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Jim Ifko scores win for Canada in Devoucoux Welcome Stake at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Saturday, 28 July 2018
CSI2* Great Lakes Equestrian Festival 2018

Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography. Jim Ifko and Un Diamant Des Forets. Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography.

On Friday at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), FEI CSI2* competition continued with the $35,000 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* in the Grand Prix Ring. In his first trip to Traverse City, Michigan, Canada's Jim Ifko took home the top prize with Rachel Cornacchia's Un Diamant Des Forets (Diamant de Semilly x Papillon Rouge).

"We found [Un Diamant Des Forets] in France. We made a trip over and we were looking for three mares. We were having no luck and my friend Scott Smith in France said, 'You've really got to try this stallion. Don't leave without trying him.' I said, 'No, I'm not interested in a stallion.' He talked me into it the day before I had to get on the plane and thank goodness he did. We just finished off a tour at Spruce Meadows and he was really fantastic there so we were really looking forward to seeing what he'd be like here," Ifko explains.

Ifko and the 9-year-old Selle Français stallion bested a total of 52 international horse-and-athlete combinations and outpaced nine in the jump-off in 32.99 seconds. The pair was one of four to jump double-clear around Friday's courses, designed by Germany's Olaf Petersen, Jr.

Luis Pedro Biraben of Argentina and his own and Claudia Pedroso's Eres Tu (breeding unknown) were the early clear pathfinders in the jump-off, setting the pace to beat at 36.34 seconds.

Theo Genn (USA) and Eduardo Leon's Firewall (Lexicon x Padinus) produced the next double-clear effort one round later in 37.34 seconds to move behind Biraben in the standings.

Yet it was 20-year-old Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and her own Hadja Van Orshof (Cabrio van de Heffinck x Darco) who raced across the timers fault-free in 35.50 seconds as seventh in the jump-off order-of-go to take over the top spot on the leaderboard with two left to go.

Following Cruciotti was Ifko, who flew around the short course and stopped the clock a full three seconds faster to claim the win, while Cruciotti finished in second place and Biraben and Genn settled for third and fourth place, respectively.

Source: Press release from Great Lakes Equestrian Festival / Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography. 

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