Crete, Ill. – Aug. 13, 2018 – Showplace End of Summer I at HITS Balmoral Park concluded Sunday as riders prepare for week II and the $500,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix CSI5*. This week saw jumpers take over for unparalleled competition in the grand prix ring.
The week began with national competitors riding for the win in the $5,000 Johnson Horse Transportation. Kelli Cruciotti rode to the first place finish aboard Grandy De Laubry in a time of 35.605 and also captured the fourth place finish aboard Energy in 37.626 seconds. The second and third place ribbons were awarded to Todd Minikus with Lord Calador and Luken Du Rouet, speeding to times of 35.750 and 37.264, respectively. Rounding out the top five was Lisa Goldman and Nike with a jump-off time of 37.798.
Continuing with national competition, Minikus bested the field in the $10,000 KindredBio 1.40m Open Jumper Prix aboard Lord Calador in a jump-off time of 36.738 seconds. Emanuel Andrade finished second, third, and fifth with Bon Jovi, Tupac Van De, and Boy IV in times of 36.951, 37.724 and 39.671 respectively. Australia’s Rowan Willis was fourth with his mount Italian Gold Van De Kruishoeve in a jump-off time of 37.744.
Kicking off the FEI classes, Christian Heineking flew to a first place finish in the $35,000 Balmoral Park Welcome aboard NKH Caruso in a jump-off time of 39.22. Minikus finished in second aboard Chaventyno with a time of 40.15. Hardrock Z and Andrade were third in a jump-off time of 40.18 while Goldman took fourth place aboard Sovereign in a jump-off time of 40.85. Canadian Beth Underhill and Count Me In took fifth place in a jump-off time of 40.93.
Underhill came back on Sunday to take the win in the $50,000 Adequan Grand Prix FEI CSI2* after a skilled first round and and an exciting jump-off, with her mount Count Me In, flying to the winning time of 33.82 seconds. Underhill plans to return for Showplace End of Summer II next week.
Riding for Ireland, Kevin Babington was second with a jump-off time of 34.33 aboard Super Chilled. Babington, who was showing at HITS Balmoral for the first time, raved about the facility. “I’m really impressed with this facility. John Madden called me up to see how the footing was – what could I say but that it is great!,” he said, laughing. Beezie Madden will be joining Babington and over forty other FEI riders next week for the $500,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix FEI CSI5*.
David Blake, also representing Ireland, was third aboard Keoki in a jump-off time of 36.04, entering as the final rider in the first round to qualify for the jump-off.
Competition at HITS Chicago will resume next week with more FEI competition, featuring the $500,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix FEI CSI5*.