Chicago Equestrian - News, Events, Contacts and Marketing Services

Kelsey Thatcher Captures Champion and Reserve in the Amateur-Owner Hunters at Showplace Spring Spectacular I

Kelsey Thatcher Captures Champion and Reserve in the Amateur-Owner Hunters at Showplace Spring Spectacular I 

Kelsey Thatcher rode Bugsy Malone to the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship at Showplace Spring Spectacular I.
Wayne, IL - June 8, 2014 - Kelsey Thatcher controlled the Amateur-Owner Hunter division at the Showplace Spring Spectacular I, taking both the champion and reserve champion spots with Pony Lane Farm horses. Thatcher, 21, of Bluffdale, UT, rode Bugsy Malone to the top of the pack and her mount Starina B slipped into the reserve slot. Thatcher has a third horse she rode in the division, The Answer, which is a newer ride for her. Today was only the third time she even rode him much less showed him.

"Bugsy is amazing," said Thatcher. "He's little, jumps amazing and is such a blast. He's still a bit green so you have to watch him. I'm really happy with how he's progressed, it's only our third show together. Starina is wonderful as usual; she's so fun to hunt on. She makes me wish there was a 4' amateur division!"

Thatcher was recently champion at the prestigious Devon Horse Show aboard Pony Lane Farm's Fredrick. She also just graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Thatcher will be looking for a position as a K-5 teacher and will be student teaching in Athens, GA, in the fall. 

Thatcher and the Pony Lane Farm plans to stay for all three weeks of the Spring Spectacular Series and then will head to Lake Placid for the show there. 

"Pat Boyle does a great job with Lamplight-the flowers, the food, and the amazing scoreboard in the jumper ring! He has a beautiful facility and runs the shows so well. Lamplight is always one of my favorite shows of the summer," added Thatcher.
Kelsey Thatcher also rode Starina B to the Amateur-Owner Hunter Reserve Championship.
Also wrapping up their division today were the Amateur-Owner 3'3"Hunters. Champion in Section A was Cinza, owned and ridden by Sara Gentry of West Dundee, IL.  Cinza is a 7-year-old Oldenberg gelding, one of two mounts Gentry rode in the division. Gentry won four of the five classes in the division aboard Cinza for the championship.

The Section B Champion in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters was Cecret Weapon, owned and ridden by Courtenay Billings of Bixby, OK.  Billings also has a second horse she rides in the division, Don't Tell.

Billings and trainer Joey Brumbaugh of Tulsa attended the horse show last year and loved it. 
Cecret Weapon was champion in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters Section B with Courtenay Billings.
"I chose to come back to Showplace because the facility is beautiful, the show is well run and the competition is great," said Billings. "My horses really seem to like the main hunter ring." 

Billings and Brumbaugh are staying on for Week II of Spring Spectacular Series.

Reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters Section A was Gretta, a 13-year-old warmblood mare ridden by Mindy Cortez of Tulsa, OK. Cortez placed second in both over fences classes today to go with her two thirds from Saturday and a fourth in the under saddle.

Reserve champion in Section B was Everafter with Beth Harrison Meyer of Chicago, IL. Meyer rides with Rush and Caroline Weeden of Brookwood Farm in Antioch, IL. She has had the horse for 12 years now and confesses that she rides for fun.
Beth Harrison Meyer and Everafter were reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter Section B.
"I work and I'm a mom," said Meyer, "so I only get to ride on the weekends. The farm is beautiful, the care is great, the family is great-I can't say enough about it! My horse is always cared for and ready to go."  

Meyer's daughter, Cate, just started in the short stirrup division and showed in the walk trot class placing fifth with the pony Mistletoe. The group heads to the Kentucky horse shows next. 

Finishing off the division, the winner of the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic was Nicole Hiehle of Dublin, OH, and her Oldenberg mare, Lovely Charity, with the highest scores of 84 and 86. 

The Spring Spectacular continues next week with a Candice King clinic on Monday and Tuesday and regular competition resuming on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. 

For more information on the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series please

$1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic
award    entry    horse / owner    rider
1    701    Lovely Charity   Nicole Hiehle    Nicole Hiehle
2    238    Classic Contender    Eighteen Acres Farm    Mindy Coretz
3    160    Cecret Weapon    Courtenay Billings    Courtenay Billings
4    478    Bugsy Malone    Pony Lane Farm    Kelsey Thatcher
5    239    Gretta    Eighteen Acres Farm    Mindy Coretz
6    474    Starina B    Pony Lane Farm    Kelsey Thatcher
7    281    Nairobi News    Amanda Williamson    Amanda Williamson
8    438    Ulex    Jennifer Sprenger    Jennifer Sprenger
9    280    Everafter    Beth Harrison Meyer    Beth Harrison Meyer
10    304    Trust Me    Shannon Kelly    Shannon Kelly    

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.