Wayne, IL- Week one of the two-week Equifest series at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, concluded with the $7,500 Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic. Ten riders rode for the check with only four qualifying for the jump-off.
Emma Sargent of Kenilworth, IL, aboard No Fear, took the blue ribbon with a time of 39. 451, jumping clean in both rounds. No Fear, affectionately known as Felix, is a relatively new ride for Sargent, who only started with the horse this past spring. Her partner was a somewhat accidental match for Sargent, whose trainer Donald Cheska bought him for someone else. Sargent got the ride instead and has had success with the gelding since. Earning a second place finish in the High Jr/AO jumpers earlier in the week, Sargent elected to rest her horse to save him for today. “I was a little conservative the first day I showed him but I felt I could really open him up today and it paid off,” joked Sargent.
Strategy was also at work for Sargent, who admitted having a little time between rounds certainly helped accomplish the win. Sargent was one of two rounds to go clear, beating second place finisher Reid Patton aboard Twister, who had a close time of 40.082 seconds. “It was definately good to have some time in between rounds. It gave him a little bit of a break, it was also the perfect course for him, and really allowed me to let him go,” said Sargent.
In third was Caelinn Leahy aboard Esquilino Bay followed by Lynsey Whitacre aboard Barillo W. Michal Burnett took the fifth spot aboard Iron and sixth went to Reid Patton aboard Zoe Velvet.
In the $1,500 Low Jr/AO Jumper Classic Caelinn Leahy of Maple Park, IL had the win aboard Kaner 88. The two set the pace with 26.643 on the clock beating second place finisher Molly Struve aboard Orchidee Milody, who had a time of 26.972. “He’s really awesome! He’s kind of a little pocket rocket. He really loves what he does,” said Leahy of her mount who is owned by Leahy’s coach, Steve Schaefer of Bellis Show Jumping.
Leahy got to watch Struve since she went just after her in the order and admitted it helped to see what Struve did. “She was the round before me,” said Leahy. “Her track was kind of the same as ours and I knew Kaner had a lot of foot speed so if I executed my strides, he would have enough to do it faster than Molly (Struve)."
Leahy has progressed quickly in Schaefer’s program, now working on moving into the High Junior Jumpers. Schaefer’s a believer in getting riders out of the ring and into the field as much as possible to teach both horses and riders better balance, which leads to a better jump. Schaefer practices what he preaches and is a contender in the Grand Prix ring himself, recently winning the Tapestry Farm Grand Prix at Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, IL, two weeks ago.
In the $1,500 Child/Adult Jumper Classic, Celia Bresch aboard Emily Scarnechia's One Direction was the first in the ring and set the pace to beat at 37.084 with a double clear effort. On the Adult card, it was Kelsey Concklin aboard Ellie Morris’s High Rustler with the win. Concklin laid down a double clear ride with a speedy 40.015 seconds on the clock.
In the $500 Low Child/Adult Jumper Classic, Ailsa Bentley had the win aboard Clair De Lune for the Children’s card. Bentley was the last to ride the track and claimed the victory with a time of 44.045. On the Adult card, Margaret Mac Harg earned the top spot aboard Winston with a double clear effort in 39.702 seconds. Darby Dyar had the win in the $1,000 Modified Jr/AO Classic aboard Julio, owned by Richard Rinehart, with a time of 28.053 and a clear jump off round.