Wayne, Il. – Aug. 9, 2017 – Equifest III kicked off at the Lamplight Equestrian Center on Wednesday with an exciting morning in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena. The Open Jumper classes were the highlight, with the 1.30m and 1.40m classes drawing top-class competition. The course for both classes, created by course designer Steve Stephens, featured several lines that required riders to make good use of their technical skills.
Ultimately, it was Holly Shepherd aboard Loretta Patterson’s Manchester who took home first place in the $1,000 1.30m Open Jumper class. The horse-and-rider combination went double-clear, securing their win with a jump-off time of 28.561 seconds.
Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini, owned by Helen Gilbert, also went double-clear and completed the jump-off in 29.139 seconds. The pair held the lead until Shepherd, the last to go with Manchester, overtook them with a quicker jump-off.
Bryn Sadler and Bull Run’s Levi, owned by Showcase 81 LLC, took home third place with double-clear rounds and a jump-off time of 29.636 seconds.
In the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class that followed, it was Richard Rinehart aboard Showcase Limited’s Seasoned who took home the blue ribbon. Numerous riders made it to the jump-off with clean first rounds, but only five horse-and-rider combinations made it through double-clear. Then it was speed that decided the winner.
Rinehart and Seasoned secured their win with a clean jump-off and a time of 28.134 seconds across the finish line. Shannon Hicks and Benedetto cleaned up in second place with double-clear rounds and a jump-off time of 30.169 seconds.
Rounding out the top three was Annabella Sanchez and her own Zanta Fee Van T Hofterrijckel. The pair rode to double-clear rounds as well, finishing just behind Hicks with a jump-off time of 30.721 seconds.
Competition resumes in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena at the Lamplight Equestrian Center Thursday, Aug. 10 at 8 a.m., while the $5,000 Welcome Grand Prix is set to begin at 4 p.m. Still to come this weekend is the $25,000 Grand Prix, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 12.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Richard Rinehart – Open 1.40m Jumper winner
“He’s around 15 years old. He is originally from Australia and he was owned by Terri Brown and Showcase Unlimited. I’ve been riding him for about six months. He’s been really good. He has his own opinion, but he likes to go fast and leave the jumps up.”
On his winning rounds:
“They felt good. Nice and smooth. It was his first time around that ring, and I showed him in two classes. I think he likes Chicago.”
“I come this week every year. I really like this facility; I really enjoy riding in the grand prix ring and seeing all of the people from Chicago I don’t see the rest of the year.”