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Jim Ifko wins CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix to conclude Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

Monday, 12 August 2019
CSI3* Great Lakes Equestrian Festival 2019

Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography. Jim Ifko won the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography.


Press release from Great Lakes Equestrian Festival



The 2019 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF), presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, culminated six weeks of world-class competition at Flintfields Horse Park on Sunday with the $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3*. After a successful campaign in Traverse City, Jim Ifko (CAN) earned the final victory aboard Un Diamant Des Forets, owned by Eventyre Farms Ltd., to ultimately capture the grand prix win and the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus.

Thirty-nine horse-and-rider combinations rode across Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) 16-effort 1.60m track, which tested athletes with a two-to-one-stride triple combination (oxer-vertical-oxer) at the fourth obstacle. Seven pairs tackled the first round fault-free to return for the jump-off round including Friday’s $35,700 NetJets Classic CSI3* winner, Ali Woff (USA) with John Wolff’s Quirie 2, and Catherine Tyree (USA) who qualified both Mary Tyree-owned mounts Enjoy Louis and Catungee, respectively.

The jump-off saw its first clear round from Schuyler Riley (USA) and Katherine Gallagher’s Robin de Ponthual, but they were quickly overtaken by Ifko and the 11-year-old Selle Français stallion as the pair flew to an impressive time of 38.590 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) was next to enter the ring, challenging the leading time aboard Bertram Firestone’s Ginger Pop with a clear effort, but fell short with a finishing time of 39.800 seconds.

Tyree and the 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Enjoy Louis, followed to add another clear round, and their 38.930-second time would best Robitaille, but stayed short of Ifko, moving Tyree into the second-place position.

Wolff was the next entry, riding Quirie 2 to a quick time of 38.840 seconds just ahead of Tyree, but Ifko remained unbeatable to capture the win. Wolff and the 12-year-old Bavarian Warmblood gelding added another second-place finish after earning second in both the $35,700 Devoucoux Welcome Stake CSI2* and the $71,200 Flintfields Farm Grand Prix CSI2* during Week IV.

The third place award was ultimately earned by Tyree and Enjoy Louis, while Robitaille would capture fourth and Riley finished in fifth. Ifko’s victory topped his successful week after his second place finish with Un Diamant Des Forets in the $35,700 CWD Welcome Stake CSI3* on Thursday.

Following Sunday’s finale, the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus was awarded to Ifko based on prize money earned throughout the six-week circuit in Open Jumper classes 1.45m and above. The leaderboard was tight as Ifko’s earnings of $63,577 were closely followed by Wolff’s total of $63,471 and Abigail McArdle’s (USA) $63,022 in prize money.

CaptiveOne also sponsored the inspirational “Clear for a Cause” campaign to benefit JustWorld International, a not-for-profit organization that transforms the lives of children in impoverished communities by funding education and nutrition programs. Money was donated every time both the JustWorld International and the CaptiveOne jumps were cleared throughout the six-week circuit. Thanks to the exceptional efforts by show jumping athletes, $22,800 was raised in total for the CaptiveOne Advisors “Clear for a Cause” campaign, of which $5,400 came from Sunday’s $133,700 CaptiveOne Advisors Great Lakes Grand Prix CSI3*.

The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival would like to thank the extraordinary sponsors, exhibitors and spectators who have helped make the 2019 series a success and looks forward to returning to Traverse City, Michigan, in 2020.

From the winner's circle

On Un Diamant Des Forets:
“My horse is an 11-year-old French stallion and I’ve had him going on six years now that we’ve been together. We’ve just started coming into our own at this level and it’s been an exciting year so far.”

On his strategy in the jump-off:
“I knew that it was going to be fast and heading into the jump-off you know you’re going to be going up against fast riders so every moment counted. From [fences] one to two, I knew I had to have a tight rollback and I had to do a really tight inside turn to fence six – I left out a stride and it wasn’t my favorite move but I knew I had to leave out the stride if I was going to win the class. We had a great gallop coming home to the last fence and I honestly think all three of us in the top three were just fractions apart from one another so it was a really close race.”

On the $25,000 CaptiveOne Open Jumper Rider Bonus:
“I’d really like to thank CaptiveOne for offering this bonus. That was definitely a nice touch to the whole show which was already a fantastic show to begin with but that was just icing on the cake. Oddly enough, coming into this last class I never really saw myself in the running so when they did mention that I had actually won it, it was an unbelievably pleasant surprise.”

On the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival:
“I can’t say enough good things about it. When it comes to trying to plan our year and decide which shows to go to, one of the most important things is what does the facility do for our horses. [We ask] ‘is it great footing, is it great stabling, is it a great place to be?’ and [GLEF has] certainly taken care of all of that. Every single ring is unbelievable to ride in and the horses just love it. They jump so well off of this footing they just jump better and better as the weeks go on. It’s in a great location – Traverse City is such a great place to be and it’s a great place to show.”

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