Wayne, Il. – Aug. 4, 2017 – Friday afternoon in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena, Madeline Thatcher rode Pony Lane Farm’s Hannah to a speedy victory in the Junior Amateur-Owner combined 1.30m/1.40m Jumper class. In the horse-and-rider combination’s first 1.30m class together, they went double-clear and finished with a jump-off time of 42.826 seconds to take the blue ribbon.
The course for Friday’s combined 1.30m/1.40m class featured technical lines and several combinations for riders to navigate within the allotted time of 73 seconds. Four horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off, attempting to clear the jumps as quickly as they could within the time-allowed 54 seconds.
Finishing in second place behind Thatcher and Hannah was Isabella Bleu Baxter aboard her own Jahil, who competed at the 1.40m height. Baxter and Jahil also went double-clear, crossing the finish line in the jump-off with a time of 45.448 seconds.
Rounding out the top three in the Junior Amateur-Owner 1.30m/1.40m class was Bryn Sadler and Calvalou, owned by Showcase 81 LLC. The pair went double-clear, finishing their jump-off in 48.506 seconds.
Competition takes off in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, with the $50,000 Grand Prix. The $20,000 Jumper Derby will also take place Sunday, Aug. 6, to close out Equifest II.
Madeline Thatcher – Junior Amateur-Owner combined 1.30m/1.40m Jumper winner
“Hannah was actually given to me by my sister. Kelsey bought her about two years ago. She was brought up through the young jumper ranks by Haylie Rolfe, so she was owned by our trainer. At the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Kelsey gave her to me. I can’t say enough good things about her. We get along super well. She definitely has her own style, but she takes you right up to the jumps and listens so well. She jumps clean, and that’s what matters at the end of the day. She’s fast, she’s definitely game and she knows when it’s jump-off time. She listens really well.”
On the course:
“This was our first 1.30m, I’ve only done the lows on her before. It was no different than those, it’s all too easy for her. I liked today’s course. There were some more technical lines, especially the triple, but it was a fun course. I liked the jump-off, it was a good test.”
“I’ve been coming to Lamplight since around 2008. I hadn’t shown at Equifest in four years because I was in college, but I think they’ve done such an amazing job with the show. The jumps look great, the courses have been lovely and the show management, staff and stabling have been so nice. We like being so close to Our Day Farm too. I love being at Lamplight. It feels like a country club. There are places to watch and sit down in the shade, places to eat on the showgrounds and tons of restaurants in St. Charles. I have nothing but good things to say about Lamplight!”
The amateur-owner hunters took to the hunter ring at the Lamplight Equestrian Center for the first portion of their division on Friday, Aug. 4. It was Madeline Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Like I Said who topped the Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter classes with two first place ribbons, setting themselves up nicely for Saturday’s conclusion of the division.
Thatcher and Like I Said received scores of 86 and 85 for their two over fences rounds, enough to earn them the blue ribbons. Thatcher also competed Pony Lane Farm’s Summer Place in the division, receiving two third place ribbons. Thatcher and Like I Said’s overall results in the division will be determined following Saturday’s remaining classes to decide the championship.
In the Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter division, it was Kathy Chiaf who bested the competition with her two mounts, Silver Lining and Sweetwater. Chiaf and Silver Lining received scores of 83 and 80, earning two second place ribbons. Riding Sweetwater, Chiaf received third and fourth place ribbons.
Amateur-owner hunters also competed in the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Classic Friday morning, with Mary Antonini and MTM Making Waves finishing in the winner’s circle. The pair received a combined score of 160 to earn the top prize. In second place, with a combined score of 159, was leading Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter pair, Chiaf and Silver Lining. Rounding out the top three was Michelle Durpetti and her own Lucca with a combined score of 155.
The amateur-owner hunter divisions will wrap-up on Saturday, Aug. 5, where champion and reserve champion winners will be pinned. This week’s highlight event, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, will kick-off at 8 a.m. in the SmartPak Grand Prix Arena on Sunday, Aug. 6. The $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by Equo US, will follow.
Madeline Thatcher – Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter division leader
On Like I Said:
“Sally, as she is called in the barn, is a great horse! I’m so lucky to have her. She’s going to do the derby on Sunday with my trainer Maggie Jayne, then go to derby finals. She’s a great mare. She’s really matured and stepped up this year. Last year I only did the 3’3”, but this year she stepped up and did the 3’6”. She has just been so awesome. I bought her at the end of WEF last year and she’s just been awesome ever since.”
On her performances on Friday:
“The courses are great, I love Lamplight! The oxer, the first jump in the second round, was a little bit iffy for me but I managed to nail it today. I thought the lines rode great and the jumps are pretty. It’s just so fun to show here.”