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Riders Cross the Finish Line in First Grand Prix at New HITS Chicago Venue

Andrew Ryback Photography created this photo in honor of the historic event, showing Sovereign, Centurion B and Caribe in the win, place, show order crossing the Balmoral Park finish line.


Lisa Goldman Writes Another Chapter in History of Balmoral Park 

Crete, IL – May 13, 2017 – Lisa Goldman and Barb Disko’s Sovereign wrote another chapter in the history of Balmoral Park as she declared victory in the $35,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix, the first grand prix of many to be held at the newly renovated horse show venue in Crete, Illinois. Excitement filled the air as riders, trainers, parents and local spectators watched the Grand Prix Ring come to life with Anderson Lima’s beautifully designed course. Goldman, a hometown favorite, kept spectators on the edge of their seats as she galloped in her usual fearless style to cross the finish line with the fastest clear round.
Lima, of Brazil, is an International FEI course designer and recently designed courses at the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour in Mexico City, Mexico, just one example on his lengthy list of esteemed credentials. Lima used the large ring by setting jumps and combinations at various angles to challenge the horse and rider combinations. He chose a variety of sponsor jumps, which included airy verticals, oxers off of short turns and the solid Balmoral Park wall. Five riders jumped clean in the first round and headed into the jump off.
Goldman, 27, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, was the first to step into the ring for the historic grand prix with Centurion B, receiving applause from the audience taking it all in. Then it was all business as Goldman set the pace with the first clear round. Annabella Sanchez of Chicago followed on her first of three rides, also adding herself to the jump-off list with a clean round on Zersina. Further down the list, Goldman returned on Hindsight, her second of three rides, and galloped to another clean round. Steve Schaefer, Maple Plains, Illinois, took a swing with his mount, Caribe, and jumped fault free to secure a spot in the jump-off. More riders took on the challenge but Goldman was the last one to add her name to the good list with her third ride, Sovereign.

Centurion B and Lisa Goldman were the first Grand Prix competitors to step into the ring at the new venue, raising applause from spectators. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Both Schaefer and Goldman are known for their fast gallops and short turns and have gone head to head many times in the grand prix ring, making for nail-biting competition. Goldman returned on Centurion B, putting in another clean round and stopping the timers at 39.08 seconds.  When Goldman returned on Hindsight, she managed to stop the clock at exactly the same time of 39.08 but knocked one rail to the ground for four faults.

Lisa Goldman and Barbara Disko's Sovereign galloped for the win. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Schaefer and Caribe tried to catch Goldman but weren’t fast enough, crossing the finish line with a time of 41.80 with all the jumps staying up. Sanchez took her turn at the shortened course, proving to be faster than Schaefer by a nose with 40.330 on the clock but sacrificed a rail in the process for four faults.

Steve Schaefer and Caribe put in two clear rounds to finish in third place in the inaugural Balmoral Grand Prix.  Photo Chicago Equestrian

On her third attempt at the jump off track, Goldman galloped Sovereign to the final clean round and the fastest time of 38.60 beating her own time on Centurion B to earn a trip to the winner’s circle. Goldman took second on Centurion B with Schaefer and Caribe in third, Goldman and Hindsight finished in fourth with Sanchez and Zersina in fifth. Sanchez did capture the top spot in the $2,500 GhoDho U25 Jumper Classic with her performance on Zersina.

Annabella Sanchez and Zersina won the $2,500 GhoDho U25 Jumper ClassicPhoto Chicago Equestrian

Goldman has a fantastic track record in the jumper ring, which earned her a trip to Europe to ride on a U.S. Developing Riders Team last summer. She has made a great comeback after being laid up this past fall with back surgery and a broken collarbone. Things are headed uphill again for Goldman, who recently got engaged and is seriously thinking of having her wedding at Balmoral Park!

Lisa Goldman and Hindsight demonstrate their trademark gallop. Photo Chicago Equestrian

Lisa and Mary Goldman in the winner's circle with Sovereign. Photo Chicago Equestrian

Riders are looking forward to the next grand prix at Balmoral Park next week during the Showplace Spring Classic II Horse Show.
Molly Struve and Stolze Lady. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography.

Other winners in the Grand Prix Ring included Molly Struve and Stolze Lady, who won the $1,500 WIHS Child/Adult Jumper Classic.
Clara Ciancuillo of Chicago, had a banner day, finishing first and second in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Jumper Classic with Secretive and Nicholas respectively.

Clara Ciancuillo and Secretive with trainer Doug Boyd. Photo Chicago Equestrian

“I love it here,” said Ciancuillo. “The rings and the footing are great and the property has such history to it which is really fun. I look forward to showing here this season.”
Next door in the Main Hunter Ring, a long list of competitors tried their luck in the $500 WIHS Child/Adult Hunter Classic but it was Britta Stoekel of Chicago, with Tuidam who walked away with the trophy.

Britta Stoeckel and Tuidam with trainer Katie Kunk. Photo Andrewy Ryback Photography

The winner in the $500 Marshall & Sterling Child/Adult Hunter Classic was Karyn Armstead and Don’t Tell Daddy.

Karen Armstead and Don't Tell Daddy with trainer Andrea Hendricks. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Competition continues on Mother’s Day with more junior and amateur owner classics in both the hunter and jumper rings. Mothers are invited to the Balmoral Woods Golf Club across the street for lunch, compliments of HITS and you can enter the social media contest on HITS Facebook or Instagram page for a chance to win prizes for mom.
For more information or a complete list of results, visit the website at

$35,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix Results


resultentryhorse / ownerriderprize
1 131 Sovereign 
Barbara Disko
Lisa Goldman 10500.00
2 118 Centurion B 
Mary Goldman
Lisa Goldman 7700.00
3 220 Caribe 
Steve Schaefer
Steve Schaefer 4550.00
4 122 Hindsight 
Lisa Goldman
Lisa Goldman 2800.00
5 19 Zersina 
Annabella Sanchez
Annabella Sanchez 2100.00
Annabella Sanchez
Annabella Sanchez 1750.00
7 44 Berkley III 
Sapphire Riding Academy
Douglas Boyd 1400.00
8 18 Zanta Fee Van T Hofterrijckel 
Annabella Sanchez
Annabella Sanchez 1050.00
9 92 For His Glory SE 
Rose Sullivan
Taylor Flury 1050.00
10 160 Compis 
Lauren Robishaw
Stephen Foran 700.00
11 209 Belvue Ben 
Sara Kemper
Sara Kemper 700.00