Edited Press Release
Callie Schott (USA) has plenty to smile about as she concludes the week of Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) in Traverse City. Aboard Garant, she cruised to victory in the $216,000 MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix, marking her first CSI5* grand prix win during the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors.
Cedric Longis (FRA) built a track worthy of the occasion. Fences fell throughout, but certain spots caused more issues than others, producing only one clear round in the first half of the 37 entries and three more in the second half. Schott was the final on course and the final to secure her spot in the jump-off.
Conor Swail (IRL) pulled one rail in the jump-off with Vital Chance de la Roque, eventually claiming third as the faster of the pair on four faults, beating out Sam Walker (CAN) and Hermelion vd Hoogehoeve for the final podium spot.
Nicholas Dello Joio then (USA) took the lead aboard the Berry Group’s Cornet’s Cambridge as the first double-clear effort. His time in the limelight was short, however, as Schott, last to go, shaved just under one second off his leading time and pushed him to second, claiming the top spot on the podium for herself.
This win has been a long time coming for Schott, who has taken CSI5* wins before but had yet to score a victory in a CSI5* grand prix aboard the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Their first win will certainly be one to remember.
“We’ve been building our partnership over the last few months,” Schott reflected on her confidence level with Garant, owner by Southern Arches, LLC. “Thursday’s [CSI5*] class was the first class that, from start to finish, was smooth and we were together. He gets very aggressive and wants to get too close to the jumps sometimes, then jumps too high, and then it gets a little erratic. It was the first course that I really put it all together, and I think it just carried over into today.”
Schott credits Garant not only for his ability but for his eagerness to perform and desire to jump clear. “Every day he comes out and he loves to work,” Schott said of her workhorse. “His ears are pricked all the time. He loves life and he loves his job. He wants to do this job. He really is a show jumper. He loves it.”
Unlike other riders in this class, Schott has expert guidance in the form of a past rider of Garant, Beezie Madden (USA). Prior to going in the ring for the jump-off, the former American Gold Cup champion and four-time U.S. Olympian offered words of wisdom. “We went over the plan and she helped me really think about it,” Schott continued. “[The plan was] to try to beat Nick, and to just to go as fast as I could, but feeling comfortable doing it.”
The final fence on the first-round track caused many a rail down, including for Madden, Kent Farrington (USA) and other CSI5* veterans. “It was set right on the half stride,” Schott said of the challenge presented by Longis. “You just had to commit. Also with the [VIP] tent being there, you really had to catch it straight.”
Final Results: $216,000 MLSJ CSI5* Grand Prix
1. GARANT: 2011 KWPN gelding by Warrant x Verdi TN
CALLIE SCHOTT (USA), Southern Arches LLC: 0/0/40.61
2. CORNET’S CAMBRIDGE: 2012 OS gelding by Balou Du Reventon x Cambridge 8
NICK DELLO JOIO (USA), The Berry Group LLC: 0/0/41.97
3. VITAL CHANCE DE LA ROQUE: 2009 SF gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Conor Swail: 0/4/38.16
4. HERMELIEN VD HOOGHOEVE: 2007 BWP mare by Otangelo x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve
SAM WALKER (CAN), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/4/43.49
5. CARDORA: 2010 HOLST mare by Caretino x Clearway
TOMAS YOFRE, Stellium Sport Horses LLC: 2/78.12
6. ORAFINA: 2012 KWPN mare by For Fashion x Canturo
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington LLC: 4/70.67
7. KALINKA VAN’T ZORGVLIET: 2010 BWP mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Flipper d’Elle
KARL COOK (USA), Signe Otsby: 4/72.85
8. BIRDY DU THOT: 2011 SF mare by Magic D’Elle x Le Tot De Semilly
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Ashley Vogel: 4/73.64
9. CHACCO BLUE II: 2007 OS stallion by Chacco Blue x Cincaba Rouge
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (BRA), Santiago Lambre: 4/73.76
10. JAVAS MISS JORDAN: 2009 ISH mare by Luidam x Obos Quality
NICKY GALLIGAN (IRL), Nicky Galligan: 4/74.89
11. BULL RUN’S RISEN: 2006 KWPN gelding by Utopie x Indoctro
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers, Inc.: 4/75.83
12. CAPPUCCINO: 2012 WESTF gelding by Comme Il Faut x Sir Shutterfly
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 5/77.01