Divine Day for Natalie Dean in Groulx Family Welcome Stake CSI3* at GLEF

Natalie Dean and Cocolina. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

Natalie Dean (USA) was first to go in Friday’s $37,000 Groulx Family CSI3* Welcome Stake and held the lead from start to finish, claiming top honors aboard the Marigold Sporthorses LLC entry Cocolina during Week IV of the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.

Fifteen pairs out of the starting 39 navigated Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) first-round track fault free and advanced to the jump-off. Dean was first to go on the short course and rode to a clear-round time of 39.39 seconds. Nearly half of the jump-off contenders had rails down, but the only two to come close to her time were Karl Cook (USA), who placed second, and Mavis Spencer (USA), who took third.

Spencer piloted Georgy Maskrey-Segesman’s Carissimo 25 to just shy of the leading time in 39.41 seconds, then Cook, with Signe Otsby’s Fecybelle, slid right in between in 39.40 seconds, placing the top three within two one-hundredths of a second of one another.

“Going first, I really wanted to lay down a nice clear round and be competitive,” Dean said of her ability to hold the lead through the large jump-off field. “With 15 in the jump-off you never know what’s going to happen but it was exciting and we managed to sneak in there. It was close but it went our way today.”

Natalie Dean and Cocolina, accompanied by Dean and Wendy Groulx. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

When asked how she manages her nerves being first of a large field, she replied, “I think it’s actually easier for me to go first. Sometimes when I watch other people I change my plan a little too much. I know my horse so well that I did what I knew she could do.”

Dean is a top competitor up to the CSI5* level and her relationship with Cocolina, the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Conthargos x Papillon Rouge), has blossomed in the past two years they’ve been paired together. “I think she’s naturally a very fast horse,” the 23-year-old from Palo Alto, CA, continued. “She’s very careful and brave. I’ve jumped some of the biggest tracks in my life on her so I really trust her and believe in her. I’m really thankful for Cocolina and my trainer, Ilan Ferder.

“It’s been amazing,” Dean continued regarding her time in Traverse City. “We always love coming to this show. It’s great weather, the rings are great, the footing is amazing, and I think the horses really like it here. It’s fun to go out on the lake on Mondays. We stay here for a month so it’s sort of a summer base. We love coming up here in the summers.”

Natalie Dean and Fachoda De Hus. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Natalie Dean bookended her Friday of GLEF IV with wins, taking victory in the QBS Equestrian 7 Year Old Young Jumper with Fachoda De Hus, owned by Marigold Sporthorses LLC. The class, meant to provide a stage for young horses to shine and to identify top young talent, welcomed top professional athletes and their up-and-coming mounts to test Marina Azevedo’s (BRA) course and attempt to qualify for the short course.

“She’s amazing,” Dean remarked on her winning mount, a Selle Francais mare (Balou Du Rouet x Vivaldi Du Seigneur) she’s been competing on US soil since early 2022. “She’s so fast and competitive. You don’t even have to try to go fast. She’s very brave and careful. My trainer, Ilan Ferder, has done a lot of hard work with her, so I think she’s going to be exciting for the future.”

Dean’s jump-off time of 38.494 seconds secured her the win. Second-place honors went to HH Presley Boulevard and Caroline McLeese for Double H Farm, whose clear jump-off time fell just short in 40.492 seconds. Third went to Ilan Ferder’s Gremlin with Sydney Sulman Desiderio aboard in 41.446 seconds.

“It was a nice course,” continued Fean. “The 7-year-olds here are bigger than they are in Wellington which is nice; it allows them to grow throughout the year. She’s super fast at the long gallops and can turn tight.”

Final Results: $37,000 Groulx Family CSI3* Welcome Stake

1. COCOLINA: 2011 OS mare by Conthargos x Papillon Rouge
NATALIE DEAN (USA), Marigold Sporthorses LLC: 0/0/39.39

2. FECYBELLE: 2010 KWPN mare by Carambole x Sjapoo
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 0/0/39.40

3. CARISSIMO 25: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cascadello x Clinton
MAVIS SPENCER (USA), Georgy Maskrey-Segesman: 0/0/39.41

4. SEMPA FIDELIS: 2009 HANN mare by Stakkato Gold x Concetto Famos
GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 0/0/40.18

5. QUILIMBO: 2009 HOLST stallion by Quidam De Revel x Limbus

6. ASTON DES ETISSES: 2010 SF gelding by Mylord Carthago x Quidam De Revel
MARGIE ENGLE (USA): Gladewinds Partners, LLC: 0/0/42.41

7. LANDON: 2013 ZANG gelding by Comilfo Plus Z x Quadrillo
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/0/43.78

8. ANIBALE DE HUS: 2010 SF stallion by Conrad x Argentinus
SARAH SCHEIRING (USA), Bellwyn Farm LLC: 0/0/47.18

9. TACHINI Z: 2009 ZANG gelding by Toulon x Burggraaf NV
MICHAEL MORRISSEY (USA), MD Stables: 0/4/41.38

10. ZITA BLUE: 2011 ZWEIB mare by Zirocco Blue x Balou Du Rouet
HILARY MCNERNEY (USA), Hilary McNerney: 0/4/42.25

11. CHATOU 7: 2009 OS gelding by Chacco Blue x Toulon
NICOLETTE HIRT (USA), Iron Horse Equestrian: 0/4/44.58

12. FOREVER ALVE: 2010 KWPN mare by Numero Uno x Berlin
EMMA CATHERINE REICHOW, Emma Catherine Reichow: 0/4/45.32

Final Results: QBS Equestrian 7 Year Old Young Jumper

1. Fachoda De Hus / Natalie Dean / 0/0/38.494
2. HH Presley Boulevard / Caroline McLeese / Double H Farm / 0/0/40.492
3. Gremlin / Sydney Sulman Desiderio / 0/0/41.446
4. Palou Du Rouet Van’t Bisthof / Ilan Ferder / Marigold Sporthorses LLC / 0/4/44.304
5. Conajita / Cathleen Driscoll / Dorothy Cox / 1/75.556
6. Acajou / Ilan Bluman / Ilan Bluman / 4/72.302
7. Carlita / McKayla Langmeier / Rafferty Farm LLC / 4/73.463
8. Combat / Alex Granato / Kisma Equestrian LLC / 5/75.524
9. Claire 188 / Martina Franco / Martina Franco / 8/71.782
10. Karaat ES / Jonathan McCrea / Windsor Show Stables / 8/74.822