Greg Crolick Scores Repeat Win in $100,000 Pro Derby Final in Traverse City

Greg Crolick and Chappy. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Edited Press Release

Greg Crolick is going home with a smile on his face and an extra paycheck, as he and Chappy topped the $100,000 Pro Derby Final to conclude Traverse City Hunter & Derby Finals. After winning the inaugural class in 2021 aboard Testify, Crolick now has two derby final victories under his belt.

“This is a wonderful win for this horse,” Crolick said of Carole Chase’s 11-year-old Mecklenburg gelding by Chacco Blue. “He’s such a special horse. We debated on keeping him or letting him go and selling him, but I think it’s been a great option to keep him.”

Top professional hunters came out for the occasion, all vying for the lion’s share of the prize money and ultimate bragging rights aboard their top hunters. Chappy thoroughly impressed the judges in round one, as the last pair on course over Tom Carlson’s beautiful track, with a score of 96. With the advantage of going last in the handy round, he knew exactly what he had to do.

Greg Crolick and Chappy. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Moving up from sixth place, Samantha Schaefer and her long-time partner In The Know, owned by Madeline Schaefer, pulled off a risky inside turn to earn themselves a handy round score of 94 for a total of 185, which ultimately landed them in second place.

Jacob Pope and the Forget Me Not Farm entry Unbelievable also effortlessly aced the inside turn, placing third with a score of 184.5. Pope was also presented with the M. Michael Meller Style Award midway through the American Gold Cup Grand Prix.

Crolick opted out of the inside turn that only Schaefer and Pope chose, knowing he had a few points in his pocket to still take the win. “After I watched Samantha Schaefer and Jacob [Pope] do that crazy inside turn, I had to talk myself out of trying it,” he said. “I didn’t think it was needed, so it was better to go out and around and be as smooth as I could and just be as tidy as I could.

“I think that horse helped me win today,” Crolick continued. “He just has such a great way across the ground. Chappy jumped so well and we met every jump perfectly and we did as efficiently as we could without being crazy.”

Maya Rahaim and Catwalk. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Maya Rahaim followed in her trainer, Greg Crolick’s, footsteps, taking top honors in the $25,000 Non-Pro Derby Final, presented by Makoto Farm, with the Renaud Farm LLC entry Catwalk.

A high score of 90 came their way after laying down a beautiful first round, over a track designed by Tom Carlson. Returning in the top spot for the handy round, Rahaim used the 10-year-old gelding’s (Catoki x Cumano) turning abilities to bring home another high score of 88 for a combined 178 and the win.

“My plan was a smooth, consistent first round,” said Rahaim. “It went very smoothly so I was happy about that. For the handy round, there were a lot of tight turns but my horse is very handy so I wasn’t worried. He jumped around very smoothly so I was happy with how he went.”

Olivia Sweetnam and Checker 69, owned by Staci Arani, took second-place honors with a score of 174.75, and just behind them on 174.5 was Nightcap and Abigail Roberts for third place.

Catwalk has an elegant presence in the ring, which Rahaim believes helped them land the top spot. “I love how he carries himself a bit, so he’s great in the handy rounds,” she continued. “If there’s a long run he’ll gallop down to it and shoot off the ground and jump amazingly. He really shines in a lot of different ways in these classes.”

Maya Rahaim and Catwalk, pictured with Liz Reilly and Greg Crolick. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

A partnership that came together in March of 2022, Catwalk, known as “Walker,” was already a part of the Greg Crolick Stables team, so Rahaim was familiar with him and they got to know one another quickly. She aims to continue competing successfully in the 3’6” Junior Hunters and move into international hunter derbies in the future.

“It’s really amazing,” Rahaim said of the winning feeling. “I’m so thankful to our whole team. Everyone works so hard, especially thankful for Walker; he’s such an amazing horse.”

Crolick offered words of advice as his student walked into the ring for her handy round: “He said, ‘Deep your leg, keep looking to the jumps, and stay smooth and consistent,’ and that usually works for us,” Rahaim concluded.

Final Results: $100,000 3’ Pro Derby Final

1. Chappy / Greg Crolick / Carole Chase / 96 + 96 = 192
2. In The Know / Samantha Schaefer / Madeline Schaefer / 91 + 94 = 185
3. Unbelievable / Jacob Pope / Forget Me Not Farm / 94 + 90 = 184.5
4. San Pedro 15 / Jacob Pope / Donald Stewart / 91.5 + 91 = 182.5
5. Reese’s / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners LLC / 88 + 92 = 180
6. Crowd Pleaser / Nick Haness / West Coast Equine Partners LLC / 90 + 89 = 179
7. G. Eleven / Jacob Pope / Donald Stewart / 88.25 + 90 = 178.25
8. Calisto / Greg Crolick / Jon Cotton / 90.5 + 87 = 177.5
9. Blue Monday / Hillary Johnson / Copper Fox LLC / 92 + 84 = 176
10. Moonwalk / Hillary Johnson / Stephanie Battershall / 88.5 + 86 = 174.5
11. Suede / Hillary Johnson / Copper Fox LLC / 93 + 81 = 174
12. Elliot / Hillary Johnson / Copper Fox LLC / 89 + 82 = 171

Final Results: $25,000 3’ Non-Pro Derby Final, presented by Makoto Farm

1. Catwalk / Maya Rahaim / Renaud Farm LLC / 90 + 88 = 178
2. Checker 69 / Olivia Sweetnam / Staci Arani / 88 + 86.75 = 174.75
3. Nightcap / Abigail Roberts / Abigail Roberts / 87 + 87.5 = 174.5
4. Breathless / Owen Gajoch / Sara Barnes / 85 + 89 = 174
5. Kensington / Brian Shook / Emma Shook / 84 + 87 = 171
6. Coronado Beach / Hailey Guidry / Honor Hill Farm LLC / 81 + 86 = 167
7. Souvenez-Vous / Sally Ives / Sally Ives / 84.5 + 80 = 164.5
8. Aramis de B’Neville / Elise Stephens / Heritage Farm Inc. / 82 + 81 = 163
9. Jinter van het Hagehof / Sally Ives / Sally Ives / 80 + 82 = 162
10. Coppertone / Olivia Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm / 86 + 71 = 157
11. Small Social / Augusta Iwasaki / Ava Peck / 89 + 64 = 153
12. Cholita / Elise Stephens / Rendezvous Farm / 83 + 69 = 152

This Post Brought to You by: 

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA)

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria. 

Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.

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