Wayne, IL - Early thundershowers did not slow down the exciting line-up of events in the Grand Prix Ring today at the Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show, held at the beautiful Lamplight Equestrian Center.
The highlight event today was the $25,000 Tapestry Farms Leading Rider Finals Grand Prix sponsored by Tapestry Farm. Thomas Cerra scored the winning prize aboard United after they topped an 11-horse jump-off with the faster of two double clear efforts.
Hector J Loyola designed today's course and the 16 jumping efforts for the opening round included a triple bar, a fan jump, a liverpool, an oxer-oxer double combination, and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. For the jump-off, riders had to show over nine fences, including the oxer-oxer double combination, and many riders incurred four faults at an oxer on the opening bending line.
Eleven riders completed today's opening round without fault by only two were able to leave all the rails in their cups during the short course. After seven horses incurred faults, Thomas Cerra entered the ring with United, owned by Brampton Woods Farm of Lake Forest, IL, as the eighth combination to compete during the jump-off. The pair picked up a quick and steady pace to the first obstacle and maintained an accurate ride throughout the course, clearing each fence with ease and crossing the finish line in 45.98 seconds. Their stunning round could not be caught and they took home today's winning title.
Lisa Goldman made an excellent attempt to catch Cerra's time with Centurion B, owned by Mary Goldman of Hawthorne Woods, IL. The pair was the only other horse and rider combination to leave the fences standing but they slipped through the timers in a very 46.00 seconds to earn the second place prize.
Laura Linback stopped the clock at 44.60 seconds for the fastest time of the day aboard Uppsala, owned by Woodrun of Mundelein, IL. Unfortunately the pair incurred four faults over the course for the third place honors. Maggie Jayne showed four horses during today's class and was the winner of the 2010 Showplace Leading Open Jumper Rider award. Her top mount during today's class was Carentina III, owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT, who had one rail during the short course and broke the beam at 46.66 seconds for the fourth place ribbon.
Cerra was all smiles after leading today's victory gallop with United. "This horse just keeps getting better and better, he's clean almost every time he goes in the ring," he beamed. "He's a pleasure to ride; he's so easy and he's willing do anything I ask him to do."
Without any clear riders before Cerra during the jump-off he had a tough choice ahead of him when he entered the ring. "It's always a gamble to decide whether you should go in and take your time to clean," he explained. "More often than not I shoot myself in the foot and have one down with a slow time. I wasn't trying to be the fastest horse in the class but I wanted to be very efficient. I thought I was very efficient at the beginning and then I gave myself a little extra time up to the last two jumps. He was going clean and jumping great and I just figured I would make somebody chase me if they have to."
Cerra lives just five minutes from the Lamplight Equestrian Center so winning here is extra special for him. "The facility is fantastic and Pat [Boyle] does a lot of extra special things like the Leading Rider Bonus," he said. "They just go above and beyond. I have shown all over and I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly and they do such a great job here. This is my home turf and where I grew up so I've watched it evolve over the years." Cerra also thanked United's owners at Brampton Woods Farm, CWD Saddles, and Parlanti USA for their generous support.
Earlier today the $2,500 Children's Jumper Championships were held where Naomi Bradley and Kaydin Z earned the top honors. Ashley Reed and Madonna, owned by Lance Williamson, were awarded the second place prize, while Madison Lawton and Juliette scored the third place ribbon.
"I tried my hardest and he jumped the sky for me, that's all I could have asked," commented Bradley. "The plan today was go clean both times and he gave me a wonderful ride. I've had him for two years and we've really developed a really great partnership."
The next event in the Grand Prix Ring was the $2,500 Adult Jumper Championships. Anita Morris was the winner of today's trophy with her top mount Stargazer. Sarah Kirson followed with the reserve honors aboard Norgan, Inc's Micenas, while Jessica Frederick rode Cartouche to the third place award.
This afternoon the Grand Prix Ring hosted three medal finals events sponsored by Messenger Hill Farm. The Adult Medal Finals kicked things off and after jumping the first round course the top four competitors were called back to test. Shannon Kelly and her partner of five years Trust Me stole the show and earned the championship prize.
"I thought everything rode really well in the first round," noted Kelly after the victory gallop. "Everything was a little forward and my horse has a really big step so that worked out well for me. There were a couple of options where I could leave strides out so I think that helped me get a higher score in the first round, and the test worked out beautifully."
Up next was the Children's Medal Finals, with the championship award going to equitation newbie Madison Clark and Leslie Coolidge's Well Said. "I haven't been doing the equitation for very long so the testing is new to me and I was worried I wouldn't get the jumps right," she said. "I was really nervous going into it but he was really great and did everything I asked him to."
Clark's trainer Maggie Jayne added, "She is my working student and she is brand new to the equitation. She works very hard at home though and I have her practice over lots of crazy jumps so this was easy for her. I am really excited for her; she could not be more deserving of a big win like this."
Rounding out the day's competition was the Central Equine Junior Medal Finals. After completing the first round course, the top five horses and riders were called back to test, and 13-year-old Caitlin Boyle rode Indio, owned by Fatima Pawlenko-Kranz, to a beautifully smooth round that won over the judges and took top honors in the class.
"I'm happy, he was really good today," smiled Boyle. "Yesterday he was a little quiet but today he was perfect. I was really confused when I first heard the test because it was pretty long, but everything ended up working out great. This horse needs a lot of leg but he listens really well so he is perfect for classes like this.
Boyle was the winner of last year's Children's Medal Finals and was thrilled to be so successful after moving up to the next to division. She currently shows in the Children's Hunters as well but her goal for next year is to move up to the Junior Hunters and win another medal event.
The Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show will continue tomorrow with its final day of competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois. The Grand Prix Ring will host the 2010 IHJA Medal Finals throughout the day thanks to the generous sponsorship of Kim Gardiner and Perfecta Farms and Ledges Sporting Horses.
For further information on Showplace Productions and the Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.
$25,000 Tapestry Farm Grand Prix
1 116 United Brampton Woods Farm Thomas Cerra
2 426 CENTURION B Mary Goldman Lisa Goldman
3 370 Uppsala Woodrun Laura Linback
4 191 Caretina III Pony Lane Farm MAGGIE JAYNE
5 180 Casino Van De Helle North Face Farm Erin Haas
6 535 Quick Start The Quick Start Group Stefanie Collier
7 338 CARIBE Steve Schaefer Steve Schaefer
8 213 THOMAS EDISON ALEX JAYNE MAGGIE JAYNE
9 561 Y B BLUE Nick Novak Nick Novak
10 518 Pilot Amelia McArdle Amelia McArdle
11 316 Cartier Van Schuttershoff Emily Skoggard Willie Tynan
12 318 Life Is Life 15 Blue Gate Farm LLC Denise Wilson
Photo Credits: (1) Thomas Cerra led the victory gallop with United during the $25,000 Tapestry Farm Grand Prix. (2) Shannon Kelly and Trust me earned the top call in the Adult Medal Finals. (3) Madison Clark and Well Said won the Children's Medal Finals. (4) Caitlin Boyle garnered the top prize with Indio in the Central Equine Junior Medal Finals. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.