Edited Press Release
Wayne, Ill. – June 10, 2022 – The first in the field proved to be the best at HITS Chicago as Collin Reynolds and Chicco W held the win from the top of the order in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix. Reynolds and Chicco W were the only pair to complete a clear round during Friday’s highlight event, earning the blue ribbon after showcasing carefulness and speed during Lamplight Spring Spectacular I.
“Chicco W is 15 this year, so he’s not exactly super young, but he’s very experienced,” remarked Reynolds. “I got him from my trainer Brian Murphy and he is just amazing. He tries his heart out even when I mess up. Overall he has just been an amazing teacher getting up to this level.”
The duo completed the challenging course with ease, taking on the double and triple combination as well as differing bending lines throughout the course. “The course designer definitely asked a few questions in the course, especially in the beginning from one to two,” explained Reynolds. “Some people walked a number and others didn’t, but I walked nine strides to number two because I knew I wanted to start out pretty forward.”
Reynolds was not the only one with a forward pace in mind as they navigated the course. Natalie Jayne and Juanito Van De Zeilhoek jumped a speedy 4-fault round at 70.224 seconds to help land them a second-place finish. Katie Leverick and Hardy were next to follow with another 4-fault score and the second fastest time of 76.935 seconds to earn the third-place award.
All it took was a clear round to take the cake in the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, and Reynolds and Chicco W were the only ones to complete the task. “My plan was to ride the whole thing really positively!” With this week’s SmartPak Grand Prix already under her belt, she’s ready to get back in the ring on Sunday for the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix to take another shot at capturing the win. “This is our third time coming here [to Lamplight] this year and it’s an amazing facility. The footing is great, and the staff is amazing to work with!”
On Thursday, Jayne and Juanito Van De Zeilhoek led the $5000 VitaFlex 1.35m Jumper Classic from start to finish. They were the first to compete, and as the jump-off pathfinders they set an uncatchable standard with a double-clear effort in 41.038 for the winning honors. Michael Lenard almost had the time with Didrika, but a rail down in the combination placed them second with a 4-fault round in 41.587 seconds. Liz Atkins and Rodeo VDL had the second fence down and a more conservative time of 44.681 seconds for third place.
The $2,500 Stal Hendrix Open Welcome also saw three advance to the jump-off, but this time it was Katie Leverick with Hardy who had the only double clear to lead the lap of honor. Jayne and Juanito Van De Zeilhoek had the fastest time of the day, but an early rail relegated them to second place. Willa Bonnette and Diamant were also quick across the tiebreaking track, but their 4-fault effort would round out the top three.