Traverse City, Mich. – June 19, 2021 – Adult hunters took over the Polk Family Ring Saturday afternoon during week two of competition at the Traverse City Spring Horse Show to vie for the Adult Amateur Hunter 3′ 18-35 division title. Kendall Meijer, aboard her longtime mount Sorrento, continued to impress the judges with their consistency, which would help them earn top honors. Meijer’s barn mate, Haley Stubbart, came in a close second aboard Saint Tropez, laying down two beautiful rounds and placing second in the under saddle right behind Meijer and Sorrento.
Courses designed by Tom Carlson laid out a flowing 8-obstacle course that allowed the adult hunters to canter on an open stride throughout the entirety of the course. The first hunter round ended on a long approach to a two-stride that proved to be an issue for several horse and rider combinations, but Meijer and Sorrento stepped up to the plate and shined a light on their strong partnership. Meijer spoke highly of the beautifully decorated ring and thought it allowed the riders to spotlight their horses’ great form.
Meijer piloted Sorrento, the 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Copper Fox LLC, to the champion title after almost making a clean sweep of the division, winning two out of the three over fences and claiming the first place honors in the under saddle. These two are no strangers to the winner’s circle, having won several Adult and Amateur-Owner classes at some of the top venues in the country. Meijer spoke highly of her longtime partner and expressed that his consistency and mild manner help keep him in the top of the ribbons.
Barn mate Stubbart rode Saint Tropez, a 7-year-old KWPN gelding, to the reserve champion title out of a competitive group of younger adults. The dynamic pair had a fantastic first day of competition on Friday, winning the first over fences class, which would help them hold a substantial lead going into day two of the show. Stubbart piloted Saint Tropez to another standout round on day two of the competition Saturday and continued to impress the judges with the consistency and fluidity they demonstrated to each fence, helping them earn third place in the over fences and claiming second place in the under saddle.
Top hunter competitors from around the country are making their way to Traverse City, Michigan, to join in on the brand new Hunter Incentive Program to highlight hunter athletes and their horses. Over $275K in guaranteed prize money is on the table, and exhibitors have the chance to opt-in to the Incentive Program throughout the 12 weeks of competition for their opportunity to earn add-back prize money. Additionally, horses not enrolled in the program are still eligible to compete for the prize money during the Traverse City Hunter and Derby Finals as long as they have competed for at least three weeks of the Traverse City Horse Shows series. The finals will run concurrently with the highly anticipated 51st Anniversary of the American Gold Cup, held during Week III of the Traverse City Tournament of Champions this fall.
Hunter competition will return to the Polk Family Ring Sunday morning beginning at 8am, spotlighting the equitation riders, and ending the week with the highly anticipated $2,000 Traverse City Derby.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kendall Meijer – Audra Jackson, Exit Northern Shores Realty Adult Amateur Hunter 3’ 18-35
On her partnership with Sorrento:
“I showed Sorrento in the Adult Amateur Hunter this week, the 18-35 division. I have had him for almost six years now, so it is definitely a long-term partnership. He is so consistent and so fun to ride. We call him ‘Perfect Paws’ at the barn because he really is just the nicest mannered and easiest going horse. He is really a pleasure to ride.”
On the courses:
“They were beautiful hunter courses. It really gave us an opportunity to show off smooth and consistent rounds and allowed us to show off our horses great jumping form, which is always kind of the goal.”
On the week overall:
“It doesn’t get better than this. I love doing this sport with my friends and in my family. My mom rides, so it really is a whole group effort. There is nothing better than getting champion and reserve champion with your friend.”
On Traverse City Horse Shows:
“I love Traverse City Horse Shows and the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival. I have been coming here for years and years. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than northern Michigan in the summertime. There is so much to do out here from the beach, Torch Lake, great shopping, amazing restaurants and great accommodations all around. Every year we come, they are making improvements to the show grounds, which is so nice to see. You really feel like you are wanted here and I just love it here.”