Wayne, Il. – July 26, 2017 – Day one of Chicago Festival of the Horse kicked off at the picturesque Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, on Wednesday morning. Some of the best horses and riders from across the country have gathered to compete at the prestigious venue that is home to the Chicago Festival of the Horse for the exciting three-week event.
The grounds bustled with activity on the first day, with classes running in numerous well-maintained hunter rings and the grand prix jumper arena. The vendors, many of which are the generous sponsors of the Chicago Festival of the Horse, have set up shop on vendor row under the shade trees. The facility boasts quality, world-class footing, exquisite landscaping, a cozy layout and peaceful atmosphere.
The Hitching-Post VIP tent is now open! Set alongside the beautiful grand prix ring, it is the ideal location to watch all of the activity in comfort with refreshments provided. To learn more about getting the full VIP experience, please inquire inside the horse show office or at the Hitching-Post VIP tent.
Jennifer Alfano and Candid Take the Lead in High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter Division
Off to a good start in the High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter division, Jennifer Alfano and Candid of SBS Farms took the lead with three blue ribbons and one yellow on the first day of Equifest. Alfano, head trainer at SBS Farms out of Buffalo, New York, has made an impressive comeback to the hunter ring after being sidelined by an injury last year.
Maria Rasmussen and Corporate followed the pair, earning three second place spots and one first place. Rasmussen and Subject to Change also claimed three third place finishes and one second place after the first day. All riders will return to the ring to compete for the championship title in the division on Thursday.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jennifer Alfano – High Performance Conformation 3’9″ Hunter winner
On her rounds:
“He felt great today. I thought he was great both rounds. This is only my second time showing him since I’ve been back after being hurt. I felt much better on him today than I did at the last show. He was great today.”
“He has a freaky good jump. It’s always the same, whether you’re a little deep or a little long. He just always gives you an amazing jump.”
Jordan Gilchrist Dominates Day One of Chicago Festival of the Horse
Texas native, Jordan Gilchrist, dominated the jumper competition on Wednesday aboard three different mounts. Gilchrist started off the day by finishing in first place in the 1.30m Open Jumper class riding Shawn Hodgen’s Carlsbad. Gilchrist and Carlsbad went double-clear, completing the jump-off round in 37.905 seconds to clinch the win.
Second place in the 1.30m Open Jumper class went to Holly Shepherd riding Loretta Patterson’s Sky High with a jump-off time of 39.054 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Bryn Sadler on Quintus 66 owned by Showcase 81, LLC, completing the jump-off round in 39.442 seconds.
Gilchrist took home another blue in the 1.40m Open Jumper class, this time riding Bariton 40 owned by Isabelle Potts. Ashley Fleischhacker and Auckland De L’Enclo set the jump-off time to beat early on at 48.761 seconds. Gilchrist and Bariton 40 entered to the ring as the last pair to compete, eager to chase Fleischhacker’s time.
Gilchrist would ultimately surpass Fleischhacker, finishing in 45.212 seconds. Fleischhacker and Auckland De L’Enclo received the second place ribbon. Gilchrist received another ribbon for finishing in third place with her own mount Kingston. The pair had a jump-off time of 49.333 seconds to receive the third.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Jordan Gilchrist – 1.30m and 1.40m Open Jumpers
On her win in the 1.30m class with Carlsbad:
“I was super happy! It was a big step up because the last couple of weeks we’ve been doing the 1.20m, so I was thrilled with him. He’s a big Holsteiner, really sweet horse. He’s actually for sale. He’s just a really good boy.”
On her rounds in the 1.40m class:
“They were super! [Bariton] was double clean. We just came from Balmoral, and he was fifth last week in the Grand Prix. He jumped super today. Kingston, the other horse, was third, double clear, he jumped super today as well. And Kingston was actually third in the Hunter Derby on Friday. He’s a National Derby Grand Prix horse! He’s special. They’re all great horses.”
“We love it here. Last year was my first time coming and we adored it so we came back this year. It’s just such a special place, there aren’t very many places in the country like this. We came from Texas, a long way to come hang out here!”