Hilary McNerney and Brava Prove Unbeatable in Traverse City National Grand Prix

Hilary McNerney & Brava. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Hilary McNerney (USA) set a pace that couldn’t be caught in Saturday afternoon’s $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring during the second week of the Traverse City Spring Series at Flintfields Horse Park.

First in the ring, first to jump-off and first to the winners’ circle, the Illinois-native piloted her own Brava to top call. Over courses designed by Bernardo Costa Cabral’s (POR), McNerney was quick and tidy in the irons of her 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (Balou Du Rouet x Graf Top). They set the early pace at 31.722 seconds, and barely held on throughout the six-horse jump-off. 

Nikko Ritter of Loxahatchee, FL, was four one-hundreths of a second from unseating McNerney from the top of the leaderboard by crossing the final timers on Aquiles Del Caribe Z, owned by Gladewinds Partners, LLC, in 31.768 seconds. Rounding out the all-American podium in a time of 32.244 seconds was Jonathan McCrea and Fantasy BB, owned by Windsor Show Stable. 

“Sometimes when you’re first, you kind of have no choice but to lay it out,” said McNerney. “I really wanted to set down the pace and see what happened. The mare is amazing and wants to win as much as I do.”