Horse Shows by the Bay Wrap-Up, July 29-August 2

Horse Shows by the Bay Wrap-Up, July 29-August 2

by: Lauren Fisher

image00127Traverse City, MI – August 4, 2009 – The 2009 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival concluded four weeks of competition on Sunday with an exciting polo match that brought large crowds out to Flintfields Horse Park to enjoy a fun day in the sun. Coaches and players from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan polo teams were divided between Team Elmer’s and Team Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel to play against each other in the beautiful Grand Prix Ring overlooking Traverse City, MI.

Along with the polo match, Dressage by the Bay concluded on Sunday after holding in-hand classes in the VanKampen Arena. Sport horse prospects and breeding stock classes were followed by individual breed classes. The overall highest score of the in-hand classes was a 78.2 percent awarded to Idolo Americano, owned by Hampton Green Farm of Wellington, FL and Fruitport, MI. Idolo Americano, a USPRE stallion was handled by Tom Reed.

Spectators came out in a festive spirit for Sunday’s polo match, many bringing picnic baskets, chairs, and blankets to spread out on the grassy hill overlooking the Grand Prix Ring. The VIP tent at the top of the hill featured a special fundraiser benefiting the Munson Medical Center Volunteers who are raising money for their new Cancer Center. Spectators were able to buy tickets for a catered lunch, and a champagne diamond drop was held with a $4,000 diamond going to the winner thanks to Federico’s Design Jewelers in downtown Traverse City. Spectators were also able to take part in the second annual hat contest, which awarded ribbons and prizes to participants in the categories of Best Team Elmer’s Spirit, Best Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel Spirit, Most Over the Top, and Silliest Hat.

After a very close, high scoring game, Team Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel won with a score of 12 to 10 over Team Elmer’s. It was an exciting match up with many goals, particularly by Tom Wisehart, coach of the Michigan State University polo team, who made the majority of Team Turtle Creek’s goals to lead the group to victory.

“It was a fun game,” Wisehart smiled. “A lot of back and forth. We were lucky to play with a good team and I have coached a few of those players for several years, so we know each other pretty well. We have been playing for a long time with the same people and I think we have good teamwork.”

Following the second year of polo at Horse Shows by the Bay, Wisehart explained that all of the players were eager to come back after last year’s match. “Last year was a good time and a good crowd,” he stated. “We can play polo any weekend in the backyard and not have anybody watch and it is fun, but at the same time it is kind of fun playing in front of a crowd. It is a fun sport and in this venue you can see the game really well. You can really see the plays develop, so it makes for a better spectator sport.”

Sunday’s dressage and polo events were the conclusion to a great year for the 2009 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival. Spectators and exhibitors can look forward to another great year with more exciting events in 2010. For more information, please visit www.horseshowsbythebay.com.

Dressage Highlights – Wednesday through Saturday

Wednesday marked the opening day of competition for Dressage by the Bay Series I during the fourth and final week of the 2009 Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival. Horse Sports by the Bay, Inc. has been awarded the opportunity to host the 2010 Great American Insurance Group/United States Dressage Federation Region 2 Dressage Championships, which will be held September 9-12, 2010, at Flintfields Horse Park. The honor of hosting this event was awarded based on prior performance producing quality dressage shows, and this year’s Dressage by the Bay Series continued that excellence.

Held at the beautiful Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, MI, the competition got underway on Wednesday with the FEI Prix St. Georges, FEI Intermediaire I, and FEI Grand Prix de Dressage classes, generously sponsored by Hampton Green Farm. The day’s classes were judged by Anita Owen, and Traverse City resident Colleen Haveman rode to the win in the FEI Intermediaire I in the morning aboard her 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding Warello (Werther x Carolin). Haveman has owned Warello just over a year and the pair scored a 65.790% for their test.

Haveman rides out of Orchard View Stable, about 20 minutes from Traverse City, and has competed at Dressage by the Bay since its start. She also had two students with her this year and was very happy that they did well.

The FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix de Dressage classes were also held in the Vankampen Ring Wednesday morning. Anna Marek rode Amy Awerbuch’s eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Unico G (Negro x Kleora) to the win in the FEI Prix St. Georges. The pair scored a 70.527% for their test to take top honors.

In the FEI Grand Prix de Dressage, Alicia Lee and Indurain scored a 60.639% to take the top honors in the Adult Amateur division. Indurain is a thirteen-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Cannon x Lenka), owned by Lee, who is from Oxford, MI. Kelly Burke Hayne showed Rantaro to a score of 66.383% at the top of the Open division. Rantaro is a thirteen-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Rantaras x High Voltage MMP), owned by Kelly Burke Hayne of Hamburg, MI.

Competition continued for Dressage by the Bay Series I on Thursday as the FEI Musical Freestyle and FEI Prix St. Georges classes were held in the spacious Grand Prix Ring at Flintfields Horse Park.

Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez judged Thursdays classes, which were generously sponsored by Hampton Green Farm. The FEI Musical Freestyle began the morning, and Colleen Haveman and Warello topped the class in the Open division with the high score of 70%. Also earning a 70% in the class were Meredith Kenyon and Rambunctious, who showed under the Junior/Young Rider division.

The FEI Prix St. Georges followed, and 20-year-old Anna Marek of West Bloomfield, MI, rode Unico G to the highest score of the class with a 65.790% showing in the Junior/Young Rider division. Alison Allen and San Marcus had the highest Open score with a 63.948%.

Unico G (Negro x Kleora) is a black eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Amy Awerbuch. Anna Marek has been riding Unico G for two years, and started the young horse at Training Level and First Level. The pair moved up the levels very quickly and is now competing in Prix St. Georges together.

It was another gorgeous day at Flintfields Horse Park on Friday as the FEI Intermediaire I and FEI Grand Prix de Dressage classes were held in the Grand Prix Ring. Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez judged the day’s classes, which were generously sponsored by Hampton Green Farm. The FEI Intermediaire I class was first to show, and Colleen Haveman and Warello continued their success, again taking the top score in the open division with a 69.737%.

The FEI Grand Prix de Dressage followed, and Kelly Burke Hayner of Hamburg, MI, rode Rantaro to the high score in the open division with a 64.681%. Rantaro is a 13-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding (Rantaras x High Voltage MMP) that Hayner and a partner have owned for two years. When Hayner first got Rantaro he was at Fourth Level and this is now his first year showing Grand Prix.

Along with the exciting dressage competition, Flintfields Horse Park also hosted the By the Bay Local Rider Day Finals all day. The classes were the conclusion to the By the Bay Local Rider Series, which consisted of five shows held April through July at both Flintfields Horse Park and Northern Pines Farm in Maple City, MI. Shows offered classes for the local Northwest Michigan hunter/hunt seat riders and the all-breed English/Western community. Friday’s show served as the finals where the series year-end awards were presented.

The 2009 Dressage by the Bay Series continued on Saturday as a large crowd watched horses and riders perform their musical freestyles in the Grand Prix Ring at Flintfields Horse Park. It was an emotional victory for Kelly Burke Hayner as she rode Rantaro in his very first freestyle competition to win the evening’s $3,000 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. Hampton Green Farm generously sponsored all of Dressage by the Bay’s FEI classes, and Gary Rockwell judged the night’s freestyles. A total of $5,000 in prize money was given out to the winner’s of the freestyle classes thanks to Horse Sports by the Bay, Inc. co-owners Dean and Alex Rheinheimer.

Kelly Burke Hayner and Rantaro scored a 68.500% over Brad Cutshall and Pointjack’s second place score of 65.00% to win Saturday’s class. Rantaro is a 13-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding (Rantaras x High Voltage MMP) that just started competing at the Grand Prix level this year.

Prior to the Grand Prix Freestyle, the $2,000 FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle was held, with another victory going to two of this week’s most consistent competitors, Colleen Haveman and Warello. Haveman and Warello scored a 68.750% to win the class over second place finishers Kelly Gormley and Irioso, who finished with a 66.750%. Haveman is a Traverse City resident, and has owned Warello, a 15-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding (Werther x Carolin), for a little over a year.

The $1,000 FEI Junior/Young Rider Freestyle was held at the start of the evening’s competition and Robyn Weston of Grandville, MI, rode Willow to the top score with a 65.500%. Willow is a nine-year-old chestnut Hanoverian gelding (Wolkenglanz x Toskana).