”

The Wyndmont Inc. team is staying for two weeks with nine horses, including three grand prix contenders.

“We’re getting to know the town and went to dinner last night,” he said. “It’s really nice, and we’re happy to be here.”

In the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Jumper classes, Northern Pines Sophie, owned by Melissa Hirt and ridden by Ella Haas topped the first class, and Tempest, owned and ridden by Emily Karp, took blue in the second class.

Other Featured Hunter Champions Today Included:

  • Wrenwood Farm Grand Green Hunter and First Year Green Hunter Champion, sponsored by Equisport Insurance Agency and Don & Beth Graves – Cheveaux, owned by Sarah Portell and ridden by Sarah Mechlin
  • Wrenwood Farm Grand Conformation Hunter and Conformation Hunter Champion, sponsored by Lisa A.H. Cudahy and Black Star Farms & Winery – Fredrick, owned by David Gochman and ridden by Scott Stewart and Amanda Derbyshire
  • 3’6″ Performance Hunters, sponsored by Team Rakowsky Equestrian – Puppet, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram and ridden by Hayley Barnhill
  • TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunters, sponsored by TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program – Rhythmicon, owned by Debra Gross and ridden by Sarah Mechlin

Horse Shows by the Bay Fast Facts

Horse Shows by the Bay is a United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Premier (AA) Hunter and Level 4 Jumper competition.


  • Series I: July 2-6
  • Series II: July 9-13 (USHJA/WCHR Member Event)
  • Series III: July 16-20 ($25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby)
  • Series IV: July 23-27 (HJAM Equitation Medal Finals)

Featuring Weekly

  • $40,000 Grand Prix
  • $10,000 Open Jumper Welcome Prix
  • $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
  • $1,000 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program Stake Classes
  • TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter/Jumper Classes
  • Charity Fundraisers & Special Spectator Days

Featured events for Horse Shows by the Bay Series I – July 2-6:

  • $10,000 Postive Step Farm Open Jumper Welcome Prix –Friday, July 4
  • $10,000 SJHOF High Jr/AO Jumper Prix – Saturday, July 5
  • $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, presented by Walgreens – Sunday, July 6
  • $2,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic – Sunday, July 6
  • $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic – Sunday, July 6
  • $7,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic –Sunday, July 6
  • $40,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City – Sunday, July 6

Special Exhibitor functions during Series I include:  a weekend ice cream social sponsored by the Gochman Family; and the Morgan Stanley VIP/Sponsor Luncheon on Sunday during the Grand Prix.

Spectators are encouraged to attend this Saturday July 5 for the Team Elmer’s Kid’s Day and 4H Fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities include Clear Round Ribbon Jumping, the Team Elmer’s Super Sandbox, “Find the Petosky Stones,” pony rides, and a variety of other activities and games. All kids under 18 are admitted for free. The remainder of the weekend the general admission fee is $10/person. Competition starts at8 a.m.

Contact Information:

Alex Rheinheimer, Show Manager (561) 723-6287
Julie Agar, Show Office/Entries (248) 892-6806
Ben Fairclough, Feed & Stabling (231) 267-3700
MSU College of Vet Medicine, Show Veterinarian (517) 214-9369
Tricia Booker, Media Relations (703) 431-7103

The 2014 Prize List and weekly Time Schedules are available online. For full show results, please visit  

The Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival is located 10 miles east of downtown Traverse City, Michigan. Nearby tourist destinations include the famed Torch Lake Sandbar, which was recently named the clearest lake in the continental United States by and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, which was voted by “Good Morning America” viewers as the Most Beautiful Place in America.

For daily updates and photos, please visit the Horse Shows by the Bay Facebook Page.

For more information, schedules and directions, please visit 

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