Wayne, Ill. – July 26, 2018 – Spectators at the 2018 Chicago Festival of the Horse gathered around the Grand Prix Arena on Thursday afternoon for the day’s highlight event, the $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix. With a field full of some of the nation’s best jumpers, the crowd was not disappointed with the caliber of competitors battling for the top honors. This time, it was 16-year-old Brian Moggre that topped the class, finishing not only in first, but beating his own time to also take home second place.
Moggre has seen his fair share of winner circles in his short years of competing, and this afternoon’s $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix was no exception. He took to the jump-off with MTM Vivre Le Reve and MTM Flutterby, both owned by Mager Wager, LLC, after going clear with both in the first round. Moggre was joined by just three other competitors during the jump-off as the five horse and athlete combinations vied for first place.
Moggre was first to enter the jump-off, starting off with MTM Vivre Le Reve, going clear and setting the pace at 34.970 seconds. Wilhelm Genn and his mount Van Gogh followed, but had an unfortunate rail and a time of 39.499 seconds. Thomas Cerra and his own mount McGregor successfully completed a clear round, but were unable to catch Moggre’s quick time, finishing in 37.194 seconds. Hayley Barnhill and Reid Patton’s Halibo Van Texelhof would be the final pair to attempt to surpass Moggre, but they had a rail just before the last fence and a final time of 36.339 seconds.
Finally, Moggre took to the ring with MTM Flutterby. Moggre had already secured himself the win in the class and was now on a quest to beat his own time. The pair moved swiftly around the course, shaving a second off of the winning time to finish in 33.800 seconds and earn the blue. Moggre would ultimately receive second place with MTM Vivre Le Reve, while Cerra and McGregor rounding out the top three.
This week’s feature show jumping class, the $50,000 Prix De Lamplight, will take place on Saturday, July 28 at 4:00 pm, where the nation’s top athletes will once again compete to take home the lion’s share of the prize money
Earlier in the day, Steve Schaeffer and Holly Yeterian’s Color Pearlz continued with their blue ribbon winning, earning the championship title on Thursday afternoon to finish out the High Performance/ Performance Hunter 3’6″ division. The pair took first place in the under saddle, as well as a first and second place ribbon in the over fences. Finishing just behind Schaeffer to take home the reserve championship was Phoebe Sheets and Capisce, owned by Cheryl Rubenstein LLC.
Holding onto her lead from the first day of competition, Holly Shepherd and Jerez Mail, owned by Micaela Kennedy, clinched the Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter division championship with wins in both her over fences and handy rounds. Taking reserve in the division was Jason Schnelle and Shipshape, owned by Mindy Wurzburg LLC, who claimed first in the USHJA Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter Incentive with 83 points, as well as second in the over fences and fourth in the handy.
Competition at the 2018 Chicago Festival of the Horse will resume Friday, July 27, at 8 a.m. with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Main Hunter Ring.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Brian Moggre – $25,000 Welcome Grand Prix winner
On finishing in first and second place
“If I’m going to be honest, I was a little worried for myself trying to beat my first time. I knew my first horse [MTM Vivre Le Reve] was quick and felt great, so I thought ‘I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I’m going to try!’ And [MTM Flutterby] stepped up to the plate and she was amazing!”
On MTM Flutterby
“I’ve had her for quite a few years now, she’s the love of my life! I think she has a forever home here. Mike [McCormick] and Tracy [Fenney] bred her originally out of one of Tracy’s grand prix horses so she has a lot of sentimental value and she’s just amazing.”
On MTM Vivre Le Reve
“I’ve had him for about two years now, I believe he’s 9this year. He’s amazing. I did him in Tryon these past few weeks in the 3* and 2* and he was second in the 3* and then he was second in the 2* Grand Prix last week. He’s been stepping up!”
On his plan going first in the jump-off
“My mindset was ‘I’m either going to win it or I’m not so I might as well give it all I’ve got!’ Just based on his performances at Tryon I knew he was going to be on his game so I just went in, had a plan, and [Vivre Le Reve] executed it perfectly and I couldn’t be more happy with him.”
On showing at Lamplight
“This might be the fourth year I’ve come here It’s very homey. I came the two years before last and it’s been amazing. I’m really happy to be back!”
Steve Schaeffer – High Performance/Performance Hunter 3’6″ division champion
On Color Pearlz:
“She’s a fabulous mare, I bought her for a client three years ago. We bought her as a great, athletic mare and quickly turned her into a hunter. We didn’t buy her with the intention of having her here in the hunter ring, but we thought we had a hunter. Super scopey, I think she could be in the Welcome Grand Prix next door and do just fine. She’s a blast to ride, I absolutely love riding her. It makes hunters fun again.”
On his rounds:
“I loved the handy course. Being from the jumper ring, I like to turn so it was great fun. She’s handling it all well. I used to mess up the trot jumps and canter them, but we got over that. She felt amazing today. I think we will put her in the derby tomorrow, let her owner ride and see how we do.”
On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“I’m so happy to be back, it’s a great facility. It feels like home!”