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Francisco Goyoaga Mollet races to the top in $32,000 CSI2* Speed

Friday, 21 June 2024
CSI2* Traverse City Horse Shows 2024

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Francisco Goyoaga Mollet and Onatella V.D Vinkhoeve. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from Traverse City Horse Shows


Highlighting the afternoon in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel International Ring on Thursday, course designer Anderson Lima (PER) opened international competition during the third week of the Traverse City Spring Series. The $32,000 CSI2* Speed welcomed 22 competitors who battled it out against the clock to take home the lion’s share of the opening-day prize money. With an unmatched time of 65.22 seconds, the winning rosette went to Spain’s Francisco Goyoaga Mollet and Allie Rae Hayes’ Onatella v.d Vinkhoeve. 

“There was an inside turn at the beginning of the course that no one was doing,” explained Mollet. “She turns really fast and tight, and I know she is quite careful, so I went for it. I think I gained a lot of time there, but she is also just naturally so fast across the ground.” 

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Lillie Keenan and Le Louvre 5. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

The 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (VDL Zirocco Blue x Osta Rugs Quintus) has only just made her home in the states in the last couple of months after making the trip from Europe where she competed at the two-star level, also under the Spanish flag. 

“She is only ten years old and has just competed in two-star shows over in Europe,” detailed Goyoaga. “She did her first three-star in Kentucky and did well but was a little green still in the grand prix, so our goal this season is to continue to develop on the talent she has and bring her up the levels.

“She is extremely quality and works so hard for the rider,” he continued. “If I don’t jump clear it’s usually my fault because she really tries to leave the jumps up, and when I ask her to go fast it is such a pleasure because she gives it her all. I think she’s going to make an excellent grand prix horse.” 

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Margie Goldstein-Engle and JackOfHearts. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

For Mollet, the win is the cherry on top of his return to Traverse City. “I love this place; I have been waiting since I left last year to come back,” he enthused. “The footing here is the best I’ve jumped on in the U.S. and every year they are improving things. It’s an amazing place.” 

Going late in the order but always one to be counted on for a quick effort, Lillie Keenan (USA) delivered a round worthy of second place as she and the Chansonette Farm LLC‘s nine-year-old Westphalian gelding, Le Louvre 5, crossed the timers in 68.11 seconds. As the first to go and the class’s original leader, Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) and the Gladewinds Partners LLC’s 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, JackOfHearts, rounded out the top three just off the pace with a time of 68.66 seconds. 

International competition returns to the main ring at Traverse City Horse Shows on Friday for the GFL Environmental CIS2* Welcome. 


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