Scott Lenkart finished his three weeks of showing at the Horse Shows By The Bay series just the way he started it—by winning the grand prix.
Lenkart guided Impulsive to the top of the $25,000 D-Braider Cherry Capital Grand Prix to conclude the Horse Shows By The Bay III in Traverse City, Mich., Aug. 1-5, just as they’d done two weeks before in the $25,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City.
“Last year I was unlucky,” said Lenkart. “I had a four-fault season. And two seasons ago we had time faults. Frustration sets in when you have a series of 4 faults. But this year, we’ve had good luck. It’s getting experience under your belt with a horse. And then you win one, and you begin to feel good.”
Lenkart and Impulsive have been winning quite a bit this year. They topped the $50,000 Country Heir II Grand Prix (Ky.) in June and the $25,000 Ledges Grand Prix (Ill.) in May.
“He’s always ready to play, always competitive. We got him about four years ago. And ever since we got him, he’s always been good,” said Lenkart of Impulsive, a 12-year-old warmblood gelding (Impuls—Jazzy Ster), who is owned by Martha Bennett.
From Delano, Minn., Lenkart and his wife Renee, who also trains, teaches and competes, usually summer in Colorado, but Lenkart knew northern Michigan was a place to bring a boat, so he came. “I went out skiing in Lake Michigan and the bay eight times—more than all last year at home,” he said.
Lenkart’s family and students traveled through the Upper Peninsula. For them, the 11-hour drive was a walk in the park because they’re used to nine hours to Chicago, 14 to Kentucky, and 22 to Florida for the winter.
While the minus 40-degree weather during the Minnesota winter is tough, they love their farm. “We have a little bit of everything on our farm—we train from the beginning to grand prix, juniors and adults; we give lessons; we sell horses; we breed,” Lenkart said.
“Most of my clients are from the Minneapolis area. We go to Florida for three or four months and we take the whole barn. But I’ve been breeding a bit so we don’t shut down the home farm anymore. We just started in the breeding business. This spring we were up late delivering babies with my daughters right there, who are 5 years and 15 months old. We can look out from the house and see the babies all the time. That’s good for our kids.”
And while the foals are symbols of the future, Impulsive is the horse of Lenkart’s present. “The course was nice today,” said Lenkart after his win. “The jump-off was real close. I won it at the vertical rollbacks. My horse is pretty quick at that. I had made up time on the verticals, so, at the last line of the course, I didn’t leave a stride out, and I still was fast enough to win.”
Making A Long Trip Worthwhile
The Lenkarts weren’t the only ones to hit the road and enjoy the Horse Shows By The Bay series. Tim Goguen, who came from Boggs Hill and Lanes End Farm in Lexington, Ky., and his barn manager Bruce Burr made five trips between Michigan and Kentucky to get the horses and equipment moved in for three weeks of showing. “It took a week to get here,” Goguen said with a smile. The two barns had a combined total of 37 horses stabled at Horse Shows By The Bay.
The trip paid off as Goguen and his students collected tricolor after tricolor. Lulu Farish, who trains with Goguen, rode Lanes End Farm’s Shimmer to the small pony championship and to the blue in the pony hunter classic at Horse Shows By The Bay III.
It was the conclusion of three weeks full of wins for Farish. She rode Rachel DeGabrielle’s Touch Of Silver to the large pony hunter championship the first week, when she also claimed the small pony hunter title on her own Shine. Then, in the second week, she and Shine tied for the championship, while she rode Make My Day to the medium pony hunter tricolor.
Lulu’s sister, Ande, claimed the small junior, 15 and under championship aboard Town And Country, followed closely in reserve by another Goguen student, Rachel DeGabrielle, on her Polina.
“Polina is easy to ride. She’s really soft and she’s easy to find the jumps on,” DeGabrielle, of Palm City, Fla., said of the 7-year-old mare.
Katie Dinan wasn’t about to let her barnmates take all the prizes. Goguen started the Horse Shows By The Bay series by winning the first year green reserve championship on her Allejandro in week 1, then the cham-pionship in week 2.
And in week 1, Dinan rode Allejandro to the large junior, 15 and under championship, and then the reserve title in week 3. She also claimed the large pony tricolor in week 1 on Keep Dreamin’.
Dinan, 16, lives in New York City and attends the Horace Mann School. “I’d never shown him before we arrived here. I just got him. We’d been looking for a junior hunter for a while. I wanted a horse that had not been doing them a lot. He’s a first year this year. He’d never done the juniors before. I would say I just click with him,” she said.
Dinan has always lived in the city so she goes to the country to ride. “I ride at a barn in North Salem [N.Y.] called Staysail. I do jumpers and equitation with Steve Weiss and hunters with Kelly and Tim Goguen,” she said.
Goguen wasn’t going to let his young students take all the accolades. In week 3, he rode Stroller to the green/regular conformation hunter championship. During week 2, he’d ridden Allejandro to the first year green tricolor and Boulevard Deir to the green conformation title—following up on their week 1 championship.
And while Goguen kept busy at all the rings, the weeks weren’t without their fun. “I actually fished in the bay a couple of times. The first two weeks of showing were long. But the third week, I got to relax a little,” he said.
His junior students also enjoyed the opportunity to have some fun. “After we’re done showing every day, we go into town” said Kaitlin Campbell, 15. The group of children kept themselves busy watersliding, parasailing, and playing putt-putt golf.
Campbell was all business in the show ring, however. She rode Goguen’s Valentine to the large green pony championship in week 1 and followed that up with the reserve championship in week 2. In both those weeks, she also guided Unique to the reserve championships in the small junior, 15 and under division.
Campbell also shined in the jumper ring with her two jumpers, Rocky W and Lucy In The Sky. But she seemed to have a case of “seconditis.” She rode Rocky W to second in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Prix behind Henry Pfeiffer, and Lucy In The Sky to second in the junior/amateur-owner jumper classic behind Pfeiffer’s sister, Laura.
Campbell gave it her all in the Hall of Fame class, where the jump-off caused problems with finding the right, tight line to the second vertical in a rollback configuration. Early on, horses were confused about several jump possibilities that sat on the line to the vertical. Rocky was one of these.
But Henry Pfeiffer, 18, is a veteran of junior jumper classes and was pleased with his win in the Hall of Fame class aboard Sargeant, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood who had been sent to his family’s Fox Meadow Farm in Temperance, Mich., for training.