Wayne, IL - September 14, 2014 - The day Illinois riders have looked forward to with anticipation all year finally arrived at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Patrick Boyle and the Showplace Productions Fall Classic Championship Horse Show hosted the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association (IHJA) Medal Finals, with the top equitation riders facing off for the coveted tricolors. As always, Boyle did up the finals to the nines, offering a fantastic luncheon sponsored by Barrington Saddlery, a beautiful and creative course in the LUXMAX USA Grand Prix ring and fantastic awards. The event is one of the most popular in Chicago, and for some, signals the end of the outdoor show season and the beginning of the Indoor Finals.
The course for the first set of medal finals included several option jumps and a unique chute for riders to navigate, jumping both in and out to show their dexterity. Boyle dresses up the ring with fantastic landscape including trees bright with changing leafs, brush and flowers, making it a standout event. Judge Danny Robertshaw tested riders with unique and appropriate tests for the various levels. Bucky Reynolds joined Robertshaw to judge the final Adult and Junior Medal Finals.
Barrington Saddlery sponsored the entire day. Representative Mallory Murray Schall was on hand for the presentations and General Manager Cynthia Baer expressed their dedication to the industry through their sponsorship.
"It never ceases to amaze me on how vibrant the equestrian community is, and the level of dedication and coordination that so many individuals put forth to create a successful venue for these competitions," said Baer.
"At our very core, Barrington Saddlery is dedicated to helping each of our customers feel prepared for success in their riding, regardless of their level of expertise," Baer expressed. "We also recognize that it is important that we are 'on the ground' at these competitions in order to serve them best! It has been a privilege to be able to co-partner with Pat Boyle and Showplace Productions, as their positive energy and talented team creates a win-win for serving the equestrian community during competitions."
IHJA Pony Medal
|Annabella Sanchez and News Flash
The first group to try out the track early this morning was the ponies for the IHJA Pony Medal Finals. Nine ponies galloped around the course with the top four pulling scores of 80 and above, setting the pace for the day.
Annabella Sanchez led the pack from the first round with an 85, followed by Natalie Jayne with an 84, Madison Walker with an 83 and Ashley Vogel with an 80. The test asked the riders to canter obstacles 3 and 5, trot 6 and return to line at the posting trot without stirrups. Each rider took a different path, some taking one inside turn and some making two inside turns. In the end it was Sanchez, 13, who earned the blue with Jayne of Elgin, IL, in second.
Sanchez of Glencoe, IL, started riding with Katie Kappler at Autumn Woods Farm in August and has had her pony, News Flash, for three years now.
"She had a beautiful first round and a nice test," said Kappler. "I was really proud of her."
Sanchez will be moving out of the ponies and into the Children's divisions next year.
IHJA Adult Mini Medal Finals
|Liz Barnhart and For Furioso
Twelve adults qualified for the IHJA Adult Mini Medal Finals throughout the season for a chance at the finals track and the top honors. Leading after the first round was Liz Barnhart with the high score of 82. Also making the final four for the ride off was Lauren Lackey with a 78, Suzie Stimm with a 77 and Lauren Robishaw with a 74.
Riders were asked to canter fences 6 and 4, trot 5, canter 3 and show the sitting trot back to line. Judges addressed the group after the work-off to inform them that as they played follow the leader, they all went off course, jumping fence 3 backwards. After much thought, and scrutiny, Barnhart with her mount For Furioso was proclaimed the winner. Second place went to Lauren Lackey of Glencoe, IL.
"I was a little nervous but excited to be back in the big ring again," said Barnhart. "It was a little bit of follow the leader but it was nice to be called in first because you got to watch everyone else go."
Barnhart said they all giggled a bit when the judges relayed the information to them about the confusion during the test. Barnhart of Naperville, IL, has had For Furioso since May and has ridden with trainer Joanne Kurinsky for about 25 years and now her daughter rides, as well.
"He really loves his job so we look forward to doing more next year," added Barnhart.
IHJA Children's Mini Medal Finals
|Maggie Bresch and Bombardier
The large group of 28 Children's competitors tested their skills on the medal course to decide the 2014 IHJA Children's Mini Medal Champion. It took a score of 80 or better to make the final four for further testing. Stefanie Shaw was in the lead with an 84 after round one, followed by Caroline Foster with an 82, Maggie Bresch with an 81 and Alexis Ortiz with an 80.
This group had to canter up the rail from the corner of the ring then trot jump 5, canter 3 and 6, halt and return to line at the posting trot on a long rein. Bresch laid down an almost perfect test to move up from third to win the class. Ortiz also put in a great test to move up to second from fourth.
Bresch is only 10 years old and has only ridden Bombardier a few times. Her sister Celia won the Sore No More Children's Medal yesterday on him.
"I was so happy to get called back, but I didn't think I would move up, I just thought I'd stay where I was," said Bresch. "I didn't think I was going to win because the others had a pretty good test, too. I was really happy when they announced the results."
Bresch plans on moving up to the Children's divisions next year.
IHJA Children's Medal
A field of 31 young riders had their eye on the coveted prize as they demonstrated their skills to the judges in hopes of reaching the final four. Taking the lead after the first round was Lori Harvey-Woods of Chicago, with a score of 85. A few points behind were Allie Donaldson with an 83, Shana Blinick with an 82 and Olivia Stoeckel with an 81.
The test was to canter jump 15, hand gallop 4, canter 3, canter 13, halt and return to line at the sitting trot. Harvey-Woods executed the test well and stayed at the top of the leader board to win the championship. Olivia Stoeckel was able to move up from fourth to second with her performance in the test.
Harvey-Woods, 17, rode her horse of three years, Revelation for the victory. She rides with trainer Laura Stern and homeschools so she can focus on riding.
"The first round reminded me of a derby course," said Harvey-Woods. "I just went around and had fun. I wasn't nervous in the work off because I got to go last. Once we were over the first jump, I felt confident we had it."
Harvey-Woods will continue showing in Wellington, FL this year at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
IHJA Adult Medal Final
Adult riders took on the challenge of the fifteen-jump course in the large LUXMAX USA Grand Prix ring. The course included options for the adults to choose including a three part snake jump they could choose any section of and come back the opposite direction over another section. Making the top of the list out of the 18 riders was Ali Cibon with an 87. Rounding out the final four was Michelle Durpetti with an 84, Marissa Sterba with a 78 and Chelsea Carpenter with a 73.
The group was asked to canter jump 4, trot 5, canter 3, halt then return to line at the extended trot. Leader Ali Cibon kept her spot at the top, showing off her handiness in the test. Marissa Sterba moved up one spot to claim second place.
Cibon and trainer Sara Rhodes made a last minute decision to try the medal. The horse, Got Milk, is owned by Gabrielle Timm, who left for college and Rhodes decided to see what else the horse could do besides the hunters. He had done some derbies so Cibon knew he could be handy and brave. Cibon has a young jumper she usually rides and fits her riding in with her real estate career.
"I had never ridden him before yesterday," said Cibon. "Sara asked if I wanted to do the medal and I said why not? I didn't think I would get that high of a score."
Cibon said she wasn't nervous with the top spot in the final four.
"She's better under pressure," Rhodes said.
"As I watched the others, I planned the handiest route I could. I knew he could do it so I went for it," said Cibon.
Her effort paid off as she headed back to Bannockburn, IL, with the championship.
In the hunter rings there were several big winners for the final day of competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. The Midwest Marshall & Sterling League had two Hunter Classic Finals today. Winning the $1,000 Marshall & Sterling Children's Hunter Championship was Bombardier, owned by John Pappas and ridden by Celia Bresch.
|Celia Bresch and Bombardier
Winner of the $1,000 Marshall & Sterling Adult Classic was True North with Maria Kogen aboard.
Canterbury Farm in Hampshire, IL, sponsored both Marshall & Sterling Classics. Trainer Greg Franklin is a generous sponsor for the Showplace Production's shows.
"Pat Boyle and Showplace Productions do a great job of putting on horse shows that are exhibitor friendly. It's a pleasure to support them and the Marshall & Sterling Children's and Adult Championships," said Franklin.
|Silas Jaramillo and The Advocate
Winning the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Classic was The Advocate and Silas Jaramillo.
The $1,000 Pony Hunter Classic was sponsored by Littlewood Farm and Joanne Kurinsky. The winner was Natalie Jayne's Lands End Eros with Natalie Jayne in the irons.
"We are happy to support great horse shows right in our own back yard," said Kurinsky. "We don't need to travel with great shows and a facility like Lamplight right here. We like to support the industry in the Chicago area and keep it so people like to come here to show."
|Natalie Jayne and Lands End Eros
Another successful Fall Classic Championship wraps up. Medal finals riders will also be recognized at the IHJA Year End Banquet in November. Many local riders will continue to show at the Showplace Productions' Series at Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, IL, during the winter.
For more results, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.