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Early Applause and Kelsey Thatcher Win $1,000 Artisan Farms Junior Hunter Classic

Wayne, IL - June 6, 2009 - Kelsey Thatcher and Natalie Allen each had victories at the Showplace Spring Spectacular today as the show continued with its fifth day of competition. Held at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, the horse show is currently hosting some of the country's top horses and riders in two weeks of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition that runs through June 14.

Kelsey Thatcher and Early Applause won the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic this afternoon, which was sponsored by Artisan Farms. Thatcher, of South Jordan, UT, bought Early Applause from Larry Glefke and Kelley Farmer at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival in March and was very happy with the successful rounds today. The class was held in a two round format, and the pair scored an 88 in the first round and an 85 in the second round for a combined score of 173 for the overall class win. Alliy Moyer rode Barbados, owned by Elsa Goding of St. Louis, MO, to the second place finish with scores of 83 and 86 for a two round total of 169.

"We are still just getting to know each other, so I was very happy with how everything came together today," Thatcher smiled. "He has adjusted really well to the new program, and Larry and Kelley have been helping me quite a bit to get to know him. Maggie (Jayne) was perfect on him right out of the box; she was champion at Devon. I did him the week before and it didn't go that well, so it has been really nice to have Kelley here to give me tips."

Early Applause is used to being shown by a professional, so Thatcher explained that he is also adjusting to having a junior rider who isn't as experienced. "He is a lot different than my other horses," Thatcher stated. "You have to float the reins and just sit there with him and the rest of mine you have to baby the entire time around because they spook at the flowers and the people. He is just a really nice hunter, and he knows his job."

"He has an incredible jump; you never have to worry about getting down a line because he is always there for you," Thatcher continued. "He definitely knows where he is when he is going to a jump and he is searching for the distance just as hard as you are, which is really nice."

Thatcher was very happy with both of her rounds today and enjoyed the courses. "I couldn't have been happier with how it all went," she smiled. "Larry and Kelley were helping me and telling me how to ride him to the jumps, so it was really just learning how to just sit there and coast. The courses were great, and the jumps here are really pretty. They are all covered in brush, so it gives you a nice feel and the horses jump so much better."

Thatcher's plan is to get Early Applause qualified for Indoors in the fall, but since he just starting doing the juniors, they will be showing as much as possible this summer to try to get the points to qualify.

She added, "I want to thank Larry and Kelley for helping me figure him out. I think this is going to be a great summer."

The next big hunter class today was the $1,000 NAL Adult Hunter Classic, which was sponsored by Copper Ridge Farm. After the two rounds of competition, the Classic win was awarded to Rookie, owned by Norgan, Inc. of Barrington, IL, and ridden by Natalie Allen. Allen and Rookie scored an 84 and an 85 for a combined total of 169 to win the class. Ashton Chewning rode Short Story Long, owned by Sheila Motley of Keswick, VA, to the second place finish with scores of 86 and 81 for a two round total of 167.

Class winner Natalie Allen is from St. Paul, IL, and trains with Nora and Morgan Thomas at Norgan, Inc. Allen rode as a junior when she was younger, but took some time off, and is now making her way back as an adult rider. "I started riding with Nora and Morgan in August and I am just having a blast," Allen smiled. "It is definitely a change coming back as an adult and it is kind of funny not knowing anyone, but it has been really fun."

Rookie is five years old and was imported from Europe a few years ago. "I have had Rookie since November and he is in the Pre-Greens, so he is still learning, but he was such a good boy today," Allen praised. "He is a pretty typical Warmblood. He needs a lot of leg, but he is very responsive, and he is learning to be a big boy. He is great; he has a big ego, but he is a very good boy and he loves his job."

Allen is from the Chicago area originally and showed at Lamplight a lot growing up, but this is her first time back in quite awhile. "It has definitely changed a lot; it is a lot bigger," she explained. "It has been a lot of fun being back and this is such a great facility. It is nice for me too because I do have a certain level of comfort here, so it is nice that I am not quite as nervous here as I might be elsewhere."

Allen's summer plans include going to Kentucky at the end of July for her next show. She will then take it easy and get ready to show in Wellington for the winter.

The Showplace Spring Spectacular will conclude its first week of competition tomorrow with the presentation of championship awards to the Junior Hunter divisions. There is another full week of exciting hunter, jumper, and equitation competition starting this Tuesday, June 9, and the schedule of events will continue through Sunday, June 14.

For more information, please visit http://www.showplaceproductions.com.


$1,000 Junior Hunter Classic

1 Early Applause and Kelsey Thatcher 88, 85 - 173

2 Barbados and Alliy Moyer 83, 86 - 169

3 Winterplace and Caitlin Ziegler 85, 83 - 168

4 Carentino and Alliy Moyer 84, 83.5 - 167.5

5 Safari and Caitlin Ziegler 88, 78 - 166

6 Solitaire and Abigail McArdle 83, 79.5 - 164.5

7 Sports Fan and Lauren Tyree 82, 82.25 - 164.25

$1,000 NAL Adult Hunter Classic

1 Rookie and Natalie Allen 84, 85 - 169

2 Short Story Long and Ashton Chewning 86, 81 - 167

3 Azul and Jill Vannatta 82, 80 - 162

4 Ante Up and Courtney Wasson 79, 82 - 161

5 Gucci and Judy Lefferdink 78, 82 - 160

6 Milan and Mary Tyree - 76, 83 - 159

Photo Credit: Kelsey Thatcher and Early Applause won the $1,000 Artisan Farms Junior Hunter Classic today at the Showplace Spring Spectacular. Photos 2009 Lauren Fisher/PMG. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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