The second week of the 2018 Chicago Festival of the Horse kicked off at the Lamplight Equestrian Center early Tuesday morning, bringing with it the excitement from the previous week. In the Grand Prix Arena, Tracy Fenney and MTM Apple set the tone for the week with a speedy victory in the Open 1.40m Jumpers, going double clear to surpass the competition.
Michael Dorman and Valinski S, owned by Wyndmont Inc., initially set the time to beat in the class, tackling their first round in a clear 67.518 seconds. They then moved on to their jump-off round, also finishing clear and setting a time to beat of 31.992 seconds.
Fenney took to the ring with MTM Apple, owned by MTM Farm, determined to ride timely and fault-free in order to overcome Dorman on the leaderboard. The pair navigated the course designed by Leopoldo Palacias in 68.172 seconds. Returning for their jump-off round, Fenney and MTM Apple sped through the challenging course, leaving all the rails up and crossing the finish line in 30.462 seconds to capture the top slot.
“Apple is fairly new — We’ve had her about a month. We’re just trying to get to know her,” shared Fenney. “We just did the Grand Prix last week, and we’ll probably do it again this week. She started out really good and then got a little green through it.”
Still somewhat green, Fenney has been impressed with Apple’s ability to perform at such a high level. Just last week in Equifest I, she rode the mare in the competitive $50,000 Prix de Lamplight.
“She’s very comfortable at that height for her age. She was great today. She did all of the good turns, left out strides and everything, so I was happy with her.”
Dorman and Valinski S maintained their placing just below Fenney and MTM Apple to take home the second place ribbon. Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson’s Manchester rounded out the top three, completing a speedy jump-off round with just one rail down.