Wayne, IL - August 3, 2013 - Junior and Amateur-Owner riders could not have asked for a more beautiful day to ride at the Equifest II Horse Show at Lamplight Equestrian Center. Pizza and ice cream parties made it extra special for exhibitors and their families, as well.
Starting the day in the main hunter ring was the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters. Margaret O'Meara was loving the ride today as she won both of the over fences classes on her horse, Casino. O'Meara also took second and fourth on her second mount, Voice of Reason.
The Amateur-Owners continued to navigate the bending line and the array of single jumps in the hunter ring to showcase their horses. In the Amateur-Owners 3'6" Hunters, it was Heather Zuber's Kalifornia who won the first over fences class. Colby Hassfurther and Optimized were second and Shannon Kelly's Trust Me was third. The second class brought Kelly's Trust Me to the top of the list, Optimized and Hassfurther were in the middle of the pack again taking second, and Zuber and Kalifornia were third.
The $1,000 Amateur-Owner Classic left Margaret O'Meara as the winner with Voice of Reason. O'Meara scored an 81 and an 83 to lead the way. Shannon Kelly and Trust me scored an 83 and an 80.5, ending up in second place by only a half a point difference! Margaret O'Meara took third on her second mount Casino, while Kalifornia and Zuber took fourth, and Optimized with Hassfurther in the irons wrapped it up.
O'Meara was Champion on Voice of Reason last week at Equifest I and Reserve Champion with her matching grey, Casino. Casino is an 11-year-old Holsteiner converted from a jumper to the hunters. Voice of Reason is a 7-year-old warmblood coming back from a bruise he got in Wellington and is going well for O'Meara.
Junior Hunters were next in the ring with Jenna Selati and her chestnut mare, Fidelia, winning both over fences classes. Taking second in the first class and third in the second class was Christine Hyler of St. Charles, IL, and This One's For You. The last horse in the top three was Ariano and Brooke Saltzman of Lake Zurich, IL.
Selati was tough to beat today and made the top call in the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic with Fidelia. Selati is no stranger to winning in the Junior Hunter division. She usually has a second mount, Greytful, who stayed at home this week. Fidelia and Selati are trying to qualify for the indoor horse shows this year. Racking up championships at most of the major shows including Traverse City and Showplace Spring Spectacular, they are well on their way.
Selati just got back from a five-week camp for journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. "Coming here I was a bit nervous because I haven't ridden in five weeks," said Selati. "I rode her early this morning and then just went with it." Selati has owned the mare one year now. It was the Equifest Horse Show last year when the horse got delivered from Saugerties. "We just get each other," said Selati of Fidelia. "Everything has just clicked this year and Meagan (Murray) is just the best trainer."
Both O'Meara and Selati have a chance to win the CWD saddle, which gets awarded to the horse/rider combination with the most points in a rated division. The presentation will be made on Sunday.
The Junior and Amateur Owner competition continues tomorrow to determine the division Champions. Sunday is the last day of the Equifest two-week series at Lamplight Equestrian Center.
To find out more about Lamplight Equestrian Center, go to: http://lamplightequestriancenter.com/.