Edited Press Release
Wayne, Ill. – May 20, 2022 – Riders gathered at the Grand Prix Stadium to aim for the winning check in Friday’s $10,000 HITS 1.40m Open Jumper Prix during the Lamplight Spring Classic II. A five-horse jump-off led to a speedy class, and despite their new partnership, Shannon Hicks out-galloped the field aboard Chada to take home the lion’s share of the prize money.
Dean Battaglia set a technical track for the first round with three double combinations and multiple rollbacks, with rails falling throughout the course. Five managed to advance to the jump-off, which included an inside option and sharp rollback to a new, tall vertical. Only two completed the second effort without error.
Katie Leverick and Hardy set the original pace to beat, tripping in the timers in 43.998 seconds after leaving all the rails intact, which would hold up for second place. The next in the jump-off was the fastest of the day, but it came at the expense of a rail. Taylor Flury and Orchid B lowered the height of the new vertical for 4 faults in 40.043 seconds for third place.
Hicks knew that Leverick had left the door open, and she decided to gallop throughout the course with Chada, a 9-year-old mare owned by Tracy Grandstrand. Although this is only their second show together, Hicks felt confident with Chada, and took an inside turn to the fourth fence that made up enough time to go to the top of the leaderboard with a clear round in 40.652 seconds.
“The plan for today was just to jump around nicely,” explained Hicks. “This is only the second show I’ve ridden her, so I’m just trying to get to know her, but we jumped yesterday in the 1.30m, and she was so good that we thought we would try again today, a bit bigger. It was a little funny because she spooked through the gaps, and so she wasn’t quite as fast as I think she could’ve been, but she was fast enough!”
Hicks added, “There’s a lot about Lamplight I like! The ring for sure – the ring and the footing is good. In May, it rains, and you can still keep showing.”
The $5000 Vita Flex 1.35m Jumper Classic took center stage with 20 riders competing for the top prize on Thursday. The first round yielded 11 clears to advance to the tiebreaker, where seven were able to complete the course without error. Kyle Perkovich and Hit Me Van’t Zorgvliet were the pathfinders in the jump-off, clearing the track in a blazing 35.707 seconds with a very sharp turn after the combination. Their effort would prove unbeatable, with Lisa Goldman-Smolen and MTM Cooper taking home the second-place prize after a clear round in 38.509 seconds. Thomas Cerra and Sacchetta K rounded out the top three, stopping the clock in a clear 39.344 seconds.
“For the first round, I just wanted to get around, show Jack around the ring and ultimately go clean, which we did,” said Perkovich. “It was a good course – I figured we’d push it a little bit more for the jump-off, but nothing crazy. Just keep everything cool, calm, and collected for the most part, and just have a strong round, and that’s what we did.”
The week’s first class was the $2500 Stal Hendrix Open Welcome, where Stephen Foran and Billy Manjaro claimed back-to-back wins following their victory during the first week of the Lamplight Spring Classic. Taylor Flury earned the second and third place ribbons with Fufu Z and Orchid B, respectively.
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