Wayne, Ill. – August 2, 2016 – Brian Moggre is not just a talented junior rider, but a threat in the jumper arena. The 14-year-old Texas native opened up the second week of competition at Lamplight Equestrian Center with a victory in the first 1.40m Open Jumper class of the week aboard MTM Ace of Spades.
The young athlete and his 10-year-old KWPN edged out the competition by a split second to earn the blue ribbon.
“I’ve had MTM Ace of Spades for a little over two years,” Moggre shared. “I’ve been riding him in the Highs ever since. He’s been awesome and is teaching me a lot. In this division, the jumps are big enough that he pays attention. However, it’s not like a grand prix. He has time to gallop and catch a couple of the jumps on a bigger step. That makes us more competitive.”
Tuesday was the first day that athletes were put to the test by Leopoldo Palacios. The well-known course designer will be mapping the courses for the rest of the week.
Moggre was one of four competitors to ride through Palacios’ first round without error and continued with a faultless jump-off. It was a true test of speed among the athletes, one that Moggre triumphed by a split second.
Aboard MTM Ace of Spades, the junior rider set the time to beat, crossing the finish line in 35.135 seconds. With one rider left to go, Dorothy Douglas entered the arena aboard Leviticus. The bell rang for the duo to begin the jump-off, and the pair sped through the course with a quick pace. As the two cleared the final jump and crossed the finish line, their time flashed on the scoreboard, but they were not quick enough to catch Moggre. Dorothy Douglas and Leviticus. PC: Davaney Iglesias
Moggre has big plans for the Chicago Festival of the Horse and the future.
“While I’m here, my plan is to win the Junior Jumper Classic,” Moggre said. “I’d like to get a lot more points so that later this year I can go to the indoor circuit and compete, possibly win a few classes and hold my own against all of the other great riders. The plan is to compete in the $250,000 Junior Jumper Prix at HITS Saugerties and the $500,000 Hunter Prix there, as well. We’ve got a busy year coming up!”
Earlier in the day, Shannon Hicks and Cricket rode away with the win in the 1.30m Open Jumpers. All but one competitor qualified for the speed round of the division, but Hicks and the dark bay Hanoverian defeated the pool of contenders with a time of 32.318 seconds.
“He’s got just enough spook in him that you can run him fast,” Hicks explained. “He takes a lot of leg, but you have to be careful because he covers so much ground. He’s super around the turns, which helps shed some time.”
The top four competitors were all separated by a second. Holly Shepherd took home second and third aboard Copycat with a time of 33.077 seconds and Manchester, who clocked in at 34.429 seconds.
Hicks has earned her fair share of victories in the world-renowned Lamplight Equestrian Center. The professional shared, “I’ve been coming to Lamplight for about 20 years, since I was a very young professional. We live in St. Louis so it’s an easy drive and fairly close. It’s just an overall great place to show, there’s shade, there’s grass, the rings and footing are lovely. And there’s two Grand Prix a week at these shows, plus the money is good.”
The 1.25m Open Jumper class, proved to be a difficult course, as only one competitor had a clear first round. Michael McCormick and MTM Chaccon were the sole pair to ride in the jump-off, and although the duo suffered a single time fault, they rode away with the blue ribbon with a time of 44.239 seconds.
During the second week of competition of the Chicago Festival of the Horse spectators will have the opportunity to witness world-class athletes compete in the $5,000 National Hunter Derby, $25,000 Welcome Stake, $25,000 Jumper Derby, $25,000 International Hunter Derby and $75,000 Grand Prix.
For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center’s Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. A downloadable prize list is accessible online.
Written by: Devaney Iglesias