Wayne, IL - The captivating Amateur-Owner Hunter competition earned their division championships this morning at the Showplace Spring Spectacular I, taking place at the exquisite Lamplight Equestrian Center. Prior to Lisa Goldman's $10,000 High Jr/Amateur Jumper Classic she earned today's $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic with her hunter Ruben.
In the Amateur-Owner Hunter division Stephanie Field Harris and Justice took home the championship rosette. The Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'3" division crowned Monopoly with Margaret O'Meara in the irons for the division championship. Three deserving duos won three top accolades as the first week of the 'AA' Rated Showplace Spring Spectacular Series concluded.
To start the day, Lisa Goldman was handed the $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic cooler, ribbon and exciting prize money for her outstanding rounds aboard Ruben. The pair gave top performances over the two rounds of hunter competition to gain the top score of the day.
"My horse was wonderful today," smiled Goldman. "I had a really great first trip and he was absolutely perfect today. We completely missed in the handy round when I asked him to leave from a mile away but he took it, did not touch the jump, and came back in the second round of the classic."
Goldman plans on showing the Warmblood gelding next week at the Showplace Spring Spectacular II. The pair has been together since Goldman was 16 year old. She commented, "I have had him for about five years now. I have shown him since I was a junior and then we moved up into the Amateurs together. He is always a saint. He is a really good boy. He jumps great, but unfortunately does not have the most athletic canter. However, he is the biggest angel ever."
Goldman darted off to the Grand Prix Ring to her big win in the afternoon's $10,000 High Jr/Amateur Jumper Classic.
Today's 3'6" Amateur-Owner Hunter division championship was earned by Stephanie Field Harris and Justice. The pair garnered a blue ribbon in yesterday's over fences, a second in today's handy hunter class, a third in yesterday's second over fences class, and a fourth in the under saddle and today's over fences classes, earning them the top tricolor.
Reserve champion of the 3'6" Amateur-Owner Hunter division went to Sheila Motley aboard Sunshine. The duo gave outstanding performances with a first in the under saddle, and two second place ribbons in each over fences classes.
Stephanie Field Harris was proud of her Westphalian gelding's big win today. She noted, "Toby was amazing; he comes out of the stall the same way every single day. He is confident and will take whatever obstacle is placed in front of him. Yesterday it was late, it was raining and he was such a trooper, he just went around like he does everyday. I wish I could say it was different each day, but that is what makes him so great, he is the same every day."
Justice's consistency is a welcome attitude when it comes to Harris' riding schedule. Harris purchased Justice about two years ago and took a year off because she was pregnant. Harris said, "Currently I am only able to ride a few times a month. This is the right horse at the right time in my life."
Harris was appreciative to her trainers Caroline and Rush Weeden of Brookwood Farm. She noted, "I have been training with Carl and Rush for twenty years except for a small period of time I lived in New York. They are like family to me and have helped to raise me with values that I have utilized in all parts of my life; values such as patience, willing to work things out, having the stick-with-it attitude, and determination. Those values I use in my job, as a mom, and of course in life. This is an invaluable sport."
Harris enjoys showing at the Showplace horse shows for many reasons. "First of all, I have two little kids at home." Harris continued, "I love being able to drive to the show, have my husband baby sit, horse show, and put my kids to bed at night time. It is guilt-free riding in my book! I also enjoy this show because it is so beautiful. They work really hard at making it better every year."
After today, Harris plans on taking a week off and then they will head to the Kentucky Horse Shows.
Maintaining the lead after yesterday's hunter competition in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'3" division was Margaret O'Meara aboard Monopoly. The outstanding pair won three blue ribbons in the two over fences classes, and the handy hunter class. Adding two second place ribbons in an over fences class and the under saddle class earned O'Meara the division championship.
Beth Harrison-Meyer and Everafter were honored as the reserve champion winner in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'3" division for their accolades. The duo won second place in an over fences class, and the handy hunter class. They also gathered three fourth place ribbons in two over fences classes and one under saddle.
For Margaret O'Meara and Monopoly consistency was the key to their top finish in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" division. O'Meara commented, "Cash was great both yesterday and today, and he jumped fabulous! When those days come that a horse jumps just the way you want it to you really think about how much you enjoy riding and how much you love this sport."
O'Meara and Monopoly have been a pair for about two and a half years now and O'Meara has appreciated the athletic ability that Monopoly has. She noted, "Cash is pretty much on auto pilot at times. When I am in the ring, I think about letting go of his face and looking for the distance. Once we are at the base of the jump he fires off of the ground. Cash may be a small horse, but he rides like a big horse with a huge stride."
O'Meara enjoyed having two wonderful days of showing with her team of trainer, Heidi Fish, and groom Jose Ochoa. The duo will return next week for the second week of shows at the Showplace Spring Series at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and then on to Equifest. O'Meara added, " We love it here, they have done such a beautiful job with the rings. The fences are inviting, the horses seem to enjoy jumping them, and the management has done a wonderful job."
The Showplace Spring Spectacular II hunter coverage begins in the Grand Prix Ring at 8:00 a.m. on June 15, 2010, with the $5,000 USHJA Hunter Derby 3", followed by the exciting $15,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby at 11:30 a.m. Thursday June 17, 2010, will continue with the professional hunter divisions, followed by the Equitation divisions on Friday, followed by the Junior Hunter championships, and to wrap up the week will be the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. For more information on Showplace Productions and the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.
Photo Credit: Lisa Goldman and Ruben win Sunday's $1,000 Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I. Photo 2010 © Lindsay McCall/PMG.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Field Harris and Justice win Amateur-Owner Hunter division Championship at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I. 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I. Photo 2010 © Lindsay McCall/PMG.
Photo Credit: Margaret O'Meara and Monopoly win Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter division Championship at 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I. 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I. Photo 2010 © Lindsay McCall/PMG.