Wayne, IL – June 16, 2010 – The clouds cleared and the sun shone brightly over the Lamplight Equestrian Center on Wednesday as the Open Jumpers took to the Grand Prix Ring for the start of the second week of Showplace Spring Spectacular competition. Beginning the morning with a win, Steve Schaefer rode Caribe to top honors in the $1,500 Open Jumper 1.30m. Chenoa McElvain and WH Ciris then jumped to the top of the class for a win in the $1,500 Open Jumper 1.45m.
The Showplace Spring Spectacular II began on Tuesday with an exciting Derby Day in the Grand Prix Ring, and then continued on Wednesday with the start of the Open Jumper divisions. Ken Krome, of Westminster, Maryland, is the course designer for week two.
Twenty-eight competitors turned out to compete in the morning’s $1,500 Open Jumper 1.30m class and Krome’s challenging course cut the number in half with just 14 entries able to complete the first round without fault. Six of those 14 were able to finish double clear after navigating the shortened jump-off course, and it was Steve Schaefer and Caribe’s time of 34.476 seconds that earned top prize. Tommy Feigel’s time of 35.456 seconds earned second place with Bling It On, owned by Chuck Waters. Freddie Vazquez jumped clear in 37.711 seconds riding Jennifer LeRoy and Messenger Hill’s George Goes to Hollywood into third place. Double clear in 38.460 seconds, Chenoa McElvain rode Boritas, owned by Rancho Corazon, LLC, into fourth place. Maggie Jayne and All In, owned by Alex Jayne, finished in 40.408 seconds for fifth place, and Chuck Waters and Quick Step Z were the only other double clear in 40.538 seconds to take sixth.
Class winner Steve Schaefer, of Maple Park, IL, has been competing with Showplace Productions for many years and loves returning to the Showplace Spring Spectacular each season. “I love the place. Pat does a great job with the jumps and the courses and the footing are holding up remarkably well for the amount of weather that we have had. It is a nice place to come horse show,” Schaefer remarked.
Schaefer purchased seven-year-old Argentinean stallion Caribe as a five-year-old and showed him in the Six-Year-Old Young Jumpers last year. The pair then skipped the seven-year-old classes and started in the 1.40m’s in Palm Beach this winter. Schaefer brought Caribe home to Illinois with the intent to do the Welcome Prix and the Grand Prix classes this season, and the pair seem to be on the right track so far.
“He is a fantastic horse; I love him,” Schaefer acknowledged. “He has started in the grand prix classes a little bit this year and just being a young horse, we do the 1.30m classes during the week to keep him confident. He is a fabulous horse; super well bred and super athletic.”
“He is an easy ride. He can be a little bit fresh, but he is basically a lazy horse,” Schaefer added. “I just have to remember to keep my leg on him and not be fooled by how quietly he can canter around. He is a stallion, but he is very manageable and great to handle day to day.”
Commenting on the course, Schaefer noted, “It was a good course for where Caribe is in his training. I felt like I was able to accomplish some things in the jump off and set him up for the Welcome Stake tomorrow, so hopefully we can win that.”
Competing next in the Grand Prix Ring was the $1,500 Open Jumper 1.45m, which saw just three clear first rounds and two double clears. This time it was Chenoa McElvain and Rancho Corazon, LLC’s WH Ciris that earned first place after jumping off in 39.192 seconds. John McConnell showed Katie Riddle for Rancho Corazon LLC into the second position with the only other double clear in 39.967 seconds. Schaefer put in another round with Caribe to finish in third with eight faults in 38.498 seconds for the jump-off. Ryan Genn and Poco finished in fourth with the fastest four-fault round in 62.508 seconds.
Chenoa McElvain is a young rider from Lemitar, New Mexico. McElvain has owned WH Ciris, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood, for a year and a half. “We got her from Canada and she was completely psycho,” McElvain laughed. “I was not sure that I would be able to ride her, but she is just an amazingly talented horse and she has come a long way since then.”
“It was a good course for her today. It had a lot of lines, which keeps her under control. She can be a difficult ride and she used to be really difficult, but now she is starting to get easier,” McElvain explained. “She is getting better and better. She is a little hot sometimes, so it can be hard to keep her under control, but she has been really good.”
This was McElvain’s first time competing at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and the Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, generally competing on the west coast. “This is our first year here and I love it,” she smiled. “The show is really fun, they have great prize money and the people here are great. Usually about now we would be at the Oaks in California and then we go to Colorado, so this is kind of a new experience and I like it. I am sure we will be back to more of the shows this summer.”
The Showplace Spring Spectacular II will continue on Thursday with the conclusion of the Open Jumper 1.30m division as well as the presentation of championship honors in the Five-Year-Old, Six-Year-Old, and Seven/Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper divisions. The highlight event of the afternoon will be the $10,000 Open Welcome Stake. For more information on Showplace Productions and the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.