Wayne, IL – June 9. 2016 – Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular at Lamplight was abuzz with competition action Thursday. Exciting show jumping and feature class, the Welcome Stake sponsored by Animo, was the highlight of the Grand Prix arena. Across the arbors and tree-lined walkway, the continuation of the professional hunter divisions took place and championships for Week I were named.
The Spring Spectacular Animo Welcome Stake start list of 35 horse and rider combinations came from far and wide and included top local, national and international competitors. Of the starters 11 progressed to the jump off phase of Catzy Cruz’s challenging track. Intermittent, light rain lowered the originally forecast temperatures and kept the air slightly cool and comfortable.
The first double clear effort came from Texan, Tracy Fenney and MTM Como No, finishing the second track in 39.414 seconds, setting the time to beat. Lisa Goldman and her own Rocs to Riches were the second pair to complete the jump off round fault-free but were a tenth of a second behind Fenney. Trapp O’Neal and TKO Partnership’s Capitano followed with another impressive double clear but slightly slower effort.
Kelsey Thatcher began the course with a very frisky partner in Everything, owned by Pony Lane Farm. He kicked out before the first obstacle, the USET Foundation jump, and knocked one of her feet out of the stirrups. Thatcher forged ahead and completed a clear round, then a second round at the speedy time of 37.443, catapulting the pair into first place.
“He’s a baller,” Thatcher said. “He knows he’s a total B.A. He almost bucked me off in the schooling ring. He lands off of practice jumps and just plays and plays and plays. He loves his job. He knows where his feet are and goes super fast.”
Goldman returned with Morocco and put in another double-clear performance, just two-tenths of a second behind Thatcher.
I liked the course,” said Goldman, who has racked up some serious grand prix results this past winter in Ocala and Wellington. “It was made for bigger-strided horses than Morocco. All of the horses were great.”
Freddie Vazquez and his Pan Am Games mount, Esprit De Vie were smooth, double clear and fast enough to earn the fourth place prize.
“My plan was to do seven in that critical line so I could curve it better,” said Vazquez. “She was strong in the first round so I made some adjustments for thejump off. We look forward to the Grand Prix on Saturday.”
Fenney returned with MTM Reve Du Paradis, left all the rails in the cups, then proceeded to leave two strides out of a crucial line, laying down an unbeatable performance in 36.494, a full second faster than Thatcher, earning the pair the top prize.
“I’m so lucky, he’s a great horse,” Fenney said. “I was able to leave out those strides and be fast in between, which made the difference.”
First thing in the morning, a leg of the all-new Showplace Productions 1.30m series, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling took place. Carletta, owned by Benchmark Stables, LLC and skillfully piloted by Liz Atkins were the victors out of a field of 23.
Highlights for Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular Friday include the start of the Junior Hunter divisions and the $15,000 1.30m Grand Prix, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling, part of the new $150,000 1.30m series.