Wayne, IL- Today's hunter competition at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II at the Lamplight Equestrian Center began at 8:00 a.m. in the Main Hunter Ring. Juniors brought out their top equitation horses for the morning's competitions in the ASPCA Maclay and the USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal. Winning the ASPCA Maclay was Caitlin Creel aboard Calvin 46. Shortly after a ring drag the USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal commenced. Coming from fourth place before the test and then taking home the blue was Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing.
The ASPCA Maclay course and the USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal were both designed by Skip Bailey of Wellington, Florida. Both courses featured a diagonal two-stride, two option verticals coming home, and a figure eight to two split rail fences.
Twenty-one riders entered the ASPCA Maclay and twelve riders were brought back for the under saddle phase. Riders were asked to showcase the utilization of their aids with a counter-canter in both directions and multiple transitions. As the announcer picked up the microphone, he announced Caitlin Creel riding Calvin 46 as the winner of the ASPCA Maclay class. Creel was quite excited for this win and so was her family who cheered Creel on as she received the accolade.
Creel has been working with Calvin 46 since she bought him in Wellington, Florida in April. "He has so much experience that he guides me a little through the courses," smiled Creel. "Today I had a really great round; we have been working on consistency, and our work has definitely paid off."
For the last three weeks Creel has been working on what all riders go through at certain times during their showing year, riding without stirrups. Creel noted, "I have been working on not only consistency, but keeping my head in the game, and improving my track."
Creel continued, "Today's ASPCA Maclay course featured multiple left hand turns which are Calvin's strong suit. I was also very proud of how he reacted to me at the split rail. He really answered my call when I asked him to move up for a distance that most riders were not leaving at. I love this horse!"
After the Showplace Spectacular Series Creel will be traveling to the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, MI.
The USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal was the next class to present awards to the top equitation riders. Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing earned the blue ribbon with her execution of the test phase of the class.
Four riders were brought back to the test phase and were asked to trot the first fence, halt after the trot fence, make a right turn and counter-canter down the long side, then make a sharp right turn back to a split rail fence while holding the counter canter. Riders then continued to an oxer and then made a sweeping left hand turn to the option vertical fence.
First to attempt the test was Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing. LaChapelle asked her horse to pick up the counter canter and hold it through the turn and Perfect Landing did the test as asked. She had a slight rub on the split rail fence, but did a great job executing the entire test. LaChapelle finished her test by choosing the inside option to the option vertical and wound up back in line next to the other three qualifiers.
Courtney Harker and Merlin were next to accept the challenge. Harker showcased a perfect halt after the trot fence but when she asked for the counter canter Merlin snuck in a few steps of the regular lead before hopping back to the counter-canter. Her efforts would garner the pair a second place finish overall.
Next to attempt the course was Kelsey Kroll and Epic. Kroll executed her halt and picked up a counter canter to the split rail. Unfortunately, Epic would switch to the regular lead just before the fence. Kroll would regain herself and she would be awarded third place for her efforts.
Last to work the test phase was Andrew Farless and Strictly Business. Farless had a terrific equitation round during the course part of this class. The pair would be asked to test last because they had the top score in the first section. Farless halted immediately following the trot fence and picked up a perfect counter-canter. Unfortunately, Strictly Business would swap just before the split rail and the pair would finish the course in fourth place overall.
After watching the other three horse and rider combinations, LaChapelle waited to hear her number called. "In first place is Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing," spoke the announcer. LaChapelle was very excited for the win with her dark bay gelding, Perfect Landing, who she has owned for two years since moving up from the pony hunter divisions.
LaChapelle commented, "It was a hard test to begin with and adding to the challenge of the test was the fact that my horse was tired after this morning. He was good for most of the test but I had a little trouble at the trot jump. I also thought the turn while holding the counter-canter was very tight. Luckily we had a great first round and we completed the test to the best of our ability."
Prior to LaChapelle winning the USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal, the pair earned the fourth place ribbon in the ASPCA Maclay class. LaChapelle was happy with today's performances and is looking forward to hopefully qualifying for both the ASPCA Maclay and the USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal Finals at Indoors. LaChapelle only needed 18 points to qualify for finals prior to her win today so hopefully after today she will have earned the bulk of the points.
The Showplace Spring Spectacular Series continues with week two running through June 20, 2010, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Saturday's hunter competition coverage includes the Junior Hunter divisions with presentations for the division champions, the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic Sponsored by First Partners Inc., and the $2,500 Hunter Classic Sponsored by Pony Lane Farm. Week three of the Showplace Spring Spectacular continues with The Challenge Cup, beginning June 21, 2010 and concluding June 25, 2010. For more information on Showplace Productions and the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.
1. Caitlin Creel and Calvin 46
2. Courtney Harker and Merlin
3. Caitlin Boyle and Indio
4. Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing
5. Sydney Schaefer and Atlantic 32
6. Catherine Hanlon and Coronado
7. Lily Kubly and Tamar
8. Devon Macneil and Avatar
USEF/PESSOA HUNT SEAT MEDAL
1. Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing
2. Courtney Harker and Merlin
3. Kelsey Kroll and Epic
4. Andrew Farless and Strictly Business
5. Caitlin Boyle and Indio
6. Samantha Pyle and Rio's Ricardo
7. Fallon Perez and Romeo
8. Lily Kubly and Tamar
Photo Credit: Caitlin Creel and Calvin 46 Win ASPCA Maclay at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular II. Photo 2010 ©Lindsay McCall/PMG.
Photo Credit: Nicki LaChapelle and Perfect Landing Win USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular II. Photo 2010 ©Lindsay McCall/PMG.
Photo Credit: Courtney Harker and Merlin Earn Second Place in both ASPCA Maclay and USEF/Pessoa Hunt Seat Medal at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular II. Photo 2010 ©Lindsay McCall/PMG.