Caelinn Leahy Sets Pace to Win $20,000 Jumper Derby at Equifest II

Caelinn Leahy and Splendor

Caelinn Leahy and Splendor

Wayne, Il. – Aug. 6, 2017 –Equifest II closed out on Sunday with the $20,000 Jumper Derby at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Twenty horse-and-rider combinations geared up to race to the win in the one round, faults-converted speed class, and it was Caelinn Leahy and Splendor who came out on top.

Leopoldo Palacios set up a technical course for riders that utilized every inch of ring space to test their talents. As the first rider in the line-up, Leahy was unable to watch other riders tackle the course, but her strategy paid off. Her quick, fault-free finish of 90.107 seconds proved difficult to match as riders followed her, setting the pace for the win from the start.

Todd Minikus and VDL Excel
Todd Minikus and VDL Excel

A few riders came close to surpassing Leahy, with the first attempt coming from Michael Tokaruk and Vanrock, owned by Alex Turner. Tokaruk and Vanrock were another quick, fault-free pair, finishing in 91.524 seconds. Tokaruk maintained second place until Todd Minikus took to the ring with VDL Excel.

Minikus, known for his speed around a jumper course, completed the course fault-free and quick enough to surpass Tokaruk. He was just fractions of a second away from beating Leahy’s time, finishing in 90.329 seconds. Minikus and VDL Excel, owned by Autum View Farm, took home the second place ribbon, with third place going to Tokaruk and Vanrock.

Caelinn Leahy and Splendor
Caelinn Leahy and Splendor

Competition for Equifest III kicks off on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 8 a.m. at the Lamplight Equestrian Center.

RESULTS$20,000 Jumper Derby

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Time
1. Splendor / Caelinn Leahy / Steve Schaefer / 90.107
2. VDL Excel / Todd Minikus / Autum View Farm / 90.329
3. Vanrock / Michael Tokaruk / Alex Turner / 91.524
4. Nakiska / Stephen Foran / Kayla Imonti-Way / 94.621
5. Cristiano / Michael Tokaruk / Mattie Hatcher / 95.775
6. Werner 61 / Haley Gassel / Westwind Equine Training Center / 95.823
7. Compis / Stephen Foran / Lauren Robishaw / 99.341
8. Zersina / Annabella Sanchez / Annabella Sanchez / 100.659
9. Seniorita De La Roque / Amelia Mcardle / Old Barrington Equine LLC. / 102.992
10. Al Pachini / Shannon Hicks / Helen Gilbert / 103.182
11. Adicio / Shannon Hicks / Ashley Shaw / 103.694
12. Chicago Van Overis Z / Bryn Sadler / Showcase 81 LLC. / 105.387

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Caelinn Leahy – $20,000 Jumper Derby Winner

On her win:
“It was a lot of fun! With these classes and the faults-converted, the strategy is just to go fast and be super careful. Since I was first in the ring, we didn’t really know how anything was going to ride without watching it and doing it. There were definitely a lot of leave out places that we took advantage of! [Splendor] is a super horse and he has a huge stride, so it was really fun!”

On Splendor:
“We’re just coming off of a grand prix win at Balmoral two weeks ago, he won the $50,000 Grand Prix there. I’m just trying to figure him out still. He’s a new ride for me. He’s been a lot of fun so far, I’m just figuring out all of his little quirks. He loves to go fast so that definitely helped us today!”

On Lamplight:
“We love Lamplight! We’ve come here forever. I grew up coming here and it’s great to be back. Our plan is to be here next week as well. It should be fun!”