Alice Gale and Xena Demonstrate Power and Speed in WIHS Adult Jumper Classic

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Wayne, IL - The Lamplight Equestrian Center's spacious Grand Prix Ring hosted another day of impressive show jumping talent on Friday as the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular continued its first week of competition. The afternoon's feature classes included a $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic, which was won by Alice Gale and Xena, as well as a $1,500 WIHS Children's Jumper Classic, won by Juliet De La Huerga riding Willie D'Lothian. The Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series will continue through June 25 with more than $500,000 in prize money in 'AA' Hunter and Five Star Jumper rated competition.

Capping off an exciting day of jumper competition, Alice Gale rode to a blazing fast victory in the $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic to earn a beautiful cooler and championship tricolor with her mare Xena.  The class was held as a Table II, Sec 2 (C) where the horses and riders demonstrated their power and speed over a challenging course set by Puerto Rico's Hector Loyola. Gale and Xena were one of only seven pairs to jump double clear in the class of 19 entries, and had the fastest time of 31.854 seconds to take the victory.

The race was close as second place finishers Lauren Fox and D'Or V'Dor-B, owned by Lisa Goldman, completed the speed round in 32.504 seconds. Third place went to Diane Binswanger and Wilhelm and Patty Genn's horse Clarissa Z with a clear speed round in 33.788 seconds. Sarah Kirson earned fourth place honors with Salima Witt's Pasific Sun after completing the course in 34.286 seconds, and Kirson also took home the fifth place prize riding Norgan, Inc.'s Micenas through the timers in 37.108 seconds.

The course tested the ability and strength of the horses and riders, and in the end it was Alice Gale and Xena who answered all of the questions and powered through to the first place finish. Gale, from Grand Ledge, MI, was thrilled with her horse's performance this afternoon and announced that she had a lot of fun showing on such a beautiful day.

Xena (left) is a 12-year-old American Warmblood by Santana, bred by Candy Rich. Gale has owned the mare since she was eight and explained that she is a great ride. "She is very forward and she tries really hard," the rider stated. "She is quick on her turns and she is a lot of fun. I knew that this course was going to suit my horse. She turns really well and she is really careful. She did exactly what I wanted her to, whenever I wanted her to."

Gale explained that she started riding Western when she was young, but transitioned into riding English in her twenties. She has been training with Roger Turner now for 24 years and expressed her appreciation for his great coaching and advice. After showing at Equifest for many years, Gale returned to Lamplight for the first time last year and noted that she really enjoyed the show.  "We are a lot happier this year with the new footing and it is a great show for the jumpers. I have a couple of great jumpers, so it is fun for me," she concluded.

Prior to the adult competition, the $,1500 WIHS Children's Jumper Classic ran in the Grand Prix Ring with 21 entries showing in the power round. Nine entries made it through the speed course double clear, and of those rounds it was Juliet De La Huerga of Milwaukee, WI, riding Willie D'Lothian who finished in the fastest time of 32.503 seconds to top the class. Caitlin Boyle had the time in hand with her round of 32.818 seconds riding Rochette, but De La Huerga pushed her competition into second place with a slightly faster time. Lauren Tyree rode Bugatti to third place with a time of 33.076 seconds, while Naomi Bradley and Kaydin Z finished in fourth in 33.364 seconds. All completing the course within less than a second of one another, Barbara Ruziska and La Dolce Vita came in fifth in 33.608 seconds, and Colby Russey rounded out the top six, stopping the timers in 33.834 seconds riding Crouching Tiger.

Fifteen-year-old Juliet De La Huerga trains with Kyle Dewar and had a great ride with her 11-year-old gelding Willie D'Lothian today. 'Willie' (right) is an 11-year-old gelding that De La Huerga got three years ago, and she explained that she was very happy with the class because it was their first Classic win together.

"Willie is a lot of fun," she smiled. "He is really smooth, he is really forgiving, and he will basically jump anything. He did the 4'3" jumpers two days ago and he got third, so he can jump pretty high."

"On today's course I think I made up a lot of my time between the last two jumps because everything else was a line or a tight turn and had a set distance," De La Huerga continued. "You could not really make a lot of mistakes there, so I was able to just gallop at the end."

This is De La Huerga's fourth year showing at the Showplace Spring Spectacular, and she enjoys her time at the beautiful Lamplight Equestrian Center. "It is really beautiful, everything is well thought out and the people here are all nice," she said. "Everything is nicely set out and the footing is great in the rings. It is easy to get where you are going here and I always enjoy it."

The 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I will continue tomorrow with a great lineup in the Grand Prix Ring. The $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult and Children's Jumper Classics will start off the morning, followed by a $2,500 Modified Children's/Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Vermeer Midwest. The afternoon will conclude with the week's highlight event, the exciting $30,000 Showplace Production Grand Prix, followed by a special exhibitor's party on the show grounds. For more information on Showplace Productions and the Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, please visit

$1,500 WIHS Children's Jumper - #competed: 21
1 Willie D'Lothian  Juliet De La Huerga  0 0 32.503
2 Rochette  Caitlin Boyle 0 0 32.818
3 Bugatti Lauren Tyree 0 0 33.076
4 Kaydin Z  Naomi Bradley  0 0  33.364
5 La Dolce Vita  Barbara Ruziska  0 0 33.608
6 Crouching Tiger  Colby Russey  0 0  33.824
7 Don Quixote   Lauren Ditallo  0 0 34.864
8 Hidden Creek's Remarkable Shelby Benjamin 0 0 36.911

$1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic - #competed: 19
1 Xena Alice Gale  0   0  31.854
2 D'Or V'Dor-B  Lauren Fox  0  0  32.504
3 Clarissa Z Diane Binswanger  0  0  33.788
4 Pasific Sun  Sarah Kirson  0  0  34.286
5 Micenas  Sarah Kirson  0  0  37.108
6 Catriel Z  Hillary Butt  0  0  37.767
7 Oberlinus  Kimberly Marie Grabowski 0  0 42.033
8 Titan  Jessica Glavin  0  4  35.307

Photo Credit: Alice Gale and Xena in the $1,500 WIHS Adult Jumper Classic. Juliet De La Huerga and Willie D'Lothian Presentation for the $1,500 Children's Jumper Classic. Photo 2010 © Lauren Fisher/PMG.