Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 7, 2019 – The third and final week of the Equifest show series at the Lamplight Equestrian Center kicked off Wednesday, August 7. Hunter competition showcased the professional hunter divisions in the Main Hunter Ring. Holly Shepherd took an early lead in the Green 3’6’/’3’9’’ Hunter division with Star Jewel, and she also leads the Green 3’3’’ Hunters riding As You Wish.
Shepherd and Star Jewel swept the first three classes of the division to take the lead, including two over fences rounds and the under saddle. Following just behind Shepherd, Katherine Le Blanc rode MTM Amour, owned by Jeanne Pitre, to three second place ribbons. Both Shepherd and Le Blanc will return to the Main Hunter Ring Thursday morning to contend for the champion and reserve champion honors in the Green 3’6’’/3’9’’ Hunter.
During Equifest II, Shepherd and the 9-year-old Oldenburg mare earned the reserve championship tricolor in both the Green 3’6’’ Hunter division as well as the $1,000 USHJA Green 3’6’’ & 3’9’’ Hunter Incentive. Following Equifest III, Shepherd and Star Jewel will travel to Lexington, Kentucky to compete at the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship.
In the Green 3’3’’ Hunter division, Shepherd took another early lead riding As You Wish, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Ashley Runnels. The pair earned first and second place over fences and a first place under saddle to put themselves in top contention for Thursday’s championship presentation. Maggie Jayne followed close behind Shepherd’s lead riding Michigan ODF, owned by Leslie Coolidge. Jayne and the 6-year-old American Warmblood earned first, second, and third during the first portion of the division.
Hunter competition at Equifest III will continue Thursday, August 8, beginning at 8 a.m. For more information about Equifest or the Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Holly Shepherd – Green 3’6”/3’9” Hunter division leader
On Star Jewel:
“This is my fourth time showing her. I started her at Tryon a couple of years ago as a Pre-Green horse, so I am excited to get back on her. She gets to go to the [Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship] next week, so this is our last practice before then.”
On her rounds:
“She is a real trier. We got to warm-up this week, so in that round she was still a little bright, but both of her rounds over fences were really good. The second one was pretty special – I think I probably would have given her a 92!”
On her goals with Star Jewel moving forward:
“She is for sale, so hopefully she will find a new home. Otherwise, maybe we will aim for the [USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship] with her next year – you never know!”