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Kaner 88 and Steve Schaefer Glide to 1.30m Open Jumper Win at Showplace Spring Spectacular II

Steve Schaefer and Kaner 88 rode to the victory in the $5,000 1.30m Open Jumpers, sponsored by Wisconsin Equine, at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II.

Wayne, IL - June 13, 2014 -
 Although the Chicago Blackhawks may have ended their 2014 season on the ice, Kaner 88 and Steve Schaefer had another victory to capture in their name. In Chicago-fashion, Schaefer piloted Kaner 88, named fondly after the Blackhawks' right wing Patrick Kaner, to the win in the $5,000 1.30m Open Jumpers, sponsored by Wisconsin Equine, triumphing in a speedy 34.789 seconds during the Showplace Spring Spectacular II.

"Kaner 88 is a new ride for me, but he is a fantastic little horse. He loves to go fast," Schaefer said. "Today was the perfect opportunity to see what we could do. He showed off a little out there. I named him after the Blackhawks' Patrick Kaner, and he is a fast and handy horse, so the name suits him well. He showed what he has out there."

The LUXMAX U.S.A. Grand Prix Ring welcomed a field of 28 competitors, of which only 14 mastered the opening track to try their hand at the jump-off. Schaefer was one of 10 riders to post a double-clear effort, and his speed was unmatched, even against speed demon Lisa Goldman.

"He is very small, but he has a big stride and a big heart," Schaefer smiled. "We only got him about three weeks ago, and I was getting him ready for Caelinn [Leahy] to do in the Junior Jumpers. All he needs is just a little bit of confidence out there. He wants to know that you are with him. He just wants to go and do his thing; he is a remarkable little horse. He can open up, and he is wicked fast."

"It is Friday the 13th, but I left my superstitions back at the barn," Schaefer laughed. "Everything was in our favor today, and I really liked the course. It suited us really well. It was slightly technical to get us going and then the jump-off was a race, which was right up my alley. I saw the jump-off course and thought to myself that it would be great. We can run the first half of the course and then handle the technicality at the end. We ended up doing six strides down the last line, leaving the stride out which gave us the edge."

Goldman fell 3/10ths of a second behind Schaefer with Rocs to Riches, breaking the beam in 35.093 seconds. Tiffany Hammack and Luminous, owned by Lance Williamson of Gurnee, IL, finished in third, just a hair behind Goldman with a time of 35.158 seconds.

Dr. Robert Magnus of Wisconsin Equine said of their sponsorship, "Wisconsin Equine is honored to be here to support the caliber of horses and riders that come here to compete. These animals are such great athletes, and we are proud to provide the best care possible for them and support the industry with our sponsorship."

Accumulator Jumper Classes

Riders were tested through a series of obstacles ranging in difficulty during the Accumulator Jumper classes on Friday. A sister class to the ever-popular Gambler's Choice, the Accumulator classes gave riders the opportunity to showcase their speed and agility through 10 obstacles for a culmination of points. The number of points depended on the fence, with the value ascending throughout the course from one to 10. For every fence cleared, the points were tabulated. At the very end of the track, the riders could choose between the 10-point oxer or the 20-point "joker." In the situation that the joker fell, 20 points would be deducted. Riders were also penalized for any overage in time, and the rider with the fastest time and most points would take away the win.

In the $2,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Accumulator, sponsored by Chestnut Hill Farm, Kelsey Thatcher and Balougris SL Z, owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT, rode to the win with 59 points in 63.760 seconds. Stephanie Novas of Lake Forest, IL, and her own Zaza rode to the second place, while Emma Sargent of Kenilworth, IL, and Albert captured the third place.

Kelsey Thatcher and Balougris SL Z

Novas returned to the ring for the $1,500 Low Junior Jumper Accumulator, sponsored by LUXMAX U.S.A., with Amyra R. She was able to navigate all nine obstacles without dropping a rail, and then opted for the joker to finish with a total of 65 points, the maximum possible. Her time of 43.875 seconds was too fast to catch, and even second place rider Lisa Brackett with Memphis Belle was nearly five seconds off her pace. Caelinn Leahy and Kaner 88 finished in third for their clear effort and 65-point total in 48.465 seconds.

"Lance told me I had to go really fast when I got in the ring, and I didn't really know what that meant, so I just went for it," Novas laughed. "I just went as fast as I could and tried to turn back on the jumps pretty hard. I had never participated in an Accumulator class before, but it was a lot of fun. Amyra R is a hot horse. She doesn't have a huge step, but she has a lot of foot speed and energy."

Stephanie Novas and Amyra R

It was Ericka Baran and Ad Fundum who took the top honors during the $1,500 Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers, sponsored by LUXMAX U.S.A., securing the lead with a 65-point total in 48.513 seconds. Baran also picked up the third place award with her second mount, Calvigo, riding to a clear effort in 50 seconds even. Melissa Orlick-Zbierski and Viekie, owned by Isotropic Networks, Inc., just passed Baran and Calvigo to earn the red ribbon with 65 points in 49.848 seconds.

"Ad Fundum, or Whitey as he is known around the barn, is pretty special. He is always right there for me," Baran said of her winning mount. "He has spunk. Luckily he didn't show his extra special spunky side today. The plan was to just make neat turns and be as smooth as possible; it worked really well."

Ericka Baran and Ad Fundum

Baran continued, "I was actually working this morning, but I was able to make it enough time for this class. I am so glad I did! These special classes are really neat, and we didn't have a lot of opportunities to do them, especially as amateurs. This horse show is great at giving us lots of options and fun stuff to do that we may not be able to do elsewhere."


$1,500 WIHS Jumper Classics


Isabella Roman and Dreaming Out Loud won the $1,500 WIHS Children's Jumper Classic, sponsored by CWD Saddles, early Friday morning. Roman rides with Sue Leverick out of Millennium Farm in Mundelein, IL. Roman only recently moved up to the Children's Jumpers, and the young talent only began riding Dreaming Out Loud six months prior to the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series.

"In the jump off I just pushed her to see what her limits, were and she really gave it to me. She was perfect," Roman said. "I went really early. My heart kind of sank as the times got faster, but the rails were coming down so I was just hoping I could stay on top. This was my first big win with her."

Isabella Roman and Dream Out Loud. 
Photo By: Andrew Ryback Photography

Kenya Greenburg and Orion's Isis picked up the second place ribbon, and Madi Grady and Warhol finished third.

During the $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by CWD Saddles, Kristin Smith and Ophelia, owned by Jill Donaldson of Indianapolis, IN, took the blue. Molly Struve and Orchidee MiLody captured second place and Esquilino Bay with Heidi Schaefer in the irons took home third.

Kristin Smith and Ophelia 
Photo By: Andrew Ryback Photography

Smith rides with Tammy Provost and Meadowview Farm of Sheridan, IN, and juggles the life of a mother and a competitive equestrian. Riding since childhood, Smith has always been committed to the saddle. She rides with Provost on the weekends, and has been riding the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Ophelia, for a little over six months.

"It's an amazing horse. She's really fun to ride and really fast," Smith elaborated. "I showed here years ago when none of this was here. It's beautiful; the rings are huge; the footing is good, and there are great places to sit and watch. I love it here."


$500 Pony Jumper Classic


Wrapping up the day in Ring 5 was Carson Ruff and Jet Pilot. They stole the spotlight in the $500 Pony Jumper Classic, riding to the win with speed and accuracy. Owned by Sarah Ruff of Maple Park, IL, Jet Pilot's race against the clock was the perfect end to the third day of the Showplace Spring Spectacular.

Carson Ruff and Jet Pilot 
Photo By: Andrew Ryback Photography

The Spring Spectacular II will come to a conclusion on Sunday with its highlight event of the week, the $30,000 Showplace Grand Prix, sponsored by Nutrena. Leading up to the week's finale, the Children's, Adult, Junior and Amateur-Owner riders will compete in their division classics. For more information on the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series, please visit:

Make Your Way Back to Spring Spectacular

Now With New Third Week and USHJA 
$25,000 International Hunter Derby


Showplace Productions' Spring Spectacular is bigger and better than ever. Showplace has added another week to its popular Spring Spectacular event from June 17-22. This new week will allow competitors to attend their regular summer circuits and have a taste of what Showplace and Chicago have to offer on a week when they might be off or traveling. Showplace Productions has added new classes and over-the-top hospitality to make your showing experience even more enjoyable at beautiful Lamplight Equestrian Center.

During Week III, Showplace Productions will hold a USHJA $10,000 National Hunter Derby and a USHJA $25,000 International Hunter Derby in the Grand Prix Ring, plus compete to earn WCHR points. More prize monies have been added to the Open Jumpers, Welcomes and Junior/Amateurs Owners. A new and exciting Accumulator class has been added to the Junior/Amateur Owner division. For professionals, Showplace is offering the opportunity to show young jumpers in some classes at no cost. There will also be some no cost Tuesday schooling opportunities for the pros. For Juniors, an all-new Equitation Championship will be held on Sunday of Week III. Juniors will be asked to demonstrate their horsemanship skills without the help of their trainers in this challenging class. There is something for everyone and a good reason to make your way back to Chicago for Spring Spectacular.