Roberto Teran Tafur & Brilliant Du Rouet. ph:Diana Hadsall Photography
After six weeks of exciting, world-class equestrian competition at the Flintfields Horse Park in Traverse City, Michigan, the 2017 Great Lakes Equestrian Festival concluded with the $100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3* on Sunday, March 14. In the feature class of the circuit, Columbia’s Roberto Teran Tafur piloted the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding Brilliant Du Rouet (Balou Du Rouet x Caretani Z) to the fastest double-clear performance in 35.70 seconds, winning the most coveted prize of the summer at GLEF.
Tafur and Brilliant Du Rouet, who is owned by Russia’s Liubov Kochetova, have been consistently competing at the 3*, 4* and 5* levels as well as in Nations Cup events since 2015, earning multiple top placings together. They had yet to claim their first FEI win, but that all changed on Sunday as the pair were finally crowned victorious.
“I’m super excited. I have been working with this horse for three years,” said Tafur. “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.”
Not only was Sunday’s event the most highly ranked FEI class of the 2017 GLEF circuit, but it also doubled as an opportunity for athletes and horses to qualify for the upcoming 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.
28 international horses and rider teams were tested over the track designed by Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt. Six were able to produce clear rounds to advance to the jump-off.
In the jump off, USA’s Margie Engle was the early double-clear pathfinder, stopping the timers in 37.26s aboard the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion Royce (Cafe au Lait x Grandilot). Tafur followed Engle in the order, outpacing the pair by two seconds to take over the top spot on the leaderboard and garner the first place prize.
“When I turned to the in-and-out, I knew I was right on her track,” said Tafur. “Then the last two jumps were really smooth and really fast. My horse is a little bit of a faster mover than [Royce], who spends a lot of time in the air. She’s a super fast rider but when she didn’t do five from one to two, I knew I had a shot for first place.”
Australia’s Scott Keach and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Fedor (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Orkaan) claimed the 3rd place honors with 4 faults and a time of 36.40s.
$100,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City CSI3*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Brilliant Du Rouet / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / Liubov Kochetova / 0 / 0 / 35.70
2. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / Gladewinds Partners LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.26
3. Fedor / Scott Keach / AUS / Southern Cross Equestrian LLC / 0 / 4 / 36.40
4. Enzo / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 8 / 41.00
5. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 0 / 8 / 43.11
6. Eax Run Run LS / Ilan Bluman / COL / Blue Star Investments / 0 / 34 / 65.64
7. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tilli / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC / 4 / 72.34
8. Romance Du Criolo / Samuel Parot / CHI / Samuel Parot / 4 / 72.45
9. Dicas / Margie Engle / USA / Storm Ridge Capital LLC / 4 / 75.02
10. Redmond / Alberto Michan / MEX / Brianne Goutal LLC / 4 / 75.05
11. Bull Run’s Testify / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / Bull Run Jumpers Inc. / 4 / 75.12
12. Chance STE Hermelle / Michael Morrissey / USA / QBS Equestrian LLC / 4 / 75.72