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Hardin Towell and Carlo jump to win $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2* at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Saturday, 20 July 2019
CSI2* Great Lakes Equestrian Festival III 2019

 Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Hardin Towell and Carlo. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from Phelps Media Group



The third week of the 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, welcomed the first week of FEI competition at the Flintfields Horse Park, with international challengers taking to the Grand Prix Ring on Friday to compete for the top spot in the $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2*. After a hard-fought class, Hardin Towell (USA) and Carlo emerged victorious, claiming the first CSI2* win of the series and the greatest share of the prize money.

For the first FEI-rated welcome stake of the season, veteran course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) presented exhibitors with a technical track that eight pairs, out of the original start list of 24 entries, mastered to qualify for a spot in the jump-off. Following the first round of riding, Andrew Welles (USA), Lauren Tisbo (USA), Gavin Moylan (CAN), Ailish Cunniffe (USA), Michael Morrissey (USA) and Towell each were still in contention for the first place prize after clear initial trips aboard their respective mounts. Statistically, Towell and Tisbo posed the greatest chances of claiming the class win, each with two horses apiece returning for the tiebreaking round.

The first to tackle the abridged jump-off pattern, Welles set a high bar with his ride on Itasca Group LLC’s Serpico, crossing the finish line fault-free in 40.340 seconds to serve as the early pathfinders. Their reign would not last long however, as Tisbo and Tequestrian Farms LLC’s Jeleena De Muze usurped the early leaders by leaving all of the fences intact with a slightly faster time of 39.040 seconds to take the lead with the majority of the returning pack still yet to ride.

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography Hardin Towell and Carlo. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.

As the field chased them down, none were able to better the leading pair’s efforts until Towell and Ann Thompson’s Carlo, the final contenders of the afternoon. They took to the Grand Prix Ring and efficiently sliced across the track to finish fault-free in 39.000 seconds, less than one-tenth of a second ahead of Tisbo and Jeleena De Muze, to capture the win in the $35,700 Welcome Stake CSI2*. Tisbo and Jeleena De Muze settled for second place, while Welles and Serpico rounded out the podium in third place overall.

“I had two in the jump-off. My first one, [Tupac Van De Vrombautshoeve Z], is naturally very fast but he is not the greatest at turns because he is still very green but he is getting much better. Overall, my plan was to be quite quick and a little bit wide, but we unfortunately had one down. Carlo is not as naturally quick across the ground but he turns really well, so early in the course I was a bit conservative, but then for the last two verticals I really turned him back very sharp. I know he tried as hard as he could to jump them and he did it," Towell commented on his strategy. 

Now with a series of upper-level classes complete, riders have been able to accumulate points towards the new $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus, which will be awarded at the conclusion of the circuit in August. Points are calculated based on prize money earned throughout the six-week festival in Open Jumper classes 1.45m and above, and fans and athletes can follow along and check the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus leaderboard, posted on, to track their favorite riders and see who is leading in the standings. Though Towell’s win on Friday earned him valuable points towards the season-ending prize, Wilhelm Genn (GER) maintained the top spot in the rankings thanks to multiple victories in earlier welcome stake and grand prix competitions during Weeks I and II.

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