Wayne, Il. – July 27, 2017 – Day two of Chicago Festival of the Horse held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, picked up some momentum with exciting wins in both the jumper and hunter arenas. Exhibitors gathered arena the Smart Pak Grand Prix arena to watch competitors tackle Peter Grant’s course for the $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix. In the end, Ashley Fleischhacker was the only rider to successfully clear Grant’s challenging course, earning the first place finish among the field of riders.
Fleischhacker and Auckland De L’Enclos were the sixth pair to enter the ring after competitors before her couldn’t complete a fault-free round. She set the bar as she managed to keep all of the rails up throughout the course, finishing in 84.719 seconds.
Many riders that followed tried to match Fleischhacker, but were unsuccessful. Holly Shepherd and her mount Sky High were the final pair to attempt a clear round and give the exhibitors a jump-off. Unfortunately, Shepherd had a rail down in the course, finishing with 4 faults in 77.045 seconds.
Fleischhacker and Auckland De L’Enclos were able to maintain their lead and take home the blue for the class. Shepherd and Sky High took home the second place, while Bryn Sadler and Cezarro rounded out the top three.
The $50,000 Grand Prix is set to kick off at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 in the Smart Pak Grand Prix Arena at the Lamplight Equestrian Center.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Ashley Fleischhacker – $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix winner
On Auckland De L’Enclos:
“He is one that I haven’t had for very long. I’ve been off for a few weeks because I had surgery on my ankle, so this was my first class back. It’s a nice way to come back! He’s extremely scopey, a bit quirky, funny, but a brave, good, honest man.”
On the course:
“It was a good course for him because of all of the turns and the lines actually worked out better for him than I think most horses. He could leave out some strides and the turns were all in his favorite direction. He’s just got so much scope it’s like a piece of cake for him.”
“I love it here! I grew up coming here and I hadn’t been here for years. I came back last year and had a great time. I’ve come back this year and I love it, it’s fun.”
Holly Shepherd – $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix, 2nd place
On Sky High:
“We’ve had him for a little over a year now and he’s nine this year. I’ve just been trying to put him together, he’s a big horse and he hadn’t had a whole lot of mileage. He’s difficult because I’m used to riding little horses, checking the reins and turning them loose, and I can’t do that so much on him. He’s been a lot of fun to have around!”
On being back at Lamplight:
“This is my favorite horse show we do all year long. It has so much character, almost always beautiful weather and super nice shade. Always super nice people, great footing, they do a great job here for sure. I won’t miss it! I’ll be back every year. It goes on our every year schedule and not too many horse shows do. It’s a must do for us, and we’re 15-16 hours away so it’s a hike for us, but we love it!”
Jennifer Alfano and Candid Win Championship in High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter Division
Returning to the hunter ring after their stellar performance in Wednesday’s High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter division classes, Jennifer Alfano and Candid of SBS Farms came out on top with tricolors after well-ridden rounds that earned them two blue ribbons. Alfano, head trainer at SBS Farms out of Buffalo, New York, is enjoying her time back in the saddle, competing with her team at Lamplight Equestrian Center.
Maria Rasmussen and Corporate, owned by Corporate Way LLC, took home the reserve championship title after solid performances on the second day of High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter classes.
Maria Rasmussen and O. Edward Claim Blue in USHJA Green Hunter Incentive 3′ and 3’3″
Maria Rasmussen and O. Edward, owned by Sunset View Farm LLC, topped the field in the USHJA Green Hunter 3’3″ Incentive class on Thursday with a well-executed round in the main hunter ring. Douglas Boyd and As You Wish, owned by Jodi Krugman, finished just behind Rasmussen in second place, followed by Jordan Gilchrist aboard Shy Boy, owned by Laura Hightower.
Rasmussen and O. Edward earned the blue ribbon with a score of 83, followed by Boyd and As You Wish, who earned a score of 79.5. Gilchrist and Shy Boy were awarded a score of 76 that put them in third place.
The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by CWD will begin Friday, July 28, at 8:00 a.m. in the main hunter arena. Still to look forward to on Saturday, July 30, the hunter arena will also host the $1,000 Amateur Owner Hunter Classic and the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Maria Rasmussen – USHJA Green Hunter 3’3″ Incentive winner
On her winning round:
“He was really good today, he went really well. He’s an easy, fun and nice horse. He’s just one of those horses that’s really straight, balanced and simple. Never any spooks, just really straight-forward.”
On O. Edward:
“We call him Eddie, he’s six years old. He’s just a good boy. He’s always been a really easy horse to have around. He has a kid that rides him – She started this year in the children’s hunters and then moved up to the 3’3″ Juniors.”
“I grew up around here. Since I was eight years old I’ve been coming here. It’s a really pretty venue and Alan runs a great horse show. It’s quiet and laid back, and has a lot of good people.”