Sydney Shulman and Villamoura are Victorious in MLSJ $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m Jump-Off CSI5*

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura

Traverse City, Mich. – July 23, 2021 – 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. 

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura

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.

Margie Goldstein-Engle and Dicas
Margie Goldstein-Engle and Dicas

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. 

Peter Leone and Donner
Peter Leone and Donner

MLSJ $1,000 Two-Phase CSI5* 

MLSJ action kicked off Friday morning with the MLSJ $1,000 Two-Phase CSI5*, which consisted of both a power and a speed phase. With 11 of the 30 entries producing double clear efforts, the speed phase proved to be the deciding factor. Puerto Rico’s Vasco Flores had a dominating performance with Equitime LLC’s Vanda Hermes after flying through the timers in an unbeatable 32.32 seconds to take home the winning honors. Catherine Tyree (USA) came the closest to catching him with Catherine Tyree LLC’s Camilla Z, but their clear effort in 33.59 seconds would be a second too slow and would earn the red ribbon. Schuyler Riley (USA) and Sandilot PS, owned by Esperanza Imports LLC, rounded out the top three with a clear round in a more conservative 36.95 seconds. 

MLSJ $36,600 Groulx Family 1.45m Speed Stake CSI2* 

Speed continued to the be the theme of the day with the MLSJ $36,600 Groulx Family Large Tour 1.45m Speed Stake CSI2* taking place next with 76 entries. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Starlight Farms 1 LLC’s Cadans Z set the early time to beat after breaking the beam in a clear 55.61 seconds. Last week’s winner Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and her own Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili were able to edge out Sternlicht with a time of 55.38 seconds. Vanderveen and Sternlicht would settle for second and third respectively though after Olivia Chowdry (USA) and Atlas Equine Holdings LLC’s Chuck Berry 8 earned a commanding victory by dashing through the timers in a faultless 52.24 seconds. 

MLSJ $3,000 Cabana Coast 1.25m Speed CSI2* 

The MLSJ $3,000 Cabana Coast Medium Tour 1.25m Speed CSI2* was next on the docket with a technical track that yielded four clear rounds. Shane Casady (USA) was the pathfinder with Camille Leblond’s Kaiser Van Het Lambroeck, setting the time to beat at 65.09 seconds with a fault-free effort. Sarah Segal (USA) was next in the ring aboard Bridget Perier’s Eliane B and was able to quickly catch Casady’s time by tripping in the timers in 63.55 seconds to take over the lead. Segal had left the door open though, and the Domincan Republics’ Maria Brugal Gasso galloped through it with BG Stables LLC’s Aragorn Van Schuttershof. The duo stopped the clock in a clear 60.75 seconds to lead the lap of honor while Segal and Casady placed second and third, respectively. 

MLSJ $2,000 1.15m Speed Stake CSI2* 

Athletes from Mexico dominated the final event of the day during the MLSJ $2,000 Small Tour 1.15m Speed Stake CSI2*, claiming the top three positions on the leaderboard. Sergio Nieto Rullan and Florette Van Het Lambroeck were the second combination to enter the ring and set an unbeatable pace, clearing the track in 60.94 seconds. Carla Buch Molina had two chances to catch him, trying first with Sunnybrook Farms’ Momento LS and breaking the beam in a slower 64.65 seconds. She tried once again with Antonio Maurer’s Chapella and she was able to beat her first effort, but was still too slow to catch Rullan, stopping the clock in a faultless 63.42 seconds for the second place prize, while earning the third place honors with Momento LS.

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.

MLSJ competition will continue on Saturday, culminating with the week’s highlight event, the $200,000 MLSJ Team Competition CSI5*, which will get underway at 6 p.m. in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring. 


Sydney Shulman – MLSJ $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m Jump-Off CSI5* First Place

On the class:
“When I walked the course I did not assume that there were going to be so many that jumped off, especially in the first half – horses just fly off this footing, including my own, so as the class went on I thought this was going to be a serious jump-off and that I’m really going to have a make a plan and try my best to stick to it. [Villamoura] won the winning round class last Sunday, so I was thinking that she would be maybe a little bit flat and a little less interested today, but I actually think she jumped better today then when she won last Sunday – she’s just such an amazing horse to be able to do that.”

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura

On her partnership with Villamoura:
“I bought her when she was 6 turning 7. [Edward Levy], the French rider and Brianne Goutal found her for me – she is wonderful, I know her like the back of my hand. I get on her and it feels like an old shoe getting on her every time, we just know each other extremely well. I can ask crazy things of her – in the jump-off for example into the double combination, the last line and that was pretty bold and she’s game for it and just gives me her best effort every time.”

On the jump-off plan:
“Originally I wanted eight strides from one to two — Kristen Vanderveen did seven in front of me. I caught a good jump at one and she did a little bit of a buck and I chickened out a little bit and ended up doing nine, which was not my plan, but nine for her is still faster for her than some horses doing seven. Then I knew I had to play catch up a little, so I was quite quick over the sunflower. I opted to do the seven where some horses did six, again her stride is a little bit shorter, and doing one less stride is not always faster for her. And then I think I was on it from there. I took off to the plank, which not many horses can run at a plank like that – she’s just so brave and so careful. Then I did nine strides to the double which is very extreme and bold. Then eight home was a leave out which most people did and she’s very brave to any liverpool and any jump so I knew I could come at it on an angle – she jumped it great in eight so it worked out well.”

Sydney Shulman and Villamoura
Sydney Shulman and Villamoura

On being involved in MLSJ:
“Last week I had to go first in the team, we drew first randomly and it was a new horse that my other teammate, Ashley Bond, gave to me so I had only got to jump the horse one time before the class. I was a little nervous, but it worked out well. Now this week, I feel a little bit more confident going into the class. Cat Tyree, my other teammate, actually won musical chairs last night for the draw, it was wonderful, so we get to go last and see the class from two totally different perspectives, which is nice. The format is great, it was nice after COVID and not being able to have a big crowd involved. The atmosphere was amazing last week on Saturday, so we are really looking forward to that again. I think you just have to have a good strategy going into it and as the class goes on. When we walked the course last week, we had three options for our plan. We had to go first so we had to go with option one, which was the fastest.”


MLSJ $72,900 Premier Equestrian 1.50m Jump-Off CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults / R2 Time
1. Villamoura / Sydney Shulman / ISR / Jill Shulman / 0 | 77.87 / 0 | 36.39
2. Dicas / Margie Goldstein-Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 | 80.26 / 0 | 38.77
3. Donner / Peter Leone / USA / Lionshare Farm / 0 | 78.42 / 0 | 38.89
4. Breitling LS / Elizabeth Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 | 79.78 / 0 | 39.28
5. Robin De Ponthual / Schuyler Riley / USA / Katherine Gallagher / 0 | 81.94 / 0 | 39.83
6. Sea Topblue / Andrew Bourns / IRL / Andrew Bourns / 0 | 80.74 / 0 | 42.53
7. BEC Lorenzo / Catherine Tyree / USA / Catherine Tyree LLC / 0 | 78.52 / 4 | 36.34
8. Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Kristen Vanderveen / 0 | 79.71 / 4 | 36.54
9. Magic Mike / Kyle King / USA / Elizabeth Kilham / 0 | 77.09 / 4 | 37.83
10. Truman / Amy Millar / CAN / Millar and Overlund / 0 | 79.75 / 4 | 39.53
11. Oak Grove’s Enkidu / Nicolas Pizarro / MEX / Nicolas Pizarro / 0 | 81.37 / 4 | 40.77
12. Dimitri / Juan Carlos Martin Del Campo / MEX / Juan Carlos Martin Del Campo / 0 | 81.88 / 8 | 40.46