Wayne, IL - May 26, 2009 - The Showplace Spring Spectacular will begin next week on Tuesday, June 2 and run through Sunday, June 14, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The horse show will offer more than $350,000 in prize money, with $200,000 available just in the second week. In addition to this great prize money, riders will compete in qualifying classes for the Showplace Leading Rider Series, which will offer $60,000 in prize money.
The Showplace Leading Rider Series tracks the top riders through a series of nine events and awards bonus money to the top three riders in five different sections: $30,000 Tapestry Farms Open Jumper, $10,000 THIS Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper, $10,000 Weathertech.com Children's/Adult Jumper, $5,000 Our Day Farm Low Children's Jumper, and $5,000 Ann K. Hubbard's Tack Shop Low Adult Jumper. Riders are ranked according to the prize money won by their top placed horse in the Classic or Grand Prix for their division.
The finale for the Showplace Leading Rider Series is at the Showplace Fall Classic Championship Horse Show on September 22-27, 2009. There, the top three riders in each section will win bonus money (first place- 50%, second place- 30%, and third place- 20%), and the top ten will receive awards.
The Tapestry Farms Open Jumper Series was won last year by Wilhelm Genn (right) of Lebanon, OH, while second place was Kate Reuter, and third place went to Nick Novak. Genn took home bonus prize money through his win, which was his second year in a row. This year, Genn is tied for the lead in the division standings with Kelsey Thatcher of South Jordan, UT, who recently won her first grand prix event. Genn won the grand prix this past Sunday at Ledges Sporting Horses, the second facility that holds events for the Showplace Leading Rider Series.
Genn feels that the Showplace Leading Rider Series is a great addition from Showplace Productions. "It's a nice goal to have and good incentive to participate in the shows," he said. "It is a very competitive circuit, and you only get points for your best placing in the grand prix classes. It's a great program, and we love it. I wish more shows had it."
Genn noted that by winning the extra money, he is able to bring other young horses to the Series' events. "It makes you able to bring extra young horses that can't pay for themselves yet," he explained.
He also feels that competing at the Showplace Spring Spectacular Series comes with its own highlights. "It's a very nice facility, with good footing and good course designers. It's also a beautiful show with landscaping, great parties, brunches, and good food. They're fun shows to go to. They are very exhibitor, sponsor, and owner oriented. I think that is something that we need to do more," he added. "I'm from Germany, and there we're used to every show having a nice VIP tent where owners and sponsors are treated special. Pat Boyle (Showplace Productions owner and manager) does that at the Lamplight shows. He makes everybody feel special, and then you attract new people to the sport who give money to the show."
Alex Jayne of Our Day Farm is one of the top trainers in the country and is based in Elgin, IL. The shows at Lamplight have been staples in their yearly calendar for decades. His son Charlie was short-listed last year for the Olympic Games, and his student, Kelsey Thatcher (left), won her first grand prix at Ledges and is tied for the lead in the Open Jumper Series.
"I think the horse shows in Chicago, like Lamplight and Ledges, are undiscovered gems," Jayne revealed. "Charlie grew up riding there and could go from there almost straight to the international ranks. The footing is great, and they are really nice venues."
At the Showplace Spring Spectacular Shows, Jayne feels that the grand prix classes are perfect for up-and-coming show jumpers like Thatcher, who is in her first full year of competing at the grand prix level. He said, "The grand prix classes are a big deal; they're special. The management opens up the ring, and they get big spectator support. They try really hard to make it special. It's great for up-and-coming riders because it creates a situation for more pressure. When Kelsey won last week, it was a big deal and a huge confidence builder. I'm really thankful that there are such top horse shows in our own back yard."
One facet of the Showplace Leading Rider Series that Jayne thinks is important is that it awards riders from the highest to the lowest levels. "We sponsor the Low Children's Jumper Series," Jayne noted. "I get a kick out of seeing the little 10-year-old kids checking their results, finding out where they stand, and what they have to do to win. It's really cool that they have bonus money for every division. The riders learn how to be competitive and what you have to do to win. That just leads to bigger and better things. The series creates more competition, which is great."
Last year's winner of the THIS Leading Junior/A-O Rider Series was Theo Genn (left). It was 'like father, like son' for the series awards, as the younger Genn brought home top prize money. Lisa Goldman was second in the standings, and Alexandra Morefield brought home third place in the bonus series. This year, currently leading the list is Tiffany Hammack.
Stephanie DuBois-Emond led the $10,000 Weathertech.com Children's/Adult Jumper Series last year with more than double the prize money won over the second place finisher, Lillie Ross. DuBois-Emond won $5,000 in bonus money, while Ross received $3,000. Alexa Malevitis came in third place for a $2,000 prize. Malevitis is currently leading this year's standings.
Five thousand dollars in prize money was up for grabs in the $5,000 Our Day Farm Low Children's Jumper Series last year, and it was Ashley Reed who brought home the top prize of $2,500. Kevin Sassmannshausen took second for $1,500 and Taylor Kincer finished third for $1,000. This year's leader is Caitlin Boyle.
Audrey Symowicz finished in the lead for last year's $5,000 Ann K. Hubbard's Tack Shop Low Adult Jumper Series and won $2,500 in extra money. Donah Seidel finished second with $1,500, and Holly Yeterian was third for $1,000. Yeterian is also leading this year's standings so far.
The two weeks of top competition bring riders from around the country to the Chicago suburbs for great prize money, superb footing and course design, and a wonderful show experience. The Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Shows are rated "AA" and have a Five Star Jumper Rating.
Exhibitors will have the chance to relax and get to know each other during the various parties, such as ice cream parties, pancake breakfasts, luncheons, cocktail parties, and exhibitor get-togethers during the two weeks. In week two, there will be live bands at the exhibitor parties. VIP tables in the grand prix ring tent will also be available.
For further information on Showplace Productions and the Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse Shows, please visit http://www.showplaceproductions.com
Photo Credit: Winners of the Showplace Leading Rider Series were honored last year. Wilhelm Genn was the Open Jumper Rider Series winner, and his son Theo Genn won the THIS Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Series. Photos © 2008 Jon Kassel and Jennifer Wood. This photo may be used free of charge once in relation to this press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/showplace-spring-spectacular-qualifying-events-05-09.html">Showplace Spring Spectacular to Offer Two Weeks of Qualifying Events</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com