Nicole Shahinian-Simpson Wins $50,000 AIG Grand Prix, First FEI Event at Balmoral Park
Crete, IL – August 17, 2017 –  HITS CHICAGO wrapped-up another spectacular week of competition on Sunday, August 13th with the close of Showplace End of Summer I, at beautiful Balmoral Park.

On Saturday, Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and AKUNA MATTATA, Silver Raven Farms’ feisty mare, mastered a Manuel Esparza-designed course to win the $50,000 AIG Grand Prix. On Thursday, the dynamic pair placed fifth in the $25,000 Smart Pak Welcome. “She is a blast to ride,” noted Simpson. “I had her mother, DRAGONFLY, so I’ve known her since birth. She is actually a triplet.” Simpson has developed all three who are now nine-year-olds, and says the major quality inherent in each is their willingness to compete. “She [AKUNA MATTATA] has been very game from the get-go, so it’s a lot of fun to compete with her.”

Before she became a broodmare, DRAGONFLY was a top horse for Simpson. The pair won multiple Grand Prix, competed in Nations Cups for the USA, and earned a spot on the short list for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.

At Showplace Spring Spectacular III, June 20-25, 2017, Simpson and AKUNA MATTATA won the 1.40m $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open, then the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix. And for the second time, Simpson reiterated, “The footing here is fantastic and quite a bit different from what we show on throughout the year.”

Emanuel Andrade (VEN) added his name to the new history of Balmoral Park when he and his handsome 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, BON JOVI, won the venue’s debut FEI designated event, the $25,000 SmartPak Welcome on Thursday, August 10th, and then returned on Friday to lay claim to top prize in the $10,000 Kindred Bio 1.40m Open Jumper Prix piloting his NOKIA DE BREKKA, a sixteen-year-old, bay, Selle Francais gelding.

Emanuel Andrade, at the age of twenty, has already amassed a string of high profile victories and international competition appearances, including the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and makes his home-base in the United States in Wellington, Florida.

HITS Saugerties dual $50,000 Grand Prix winner Shawn Casady opened his first foray into the Balmoral Park Grand Prix Stadium with a win in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Open Welcome aboard CAS for Wyndmont, Inc. Casady has several top ten High Performance finishes since he began riding for Ronnie Beard and Michael Dorman just four months.

Competition concluded in the Grand Prix Stadium on Sunday, August 13th, with Alexis Trosch (ARG) claiming victory in the 1.35m $10,000 Marshall &Sterling Jumper Prix atop CORTEX Z, his 8-year-old Stallion.

Show Jumping continues this week at Balmoral Park through Sunday, August 20 with Showplace End of Summer II featuring HITS CHICAGO’s first FEI CSI4* rated classes, including the $52,500 SmartPak Classic on Friday, and the $200,000 HITS Balmoral Grand Prix on Sunday, August 20th

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and AKUNA MATTATA, Silver Raven Farms’ feisty mare, mastered a Manuel Esparza-designed course to win the $50,000 AIG Grand Prix