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Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular Highlights Thursday, June 4th

Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike captured the win during the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center during the Spring Spectacular I.

Something Borrowed, Something Blue for Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike, Winning $20,000 Open Welcome Stake at the Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular I
By: Kendall Bierer


Wayne, IL - June 4, 2015 - Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike have proven themselves as formidable contenders in the grand prix ring, and today was no exception for the unique pair as they captured the win during the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake, sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center at the Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular I. 


"I think the name fits him," Holloway said of the speedy 9-year-old gelding. "As long as I am within striking range, I know I will get lucky with him. He will do the rest. He has the heart and he is a real trier."


Holloway beat out a competitive field of nearly 40 exhibitors on the second day of the three-week series. She rode to the untouchable time of 41.041 seconds, using Lucky Strike's stride to her advantage down the final line of Danny Foster's (CAN) speed track to shave the seconds.


As the seventh to go out of the nine qualified riders, Holloway knew she had to not only chase the leading time of 41.391 seconds, posted by Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR, but also put on the pressure with two riders remaining to show after her.


Wilhelm Genn and Welcome COR

"He has a huge step," Holloway described her winning ride. "When I put him on that speed home, I knew we had it. He turns great, he is just learning and trying to be a really god horse. I made enough mistakes out there, I would have liked a better turn to the CWD-oxer and I think I could have used his stride more to the skinny, but just to have the horse with the heart to still get out of the way when you're not perfect, and win when you do things right, I feel very lucky."


Holloway has been on a hot streak with Lucky Strike ever since she took over the ride in February. Originally bought as daughter Hunter Holloway's equitation horse, but sidelined during the USET Finals, Lucky Strike found a new partner in Holloway when Hunter borrowed her mother's grand prix horse Any Given Sunday for the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida.


Instead of sitting around, Holloway decided to call longtime trainer and friend, Michael McCormick of MTM Farms, to school her on Lucky Strike. Within a month, she and Lucky Strike moved through the levels to compete in The HITS Million in Ocala.


"We knew that we weren't going to like the results we were going to have during The HITS Million, but the experience was unparalleled," Holloway said. "That class really separates the men from the boys as Larry [Ellerman] said, and shows which horses have the heart to win. Halfway through the course, something clicked and Lucky and I got it."


They haven't slowed down since.


Holloway went on to win the inaugural

$50,000 Tryon Grand Prix, won the lion's share of the earnings during the $33,500 FEI CSI 2* Mutual of Omaha Speed Derby, and asserted their impending success during the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake once again in the windy city.  


Brandie Holloway and Lucky Strike


"We love this show, we have been coming here for years. They do such a good job-the hospitality, the footing, the ring, the judges, the course designers," Holloway said. "Pat is such a people person, and he makes this one of the best horse shows we go to all year."


Genn and Welcome COR finished just behind Holloway with a time of 41.391 seconds, while Trapp O'Neal and Capitano took the third place with a more conservative time of 42.698 seconds. Hunter Holloway and I Love Lucy secured the fourth place with a clean and conservative time of 43.290 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Dorothy Douglas and S&L Elite, while Lisa Goldman and Morrocco rounded out the top six as the fastest of the four-faulters on the short track.


Sponsor, Andrea Ferguson of Bull Run Equestrian Center was on-site for the presentation. As a longtime supporter of the show, a true horsewoman and a local facility owner, Ferguson could not say enough about the Spring Spectacular Series. 


"I think that all of us should do whatever we can to make this show and experience both successful and enjoyable. It is a beautifully run and managed operation and that is why we support it."


During the third week of the series, Ferguson will close down her casual fine dining restaurant, Niche, located in downtown Geneva, Illinois, for a trainer party. Her hope is that hosting the event, now in its second year, will foster a sense of community with all of the exhibitors.


"My husband and I own Niche in Geneva, which is fine dining, but casual. You get the same food that you would have at a white tablecloth restaurant, but casual, anything goes. We have one of the top 10 craft beer and whiskey selections in the Chicago-area," Ferguson said. "I am aware of how hard trainers work here, since I own Bull Run Equestrian Center, and I thought it would be fun if we close the restaurant and bring in the trainers to enjoy dinner and drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. What is the point of owning a restaurant if you can't do that? It's all about great food, great spirits and great people."


$1,000 Young Jumper 6-Year-Old Championship


Lisa Goldman and Roc N Groovy


Lisa Goldman and Roc N Groovy were the only horse and rider combination to successfully jump to two double clear rounds during the $1,000 Young Jumper 6-Year-Old Championship. As the last to go in the class, Goldman laid down a speedy jump-off time of 35.752 seconds, without fault aboard Roc N Groovy, a Roc USA baby.


Goldman shined with the young horse during over the last year, claiming the Young Jumper 5-Year-Old Championship in Kentucky as the only triple-clean 5-year-old, as well as jumping to the top of the leader board during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, this past winter circuit.


"She has been awesome," Goldman said. "She is like a little Morocco, she likes to go in a hackamore, and she likes to run right up to the jump. There is a reason that we call her 'Perfect Penny,' she is just wonderful. She is naturally careful, and she is a little short-strided, which I think helped her to be the only one to go clean."


Theo Genn and Enigma claimed the second place as the fastest of the four-faulters, completing the shortened track in 35.902 seconds to narrowly beat out his father, Wilhem Genn. Wilhelm was awarded the third place with his four-fault round completed in 38.169 seconds with Colora.


Goldman also captured the win with Roc N Groovy's half-sister, Rocs to Riches, during the $2,500 1.30m Open Jumpers, earlier in the day. Goldman finished just ahead of Trapp O'Neal and Gatsby and third place finisher Liz Atkins and Undine.


$1,000 Young Jumper 7-Year-Old Championship


Theo Genn and Van Gogh


Theo Genn returned to the Grand Prix Ring for the $1,000 Young Jumper 7-Year-Old Championship with Van Gogh. Wilhelm Genn purchased the chestnut gelding as a young 5-year-old, and the mount has continued to shine with Theo in the irons. Theo once again beat out his father during the short track, laying down the only double-clear effort of the championship class in 41.668 seconds. Wilhelm finished in second with Dieta in 39.567 seconds, while Liz Atkins rounded out the top three with Rodeo VDL.


"He is a very special and sensitive young horse. He is calm, thoughtful and smart with huge scope. He is probably the most careful horse I have ridden," Genn said of Van Gogh. "I hope to hang onto him and see what he turns into in the next couple of years."


Theo also clinched the victory during the Young Jumper 5-Year-Old Championship, putting in a clear round with Beckam.


$500 Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumper Classic


David Dorner and King B
Photo By: Andrew Ryback 

During the $500 Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumper Classic, David Dorner showed King B, owned by Annabella Harold, to the first place finish. Trapp O'Neal and Au Girl, owned by Caitlyn Epperson, took the second place, while Sara Kemper and Barack rounded out the top three.


Dorner and O'Neal battled it out over the opening two days of the Spring Spectacular I, but Dorner closed out the division with the championship. He rode to the first place finish during Wednesday's Take 2 Thoroughbred Jumpers, as well as collected the fourth place finish with King B. The Classic was the icing on the cake for the pair, giving them the championship title, while O'Neal and Au Girl were awarded the reserve championship.


The $5,000 1.30m Open Jumpers sponsored by Canterbury Farm, and the $2,500 1.40m Open Jumpers will take center stage tomorrow afternoon in the Grand Prix Ring at the Spring Spectacular I as riders from across the nation vie for top honors. The High and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers will prepare for the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the $10,000 NAL Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Sunday.


Professional Hunter Divisions Wrap Up on Second Day of Spring Spectacular I  

 By: Elaine Wessel 


It was a picturesque day at the Lamplight Equestrian Center where the second day of competition for the Showplace Spring Spectacular kicked off. Exhibitors laid down competitive rounds in the professional hunter divisions, yet there were a few standouts in the hunter ring who consistently claimed top honors, some in multiple divisions. To add to the good competitor turnout, the beautifully-designed and decorated course, brainchild of designer Skip Bailey, received steady praise from the exhibitors and onlookers.


"When you're in the ring you can't help but think that you have the best job in the world. It's pretty, you're on a pretty horse, and its 70 degrees and sunny. Life is good," Jodi Vazquez said, capturing the atmosphere of the showgrounds. "The jumps are so pretty and full, and the ring looks great, but it's that way with the whole facility-everything is beautiful."


The Vazquez name appeared at the top of the leaderboard during the High Performance Hunter classes today. The husband and wife duo, Freddie and Jodi Vazquez, navigated the courses aboard mounts: Presently, CR Moet, and Friday Night. Presently, owned by Mark Senn, took both blues today to add to the two yesterday with Jodi aboard, while the other two horses, both owned by Kira Telford, each took a second and third in the two classes of the day.


Jodi Vazquez and Presently

Jodi and Presently's four wins came in the fences classes, with their only loss coming in the hack. "He's a great horse. He's done everything, and is super brave with a big stride. I know that he can make the height and isn't going to spook; he is just a very enjoyable ride. He really shined these past two days," she said of her ride, whose barn name is Ziggy.


According to Vazquez, his personality in the ring matches that of outside the ring, as well; she described him as a bit cocky, which reflects while under the judges' eyes and helps produce his stellar performances. Perhaps Ziggy's competition competence will allow his owners and riders to overlook his bad habit of chewing on everything, including bridles, reins, and ribbons.


Presently and Jodi Vazquez finished out the division with the championship honors, but the other two Vazquez mounts were bested by Caroline Weeden aboard Piper Benjamin's Corvine, who had earned a first and two second place finishes the previous day to gain the reserve championship.


Performance 3'6" Working Hunter


Tiffany Hammack and Ducati

It was the team of Tiffany Hammack and Ducati who bested the field of 24 competitors in the Performance Working Hunter division at the 3'6" height this afternoon. The course consisted of eight efforts and didn't disappoint with its aesthetically beautiful jumps, living up to the Showplace reputation. Both courses this afternoon tested riders' abilities, but neither produced any trouble for Hammack and Ducati, who made the job look effortless.


"He is a very good jumper. He's very consistent and very quiet; it's easy for him to be a hunter. The courses are a lot of fun to ride," says Hammack of her mount, owned by Cassie Berke. Hammack balanced the workload and schedule required by her multiple mounts throughout the day, even missing the course walk for the $20,000 Open Welcome Stake presented by Bull Run Equestrian, which she joked was "probably a good thing so I couldn't see how high the jumps were." Although she didn't qualify for the jump-off, Hammack and Callisto Z, another Berke horse, gave a valiant effort.


Also putting in a good impression in the hunter ring was Maria Rasmussen, who earned the reserve championship behind Hammack. Rasmussen competed on Over Fences Farm, LLC's Quite Chocolate.


First/Second Year Green Working Hunter  


Caroline Weeden and Oak Grove

Continuing to prove her prowess in the hunter ring, Caroline Weeden navigated Oak Grove around the course of eight jumps to earn the title of First Year Green Champion. Oak Grove, another of Weeden's Piper Benjamin mounts, was described as "laid back but a competitor who doesn't mess around when he's in the ring," by his rider. Weeden continued on to compliment Bailey, the show's course designer, saying that "the courses have been beautiful. Skip always does a great job, especially in this ring. He makes it look beautiful and gives us a great course to ride-challenging but really nice."


Maria Rasmussen rode Ashley Netzky's Corporate to claim yet another reserve championship just one point behind Weeden and Oak Grove. The two competitors went back and forth over the two days of competition, each earning top placings through the combined First and Second Year division classes.


Green/Regular Conformation Hunter


Maggie Jayne and Bugsy Malone

Two blues were the prizes for Maggie Jayne and her mount Bugsy Malone, owned by Pony Lane Farm, today in the combined Green/Regular Conformation Hunter division. Not to be outdone, Jayne also captured the second place ribbons on her other mount, All Wrapped Up, owned by Alex Jayne. "Bugsy is more consistent; I know him really well. The jumps here are gorgeous and he loves jumping them," she commented.


The prior day Jayne navigated her way to three firsts, among other placings, in the division. A native of Illinois and a familiar face at the Showplace Series, she noted, "We treat this the same as any other show, trying to perform our best." Jayne's performances on the two earned her both the champion and reserve champion honors. Although Jayne easily took the division, Serah Vogus and Maria Rasmussen also both put in good performances, consistently taking the third and fourth spots.


Pre-Green Hunter Incentive Stake


Tracy Fenney and MTM Mingle
Photo By: Andrew Ryback 

Tracy Fenney rode her way to the lead aboard MTM Mingle, owned by MTM Farms, with a score of 86 in the day's $1,000 Pre-Green Incentive Stake to beat the field of 21 other competitors. Martien Van der Hoeven and Foremost, owned by Augusta Pines, took the second place, while Tiffany Hammack and Claudius, owned by Cassie Berke, rounded out the top three. They were separated by a mere 1.5 points, with Van der Hoeven scoring an 85 and Hammack only a half-point behind.


The Equitation and Junior Hunters begin tomorrow as the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series continues. The Washington Classic Jumper Phase will kick off the morning in the Grand Prix Ring, and will later wrap up in Hunter Ring III, with the ASPCA Maclay following later in the day.


For more information on Showplace Productions or upcoming shows, please visit

Showplace Spring Spectacular Fast Facts:

What: Three-week, USEF Premier / AA rated, Jumper Rating -  5, NAL, WIHS, M&S points eligible Showplace Productions signature event.


Prize List:
Click here for the prize list

Showplace Spring Spectacular I June 2-7, 2014 
Showplace Spring Spectacular II June 9-14, 2014 
Showplace Spring Spectacular III June 16-21, 2014

Lamplight Equestrian Center
6N940 Dunham Road
Wayne, IL 60184

$450,00 in Jumper Prize Money
$250,000 in Hunter Prize Money
$50,0000 Barrington Saddlery Grand Prix Benefitting Assistance in Healthcare
$50,000 Win Vision Grand Prix 
$50,000 Wells Fargo Advisors Grand Prix

Showplace Spring Spectacular I $500 Take 2 TB Jumper Classic
$1,000 Littlewood Farm & the Markman Family Pony Hunter Classic 
$1,000 Littlewood Farm & the Stoeckel Family NAL Children's Hunter Classic
$2,500 Littlewood Farm & the Stoeckel Family Puddle Jumper Classic 
$5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classic
$5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic
Canterbury Farm Open Jumper 1.30m

$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic 
$10,000 NAL Low Junior /Amateur Jumper Classic
$20,000 Bull Run Equestrian Open Welcome Stake
$50,000 Win Vision Grand Prix

Showplace Spring Spectacular II 

$500 Take 2 TB Jumpers Classic 

$1,000 Littlewood Farm & the Stoeckel Family NAL Children's Hunter Classic 

$1,000 Littlewood Farm & The Markman Family Pony Hunter Classic (L,M,S)

$2,500 Believe It Farm Low Amateur Owner Accumulator Class
$2,500 High Junior / Amateur Owner Accumulator Class
$2,500 Believe It Farm Low Junior Jumper Accumulator Class
$5,000 NAL Adult Jumper Classic
$5,000 NAL Children's Jumper Classic
$10,000 NAL Low Junior Amateur Owner Jumper Classic
$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic

$20,000 Nutrena Open Welcome Stake

$50,000 Barrington Saddlery Grand Prix Benefitting Assistance in Healthcare

Showplace Spring Spectacular III 

$500 Take 2 TB Jumpers Classic

$1,500 Telluride Farm / Diane Carney Grooms Class 

$2,500 Littlewood Farm & the Hoch Family Pony Hunter Derby

$2,500 Meadowview Farm Pre Green Hunter Challenge

$2,500 Meadowview Farm Open Hunter Classic 

$2,500 Meadowview Farm Junior Hunter Classic

$2,500 Meadowview Farm Amateur Owner Classic

$2,500 Chicago Equestrian Children's / Adult Hunter Derby

$2,500 Puddle Jumper Classic Sponsored by Littlewood Farm & The Stoeckel Family 

$5,000 Littlewood Farm & the Markman Family Pony Hunter Classic
$5,000 Low Junior Amateur Owner Gamblers Choice
$5,000 High Junior Amateur Owner Gamblers Choice
$7,500 Old Barrington Farm NAL Children's Jumper Classic
$7,500 NAL Adult Jumper Classic
$10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Low Junior Amateur Owner Jumper Classic
$20,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic
$10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Old Barrington Farm
$25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$20,000 The Novak Family Open Welcome Stake
$50,000 Wells Fargo Advisors Grand Prix
Showplace Equitation Championships with $3,000 Trainer Awards

Over-the-Top Spring Spectacular Hospitality Includes:
Exhibitors dinner party with music from 4-8 p.m. every Friday
Exhibitors dinner party with music from 4-8 p.m. every Saturday
Exhibitors Jersey Mikes Lunch driven around and passed out at 2 p.m. every Saturday
Exhibitors Ice Cream Party every Saturday around 3 p.m. 
VIP Tables at the Grand Prix Ring Luncheon every Saturday at 2 p.m. 
VIP Tables at the Grand Prix Ring Luncheon every Sunday at 1 p.m. 
June 18 Niche Restaurant, Geneva, IL party
Gene and Georgettis USHJA International Hunter Derby Luncheon

Manager: Patrick Boyle (847) 274-6834, Fax (847) 717-6653     
Secretary: Nicole Boyle

FROM CHICAGO: I-90 (Kennedy Expressway) West to Route 59 (Barrington, IL).
Route 59 South (Left Turn) to Stearns Road (West Bartlett, IL)
Stearns Road West (Right Turn) to end. (Dunham Road)
Left turn on Dunham Road.
1/8 mile-Lamplight Equestrian Center is on Right.

FROM DOWNTOWN ST. CHARLES: Route 64 East to Dunham Road.
North (Left Turn) on Dunham Road.
Lamplight Equestrian Center is on Left approximately 1.5 miles after Army Trail Road.

FROM ST. CHARLES HOTELS: Route 64 to Kirk Road North.
Kirk Road runs into Dunham Road. Continue North.
Lamplight Equestrian Center is on Left approximately 1.5 miles after Army Trail Road

Horse Show Accommodations
Courtyard by Marriott (2 miles)(800-321-2211) Official Hotel
Best Western Inn of St. Charles (2 miles) (800-528-1234)
Fairfield Inn & Suites (2 miles) (800-228-2800)
Hampton Inn (2 miles) (630-584-0222)
Hilton Garden Inn (2 miles) (800-445-8667)
Quality Inn (2 miles) (800-424-6423)
Holiday Inn Express (2 miles) (800-465-4329)
Super 8 Motel (2 miles) (800-800-8000)
Country Inn and Suites of St. Charles (3 miles) (800-456-4000)
Hotel Baker (3 miles) (800-284-0110)
Pheasant Run Resort, located three (3) miles south of Lamplight is a large resort complex offering golf, tennis, swimming and dining facilities. (800-474-3272)
Comfort Inn of Geneva (5 miles) (630-208-8811)
The Herrington Inn (5 miles) (800-216-2466)
The Oscar Swan Inn of Geneva (7 miles) (630-232-0173