Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 9, 2018 – Competitors returned to the ring on Thursday, Aug. 9, for the second day of Equifest III at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. The highlight event of the day, the $5,000 Open 1.40m Welcome, kicked off at 2 p.m., featuring a technical jumping course designed by Paul Jewell. In the end, it was veteran competitor Holly Shepherd aboard Loretta Patterson’s Sky High who went double-clear to win the class.
Shepherd was the first in the ring riding her other mount in the class, Manchester, also owned by Loretta Patterson. The pair navigated their first round skillfully in 76.413 seconds, within the time-allowed of 79 seconds to move onto the jump-off. They set the standard for the rest of the competitors in their jump-off round, going clear once again and finishing in 37.774 seconds.
The horse-and-rider combinations following each took on the challenge of going clear with a time quicker than Shepherd’s, but none could catch her. Lauren Ditallo riding High Finance Farm’s Wadisson went double clear, but was just a bit too slow to surpass Shepherd’s jump-off time with Manchester. Ditallo and Wadisson crossed the finish in 38.638 seconds, ultimately finishing in third place.
Shepherd maintained her lead in the class with Manchester until she re-entered the ring with Sky High. Determined to go clear for the chance to beat her own time, she rode the gelding carefully through the first round, crossing the finish in the quickest first-round time of 71.715 seconds. The pair kicked it into high gear for the jump-off, moving into first place when they finished fault-free in 37.774 seconds.
Shepherd has been riding the 10-year-old gelding for about two years, and has been gradually getting him accustomed to performing in the Grand Prix ring. Since Thursday’s $5,000 Open 1.40m Welcome is only the second Welcome that Sky High has ever been entered in and they have been working on going both fast and clear in their classes, Shepherd was happy that they were able to execute under pressure and take home the victory. She will ride Sky High in the $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday at 4 p.m. to try for the win once again.
Competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center will resume on Friday, Aug. 10, with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by CWD at 8 a.m. Still to come this week, the $25,000 Grand Prix is set to begin Saturday, Aug. 11, at 4 p.m., and the $7,500 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Amateur-Owner 1.40m Jumper Classic will take place on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Place / Rider / Horse / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults / R2 Time
1. Holly Shepherd / Sky High / 0 / 71.715 / 0 / 37.774
2. Holly Shepherd / Manchester / 0 / 76.413 / 0 / 38.449
3. Lauren Ditallo / Wadisson / 0 / 77.041 / 0 / 38.638
4. Stefanie Collier / Emma-Lee / 0 / 75.71 / 4 / 34.576
5. Sydney Swarr / Carl Loui TSP / 0 / 77.129 / 4 / 38.885
6. Stephen Foran / Compis / 0 / 77.52 / 8 / 36.786
7. Stephen Foran / Cassius 74 / 0 / 78.766 / 8 / 37.599
8. Michael Dorman / Valinski S / 1 / 79.715
9. Liz Atkins / Undine / 3 / 81.904
10. Liz Atkins / Rodeo VDL / 8 / 77.691
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Holly Shepherd – $5,000 Welcome Stake winner
On Sky High:
“Sky High I’ve had for two years and he is a little bit inconsistent. He’s had a little bit of a rough go here the last couple weeks, so I’m trying to put things back together and he was really good today! He’s 10-years-old this year.”
On the class:
“He felt really good today, he’s usually not the fastest horse and he beat his little brother [Manchester] today, so that says a lot for him! We’re trying to figure out how to jump fast and go clear, and we managed to cover both of those.”
“This is only his second time doing the Welcome. He’s pretty new to the Grand Prix ring and he’ll do his second Grand Prix this weekend. He is 10-years-old and he’s from Argentina. He’s a little rockstar, always trying to do the right thing. He’s fast, brave and a lot of fun — they’re both a lot of fun to ride!”
On the jump-off:
“It was really good. It gave us a couple of options, it rode really nice and gave us a couple of places you could gallop, but keep it careful at the same so it was good.”