Equifest I Kicks Off in Winning Fashion at the Lamplight Equestrian Center

Wayne, Ill. – July 25, 2018 – The first day of competition at the 2018 Chicago Festival of the Horse at the Lamplight Equestrian Center kicked off bright and early Wednesday morning with full classes in each of the venue’s scenic rings. The festival, which will run July 25 to Aug. 12, attracts top talent from the nation’s best hunter and jumper competitors, and the welcoming, comfortable environment is ideal for exhibitors and spectators alike.

Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple

In the Grand Prix ring, Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple, owned by MTM Farm, kicked off the first week of Equifest with a win in the Open 1.40m jumpers. Dorothy Douglas and MTM Farm’s MTM Maguire were the first pair to go double clear, setting the jump-off pace for the rest of the class at 30.758 seconds. Fenney and MTM Apple would follow the new leaders, and would complete a slightly faster jump-off to finish in 29.310 and take over the lead.

Wilhelm Genn was the final rider in the ring, also completing a clear first round to advance to the jump-off. Genn and his own Van Gogh attempted to outdo Fenney’s lead, but the pair would  ultimately take home second place with a jump-off time of 30.123 seconds. Douglas and MTM Maguire would round out the top three for the class.

Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh

In the Open 1.30m jumpers, Fenney would earn yet another win, this time aboard MTM Simone, also owned by MTM Farm. Fenney and MTM Simone successfully naviagted a quick, clear jump-off in 26.003 seconds to best the field of horse and athlete combinations. Douglas Boyd and Calvigo, owned by Sapphire Riding Academy, took home second place, and third place went to Hailey Royce and her own mount Quint.

In the main hunter arena, Holly Shepard started off the day on the right foot, taking the lead in the Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division. Aboard Jerez Mail, a gelding owned by Micaela Kennedy, Shepard rode to first place finishes in both over-fences classes to take a clear lead.

Holly Shepherd and Jerez Mail

Jason Schnelle and Shipshape, owned by Mindy Wurzburg LLC, also had a strong start in the division, taking a blue ribbon in an over-fences class as well the under-saddle. Jennifer Alfano of SBS Farms and Talladega, owned by Sharon O’Neill, finished second in the Green 3’6”/3’9” over-fences class. The Green Hunter 3’6’’/3’9’’ division will crown its champion on Thursday, July 26.

In the combined High Performance/ Performance Hunter 3’6” division, Rachel Johnson and Sorano, owned by Erica O’Neil, took the lead on the first day with two red ribbon finishes in their over-fences classes. Abigail Blankenship and Capital Hill, owned by Claire Azar, Steve Schaefer and Holly Yeterian’s Color Pearlz each earned a first place over fences. The division will honor its champion and reserfe on Thursday, July 26, after a third over fences class and an under saddle.

Competition at the 2018 Chicago Festival of the Horse will resume Thursday, July 26, at 8 a.m. http://www.lamplightequestriancenter.com/

FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE

Tracy Fenney – Open 1.40m Jumper winner

On her win with MTM Apple
“We just purchased her, and she was in quarantine while we were in Balmoral in June and we picked her up at the end of the show. So we’ve had her for almost a month. We took her to Tryon and I showed her one or two weeks there. So we just imported her from Europe and we’re very excited. She rides really lovely for only being here for such a short period of time and only being seven years-old. She seems to be super scopey and careful, she does it easy. Today we were trying to see if we should do her in the Grand Prix tomorrow and testing her a little bit, so we’re going to give it a whirl! We’re excited to be able to have her.”

On showing at Lamplight
“We love it! It’s so pretty. They do such a nice job, Nina [Moore’s] place is amazing and really well thought out and planned and always beautiful.”

Holly Shepherd – Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division leader

On Jerez Mail:
“He’s a young 6-year-old from Argentina. I showed him as a pre-green horse last year in a couple horse shows. The judges either really like the way he over-jumps or they don’t let him win. He’s coming into his own in the 3’6” ring now and is like ‘I got this, I think I know how to win!’ So we’re excited about him.”

On her rounds:
“He’s a really fun horse to ride, one of my favorites. You just float the reins and he tries really hard. Super soft across the ground, super manageable. He’s lovely to ride. The course was nice too!”

On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“I love this horse show, I wait all year long to come to this horse show. I just love it here!”

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