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An unexpected win for Samantha Schaefer in $39,000 CSI2* 1.45m Speed

Friday, 15 September 2023
CSI2* Traverse City Horse Show 2023

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Samantha Schaefer and Frasier. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from Traverse City Horse Shows



Samantha Schaefer (USA) brought her longtime partner Frasier into the $39,000 CSI2* 1.45m Speed Thursday afternoon with no expectation to win. “I went into the class not thinking that winning was my goal,” she said. But her faith in Frasier and their partnership led them to pick up the pace and take victory out of 60 pairs.

“I was just thinking of setting up for [the CSI2* Grand Prix] on Saturday,” she continued of her plan. “I put him in this division to have fun and he felt great, so I went with it. It’s unexpected to win a speed on Frasier out of 60 horses.”

Back at Traverse City Horse Shows almost solo for the week for the American Gold Cup, Schaefer has the opportunity to focus on her own riding without teaching her various clients at the same time.

“I’m actually here just with myself and Grace Debney (GBR),” she explained. “We brought eight horses between the two of us. It feels like a vacation so it’s really nice. I’m lucky that [the team is] able to keep everything going back home.”

With her two top show jumpers, both owned by Bonne Vie LLC, she split her time between the CSI2* and CSI5* divisions, letting James Bond HX try something new while Frasier steps back slightly  into a very comfortable level. 

“He’s the best,” she said of Frasier, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Carambole x Padinus). “He is awesome all around. He’s great in the barn and day to day. Anytime I can call on him he’s always there. Even today, he’s not necessarily a speed horse but he was so rideable and in the game today.”

Her round was early in the field of 60, over a course set by Alan Wade (IRL), and her time of 69.67 seconds held all the way through. Daniel Bluman (ISR) was second with Cachemire de Braize, owned by Over the Top Stables LLC, and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) took third with RR Combella, who he co-owns with Voquest LLC.

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Samantha Schaefer and Frasier with Ivan Rakowsky in their winning presentation. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

Schaefer is making this week count, knowing a demanding indoors schedule will limit her time in the saddle. “This is both James Bond and Frasier’s last show before the National [Horse Show] or Florida,” she explained. “I have to focus on my clients and indoors, so they get a little bit of a break. They go hard in Florida, and this is my last hurrah before they head south.”

Major League Show Jumping presentes riders a unique opportunity to ride in two FEI divisions in the course of one weekend. Schaefer is one of several taking advantage of that.

“I love having the opportunity to ride in the five-star and two-star this week,” she reflected. “I didn’t really have a horse for the [CSI5* American Gold Cup], so I split them up and I’m testing the younger horse in the [five-star] ranking classes. For someone like me, being able to do both divisions in the same weekend is really special and makes it more worthwhile being here.”

CSI5* athletes got their start Thursday in Two Phase action, and it was Stella Wasserman (USA) taking home victory with Kamiel Van Het Langwater, with a second-phase time of 31.59 seconds. Grant Seger (USA) trailed behind with Yoghi FLP, owned by Fox Lair Performance, for second place in 33.28 seconds, while Jacob Pope and Ash Atkinson’s Incento S.A. took third with a time of 33.46 seconds.

Show jumping continues for the final week of the Tournament of Champions as Major League Show Jumping takes center stage on Friday with the $142,500 Cabana Coast CSI5* Qualifier.


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