Holly Shepherd Dominates Hunter Ring to Kick Off Week One of Chicago Festival of the Horse
Wayne, Ill. – July 27, 2016 – Opening day for the 2016 Chicago Festival of the Horse saw top-notch competition and close finishes in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena. Dorothy Douglas ended the day triumphantly with a first- and third-place finish in the 1.40m Open Jumper division.
Douglas works and trains for MTM Farm, owned and operated by Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney. The young professional and MTM Farm’s newest import, MTM Niobe edged out the competition by less than a second, clocking in a time of 36.510 seconds in the 1.40m Open Jumper division.
|Dorothy Douglas and MTM Niobe|
“They imported Niobe three weeks ago,” Douglas shared. “She’s really fresh off the boat. I’ve ridden her maybe 10 times now. She’s a great ride, really easy and super scopey. She likes doing her job. She likes jumping and is definitely a show horse. She likes being in the show ring. She wants to jump clear amd she wants to jump fast. She’s really a special horse!”
Her closest competitors were Richard Rinehart, who rode a time of 36.565 seconds and settled for the red ribbon, and Douglas on her second mount Leviticus. The pair had a time of 36.961 seconds to secure third place.
“He’s slower across the ground, but he’s such a nice ride,” Douglas said. “I can’t believe I have these two awesome 1.40m horses to ride. I’ll do the Welcome Stake with Leviticus, tomorrow. It’s exciting to get in the ring and have all these opportunities. I’m really grateful to Mike and Tracy and the opportunities they’ve given me.”
The Catalina Cruz-designed course proved to be a challenge in the 1.30m Open Jumper division, as Charlie Jayne and only three other competitors made it to the jump-off round. He and Disney had the sole clear round, securing first place with a time of 42.315 seconds.
|Charlie Jayne and Disney|
“Disney is a fairly new ride for me,” Jayne said. “My father purchased her at the end of season, the last week of Florida, so I’m just getting to know her. This is maybe my fifth or sixth show with her, we’re just kind of playing around with different bits in the 1.30m, just trying to figure her out.”
He and the 8-year-old mare have plans to move up in the jumper divisions at the Chicago Festival of the Horse. Jayne commented on her growth, “I think she’s progressed a lot. She jumped clear at all six different venues this summer, and now I think I’m going to bump her up to 1.35m and 1.40m. I did my first 1.35m with her just a few weeks ago in Colorado and she was great, so I’ll probably do it again on Friday this week.”
Holly Shepherd conquered the 1.25m Open Jumpers, riding away with a blue and red ribbon a the end of the class. Shepherd was two-for-two with clear rounds on both her mounts, earning the first-place finish on Copycat with a time of 32.096 seconds and second place on Manchester with a time of 34.549 seconds.
“We’ve had Copycat since she was a baby,” Shepherd said. “She was imported from Argentina. She takes a soft ride and is awesome. You just have to stay out of her way and let her do her job.”
|Holly Shepherd and Copycat|
Shepherd and Loretta Patterson have been working together for years. While Patterson owns the horses, Shepherd shows them and together, they sell them. Shepherd has been training and showing the Argentine Warmbloods since they were young.
The Accolade Farm owner added, “They’re both small horses, so they’re very quick and agile. They’re hard to outrun.”
All three of these competitors have shown at Lamplight Equestrian Center for several years and shared their sentiments about the renowned show grounds.
“Nina Koloseike is so awesome and nice,” Douglas expressed. “We love this place. It’s easy to work, easy to manage and the horses like it. We have our campers here and everything. It’s really nice. ”
Jayne expressed, “They offer great prize money for summer shows. $25,000 and $50,000 this week and next week is $75,000, that rivals all the other shows that are going on in the summer time.”
Sheperd added, “I love this horse show. I love the footing and the trees. The grounds are great, the people are really nice, the office is good and the food is super.”
Highlights for this week’s jumper divisions include the $25,000 Welcome Stake (July 28) and the $50,000 Grand Prix (July 30). For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center’s Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. A downloadable prize list is accessible online.
Holly Shepherd Dominates Hunter Ring to Kick Off Week One of Chicago Festival of the Horse
|Holly Shepherd and White Lightning in the High Performance Working Hunter on day one of the Chicago Festival of the Horse|
The first week of the Chicago Festival of the Horse at the Lamplight Equestrian Center kicked off on Wednesday, July 27, with Holly Shepherd dominating in the Wisconsin Equine Clinic Main Hunter arena. Shepherd and her various mounts topped the first half of the Conformation Hunter and the High Performance Working Hunter to start the week off with winning ribbons.
Shepherd’s busy day started off by competing three horses in the combined Green and Regular Conformation Hunter division. She first took to the ring riding HJ Noteworthy, a 5-year old gelding owned by Loretta Patterson. Shepherd and Noteworthy earned both second place ribbons for their two courses.
“He has been champion at his last seven horse shows,” Shepherd said. “I got him as a 3-year-old, and he did his first Derby a couple of weeks ago in Colorado. This year was his first year showing and went right into the First Year Green. He’s easy to bring along!”
|Holly Shepherd and Zoso|
Zoso was the second horse that Shepherd competed, the pair earning a third place for their first course and a first place for their second course. Zoso is a homebred horse, and Shepherd has been with him since he was born.
“We started him in the jumper ring and decided he went slower than what a jumper really needs to be. This is his fifth horse show doing the hunters and he’s coming around.” She laughed, “He doesn’t really know what he’s doing out there, but he’s pretty cool.”
Shepherd finished out the class on Longstreet, owned by Barbara Risius, earning a first place in the first over fences course and a third place for their second over fences course. Of Longstreet, Shepherd said, “Longstreet is a horse that I’ve ridden in the last couple of years and he’s going to do Derby Finals a few weeks from now in Kentucky.”
|Holly Shepherd and Longstreet|
Shepherd continued her winning streak in the High Performance Working Hunter division aboard two more mounts, Flamboyant and White Lightning. Shepherd took home both first and second place ribbons on each mount for her two over fences rounds to kick off the class.
Shepherd commented on her two mounts, saying, “This horse has been with us since he was 4 and he has a lovely owner that has been customers for a very long time. He was bred in the states. He’s 9 now. White Lightning is one that I’ve shown a few times for Shannon Hicks, and he’s a fun catch ride for me.”
Shepherd added, “The horses were good, they were all pretty nice and pretty well behaved. We’ll be right back tomorrow!” Riders in both the Conformation Hunter and the High Performance Working Hunter will return to the main hunter ring to contend for their respective championships on Thursday, July 27.
|Holly Shepherd and Flamboyant|
Shepherd is quite the versatile rider, not only competing on countless hunter mounts but also riding 7 different horses in the jumper divisions. She has been coming to Lamplight over the years to compete with her mounts, and said, “I love the grounds, all these beautiful trees and the people are all really nice here. The rings are really nice and it’s just a beautiful setting!”
Highlights for this week’s hunter divisions include the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by CWD, set to take place on Friday, July 29, at 8:00 a.m.
Equifest I kicks off the 2016 Chicago Festival of the Horse, July 27-31. During the first week, audiences will be able to enjoy the $25,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday and $50,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, while the $5,000 National Hunter Derby will be available on Friday.
The second week of competition, Equifest II, will have several prominent events to watch, beginning with the $25,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday. Friday will be the second National Hunter Derby of the competition, and Saturday will feature the highly anticipated $75,000 Grand Prix. On Sunday the Hunter and Jumper divisions will partake in a $25,000 Derby.
Equifest III will round out the Chicago Festival of the Horse, August 10-14. Lamplight Equestrian Center will host a $15,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday, followed by the final $5,000 Hunter Derby of the competition. The exciting $50,000 Grand Prix will take place on Saturday, while the final Equifest classes close out the Chicago Festival of the Horse on Sunday.
For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center’s Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. A downloadable prize list is accessible online.