Wayne, IL - It was a chilly and wet Saturday for exhibitors at the Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. After a strong morning shower, the rain held off for the $25,000 Tapestry Farms Leading Rider Grand Prix and for junior riders to show their mounts in the Small and Large Junior Hunters.
Madeline Thatcher and her top mount, Mirasol garnered championship honors in this week's Small Junior Hunter division with thirty-one points. Madeline beat out her older sister, Kelsey for the top prize. Mirasol, owned by the Thatcher's Pony Lane Farm, and Madeline Thatcher took home second and third place ribbons today, adding to their two blues from Friday's over fences rounds. Older sister Kesley Thatcher and Bella Blue took home the reserve champion title after winning both over fences rounds today.
"Yesterday he was a little fresh, but still managed to behave himself very well," laughed Thatcher after her win. "Today I thought he would be wild because its cold and muddy, but we had three great rounds and I was really happy with him. He has had about a month off and this is our first horse show back together. He's the kind of horse that you really have to keep focused otherwise he gets spooky. That's why he is so good in the handy because he's so good at turning and is always looking to the where the next jump is. He just loves the handy round!"
Thatcher continued, "I really like Lamplight because it's so familiar and almost like home for us because we spend so much time here. It's a great prep for us before we head east to Harrisburg and Washington. The footing is always great and the jumps are beautiful, it's really a nice show."
The Large Junior Hunters proved to be a competitive division with four different horses winning classes throughout the division. After winning two of the five classes, Fallon Perez and her top mount, Kara were awarded this week's tricolor ribbon. The reserve shampion honors went to Pony Lane Farm's Francesca and Madeline Thatcher for their outstanding efforts over the last two days.
Perez commented, "Today I thought she was better than yesterday, she really loves the mud. She was really on her A game this weekend. Yesterday she was great though and we won both rounds. She will seriously jump from just about anywhere which is really nice in the handy round. She has a really soft mouth and is really a dream to ride. She's had a lot of the summer off and this is our first show back. It feels good to come out and win after having some time off."
The $1,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Classic victory went to Kelsey Thatcher and her mount Bella Blue. Thatcher and Bella Blue had a first round score of 86, and a second round score of 88 for a two round total of 174 to garner the top prize. Second place in the Classic went to amateur rider Shannon Kelly and her mount, Trust Me. Thatcher was also third and fifth in with her other two mounts, Early Applause and Sublime. Madeline Thatcher and Mirasol settled for fourth place for the efforts.
"Bella's so perfect and such an amazing horse," noted Thatcher. "We've had her for a little over a year now and she's gotten really consistent and been so fun. I haven't ridden her since June and Maddie has been showing her over the summer. It's just a great mare and she feels really fun in the air; I just chuck the reins at her and she's perfect."
Tomorrows marks the last day of competition for exhibitors in the Showplace Fall Classic at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. This is a packed day of for riders with many IHJA Medal Finals taking place in the Grand Prix Ring. Amateur-Owners will also compete for champion and reserve titles in their respective divisions. The final events of the day will be the $1,000 Children's Hunter Championships and the $1,000 Adult Hunter Championships.
For more information on the 2010 Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.
Photo Credits: (1) Mirasol and Madeline Thatcher Score Small Junior Hunter Championship (2) ) Bella Blue and Kelsey Thatcher Win Blue in $1,000 Junior/Amateur Classic. Photos By: Alyson Sanderford/PMG.