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Roberto Teran Tafur crowned champion in $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* to conclude GLEF 2017

Monday, 14 August 2017
CSI3* Great Lake Equestrian Festival 2017

Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography. Roberto Teran Tafur and Brilliant Du Rouet. Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography.

After six weeks of exciting, world-class equestrian competition, the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival (GLEF) concluded on Sunday with the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* at the Flintfields Horse Park. Roberto Teran Tafur of Colombia piloted Brilliant Du Rouet to the fastest double-clear performance to win the most coveted prize of the summer at GLEF in 35.70 seconds.

Tafur and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Liubov Kochetova, have been consistently competing at the 3*, 4* and 5* levels as well as in Nations Cups since 2015, earning multiple top placings together, but had yet to claim their first FEI win. That all changed on Sunday as the pair were finally crowned victorious and led the victory gallop around the Grand Prix Ring at GLEF as the Colombian national anthem played.

Not only was Sunday's featured event the most highly ranked FEI class of the 2017 circuit, but it also counted as an opportunity for athletes and horses to qualify for the upcoming 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Twenty-eight international horses and athletes were tested over the largest and most technical track the Grand Prix Ring has seen this season thus far, built by Canadian course designer Michel Vaillancourt. Six were able to produce clear rounds throughout the first round to advance to the jump-off.

Olympian Margie Engle (USA) was the early double-clear pathfinder as second in the order-of-go in the tie-breaking round aboard Gladewinds Partners LLC's Royce, stopping the timers in 37.26 seconds. Tafur followed Engle and achieved the only other double-clear round of the jump-off, outpacing the pair by two seconds to take over the top spot on the leaderboard and garner the first place prize. For the second time throughout Week Six, Engle, winner of Week Five's $50,000 Grand Traverse Grand Prix CSI2*, and Royce would settle for second place.

Claiming third place honors, also for the second time throughout Week Six, was Scott Keach (AUS) and Southern Cross Equestrian LLC's Fedor. They were the final horse-and-rider combination to compete over the short course, crossing the finish line with 4 faults in 36.40 seconds.

Taking both the fourth and sixth place positions was fellow Colombian athlete, Ilan Bluman, who was the only exhibitor to qualify two mounts, both owned by Blue Star Investments, for the jump-off. He rode Enzo to fourth place with 8 faults in 41.00 seconds and Eax Run Run LS to sixth place. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Sky Group's Barnetta finished in fifth place with 8 faults in 43.11 seconds.

Before the start of Sunday's grand prix, the 2017 GLEF circuit champions participated in the ROMFH Parade of Champions, while the ROMFH Leading Rider Awards were also presented. The Karin Flint Perpetual Trophy was also awarded to head trainer of Hillside Farm, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Heather Irvine. Irvine was recognized for her outstanding horsemanship and achievements throughout the 2017 GLEF circuit and also won the Leading Overall Trainer title in addition to a pair of F.lli Fabbri boots, provided by Luxe EQ and F.lli Fabbri, on Sunday.

"I'm super excited. I have been working with this horse for three years. We have been all over the world together. He has given me many, many good placings and fantastic rounds, especially this last month. He was very close to winning a grand prix, and the last two grand prix events in Lake Placid and Saugerties he was super close to winning but he didn't. Finally today I was able to ride him well enough to close the deal. Brilliant Du Rouet has jumped many 1.60m courses. He competed in many 5* grand prix competitions in Europe last year so the height wasn't really a problem. Michel [Vaillancourt] builds fantastic, technical courses. He designs very fair tests that are also very demanding. The key was to have a rideable horse who was scopey enough and a little bit of luck," Teran Tafur says after his win. 


Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group / Photo (c) Diana Hadsall Photography.

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