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IHJA "A" Medal Finals at Showplace Fall Classic Championships

Illinois Hunter Jumper Association “A” Medal Finals


Wayne, IL – September 16, 2012 – It was a busy weekend at Lamplight Equestrian Center with the Marshall & Sterling League Midwest Championships and the IHJA “A” Circuit Medal Finals.  Barrington Saddlery graciously sponsored the IHJA events of the day starting with the IHJA Pony Medal Finals


Pony riders showed their skills over the course of equitation and derby type jumps including a railroad tie snake jump and various chutes with some short turns to combinations. Large ponies tested first, putting Charlise Casas in the hot seat to go first. 


“I knew if I messed up the test I wouldn’t win,” Casas said.


Jumps were adjusted for the three mediums, Amanda Pennington, Annabella Sanchez and Alexandra Pielet, to test next. But holding the lead from round one, Charlise Casas proved to be the winner for the second year in a row. 


Casas is a 6th grader at the Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, IL and trains with Joanne Kurinski and Katie Kunk. She is looking forward to the National Finals in Harrisburg, PA with her pony Jassaind’s Famous Amos.


Annabella Sanchez of Glencoe, finished second, followed by Alexandra Pielet of Highland Park, Amanda Pennington of Mequon, WI, Amanda Parker, and Ashley Vogel.



The adults were next to take a turn at the course for the IHJA Adult Mini Medal. Having the course in the Grand Prix ring was a test of stamina for some of the adults. Robert Murray of Maple City, MI, made the call back for the test along with Debbie Kirsch of Winnetka and Kristen Zambetti of Wayne.  The winner was Kristen Zambetti who rides with trainer, Dan Jayne. Second went to Debbie Kirsch who trains with Diane Carney and third to Robert Murphy who trains with Melissa Hirt. Fourth went to Lauren Lackey, fifth to Lauren Rubishaw, and sixth to Marlee Grinell.


The second place win was even sweeter for Debbie Kirsch since it was her first show on her new horse, Invitation Only


“That was really fun!” she exclaimed as she walked out of the ring patting her new mount.



Next up was the Children’s Mini Medal. Over 30 horse and rider combinations took their swing at the derby-like course. After more than an hour of round one, the top of the order came back for the test with Paige Pickens, who trains with Margaret Clayton, finishing at the top of the pack. A close second was Shannon Donovan, who trains with Ryan Sassmannshausen and Kinvarra Farm in Wayne.  Third went to Celia Bresch followed by Samantha Jensen, Rebecca Kozma, and Sarah Grant.

Another large class was the IHJA Children’s Medal Final with again, over 30 horse and rider combinations competing for the title. Round after round left Madison Edwards of Mundelein, the clear winner, followed by Rachel Turk, Lucy Brumfield, Kelsey Cerkleski, Alex Roe and Christine Hyler.


Edwards rides Last Wish or Carlos, a 15 year old all around horse she has had for about a year now.


“In the first round, I was working really hard and staying focused. I was speechless when I heard my first round score of 86!” said Edwards.  She went second in the first round. When it came to the test, she was more nervous and was trying to relax. Edwards trains with Amy Farmer and has ridden with her for 3 years.



After a lovely luncheon courtesy of Barrington Saddlery, the equitation drills continued with the IHJA Adult Medal Finals. Those who executed an accurate ride in round one were invited back to test.  Included in the test were Jennifer Walter, Katelyn Rattner, Lynn Greetis and Ali Cibon. Riders demonstrated several canter jumps and a combination, a halt and a sitting trot while judges made their final decision leaving Ali Cibon at the top.  Second went to Katelyn Rattner, third to Lynn Greetis, fourth to Jennifer Walter, fifth to Gretchen Carlotti and sixth to Melissa Lorusso.



Wrapping up the day were the junior riders for the IHJA Junior Medal Finals.  Juniors tackled a course of interesting chutes of white fence, derby jumps without wing standards and combinations off of short turns.  Rising to the top of the pack, Nicki LaChapelle, Stephen Foran, Caitlin Creel and Caitlin Boyle returned for additional testing.  With accuracy round after round, Caitlin Boyle won the IHJA Junior Medal finals after winning the Marshall & Sterling Central Equine Junior Medal Finals the day before.  Right behind were Caitlin Creel, Nicki LaChapelle, Stephen Foran, Sydney Schaefer and Kara Metzger.


Congratulations to all the riders and trainers and a special thank you to Showplace Productions for making the event so special to everyone.