Wayne, IL - Only halfway through the first week of the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular I at the Lamplight Equestrian Center and riders were already making this week's hunter competition exciting. Maggie Jayne entered the ring on multiple mounts for Pony Lane Farm and came out champion of the First Year Green Hunter division and the Second Year Green Hunter division.
In the First Year Green Hunters Jayne rode Red Sky to the victory and in the Second Year Green Hunter division Bella Blue and Jayne received the tricolor. Jayne and Red Sky also won the $1,000 Open Hunter Classic and were presented with a championship cooler and ribbon. Cookie Beck dominated the Green Conformation Hunter division with Goosebumps, owned by Lisa Cudahy, and in the Regular Working Hunters Beck rode Safari, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, to earn the championship rosette.
Today's courses, designed by Skip Bailey, featured many fences with brush, split rails, hay bales, and other natural additions. The courses were challenging but allowed the riders to showcase their horse's best talents. The handy hunter course included a figure eight over two split-rail fences and the second fence could be jumped at two angles. Many horse and rider combinations seemed to enjoy the large natural fences in the Main Hunter Ring.
In the First Year Green Hunters, Jayne and Red Sky won the blue ribbon in today's over fences and today's handy hunter class. Combined with a third and second place in yesterday's over fences and a third in the under saddle class, the pair earned the championship rosette.
The First Year Green Hunters reserve championship ribbon was pinned on the bridle of Last Call with Cookie Beck in the irons. The pair earned a first and third place ribbon in yesterday's over fences and a first place in the under saddle class.
Jayne noted, "Red Sky was very lazy yesterday and today he was much brighter. He really liked the natural hay bales, had a great pace, and was nice and fresh. We just came from Devon where the jumps are a little spookier and he jumped even better here."
Jayne was also victorious in the Second Year Green Hunters with Bella Blue. The championship rosette was presented to the dapple-grey mare and Jayne because of their remarkable rounds. Bella and Jayne won three over fences classes, the handy hunter class, and received a second place in the under saddle.
Earning the Second Year Hunter division reserve championship ribbon was the eight-year-old Warmblood, Calgary with Jodi Vazquez at the reins. The duo were consistent, winning four second place ribbons and a third place in the under saddle class. Calgary is owned by Karlie Slowiak.
"Bella was great on her first trip right out of the box," smiled Jayne. "She was awesome! She was wonderful in the handy, but began to tire a little by the end of my rounds so we had a little rub. However, Bella truly enjoyed the spooky natural jumps in today's courses and she was fantastic."
Jayne remarked, " Everything went really well today with both Red Sky and Bella Blue. My horses have been very relaxed and are jumping really well here because the jumps are nice and spooky."
The handy hunter class began off the right lead to an outside line, and included a few tight turns. Jayne decided to utilize the split-rail fence, which began off of a trot and she took the tight inside turn to the second split rail. "During the handy I made the crazy inside turn and both of the horses were really good about it even though they are both very young, so I was happy with both of their performances," remarked Jayne.
Pony Lane Farm has enjoyed the success they have been having with Bella Blue. Jayne's successful trips were a great start for Bella who will be showing in the Junior Hunters this weekend. Madeline Thatcher will be showing Bella Blue for the first time in the Juniors and Jayne is looking forward to this new pairing. Red Sky and Kelsey Thatcher will also be showing in the Junior Hunter divisions during each week of the Showplace Spring Spectacular.
In the Green Conformation Hunters, Cookie Beck and the talented horse, Goosebumps garnered the championship rosette. Dominating five of the classes including the model class, three over fences, and the under saddle class, Beck earned all five of the first place ribbons.
Earning the reserve championship ribbon was Maggie Jayne and Pony Lane Farm's Francesca. The duo won today's handy hunter class, received a second place in yesterday's first over fences and under saddle class, and earned a third in the model and yesterday's second over fences class.
Beck commented about Goosebumps, stating, "He has been great this whole horse show. It was like all of a sudden he grew up. He was a little green in the handy but he was perfect in the first class. Goosebumps was also quieter today in comparison to yesterday."
Beck and owner Lisa Cudahy have enjoyed watching Goosebumps grow as a hunter over the last four years. Originally Goosebumps was purchased as a three-year-old from Europe. "We taught Goosebumps how to jump," noted Beck. "He has come such a long way. He was barely broke when we bought him, so it has been pretty cool that he has come this far. He is a beautiful horse and is very brave."
Last week Goosebumps was at Devon where he excelled, but had a few small mistakes due to being young and green. He grew as a horse during Devon and this week he seemed to put it all together.
Beck plans on continuing to show Goosebumps in the Green Conformation. After the summer shows they will head to indoors and eventually they see a future of selling the talented horse.
Beck has enjoyed coming to the Showplace Spring Spectacular. She commented, "I like the convenience of coming to this show, especially because I do not have to fly. Pat Boyle has made a lot of improvements to the facility, the surrounding hotels are great, and there are good restaurants. All of those things make a big difference.
The last division of the day was the Regular Working Hunters. Cookie Beck rode Safari to the victory winning three over fences classes, the under saddle, and a second place in the handy hunter class. Beck rode Safari today for his owner, Caitlin Ziegler. Ziegler and Safari have won multiple junior championships throughout the beginning of the year while exhibiting at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Safari and Beck navigated today's course effortlessly.
The reserve championship rosette in the Regular Working Hunters was earned by Tina Judge and Trust Me. In the over fences classes the duo won a second place, two third place ribbons, they won the handy hunter class, and were third in the under saddle class.
Tomorrow's coverage of the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Week I will continue with the equitation classes including the ASPCA Maclay, the IHJA Junior Medal, and the Central Equine Junior Medal. For more information on Showplace Productions and the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Show Series, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.
Photo Credit: Maggie Jayne and Red Sky win First Year Green Hunters, Jayne also wins Second Year Green Hunters with Bella Blue. Cookie Beck wins championship in the Green Conformation Hunters with Goosebumps and the Regular Working Hunters with Safari. Photo 2010 © Lindsay McCall/PMG.