Hallie Grimes Toasts to Margriet De Mariposa in Traverse City National Grand Prix

Hallie Grimes Toasts to Margriet De Mariposa in Traverse City National Grand Prix

Hallie Grimes has had a lot of firsts in Traverse City. She jumped her first ranking class at Flintfields Horse Park, her first CSI2* grand prix, appeared in her first FEI North American Youth Championships, had her first high junior jumper victory, and now she scored her first grand prix win with her new mount, Margriet de Mariposa.

The duo topped an impressive field Saturday in the $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix, the fastest of only three double-clear efforts during the second week of the Traverse City Spring Horse Shows, presented by Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel. Taylor Land was second with Escobar WW, owned by Jay Land, while Jonathan McCrea took third with Jannan S, owned by Windsor Show Stables.

“I showed her for the first time last week; this is my fourth class with her,” Grimes, 21, said of the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Nabab De Reve x For Pleasure), owned by Can We Keep It? LLC. “I’ve always loved her. I watched her with Jerome Guery. and she was always a great contender. Last September, my good friend Sarah Scheiring bought her, and I was a part of that journey. I loved her and got to watch her for a long time closely through that. She’s mine now!”

Hallie Grimes and Margriet de Mariposa are presented as winners of the $30,000 Traverse City National Grand Prix by Matthew Morrissey of Traverse City Horse Shows. Photo © Andrew Ryback Photography

Grimes knew Margriet de Mariposa would be a special one, mainly due to the competitive genes that run in the mare’s family.

“My favorite horse, Malissa de Muze – she’s related to Margriet on both sides, which is interesting because they really remind me of each other personality-wise,” Grimes explained. “She was always quite sporty. When Sarah had her I got to know her in the barn. She’s cool as a cucumber and happy to see you every morning. She’s part of the team and happy to be here. If she likes you she’s always going to try her heart out for you.”

Grimes started college two years ago, thinking she would take a step back in her riding and enjoy the amateur life, but she changed her mind and decided to go the opposite direction.

“I decided if I was going to do it I was going to make a go at it,” she said of pursuing the sport at a higher level. “After I bought Margriet I realized this is it. I have a string of seven horses that I think are really spectacular. I have enough to be competitive and be a part of Major League [Show Jumping] this year and make those goals a reality. I’m really lucky to have these horses. Every role is filled for the first time ever.”

Being back in Michigan brings back big memories for Grimes, but she’s using those memories to motivate her to reach even bigger milestones this time around. Later this summer, she’ll return to the FEI North American Youth Championships, where she’ll have her choice between piloting Margriet de Mariposa and Malissa de Muze. With added horsepower, she’ll be one to watch at the prestigious event.

“Traverse City is a really special place for me,” Grimes continued. “The horses jump great in this ring. My favorite thing about this facility is it seems to get better every year. Now we have the permanent barns and the stalls are bigger. All my horses are really happy here. We love it.”

Show jumping during Traverse City Spring II culminates Sunday with the $145,100 4G Surfaces CSI3* Grand Prix.

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Hallie Grimes Toasts to Margriet De Mariposa in Traverse City National Grand Prix – Traverse City Horse Shows