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Ashley Shaw Rides to the Top in $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic at Chicago Festival of the Horse

World Championship Hunter Rider Week (WCHR) is well underway at the Chicago Festival of the Horse at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. During day four of the second week in the Equifest show series, riders took to the Main Hunter ring to kick off their divisions and compete in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic and the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic. 

Ashley Shaw and Primera win the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic at the Chicago Festival of the Horse

Ashley Shaw and Primera, owned by Helen Gilbert, came out on top in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic after earning a total score of 137. While this may have only been Shaw's second show on the Holsteiner gelding, the pair's partnership impressed the judges enough to earn them the blue. 
"He's super fun to ride and super straightforward," Shaw said of Primera. "He used to do International Hunter Derbies, but now he's in his teens and has just been doing the Junior Hunters. He's absolutely perfect and makes everything decently easy!"

Shaw trains with Shannon Hicks out of St. Louis, Missouri, and has been with her for almost eight years. Shaw commented, "She can be tough on you sometimes, but she always sets you up for success which is what I love about riding with her!"

Shaw has been coming to the Lamplight Equestrian Center with Hicks for three years, and enjoys the chance to compete each year. She commented, "I really love the facility and how beautiful the landscaping is. I absolutely love riding in the Grand Prix ring!"

Natalie Jayne and Outlook

Natalie Jayne and Outlook took home the second place ribbon in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic with a total score of 160, while Ella Zimbrick and Clever received the third place award after earning a total classic score of 159.

In the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic, it was Theresa Peck riding MTM Passport that rode away with top honors. Peck and MTM Passport earned a total score of 158 to best the field of 12 riders. Rounding out the top three in the division were Lesley Quillen riding Timeless in second place, and Lindsey Black on Lacroix taking home the third place. 

Riders also had the chance to compete in the WIHS Equitation Hunter phase in the Main Hunter ring, and this time Isabella Baxter took home the blue ribbon. Baxter was riding her own horse Chief, and rode to a score of 85 to best the field of 13 riders to win the class.
Isabella Baxter and Chief

Chief, Baxter's mount, is usually a slow and steady gelding, but a little bit of extra energy helped send the pair to the top of the leaderboard. Baxter said, "Today [Chief] went really well. He was really smooth and he was jumping well. Normally he's a little bit more dull then he was today, so I think the extra energy he had really helped me find the more forward distance."

Second place in the WIHS Equitation Hunter phase went to Amanda Shaw on Contemporary with a score of 75. Giavanna Rinaldi and Caretina III received the third place and a score of 72. 

Baxter will also be riding Chief in one of this week's feature classes on Sunday, August 7, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. She said, "For that class I'm just looking to have fun because I love doing the derbies, and then just a nice solid round!" 

Amanda Shaw and Contemporary

This week will also feature the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Sunday, August 7, beginning at 8:00 a.m. World Championship Hunter Rider Week (WCHR) continues Saturday, August 6, at 8:00 a.m.

The second week of competition, Equifest II, will have several prominent events to watch, beginning with the $25,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday. Friday will be the second National Hunter Derby of the competition, and Saturday will feature the highly anticipated $75,000 Grand Prix. On Sunday the Hunter and Jumper divisions will partake in a $25,000 Derby.

Equifest III will round out the Chicago Festival of the Horse, August 10-14. Lamplight Equestrian Center will host a $15,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday, followed by the final $5,000 Hunter Derby of the competition. The exciting $50,000 Grand Prix will take place on Saturday, while the final Equifest classes close out the Chicago Festival of the Horse on Sunday.

For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center's Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit A downloadable prize list is accessible online.