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Hunters Vie for USHJA/World Championship Hunter Rider Earnings at Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival

July 12, 2012 By: janwest Category: General

Traverse City, MI – July 11, 2012– The summer heat wave transfixing most of the country last week, subsided substantially today as the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival welcomed exhibitors for a second highly contested week of competition. All of the professional hunter riders had their eye on earning precious points in this week’s USHJA/World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) member event. 

The USHJA/WCHR program, designed to recognize and celebrate the hunter rider, awards the USHJA/WCHR member event status to only a select few competitions in each geographical region.  Based on quality, membership votes, rigorous criteria and evaluation, Horse Shows by the Bay is only one of six horse shows in the Midwest region to be accredited with the coveted WCHR designation.

Leading the week off in the R.L. Polk Family Hunter Arena, Kelly Farmer of Keswick, Virginia, dominated the first set of Equisport Insurance Agency sponsored First Year Green Hunter classes on ‘Act of Valor’ and ‘On Q.’ Both ‘Act of Valor’ and ‘On Q’ (owned by CH Farm, LLC and David Lubben) are two bright new faces under the tutelage of Farmer. In fact, ‘Act of Valor,’ just recently released from quarantine after arriving from Europe, competed for the first time in the U.S. today at Horse Shows By the Bay.  “This is just such a lovely group of young horses and I am so excited about their potential for next year,” exclaimed Farmer.

“We are so glad that we are here in Traverse City, as we have tried a few other venues this time of year, but really for us, there is no other choice for horses, for owners, or for riders.  You just can’t ask for anything more from a horse show.  The courses are great, the jumps are beautifully built with plenty of color and it is a great place to provide young horses with a quality horse show experience.”

Cookie Beck also had a stellar kick-off to the second week of Horse Shows By the Bay competition.  Piloting Lisa Cudahy’s ‘Last Call,’ Beck earned top honors in the Regular Working Conformation hunters today.  Grinning from ear to ear, Beck said, “He was great today and he’s just so easy and so much fun!  A wonderful mover, and superb jumper, he always tries to do his best.”

“I’m thrilled ‘Last Call’ was on the money today, as ‘Graffito’ was a little proud of himself after last week’s winning streak and got a little fresh enjoying the cooler weather.”
Asked about her experience at Horse Shows By the Bay thus far, Beck said “Your day at Horse Shows By the Bay is always a good day if the weather is good.  It’s a fun place to come and horse show.  The courses are lovely and the fences beautifully constructed.”

In the HORSE GYM USA sponsored Second Year Green Hunter competition, it was all ‘Sweet Spot!’  Piloted by Freddie Vazquez, ‘Sweet Spot’ performed a clean sweep by earning the top spot in both Second Year Green over fences classes and the under saddle.

The Grand Prix Arena also hosted a full schedule of events and finished today with two Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper classes sponsored by Kilkenny Insurance Agency and QBE North America.  Conquering both of the Guilherme Jorge (San Paulo, Brazil) designed courses, it was Eirin Bruheim aboard her ‘NFL Trans Atlantic’ earning top honors in the Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper class while dominating the High Junior/Amateur Owner jumper class with winner ‘Cicero 75’ and second with ‘Tackeray’ (last week’s SJHOF High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic winner).

Bruheim, who trains with Texas-based Peter Pletcher (PJP Farm), said of her Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper class winner ‘NFL Trans Atlantic,’  “He was strong in the warm-up ring, but I wasn’t worried because that usually means he is really game.  I know him really well because I have had him for six years now and he is just amazing.”

In the High Junior/Amateur Owner class, Bruheim attacked the course on both of her horses, ‘Tackeray’ and ‘Cicero 75.’  Jumping off as horses and riders went clean, Bruheim was last to go with ‘Cicero 75.’  Already sitting in the driver’s seat on ‘Tackeray,’ Bruheim rode aggressively, taking shots, and having several hard rubs.  All of the jumps stayed up, and she broke the timers at 44.565 seconds, besting herself on ‘Tackeray.’

When asked about her luck, Bruheim responded, “I believe that luck is where preparation meets opportunity and the luckiest people prepare the most.”

Feature events at the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival this week include: Hunter Classics for the Junior, Adult, Children, Pony, and Amateur Owner Hunters, the $30,000 Grand Traverse Bay Grand Prix, the $12,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, tje $7,5000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, and a special  “Toast of Traverse City” exhibitor’s party tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. 

The “Toast of Traverse City,” sponsored by Shorts Brewing Company, Bowers Harbor Vineyard and GT Distillery and Horse Shows by the Bay will showcase beer, wine and spirits that call Traverse City home which will all be paired with culinary treats provided by Graystone Farm Catering, the official caterer to Horse Shows by the Bay. 

For complete results, please visit For more information on the Horse Shows By the Bay Series, please visit