Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 8, 2019 –Thursday afternoon at the Lamplight Equestrian Center welcomed competitors back to the Main Hunter Ring to present champion and reserve championship honors in respective classes. In the Performance 3’6’’ Hunter division, it was Katherine LeBlanc and Player that closed out the day with the championship tricolor. The reserve championship ribbon for the division was awarded to Abigail Dvorak-Peat aboard Fortune Favors. Ashleen Lee and Honor received the championship tricolor in the Performance 3’3’’ Hunter division, with Laura Reist and Lord Mayor’s Bentley earning reserve championship honors.
LeBlanc and Player, a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Jeanne Pitre, finished Wednesday’s portion of the Performance 3’6’’ Hunter division with two first place ribbons, setting themselves up in the lead for Thursday’s portion. The pair nabbed a fifth and second over fences and a third place on the flat to clinch the championship tricolor Thursday afternoon.
LeBlanc has had the ride on Player for two years after recently turning professional in 2017. Prior to that, Pitre and LeBlanc’s father brought Player along through the hunter ranks. Since then, LeBlanc has been competing with Player in the performance hunter divisions while Pitre competes with the gelding in the amateur hunters. Following Equifest III, LeBlanc and Pitre will head to Franklin, Tennessee to compete at the Brownland Farm Fall show series in September.
Throughout the Performance 3’6’’ Hunter division, Dvorak-Peat and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Claire Elizabeth Patterson earned a first, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth place to claim reserve champion honors. Dvorak-Peat also took home the championship in the USHJA 3’0 Hunter, sponsored by Equine Healthcare, aboard Ravinia, owned by Raleigh Cerre.
In the Performance 3’3’’ Hunter division, it was Ashleen Lee and her own mount Honor, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, that took home the championship. The pair earned three firsts and one second place over fences, as well as a third place under saddle, to ultimately receive the championship tricolor. The reserve champion was awarded to Laura Reist and Lord Mayor’s Bentley, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Mya Pinski. Over the course of the two days of competition, the pair earned a first, two seconds, a third and fourth place.
Earlier in the day, Holly Shepherd dominated the green hunter divisions, earning the championship in both the Green 3’6’’ Hunter and Green 3’3’’ Hunter riding Star Jewel and As You Wish, respectively. LeBlanc rounded out her day of awards receiving the reserve championship in the Green 3’6’’ Hunter division riding MTM Amour. The reserve champion tricolor in the Green 3’3’’ Hunter was awarded to Kara Raposa aboard Independent.
Junior and amateur hunter competition kicks off in the Main Hunter Ring Friday, August 9, beginning at 8 a.m. For more information about the Equifest show series or the Lamplight Equestrian Center, visit https://www.lamplightequestriancenter.com/
Katherine LeBlanc – Performance 3’6’’ Hunter Champion
“He’s 15 years old and he’s owned by Jean Pitre, a client of ours. He’s done some International Hunter Derbies, and now he does the Performance 3’6’’ Hunter and the amateur hunter divisions with [Pitre]. I have only been riding him for two years, but she has owned him since he was 3 years old, and my dad and [Pitre] brought him along. I turned professional two years ago and started riding him then.”
On the division:
“I thought the rounds rode really well, everything here is like the old school hutners, quick in the turns. The jumps are really pretty, so it kind of holds them off a bit, and the ends of the ring come up quick. I’ve been really happy with [Player] these two weeks.”
On competing at Lamplight:
“This is our second year back and I actually grew up riding ponies here when we lived in Indiana, so it’s like come back home. The last two years we’ve really liked it; the weather is great and it’s beautiful. All of the horses seem to like it here, there are good restaurants in the area and good competition, so it’s always fun!”