Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 4, 2019 – To wrap up events in the Grand Prix Arena during the second week of the Chicago Festival of the Horse, the $20,000 Speed Derby took place to give riders one last chance to take home ribbons from the week of competition. Proving their affinity for speed, Lauren DiTallo aboard Apollo Z were named the victors following a lightning fast round.
Capping off the wonderful week of jumper competition at Lamplight Equestrian Center, course designer Leopoldo Palacias left riders with one final challenge for the speed class. A long 16-obstacle course was all that stood between riders and the winners circle if they could navigate it in the quickest time. The faults-converted format of the class also encouraged the athletes to be as careful as possible while keeping up the pace around the lengthy course. Several rollbacks and a trip over the bank at the head of the arena were just a couple of the course’s challenges.
Louise Graves and Wicked were the first pair to take a stab at the course, successfully completing a clear course in 115.657 seconds. Ashley Miles and her own Kartouche Van De Brouwershoeve were the next to ride a flawless round after several riders had rails down, taking over the first place position with a time of 100.83 seconds.
Miles and Kartouche Van De Brouwershoeve remained unchallenged at the top of the leaderboard until DiTallo entered the arena with Apollo Z, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Scott Durchslag. With Miles’ fast time in mind, DiTallo piloted Apollo Z around the arena carefully, pushing for speed when she could to cross the finish line in just 99.671 seconds, taking over the lead.
Near the end of the order of go, Shannon Hicks made an attempt for the top prize with her second mount of the class, Al Pachini, owned by Helen Gilbert. The combination put in a good effort with just one rail down, but missed DiTallo’s time, finishing in 100.554 seconds to move into second place. The remaining riders was not able to challenge the top three, and DiTallo was announced as the clear winner. Hicks took home the second place prize with Al Pachini and Miles finished in third place with Kartouche Van De Brouwershoeve.
Competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse will resume on Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 8 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lauren DiTallo – $20,000 Speed Derby Winner
On her success this week:
“We had two in the Grand Prix yesterday and Zero Gravity finished third. It was his second 1.50m class, he did the Welcome Grand Prix in the beginning of the week and he was phenomenal, I couldn’t have asked more of the horse. It was a great effort, so it was a good week for us.”
On Apollo Z:
“He is new to the stable. Scott Durchslag, his owner, has a wonderful string with us this year, it is our first year campaigning. We imported him maybe a few months ago. He jumped in Saratoga his first 1.40m class with us, and we just took him to Michigan for a few weeks. He’s been great, very competitive at the 1.30m level. Not really the speed horse in the string but we wanted to have a horse in the class and he tried very hard. Very sweet horse, it’s an exciting partnership. I’m looking forward to the future with him.”
On her strategy for the Speed Derby:
“It’s a long course and it’s the end of a long month of horse showing for us, so I knew the fitness for my horse was going to play a part in the heat today. I knew that if I wanted to be competitive I needed to hold a nice pace from the beginning and be as effective on the turns as I could be. I tried to pick places that made sense for me to go inside and places for me to gallop between the fences. He’s never seen a hunter fence before so there were a few things in there I was questioning might bring out the spook in him, but honestly he was phenomenal.”
On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“We are actually from the area, the farm is in Northern Illinois. We typically come for Equifest every summer. We try to make it because it is so close to home for us, it’s a big family event. We like to bring everyone together from the farm at home here is the closest horse show for them to come spectate at. We did some fun barbecues both weekends which was nice, it was nice to bring everybody together. We love when it is a big family atmosphere and everyone supports one another. That’s what I enjoy about his horse show, it has this good hometown energy.”
$20,000 Speed Derby
Place / Rider / Horse / Owner / R1 Faults / R1 Time
1. Lauren DiTallo / Apollo Z / Scott Durchslag / 0 / 99.671
2. Shannon Hicks / Al Pachini / Helen Gilbert / 4 / 100.554
3. Ashley Miles / Kartouche Van De Brouwershoeve / Ashley Miles / 0 / 100.83
4. Shannon Hicks / Clearwater 5 / Helen Gilbert / 4 / 102.478
5. Louise Graves / Zavira / Deerfield Farm LLC / 0 / 103.073
6. Ryan Sassmannshausen / Babar / Maeve O’Sullivan / 8 / 105.069
7. Stephen Foran / Cooper 152 / Alice Neild / 4 / 105.912
8. Ashley Shaw / Adico / Ashley Shaw / 4 / 109.185
9. Theo Genn / For Advance / Wilhelm Genn / 8 / 109.699
10. Isabella Bleu Baxter / Jahil / Isabella Bleu Baxter / 4 / 114.011
11. Stephen Foran / Compis / Lauren Robishaw / 12 / 114.569
12. Louise Graves / Wicked / Deerfield Farm LLC / 0 / 115.657