Edited Press Release
Wayne, Ill. – May 28, 2022 – Lisa Goldman-Smolen has been a dominating force during the Lamplight Spring Classic Series at HITS Chicago, and Saturday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix proved to be no exception. Having won the first grand prix with Ivaro N, she then went on to win the second one with Sovereign. Once again, Sovereign returned to the winner’s circle at Lamplight Equestrian Center, topping the third $25,000 HITS Grand Prix as the last to return for the four-horse jump-off with a quick and clear performance.
“Sovereign is a stallion, but I know him so well because I’ve had him for six years now and he loves his job,” smiled Smolen. “He goes in the ring and he wants to win – he tries his heart out. I love having him as a part of my team, and I am very thankful to his owner, Barbara Disko.”
Jerry Dougherty’s first-round course demanded excellence and precision, and only four advanced to the tiebreaker. For the jump-off, riders began by galloping over two large oxers, then had two options for inside turns to the next two fences to make up time before the final test, which was an oxer-vertical double combination.
returned first to show over the shortened track. Everything was going as planned until the final fence, where a rail down added 4 faults to their time of 42.817 seconds. Smolen was next with her grand prix winner from the first week, Ivaro N. They were also unlucky at the final combination, lowering the height of both fences for 8 faults in 41.032 seconds.
After seeing two riders struggle with the final combination, Ashley Miles opted for a more conservative route aboard Conreu in an effort to leave all the fences intact. They were faultless on the course and set the Great American time to beat at 46.640 seconds. Smolen knew she could beat the time with her veteran partner Sovereign, and that is precisely what they did. The duo carefully navigated each obstacle while maintaining an efficient pace to break the beam in a clear 43.582 seconds and earn the victory.
“After going on [Ivaro N] and having the rails at the end, and then watching Ashley go and knowing she had a conservative clear round, my goal was just to try and get a clean round,” explained Smolen. “My horse carries a naturally quick pace, so it was not necessarily a really fast round, but it got the job done.”
Looking back on a successful three weeks of competition, Smolen noted, “My horses were really, really good. I feel very lucky to have them. I have a really strong team behind me, so it’s been nice to come here and get the summer kicked off and going. We’ll be back in June!”
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