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First Champions Crowned at New HITS Balmoral Park

Pat Boyle presents Mary Beth Canfield's Claas Clever, ridden by Galway Farm's Molly McAdow, with the first HITS Balmoral Park Championship. Photo Chicago Equestrian

Winners Compliment New Venue

Crete, IL - May 11, 2017 – The first champions were crowned Thursday at the new HITS Balmoral Park in Crete, Illinois, during the Showplace Spring Classic I Horse Show, which runs through Sunday, May 14th. The event adds a new chapter to the historic Balmoral Park, with show jumpers putting their hoof prints on the turf instead of harness racing horses.  The multi-million dollar renovation was planned to put the best interests of the horses first. The trainers and riders showing on the inaugural competition days, gave rave reviews on the new amenities.
Show manager Patrick Boyle was on hand to present the first hunter championship of the season to Mary Beth Canfield’s Claas Clever, ridden by Molly McAdow of Crystal Lake, Illinois, for Galway Farm in the Green Hunters 3’6”.  
“We’ve gone to the HITS Ocala shows for years,” said McAdow. “This new facility is huge! The stalls are big and beautiful, the footing is great and the rings are big with some of the prettiest jumps I’ve seen around. The VIP area has fantastic food and amazing views, we will certainly be adding that luxury every week!”

Fantastic food and amazing views await VIP patrons at HITS Balmoral Park. Photo Chicago Equestrian

The HITS team hired a private chef to handle the VIP area, which features breakfast and lunch daily along with a full bar. The special climate controlled seating area has perfect views of the main hunter ring and the grand prix ring.
In the 3’6” Performance Hunters, Doug Boyd, Mettawa, Illinois, and Calido’s Son, owned by Mimi Rothman, took the championship, winning all five classes in the division. Boyd frequents the HITS Ocala shows and was Grand Overall Circuit Champion with Calido’s Son there this winter. Rothman also won the first championship in another hunter ring with her second horse, At One’s Word, keeping up with her trainer by winning all 5 classes as well in the Low Hunter division.

Doug Boyd and Mimi Rothman accept the Championship award for Calido's Son in the Performance Hunters 3'6". Photo Chicago Equestrian

“The atmosphere here is historic and grand,” said Boyd, trainer at Sapphire Riding Academy. “You feel like you’re at a prestigious event yet its friendly and easy. The grandstand area is really cool with some of the original photos and furnishings, its quite unique. We’re staying for the summer shows. It will just get better and better here as they put the finishing touches on.”

Kathleen Caya rode Landia 5 to the championship in the Performance Hunters 3'3". Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Kathleen Caya of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, wrapped up competition in the Main Hunter Ring by earning the championship in the Performance Hunters 3’3” with Susan Schmitt’s Landia 5. Caya didn’t stop there; she also took the first Balmoral Park Classic win in the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic. With the highest scores of the day, the accomplished hunter rider accepted the blue ribbon with Calvin, owned by McKenna Nagy, with the champion Landia 5, finishing in the second place spot.

Robert Cheska and Kathleen Caya of Integrity Farm get their moment in the winner's circle for the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic with winner Calvin and Landia 5 in second. Photo Chicago Equestrian

“We’ve really enjoyed showing here so far this week,” said Caya. “The horses are happy with their roomy and beautiful stalls and they love galloping around the big rings. When the horses are happy they perform well and that makes it fun for everyone. Tom [Struzzieri of HITS] and Pat [Boyle] have done a great job here.”

Mary Goldman poses with daughter Lisa Goldman aboard Sovereign for their win in the $10,000 Open Jumper Prix 1.40m. Photo Chicago Equestrian

In the Grand Prix Ring, top jumper rider Lisa Goldman of Red Coat Farm in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, had a full two days of “firsts”. Goldman hustled with her first ride of the day on Wednesday so she could be the first exhibitor in the Grand Prix Ring.  She then went on to earn the first blue ribbon for the jumpers with Centomani, owned by Elese Kirby. Goldman continued to collect blues on Wednesday and topped off the first days of competition by winning Thursday’s $10,000 Open Jumper Prix 1.40m with Barbara Disko’s bay horse, Sovereign.

Steve Schaefer and Caribe set the pace early in the class. Photo Chicago Equestrian

Sovereign was Goldman’s second ride in the class; giving her two chances to beat Steve Schaefer’s early lead on Caribe. Schaefer of Bellis Show Jumping in Maple Park, Illinois, put in a clear first round and galloped to a fast 33.130 seconds in the jump off. Goldman took the first swing at the Anderson Lima designed course with Hindsight, ending up with a fast time of 32.10 but knocked one rail out of the cups for 4 faults. On the second attempt, Goldman kept all the jumps up while beating Schaefer by fractions of a second with a time of 32.870 for the win on Sovereign.
“The horses are jumping great,” said Goldman. “In fact they are jumping so good they’re making it hard to stay on!  We can be really competitive here because we can gallop and turn on the footing with no issues. Our customers are really going to enjoy it here.”

Lisa Goldman and Hindsight were the fastest but had a rail which put them in third place. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Competition Manager, Boyle, added, “We could not be happier with the first two days of competition. It’s turned out to be a huge success. Everyone is having a great time exploring the historic grandstand and VIP areas and seeing how the rings and stabling turned out. They’re all excited to be the first in the ring or the first champions of this great,  new facility, which will host even more history making events in the future.”
Competition continues this week with the $2,500 Devoucoux Hunter Prix, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, the Platinum Performance Hunter Prix and the $10,000 Marshall & Sterling 1.30m Jumper Prix on Friday. The feature $35,000 HITS Grand Prix of Balmoral Park takes place on Saturday.
Events are open to the public and run Wednesday through Sunday, approximately 8 am to 4 pm. Admission is free for daytime performances Wednesday through Friday and Sunday, tickets are $5.00 on Saturdays with children under 12 free.
For more information visit the HITS website at
$10,000 Open Jumper 1.40m Results
            Horse             Rider                                      Owner
1. Sovereign              Lisa Goldman                      Barbara Disko
2. Caribe                   Steve Schaefer                    Steve Schaefer
3. Hindsight               Lisa Goldman                      Lisa Goldman
4. Welcome COR      Savannah Talcott                 Ann Anastasio
5. Berkley III              Doug Boyd                          Sapphire Riding Academy
6. Compis                  Stephen Foran                    Lauren Robishaw
7. For His Glory SE   Taylor Flury                          Rose Sullivan
8. Belvue Ben            Sara Kemper                       Sara Kemper