Crete, IL – Lisa Goldman and Barbara Disko’s Sovereign wrote another chapter in the history of Balmoral Park as she declared victory in the $35,000 HITS Chicago Grand Prix, the first grand prix of many to be held at the newly renovated horse show venue in Crete, Illinois. Excitement filled the air as riders, trainers, parents and local spectators watched the Grand Prix Ring come to life with Anderson Lima’s beautifully designed course. Goldman, a hometown favorite, kept spectators on the edge of their seats as she galloped in her usual fearless style to cross the finish line with the fastest clear round.
Lima, of Brazil, is an International FEI course designer and recently designed courses at the prestigious Longines Global Champions Tour in Mexico City, Mexico, just one example on his lengthy list of esteemed credentials. Lima used the large ring by setting jumps and combinations at various angles to challenge the horses and riders. He chose a variety of sponsor jumps, which included airy verticals, oxers off of short turns and the solid Balmoral Park wall. Five riders jumped clean in the first round and headed into the jump off.
Goldman, 27, of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois, was the first to step into the ring for the historic grand prix with Centurion B, receiving applause from the audience taking it all in. Then it was all business as Goldman set the pace with the first clear round. Annabella Sanchez of Chicago followed on her first of three rides, also adding herself to the jump-off list with a clean round on Zersina. Further down the list, Goldman returned on Hindsight, her second of three rides, and galloped to another clean round. Steve Schaefer, Maple Park, Illinois, took a swing with his mount, Caribe, and jumped fault free to secure a spot in the jump-off. More riders took on the challenge but Goldman was the last one to add her name to the good list with her third ride, Sovereign.
Both Schaefer and Goldman are known for their fast gallops and short turns and have gone head to head many times in the grand prix ring, making for nail-biting competition. Goldman returned on Centurion B, putting in another clean round and stopping the timers at 39.08 seconds. When Goldman returned on Hindsight, she managed to stop the clock at exactly the same time of 39.08 but knocked one rail to the ground for four faults.
Schaefer and Caribe tried to catch Goldman but weren’t fast enough, crossing the finish line with a time of 41.80 with all the jumps staying up. Sanchez took her turn at the shortened course, proving to be faster than Schaefer by a nose with 40.330 on the clock but sacrificed a rail in the process for four faults.
On her third attempt at the jump off track, Goldman galloped Sovereign to the final clean round and the fastest time of 38.60 beating her own time on Centurion B to earn a trip to the winner’s circle. Goldman took second on Centurion B with Schaefer and Caribe in third, Goldman and Hindsight finished in fourth with Sanchez and Zersina in fifth. Sanchez did capture the top spot in the $2,500 GhoDho U25 Jumper Classic with her performance on Zersina.
Goldman has a fantastic track record in the jumper ring, which earned her a trip to Europe to ride on a U.S. Developing Riders Team last summer. She has made a great comeback after being laid up this past fall with back surgery and a broken collarbone. Things are headed uphill again for Goldman, who recently got engaged and is seriously thinking of having her wedding at Balmoral Park!
Riders are looking forward to the next grand prix at Balmoral Park next week during the Showplace Spring Classic II Horse Show.
For more information or a complete list of results, visit the website at www.hitsshows.com.