Wayne, Ill. – July 28, 2016 – The second day of hunter competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse finished out multiple professional hunter divisions with top riders taking home the championship and reserve ribbons. Maggie Jayne and Holly Shepherd remained strong forces in the ring, coming back to take home tricolor ribbons.
|Maggie Jayne and Frosted Blue win champion in the Green Working Hunter at Chicago Festival of the Horse|
Jayne returned to the Green Working Hunter with two first place ribbons under her belt aboard Alex Jayne’s Frosted Blue. During the first portion of the competition, Jayne and Frosted Blue swept the class, earning two first place ribbons. The pair earned a first and two seconds to clinch the championship ribbon.
Jayne said, “He’s a 6-year-old gelding. This is his seventh show in the First Years. Every time he keeps getting better and better! He’s really easy going, quiet and fun to ride.”
Jayne also competed Color Pearlz in the Green Working Hunter division, earning two third place ribbons on the first day of competition. Jayne and Color Pearlz received two firsts and a second place, earning themselves the reserve championship ribbon.
|Maggie Jayne’s mount, Frosted Blue|
Of Color Pearlz, Jayne said, “She just started hunters last month. She also just gets better and better and more consistent each time. She’s super scopey and brave and just learning the hunter thing.”
Jayne commented on her rounds in the class, saying, “I love handy rounds. My strategy was just to be as neat and tidy as possible, and they’re both really brave and easy-going horses, so it’s easy to do that on them.”
|Maggie Jayne and Color Pearlz|
In the Conformation Hunter division, Holly Shepherd continued her dominating streak riding Longstreet and Zoso. After earning a third and first on the first day with Zoso, owned by Loretta Patterson, Shepherd and the gelding nabbed the championship by receiving a first, second, and third.
“Today, he had one of the best trips of his life in the first round!” Shepherd said of Zoso. “He got a little green in the handy and had a late lead change, but he’s a funny horse. He likes to do things his way, but he’s a really natural jumper and really brave. He’s getting ready for the derbies, too.”
Shepherd also earned the reserve champion tricolor aboard Longstreet, owned by Barbara Risius. Shepherd and Longstreet’s earnings totaled two firsts, two seconds, and a third place to clinch the reserve championship.
|Holly Shepherd and Zoso|
Shepherd described Longstreet, saying, “He’s really nice to ride. Sometimes he gets a little Thoroughbred-y. You have to tame him down every once in a while, but he’s a blast to ride.”
Immediately following the Conformation Hunter, Shepherd returned to the Main Hunter ring to take home another championship, this time with White Lightning in the High Performance Working Hunter. Shepherd catch rode White Lightning for Shannon Hicks, but proved her skills on the horse to earn a total of three firsts, a second and a third.
“He is probably the best jumper I’ve ever ridden,” Shepherd said. “He’s really brave. He gets a little bit greedy sometimes, so I have to leave a little extra room where he takes over at the end. He gives you such an amazing feeling in the air. He’s just nice to ride.”
Shepherd had excellent rounds throughout the day, coming home with countless ribbons on all of her mounts. She commented on her strategy for her horses, saying, “My horses are so young right now. I’m not really asking them to do much right now, just get the job done.”
|Holly Shepherd and Longstreet|
The reserve champion ribbon in the High Performance Hunter went to Hanley Morrison, a student of Shepherd’s. Morrison earned the title aboard Tempting, a mount owned by Loretta Patterson.
Morrison said, “This is actually my first horse show with him. I’m very beginner in the hunter ring. I’ve done mainly jumpers. My hunter experience is low, but he’s a real confidence builder, and I’m very pleased with him this horse show. He can do anything in the rings. He jumps in all three rings like a champ. He’s a pleasure to ride!”
Morrison, originally from Jackson, Mississippi, has been riding with Shepherd since she was 12-years old. She has been traveling with Shepherd to the Lamplight Equestrian Center for many years.
She said, “We’ve been coming here for years, and we love it.” She continued, “[Holly Shepherd] is the most laidback, positive person ever. She gives you great feedback, lets you figure it out yourself a little bit and challenges you. I really enjoy riding with her!”
|Hanley Morrison and Tempting|
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.
The second day of the Chicago Festival of the Horse had a great start in the SmartPak sponsored Grand Prix arena.
Three competitors in the 1.25m Jumper division made it to the jump-off in the Catalina Cruz-designed course. Christopher Johnson rode away with the blue ribbon and a time of 40.254 seconds aboard Contessa, beating Ashleen Lee and Compis by a second (41.970).
The athletes in the 1.30m Jumper division experienced the same fate, while only three made the jump off, only one went double clear. Holly Shepherd and Copycat earned the victory with a time of 38.978. It was their second of the week, securing a win in the 1.25m Jumper division on Wednesday (July 27).
Unfortunate weather in the area postponed the featured $25,000 Welcome Stake for Friday morning (July 29).
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.