Winner Laura Linback and Whittaker MVNZ with M.K. and J.B. Pritzker presenting.
Saturday September 8, 2012, M.K. Pritzker hosted a leading event that brings the magnificence, tradition and astonishing athleticism of equestrian Grand Prix show jumping to the greater Chicagoland area: The 2012 Evergreen Invitational $75,000 Grand Prix. By invitation only, guests attended The Evergreen Invitational held at a private horse farm in Bristol, Wisconsin, about one hour north of Chicago. With an afternoon of partly cloudy but mostly sunny skies in the countryside, guests enjoyed the Grand Prix and an elegant brunch from under beautifully decorated white tents, surrounded by a display of Ferraris from Lake Forest Sportscars and Ferrari North America, and a magnificent Promenade of upscale Shops.
The Evergreen Invitational® was founded by M.K. Pritzker as a not-for-profit organization. The proceeds from The Evergreen Invitational® benefit Northwestern Memorial Hospital. From this year’s event, over $1 million will go toward programs that assist low income infants, girls and women of all ages in the Chicago Area.
The 2012 Evergreen Invitational® has continued to be sponsored by the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, as the founding sponsors. The presenting sponsor of this elegant event was Northern Trust. The Gold Medal Sponsor was The Cressey Family, Cressey & Company, GRAFF and Grosvenor Capital Management. R. Bruce Duchossois and H’n D Stables, Inc. sponsored the $25,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic held earlier in the day. To see the full list of sponsors, please visit www.evergreeninvitational.org. Without the aid of these sponsors, the 23 horse and rider combinations would not have had a chance to compete for the final prize of $75,000.
With Richard Jeffery, award winning british course designer, as the creator of the beautiful but difficult course, riders took on the challenge. The course was set in the farm’s beautiful grass field and resembled a hunt field with a slight modern touch to the jumps. The triple combination toward the end of the course seemed to take its toll on most of the horses. Three horse and rider combinations retired, three were eliminated and eleven had over 4 faults. Five of the riders had only 4 jumping faults, leaving one clear ride during the afternoon event.
Laura Linback, riding Whittaker MVNZ, owned by Woodrun Farm in Mundelein, Illinois, was the only rider that was capable of finding that clear path through this problematic course in 94.885 seconds. No jump off was required, therefore Linback walked away with the first place prize and coveted trophy. Steve Schaefer owner and rider of Caribe, based from Grove Place Farm in Maple Park, Illinois, snagged 2nd place with four jumping faults and a time of 90.322 seconds. Maggie Jayne riding Thomas Edison, owned by Alex Jayne of Our Day Farm in Elgin, Illinois, took 3rd place with four faults as well and a time of 93.395 seconds. In a matter of three hours, three astounding Chicagoland riders walked away with the top awards of The 2012 Evergreen Invitational® $75,000 Grand Prix.