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Meet Kristen Vanderveen: One-On-One with Local Chicago Rider at Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular II

Wayne, IL - June 18, 2008 - Hundreds of riders compete every day at the Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular II Horse Show, and professional show jumper Kristen Vanderveen is one of the most exciting up-and-coming riders at the competition.

Kristen Vanderveen, 19, from Elburn, IL, started riding at the age of nine. Her family lived next to a farm, and she started talking riding lessons. That soon led to the leasing of a pony, which they eventually bought. Not long after, Kristen's brother Joshua slowly started to get into horses as well. Eventually, the Vanderveen family became heavily involved in the hunter/jumper circuit in the Midwest, and both Kristen and Joshua were top riders nationally as juniors. They have moved up the Grand Prix ranks now and are very competitive in those classes.

"I started out doing the short stirrup and moved up from there. Now I mostly focus on the jumpers, but I do the hunters if I am catch riding for someone or if we have some sale horses," said Vanderveen.

This year marks her first show season as a professional. She made the decision to go pro after deciding that she wanted to make riding her business. Kristen's father, Keith Vanderveen, has been a key player in helping to make Kristen's dream of riding her career. He also is very involved with her business and is responsible for bringing in Wachovia Securities as the title sponsor for the Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Shows.

"I have some students that I am working with and I ride some horses for people, so it kind of makes it difficult to keep the amateur status with everything I want to do to make my barn, Bull Run, my business," said Vanderveen.

She is currently competing at the highest level with two horses that were imported from Germany last year. Bull Run Charley Brown is the one she thinks has the ability to go all the way and compete at an international level. The Winter Equestrian Festival and its top grand prix competition is in their future. She also has Bull Run's For Future that she is showing in the bigger classes.

Some of her future goals include qualifying for the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in the next few years. She also has her eye on the Olympics.

"With the way things are going now, I have the horses and hopefully the Olympics will be in my future," said Vanderveen.

With so much going on in her career, she doesn't have much free time for anything else. She enjoys running when she can, and she also likes riding the young horses at the end of the day.

Kristen has a long history with the Lamplight Equestrian Facility, which hosts the Wachovia Showplace Spring Spectacular. She started out doing the short stirrup and has moved her way up the ranks all the way to the Grand Prix. Only twenty minutes from her farm, she enjoys the convenience of the facility.

"(The horse show manager) Pat Boyle has done a great job with the facility. It just keeps getting better year after year. It is nice to have people talking about this show and the facility. The money is great and the schedule is well thought out. I don't have to choose between the Grand Prix and the other jumper classes. I can do both," Vanderveen commented.

Kristen will be riding in the jumper classes this week. She will ride in the Young Jumper classes and plans to compete in the $50,000 Wachovia Securities Grand Prix on Saturday, June 22, at 3:30 pm on Charley Brown. More information on the show and full results can be found at http://www.showplaceproductions.com.

Wachovia Securities is the nation's third largest brokerage group and is based in Richmond, VA. It is a non-bank affiliate of Wachovia Corporation and provides financial advisory, brokerage, asset management and other financial services, helping clients make the most of their existing and potential assets through sound investment advice and the highest level of service. For more information about Wachovia Securities, LLC, please visit http://www.wachoviasec.com.



Photo Credit: Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Charley Brown in grand prix competition. Photo (C) 2008 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com. This photo may be used free of charge only in relation to this press release.

 

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