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Big Wins at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival by Local Harbor Springs and Petoskey Riders

Press Release from Brek-n-Ridge Farm September 16th 2015




The horse girls from our Harbor Springs and Petoskey area loved the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival this summer.  Some of the older shows may certainly be more prestigious and are definitely special because of their many traditions, but everyone at the barns agreed that the Traverse City horse shows were certainly the most FUN!


The setting is gorgeous, the afternoon/evening events and all the entertainment for spectators are a blast and the atmosphere is relaxed yet professional. “After attending the Cherry Festival, picking all kinds of fresh fruit at local farms, shopping, hiking, and indulging in every form of water sports activity, no one from the barn wanted to leave!  We were all disappointed that the four-week circuit ended so quickly!   We’re looking forward to a six week circuit next year with all kinds of improvements to an already impressive show ground facility!” writes Mary Otto.


The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival is held each summer from the beginning of July to the end of July. The four-week circuit of jumping shows is held at the Flintfields Horse Park owned by Harbor Springs local Karin Flint. Her Park is located at 6335 Bates Road in Williamsburg, Mi.


Leopoldo Palacios Jugo is one of the most highly respected course designers in the world of showjumping. He is known for his innovative, challenging and humane approach to his jump courses. He is quoted as saying, “Nowadays there are more rings in the middle of cities and in places that don’t fit with horses. Horses need to be in nature. A place like Flintfields gives a lot for the sport; everywhere you look there are nice trees and nature. Here, its green, green, green! It’s beautiful. The designers of this property used the topography and landscaped it very well around nature and this is a very important aspect for me.” – Quote by Leopoldo Palacios Jugo



“It was a great first year in our management. We want to thank our sponsors, exhibitors, trainers, owners, staff, officials and our Traverse City partners for helping to create a great experience. We look forward to producing great equestrian sport and creating lifetime summer memories.” Quote by Matt Morrissey, New Show Manager, Stadium Jumping, Inc.


“I’m thrilled from the response and how wonderful the staff has been. It has been seamless. Everyone has said, “We loved it. We’ve already made our reservations to come back. To me, it’s been a wonderful experience.”

Quote by Karin Flint, owner of Flintfields Horse Park and sister of Ward and Fred Walstrom.


” This show is outstanding and the best event we’ve been to because of the management and what Karin Flint has done for the industry. It will be bigger and better as time goes on. This area presents a lot of activities for folks not at the show ring every day. For four weeks we’re able to enjoy this part of the country in Northern Michigan, and it becomes a family venue. We even bring our boat!”” Quote by Jake Haas Local Traverse City Farm Owner and Sponsor


The local riders included Mary Otto of St Louis, MO and Wequetonsing. She is the daughter of Mary and Bob Otto and rides in the summer with Karin Reid Offield at Brek-n-Ridge Farm and shows under the guidance of St. Louis trainer Sarah Mechlin. Riding her own Enterprize, Mary won in Week 1 two 2nd’s in the hunter warm ups, five 3rd’s between Green Hunter and Junior Hunter, and a couple of 4th places. She placed in every class she entered. In Week 2 she won two 1st’s in the Hunter Warm Up and the Hunter 3’3” and a 2nd in the Junior AO Hunter Classic 3’3”. In Week 3, she was also 1st in the Junior Hunter 3’3” and 4th in the Junior AO Hunter Classic. At the end of Week 4 she was the Junior hunter 3’3” Circuit Champion, winning first over fences and two 5th places.



Olivia Gruverman and her own Contharo 2, a 9yo Holsteiner gelding who was imported from Europe a little over a year and a half ago is shown here in the photo (Diana Hadsall Photography) with her wintertime and show coaches Maggie Gould and Tiffany Morrissey. She finished this summer overall as Reserve Champion in Children’s Hunter Division.


Her sister Grace Gruverman and her mare Ominous, a 13yo Selle Francais mare, finished the circuit as the Grand Champion in both the Low Children’s Equitation Division and she and Ominous were Circuit Grand Champions in the Low Children’s Hunters.  She also finished first in her equitation class in a field of 33 riders.


Bay Harbor residents, Howard and Shawn Gruverman and daughters Olivia and Grace all boarded their horses last summer in Harbor Spring’s at Karin Reid Offield’s Brek-n-Ridge Farm in Harbor Springs to prepare for this years events. Shawn writes, “I know there were many who were skeptical about us leaving South Florida to spend a summer in Michigan at a dressage barn like Brek-n-Ridge of all places! It proved to be an invaluable experience for all of us. It’s obvious that everyone pours heart and soul into this amazing farm and your passion for the horses evident in everything you do.”