“He knew he did well,” Rinaldi said of the 13-year-old Belgium Warmblood. “Every time the crowd goes wild, he goes wild, too. He knows he did his job well. He has such an amazing attitude and personality. He performed amazing today. He didn’t tug at one jump the entire day. He was jumping so well and listened to everything I asked of him. I’m still in shock about the win.”
|Giavanna Rinaldi and Dulf Van Den Bisshop|
The $75,000 Grand Prix was not the first big win for the recent Auburn signee, who claimed the $50,000 Grand Prix the week before on Saturday, July 30 aboard the same mount. The motivated and skilled athlete plans to continue the winning streak through the final week of the Chicago Festival of the Horse in the final $25,000 Grand Prix of the competition.
Rinaldi not only earned a blue ribbon, but also a third-place finish aboard her other mount, Thalys Z.
Aboard the mare, Rinaldi was the first to go faultless in the jump-off after three athletes were unable to keep all the rails intact. The pair clocked in a time of 41.084 seconds to set the time to beat.
|Giavanna Rinaldi and Dulf Van Den Bisshop|
“I knew no one else was double clear when I went in on Thalys,” Rinaldi explained about her strategy upon entering the ring for the jump-off. “I wanted to make sure to go double clear, and I did. But, I knew that I had to make up time when I got on Dulf, because Freddie [Vasquez] was faster than me. So, I galloped into the last line. He jumped amazing. They both did. I couldn’t be happier with both of them or the outcome.”
Vasquez and Bachelor 4 entered the ring as Rinaldi and Thalys exited and stole the lead. Crossing the finish line in 40.133 seconds, Vasquez held on to the top spot until Rinaldi returned aboard the bay stallion a round later and beat his time by two seconds, galloping away with a time of 38.254 seconds.
|Giavanna Rinaldi and Thalys Z|
“There is not a more deserving rider,” Vasquez said about the young victor. “I wouldn’t have wanted to lose to anyone else. She’s a great up-and-coming rider.”
Eight horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off after clearing the first round of the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course. While Rinaldi secured first and third, Vasquez claimed the red ribbon.
“The course rode just like it walked,” Vasquez shared. “Bachelor 4 listened to me, jumped well and felt great. There were a lot of good and seasoned riders in this class, and Gia is young and brave. I’m happy for her. She rode great. No one can take that away from her.”
Vasquez was very proud of his 14-year-old Rheinlander, who earned a second-place finish in the $25,000 Welcome Stakes earlier in the week.
|Freddie Vasquez and Bachelor 4|
“He’s a super careful horse,” Vasquez said. “He’s not the fastest, but fast enough. He’s always consistent and takes away a piece of the classes he competes in.”
The final rider of the jump-off was Amelia McArdle, who was the only other athlete other than Rinaldi and Vasquez to have a faultless speed round. She and Melody Des Hayettes Z locked in a time of 45.963 seconds to earn the fourth place spot on the leaderboard.
Earning the Kastel Denmark Style of Riding award was none other than Liz Atkins. The fifth place rider had the fastest 4-fault effort of the evening during the final round. She and Undine finished in a time of 38.363 seconds. Coming in two seconds behind Atkins on the leaderboard was Boyd Douglas and Berkley III with 4-faults in a time of 40.418 second to round out the top six.
For many years, Rinaldi has spent her summers at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. She concluded, “I always love coming to Lamplight, because I grew up here!”
Spectators can look forward to the $25,000 Jumper Derby on Sunday, August 7 at the Lamplight Equestrian Center, slated to begin at 2 p.m.
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.
RESULTS – $75,000 Grand Prix
1 DULF VAN DEN BISSCHOP RINALDI, GIAVANNA
2 BACHELOR 4 VAZQUEZ, FREDDIE
3 THALYS Z RINALDI, GIAVANNA
4 SENIORITA DE LA ROQUE MC ARDLE, AMELIA
5 UNDINE ATKINS, LIZ
6 BERKLEY III BOYD, DOUGLAS
7 MTM COMO NO FENNEY, TRACY
8 MELODY DES HAYETTES Z ZIEGLER, CAITLIN
9 EMIR D HICKS, SHANNON
10 ALONSO DU MONSELET CHESKA, RICHARD
11 MTM REVE DU PARADIS FENNEY, TRACY
12 PLAYBOY JAYNE, CHARLIE
|Lindsey Black and Balenciaga|
Balenciaga is a 6-year old Warmblood, and Black has owned the mare since she was a 2-year old. Black said, “She was actually champion last year in the Adults, and we just moved her up, so this is her second horse show in the 3’3”. She’s super quiet; she’s like a yellow lab! She loves all different kinds of treats. She’s just super easy going, which is so nice for an amateur to have because she never spooks and she’s super brave.”
Black and Balenciaga earned a third place during Friday’s portion of the division, and came back strong to finish out on Saturday. The pair put down a first round that earned a score of 80, and successfully navigated the handy round track to earn a score of 84, adding two first place ribbons to their total earnings.
“That was a long handy round, but I think everything rode really nice,” said Black. “It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of turns in there and I really like cantering to the first jump. It was also really nice to have some turns before the trot jump.”
|Lindsey Black and Balenciaga|
Black rides with Ashley Hill, and has enjoyed training with her. She said, “It’s awesome training with Ashley. She’s very detail oriented and it’s always really good to have. She gives you great insight because she rides as well. She has a lot of perspective for how things work in the ring.”
Reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter division went to Lesley Quillen aboard Timeless. Quillen and Timeless earned a total of a first place, two seconds, and two thirds during the two-day span of the division.
In the Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter division, it was Therese Peck and MTM Passport that earned top honors and ultimately the championship ribbon. Peck and MTM Passport’s winnings totaled three firsts and two seconds to clinch the win.
|Therese Peck and MTM Passport|
“He was really good today!” Peck said of MTM Passport. “He was really good in the handy today, he’s getting so much more consistent. He was a First Year horse last year, so this year he’s kind of found his game!”
For the handy round, Peck and her horse earned a score of 81, smoothly finding their way around the rollback turns and trot fence. Peck said, “[MTM Passport] is just is so easy; he’s easy to turn, he’s willing to do whatever you ask, you just point him and go!”
Black returned to the ring to pick up another tricolor, earning the reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter division, this time riding Lacroix. The pair’s ribbons totaled a first place, three-second place ribbons and a third place to clinch the title. Each champion was also awarded a Walsh halter in partnership with the Rider’s Boutique, whose booth is located on Vendor Row.
|Lindesy Black and Lacroix|
Black has been coming to the Lamplight Equestrian Center for years, and enjoys coming back each year to see familiar faces. She said, “It’s just a wonderful place, and everyone is so nice. People come from all over the country and luckily I’ve been showing for awhile so I know a lot of the folks, so it’s always fun to see some friends at the horse show.”
World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Chicago Festival of the Horse closes out on Sunday, August 7, with the week’s feature classes, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Competition kicks off at 8:00 a.m., and can be viewed live via Shownet at www.lamplightequestriancenter.com/streaming.