Edited Press Release
Schuyler Riley (USA) and Robin De Ponthual ran away with the victory in Sunday’s $73,800 Traverse City CSI2* Grand Prix to wrap up the third week of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors. Riley and Katherine Gallagher’s 17-year-old Selle Français gelding (Elf D’Or x Calypso D’Herbiers) set the pace to beat early and could not be caught.
An international field of 34 came forward in Sunday’s class to test Manuel Esparza’s (MEX) first-round course. The field was whittled down to nine clear round efforts, with seven U.S. riders and one from Canada. Riley, second to jump off, omitted strides nearly everywhere she could on the short track, racing to a time of 34.91 seconds and leaving the remaining seven pairs to try and catch her.
“Robin has a massive stride and the jump-off suited his stride,” Riley said of her top mount. “We walked specific numbers. I was on my plan until the vertical [at the second to last] and did one extra. Then I saw one less to the last. So the math all worked out in my favor!
“He always had the talent,” she continued about Robin De Ponthual, a horse she’s had the ride on for several years. “He is a very sensitive animal and it took about a year and a half for us to really bond. Since we’ve bonded he will turn himself inside out for me. I trust him completely and he is amazing.”
Just behind Riley in second place by less than two-tenths of a second was Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) and Akuna Mattata, owned by Silver Raven Farms. Fantasy BB and Jonathan McCrea (USA), with the ride for Windsor Show Stables, rounded out the top three in 37.45 seconds.
“We used this week as a prep for the five-star because it’s two weeks out,” Riley said of her plan for Robin De Ponthual. “As an older horse, even though he’s super talented and scopey, it’s nice for them to have a week where they don’t have to bust their butts all the time. It keeps them sounder in the long run. He’s an amazing creature. I’m so lucky to have him.”
Final Results: $73,800 Traverse City CSI2* Grand Prix
1. ROBIN DE PONTHUAL: 2005 SF gelding by Elf D’Or x Calypso D’Herbiers
SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), Katherine Gallagher: 0/0/34.91
2. AKUNA MATTATA: 2008 AHHA mare by Quinar Z x Landwind II
NICOLE SHAHINIAN-SIMPSON (USA), Silver Raven Farms: 0/0/35.06
3. FANTASY BB: 2010 KWPN mare by Cardento x Labor’s VDL Indorado
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/37.45
4. MA POMME DE TAMERVILLE: 2012 BWP mare by Deauville Van T&L x Contendro II
ANNA WILKS (CAN), IN Showjumpers: 0/0/37.87
5. MAESTRO VAN HET BINNENVELD: 2012 BWP stallion by Hunter’s Scendix x Conan Z
WESLEY NEWLANDS (CAN), Weslands Farm: 0/4/37.61
6. CASALLVANO: 2009 HOLST gelding by Casall x Gestion Silvano N
EVA FISHERMAN (USA), Eva Fisherman: 0/4/37.90
7. MAESTRO VICA V/D ARK: 2012 BWP stallion by Lordanos x Heartbreaker
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 0/8/35.40
8. ISAAC 22: 2008 BWP gelding by Nonstop x Darco
VICTORIA KETCHUM (USA), Copperline Farm LLC: 0/8/39.74
9. GIOLITA: 2011 KWPN mare by C-Ingmar x Padinus
EMMA SARGENT (USA), Emma Sargent: 0/WD
10. CARISSIMO 25: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cascadello x Clinton
MAVIS SPENCER (USA), Georgy Maskrey-Segesman: 2/78.30
11. SONIC BOOM: 2012 SWB gelding by Seacoast Wonderful
HAILEY ROYCE (USA), Double Clear LLC: 4/71.51
12. CHUCK BERRY 8: 2007 HANN gelding by Chacco Blue x Watzmann
OLIVIA CHOWDRY (USA), Atlas Equine Holdings LLC: 4/71.83