June 28, 2020 – Horse Show Manager Patrick Boyle did not disappoint exhibitors at the Showplace Summertime Show at Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, Illinois, as he opened up the rings to create grand prix style competition for Sunday’s Classic Day. Riders of all levels from Puddle Jumpers to the Grand Prix, jumped to earn a spot in the coveted victory gallop.
For many riders, it was their first time out since the covid-19 shutdown. Chicago area exhibitors and trainers expressed their gratitude for being able to show in a comfortable, safe, and fun environment close to home. Throughout the decades, Ledges has always been a community staple, providing an excellent place to earn points, qualify, and gain real horse show mileage.
Boyle is known for his fantastic productions and attention to detail from friendly staff and beautiful courses to fabulous awards and meticulously coordinated award presentations. With the new USEF mandated covid-19 protocols in place, exhibitors found it easy to comply and happy to be back in the show ring.
Sunday’s grand finale was the $10,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix. Chicago’s Lisa Goldman-Smolen was first in the ring to set the bar high with a clean round on Rarity. Goldman-Smolen has competed at Ledges since the beginning of her riding career as a junior. Her client Kyle Perkovich on Hindsight, took a swing at the course but did not move on to the jump off. Goldman-Smolen rode Bengtsson VDL to an almost clean round with a heartbreaking rail at the last jump.
Ryan Sassmannshausen and Babar, owned by Maeve O’Sullivan, were next to jump clean and grab a spot in the jump-off while Tipperary Hill and Izabelle Quadracci put in the final clear round.
Quadracci was the final horse in the jump off, taking the top spot after she galloped and turned, finishing with a long run to the final oxer for the victory. Sassmannshausen was second with Goldman-Smolen in third, wrapping up the first show at Ledges Sporting Horses since the covid-19 shut down.
Thursday’s highlight was the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, which is part of the Hunter Derby Challenge Series sponsored by Bull Run Equestrian Center and offered at Showplace shows throughout the season. Taking the top spot was Caitlin Boyle aboard her 6-year-old import, Kartouche. Caitlin Boyle turned professional in 2019 after a successful junior career and four years of NCEA competition at Auburn University. She now works with trainer Katie Kappler in Mettawa, Illinois. This was the first derby for the pair who handled the handy round with ease. The horse looks similar to her junior equitation mount, Laredo, which Boyle says is one of the things that caught her attention.
“This was our first outing since the shutdown,” said Caitlin Boyle. “The horse show is doing a great job and everyone is doing their best at social distancing and wearing the masks. I think we’ll get used to it all as we go. We are happy to be showing again.
“[Kartouche] is my horse. I found him off of a video and he is the first one I’ve had all the responsibility for. I was super proud that he didn’t have to get in the ring earlier in the day and he just handled everything with ease. I know there is more in him that I can bring out in the future. He was started as a jumper but is quiet so he’s been fun to bring along and I’ve done all the work on him myself.”
Kathleen Caya followed Boyle in the derby taking second and third place on her own Zorro and Just Kidding, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, respectively. Caya was also champion in the Performance Hunters 3’3/3’6 with Zorro, champion in the Green Hunters 3’3-3’9 with Just Kidding and champion in the 3’ Green Hunters with Primus Rex, owned by Izabelle Quadracci.
“It’s good to be home,” said Caya. “Ledges is home for us. Pat always does a great job and the shows are always consistent with beautiful courses and awards. The staff are like family here so there’s no place we’d rather be.”
Riders raved about the Sunday Grand Prix day with the opportunity to compete in the large ring especially early in the circuit. Showplace has opened up the ring in the past for the Zone Team Hunter and Jumper Championships, B Medal Finals and A Medal Finals as well as special grand prix events. Showplace allows riders of all levels to participate in the experience.
Sunday Classics Winners
Main Hunter Ring
In addition to the grand prix ring, the main hunter ring hosted great competition for hunter riders.
Amateur rider Piper Klemm commented, “Even though I couldn’t see their usual smiles, [due to the masks] everyone at Ledges was their friendly and welcoming selves! This was my first time leaving the house since March and it was great to see my horse! I’m beyond thrilled with my first ever lifetime classic win!”
Klemm, of The Plaid Horse Magazine, won the $500 WIHS Child/Adult Hunter Classic and the division championship with MTM Sandwich.
Debbie Kirsch took the Amateur Adult Hunter 36 and over division by storm with her Naples Bay, earning the championship. Kirsch trains with Diane Carney/Telluride Farm.
“I was thrilled to be back in the ring and everything was so well done at Ledges,” commented Kirsch. “My horse didn’t miss a beat through all of the ups and downs this winter and spring. Diane Carney and the team at Telluride kept them going perfectly. I was really happy with the way I rode, the system that I have learned works well even after a long break. My partner of four years, Naples Bay, proved to be the star we all know he is!”
Showplace Productions would like to thank all the trainers and exhibitors for making the return to showing easy and fun. Thank you for following the guidelines and joining us at the historic Ledges Sporting Horses.
Showplace Productions offers divisions for all levels of riders from beginners to grand prix. For more information on upcoming Showplace Productions’ events, visit the website at www.showplaceproductions.com.
To see interviews of Sunday’s classic winners, see Marketing4Equestrian’s Facebook page.