Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 6, 2016 – It was championship day for junior and amateur hunter competitors, with each horse and rider pair vying for top honors and a shot at the tricolor. In the Amateur-Owner 3’3’’ Hunter division, Lindsey Black was the one to come out victorious aboard Balenciaga. Black also earned the  Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter Reserve Championship later in the day with Lacroix.

Balenciaga is a 6-year old Warmblood, and Black has owned the mare since she was a 2-year old. Black said, “She was actually champion last year in the Adults, and we just moved her up, so this is her second horse show in the 3’3’’. She’s super quiet; she’s like a yellow lab! She loves all different kinds of treats. She’s just super easy going, which is so nice for an amateur to have because she never spooks and she’s super brave.”

Black and Balenciaga earned a third place during Friday’s portion of the division, and came back strong to finish out on Saturday. The pair put down a first round that earned a score of 80, and successfully navigated the handy round track to earn a score of 84, adding two first place ribbons to their total earnings.

“That was a long handy round, but I think everything rode really nice,” said Black. “It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of turns in there and I really like cantering to the first jump. It was also really nice to have some turns before the trot jump.”

Black rides with Ashley Hill, and has enjoyed training with her. She said, “It’s awesome training with Ashley. She’s very detail oriented and it’s always really good to have. She gives you great insight because she rides as well. She has a lot of perspective for how things work in the ring.”

Reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’3’’ Hunter division went to Lesley Quillen aboard Timeless. Quillen and Timeless earned a total of a first place, two seconds, and two thirds during the two-day span of the division.

Lesley Quillen and Timeless

Lesley Quillen and Timeless. PC: Allyson Lagiovane

In the Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter division, it was Therese Peck and MTM Passport that earned top honors and ultimately the championship ribbon. Peck and MTM Passport’s winnings totaled three firsts and two seconds to clinch the win.

“He was really good today!” Peck said of MTM Passport. “He was really good in the handy today, he’s getting so much more consistent. He was a First Year horse last year, so this year he’s kind of found his game!”

For the handy round, Peck and her horse earned a score of 81, smoothly finding their way around the rollback turns and trot fence. Peck said, “[MTM Passport] is just is so easy; he’s easy to turn, he’s willing to do whatever you ask, you just point him and go!”Therese Peck and MTM PassportTherese Peck and MTM Passport. PC: Allyson Lagiovane

Black returned to the ring to pick up another tricolor, earning the reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter division, this time riding Lacroix. The pair’s ribbons totaled a first place, three-second place ribbons and a third place to clinch the title. Each champion was also awarded a Walsh halter in partnership with the Rider’s Boutique, whose booth is located on Vendor Row.

Black has been coming to the Lamplight Equestrian Center for years, and enjoys coming back each year to see familiar faces. She said, “It’s just a wonderful place, and everyone is so nice. People come from all over the country and luckily I’ve been showing for awhile so I know a lot of the folks, so it’s always fun to see some friends at the horse show.”

World Championship Hunter Rider Week at the Chicago Festival of the Horse closes out on Sunday, August 7, with the week’s feature classes, the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Competition kicks off at 8:00 a.m., and can be viewed live via Shownet at www.lamplightequestriancenter.com/streaming.

For more information on the 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: Allyson Lagiovane