The 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, culminated six weeks of world-class competition at Flintfields Horse Park on Sunday with the $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3*. After a successful campaign in Traverse City, Jim Ifko (CAN) earned the final victory aboard Un Diamant Des Forets, owned by Eventyre Farms Ltd., to ultimately capture the grand prix win and the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus.
Thirty-nine horse-and-rider combinations rode across Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) 16-effort 1.60m track, which tested athletes with a two-to-one-stride triple combination (oxer-vertical-oxer) at the fourth obstacle. Seven pairs tackled the first round fault-free to return for the jump-off round including Friday’s $35,700 NetJets Classic CSI3* winner, Ali Woff (USA) with John Wolff’s Quirie 2, and Catherine Tyree (USA) who qualified both Mary Tyree-owned mounts Enjoy Louis and Catungee, respectively.
The jump-off saw its first clear round from Schuyler Riley (USA) and Katherine Gallagher’s Robin de Ponthual, but they were quickly overtaken by Ifko and the 11-year-old Selle Français stallion as the pair flew to an impressive time of 38.590 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) was next to enter the ring, challenging the leading time aboard Bertram Firestone’s Ginger Pop with a clear effort, but fell short with a finishing time of 39.800 seconds.
Tyree and the 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Enjoy Louis, followed to add another clear round, and their 38.930-second time would best Robitaille, but stayed short of Ifko, moving Tyree into the second-place position.
Wolff was the next entry, riding Quirie 2 to a quick time of 38.840 seconds just ahead of Tyree, but Ifko remained unbeatable to capture the win. Wolff and the 12-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding added another second-place finish after earning second in both the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* and the $71,200 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* during Week IV.
The third place award was ultimately earned by Tyree and Enjoy Louis, while Robitaille would capture fourth and Riley finished in fifth. Ifko’s victory topped his successful week after his second place finish with Un Diamant Des Forets in the $35,700 CWD Welcome Stake CSI3* on Thursday.
Following Sunday’s finale, the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus was awarded to Ifko based on prize money earned throughout the six-week circuit in Open Jumper classes 1.45m and above. The leaderboard was tight as Ifko’s earnings of $63,577 were closely followed by Wolff’s total of $63,471 and Abigail McArdle’s (USA) $63,022 in prize money.
CaptiveOne also sponsored the inspirational “Clear for a Cause” campaign to benefit JustWorld International, a not-for-profit organization that transforms the lives of children in impoverished communities by funding education and nutrition programs. Money was donated every time both the JustWorld International and the CaptiveOne jumps were cleared throughout the six-week circuit. Thanks to the exceptional efforts by show jumping athletes, $22,800 was raised in total for the CaptiveOne Advisors “Clear for a Cause” campaign, of which $5,400 came from Sunday’s $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3*.
The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival would like to thank the extraordinary sponsors, exhibitors and spectators who have helped make the 2019 series a success and looks forward to returning to Traverse City, Michigan, in 2020.