Hampshire, IL – October 19, 2015 – Canterbury Farm, of Hampshire, IL, has become one of the top hunter/jumper facilities in the country thanks to its combination of leading professionals and a dedication to exceptional services and personalized training and care for its horses and riders. Canterbury has had top ribbons at shows across the country in recent weeks, and head trainer Greg Franklin recently officiated as a judge at the WIHS Regional Horse Show on October 16-18.
Owned and operated by the Franklin family, Canterbury Farm has been nationally renowned in the equestrian industry for more than 30 years. The Canterbury team, led by Franklin and rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels, has had great success in the show ring recently. As Canterbury’s resident professional rider, Shiels has brought out the best quality in a wonderful group of horses.
Caitlyn Shiels and Granted Wish competed in the WCHR Developing Pro Challenge at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show. Photo copyright The Plaid Horse.
Following a decorated junior career, Shiels joined the Canterbury team in 2013 and has since helped take the stable’s reputation to the next level. A highlight of Shiels’ early career was being a team and individual gold medalist at the 2004 North American Young Riders’ Championship. She went on to apprentice under such professionals as Andre Dignelli, Mclain Ward, Ken Smith and Kate Stoffel-Oliver. Almost immediately after she joined the Canterbury team, Shiels and Franklin both began earning multiple championships at major shows. Their partnership, an excellent balance of training both on the horse and from the ground, has brought Canterbury Farm great recognition.
The 2015 show season has been especially successful for Shiels and the Canterbury family. Most recently, the young professional competed at the renowned Capital Challenge Horse Show (CCHS) in Upper Marlboro, MD, where she had an exciting eighth place finish in the United States Hunter Jumper Association’s (USHJA) World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) Developing Pro Challenge. Shiels led the WCHR Midwest Regional Rider standings heading into the competition, and competed aboard Helen Lindsay’s Granted Wish on the big day at CCHS. The pair also jumped to two seventh place finishes in the extremely competitive Performance Working Hunter 3’6” division during the week.
Shiels showed some of Canterbury Farm’s rising young stars in the Future Hunter divisions as well. She jumped Michelle Durpetti’s Elmo in the Future Working Hunters Colts & Geldings division. She also showed Durpetti’s Serafina in the Future Working Hunter Mares 3’/3’3”division, and rode Margo Lyons’ Kadence Darco in the Future Working Hunters 5 & Under. The classes serve as wonderful experience for the developing young horses as well as a fantastic showcase for many top riders.
“This has been a wonderful year for me professionally, with so many young, talented horses coming into our program in 2015. I am so grateful to work with a team of really qualified and caring individuals who make coming to work every day fun!” Shiels stated. “I am also so grateful to owners like Helen Lindsay, Michelle Durpetti, The Alden Family, and Marcia Franklin for giving me the opportunities that I have had with their horses this year. Greg has also been a great support, and I am very thankful to Patricia Griffith for her time and support at Capital Challenge. Riding in the WCHR Developing Pro Challenge there was both a privilege and a pleasure, and I am so thrilled to have ended this year on such a positive note. I am really looking forward to next year!”
Caitlyn Shiels and Patricia Griffith celebrate a great night at Capital Challenge. Photo copyright The Plaid Horse.
For Greg Franklin, watching Shiels and the many talented horses of Canterbury Farm jump to top results is the product of a fantastic partnership as well as the dedication of a very gifted rider.
“Caitlyn has been a wonderful addition to the Canterbury program and team since the first day she started. She has a fantastic work ethic, a can-do attitude and loves each of these horses as her own. Her success appears effortless, but she spends hours in the saddle still adhering to the rigorous and dedicated program she was raised in,” he explained. “I often see her riding without stirrups and that, among many things, is why she is an excellent example for the younger riders on our team. Caitlyn is the very definition of the saying ‘hard work pays off.’ I am thrilled to work with her and am very pleased with our efforts at Capital Challenge. I am ready to get into 2016!”
Prior to competing at Capital Challenge, the Canterbury team had a wonderful week competing at the HOTT Horse Shows at Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center in Iowa. Shiels guided Granted Wish to the Performance Working Hunter 3’3” division championship and was also champion of the Pre-Green 3’ division aboard six-year-old gelding, Elmo. Shiels and Serafina were champion of the Pre-Green 3’3” division and jumped in their third National Hunter Derby ever to an impressive score of 90.
Along with her success in the hunters, Shiels and her young jumper, Cavalier II, had a fantastic week at Maffitt Lake. The pair earned their first win together competing in the week’s Welcome Stake. They then went on to a second place finish in the grand prix.
Earlier in September, Cavalier II jumped clear in the $10,000 Welcome Stake competing in the Showplace Fall Classic at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. Serafina was reserve champion of the Pre-Green Hunter 3’3” division, second in the Pre-Green Incentive Hunter Stake, third in the Pre-Green Challenge and fifth in the $2,500 USHJA National Derby.
Kadence Darco was champion of the Pre-Green 3’ Hunters and won both the Pre-Green Challenge and the Pre-Green Incentive class. After that, she was second in the $2,500 USHJA National Derby. One week prior, Kadence Darco jumped to an exciting third place finish in the National Hunter Stake at the Chicago Hunter Derby in Antioch, IL. This special five-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (by Darco) is for sale and ready for a junior or amateur. She is extremely level-headed has a sweet personality, and is simple to ride.
The team at Canterbury Farm looks forward to continuing a fantastic fall season, competing next at the Lake St. Louis Winter Festival Horse Show in December.
Canterbury Farm thanks its team of sponsors including Blueberry Hill, Butet, Equifit, Ardie Hastey, O’Shaughnessy Apparel, Samshield, and Tucci for all of their support.
About Canterbury Farm
Canterbury Farm maintains a horse show schedule on a local, regional and national level that is created with their customer’s competitive goals in mind. For over 35 years, Greg Franklin has ridden hunters and jumpers to numerous championships nationally and has brought home numerous Zone 5 ‘Horse of the Year’ awards. Franklin has qualified horses and riders for the Pennsylvania National, Washington International and the National Horse Shows including the Medal and Maclay Finals. He has also shown internationally at Canada’s Spruce Meadows in the 1.40m and 1.45m divisions and is a certified trainer with USHJA. Additionally, Franklin holds his ‘R’ card in Hunters, Hunter Seat Equitation, and Jumpers, and judges throughout the country.
Born and raised in Sheffield, Massachusetts, Caitlyn Shiels began riding at the age of eight. A highlight of Shiels’ early career was being a team and individual gold medalist at the 2004 North American Young Riders’ Championship. Shiels went on to apprentice under such professionals as Andre Dignelli, Mclain Ward, Ken Smith and Kate Stoffel-Oliver. Almost immediately after she joined the Canterbury team in 2013, Sheils and Franklin both began earning multiple championships at major shows including Spring Spectacular, Horse Shows by the Bay, Traders Point Charity Horse Show, and Kentucky. Their partnership is an excellent balance of training both on the horse and from the ground.
With qualified trainers, attention to detail, and a caring staff, Canterbury Farm is committed to excellence in horsemanship, and to giving all of their riders a great experience in the show ring.