Shane Sweetnam and veteran Grand Prix partner Cyklon 1083 topped a 15-horse field to win the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival on Sunday with a blazing fast jumpoff time of 35.759. The victory comes just days after the pair also won the $25,000 Welcome Prix at GLEF, presented by East Wind Farms.
Seven of the original 15 entries in Sunday’s class jumped clear in the first round to earn a berth in the jump off, but Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Cyklon 1083 laid down a ground-saving trip that proved impossible to beat. A tight inside turn between fences one and two, a triple bar to a skinny vertical, caused them to knock over a flower box on another fence, but the bold ride paid off and gave Sweetnam the edge over the rest of the field. “I knew there were fast riders behind me, and I was first to go. I saw the [inside turn from fences one and two in the jump-off], and I knew I was on an experienced horse, so I tried it and it worked out.”
Sweetnam and his mount have been competing together at the upper levels for over 5 years, giving Sweetnam plenty of experience to draw from while deciding his jump off route. “I know [Cyklon 1083] very well, but he’s not a machine either. Normally with him, with an inside turn, once you can put his eye on a fence, he’s always going to find it. Once he got his eye on the [vertical] in the jump-off, I knew he was going to jump it. Everything else came up nice. I know him inside out. If I do my part right, he’s going to do his part right.”
Second place finisher David Beisel, riding Equine Holdings LLC’s small but mighty 12yo Dutch Warmblood stallion Ammeretto, followed Sweetnam’s track but finished just one tenth of a second slower. Beisel also claimed the third place prize aboard Call Me Hannes, a Holsteiner gelding owned by Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC, by delivering the only other double clear jumpoff round.
Cyklon 1083, a 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento, balances a busy show schedule with a successful breeding career, and he still has a busy season ahead. “I’m headed to Falsterbo next week and [Cyklon 1083] will go back to Kentucky.” said Sweetnam, “He’s been doing a lot of breeding this year so he’ll be available to be collected once or twice. Then he’ll jump in Kentucky in three or four weeks and he’ll have a busy fall at the Hamptons, American Gold Cup and indoors.”
Great Lakes Equestrian Festival will return next week with the first “Equitation Tuesday” of the series on July 11. Week Two will also be the first internationally-ranked week of competition, all leading up to Sunday’s grand prix, the $50,000 Grand Prix of Michigan, on July 16 at 2 p.m.
RESULTS $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix: Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time 1. Cyklon 1083 / Shane Sweetnam / Spy Coast Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.759 2. Ammeretto / David Beisel / Equine Holdings LLC / 0 / 0 / 35.805 3. Call Me Hannes / David Beisel / Harlow Investment Enterprises LLC / 0 / 0 / 39.889 4. Columbcille De Reve / Lauren Crooks / Crooks Show Jumping LLC / 0 / 4 / 40.183 5. Zephire / Hayley Barnhill / Barnhill Enterprises LLC / 0 / 4 / 41.285 6. Cordaba AG Z / Kristy Herrera / Dark Harbor LLC / 0 / 8 / 46.022 7. Rolls / Jacob Pope / Doublethink LLC / 0 / 17 / 58.493 8. Imprimis / Hayley Barnhill / Hayley Barnhill / 4 / 78.903 9. Hunters Conlypso II / Lorcan Gallagher / Dacantos Group / 4 / 79.421 10. Don’t Touch Du Bois / Shane Sweetnam / Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, Paul Tracy / 4 / 81.229