Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A busy Chicago 'Horse' weekend

This past weekend was a busy fall weekend for Chicagoland Equestrians and Horse enthusiasts!

There was the Finals for the Emerging Athletes Program and Trainer Certification Program at Country Ridge Stables in Mundelein, IL. Chicago area junior rider, Lauren Ditallo participated in this years program with notable clinicians Peter Wylde, Mindy Bower and Jennifer Alfano. Check the website soon for a full article and interview with Lauren Ditallo.

The NIHJA and IHJA Banquets celebrating the accomplishments of riders and trainers throughout the year. It is always a great party when everyone gets together for dinner, awards and bit of dancing!

The Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo at the Lake County Expo Center provided a one stop venue for shopping and a learning experience for everyone who loves horses.

There was even a Monty Roberts Methods clinic in Barrington, IL taught by Monty's daughter Debbie Loucks.

We would love to hear what you did this past weekend in the Chicagoland horse world!

- Posted using BlogPress

Location:All over Chicago!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alltech National Horse Show: ASPCA Maclay National Championship

Sunday at the National Horse Show was 'Maclay Day'.

198 junior riders from around the country competed Sunday morning in the jumping phase of the finals class. 10 riders from the Chicago area were part of the intense competition that tests riders on seat, hand, guidance and control of the horse. These riders have worked very hard throughout the past year to qualify for this highly competitive class.

Chicago riders included Catherine Tyree, Alex Carlins, Kaitlin Calamos, Lauren Tyree, Caitlin Boyle, Abigail Mcardle, Courtney Harker, Madeline Thatcher, Nora Laue and Caitlin Creel. Saturday morning after the warmup class Chicago Equestrian caught up with several of the Chicago area riders for exclusive video interviews on their thoughts on riding in the Maclay Finals. Be sure to keep an eye on the website for the inside scoop from these talented junior riders.

Catherine Tyree

Alex Carlins

Kaitlin Calamos

Lauren Tyree

Caitlin Boyle

Abigail Mcardle

Courtney Harker

Madeline Thatcher

Nora Laue

Caitlin Creel

After the initial jumping phase three groups of riders, totaling 37 riders, were called back to test on the flat. Of those two of them were Chicago riders Catherine Tyree and Abigail Mcardle.

After the flat phase the top 18 competitors were called back for a work off over a course of fences that include several difficult components. Catherine Tyree was in 11th place going into the work off. The course included a trot in combination, roll backs, hand gallop to a fence and a change of gait to a walk in the middle of the course. Congratulations to Catherine Tyree who successfully worked her way into the top 10 with a seventh place finish!

Catherine Tyree over the Alltech triple bar approached at a hand gallop in the work off round of the ASPCA Maclay Finals.

For more National Horse Show coverage go to www.chicagoequestrian.com
For full class results NHS.org

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:KHP, Lexington, KY

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Alltech National Horse Show: Saturday Jumper Update

Once again the action heated up and the adrenaline was pumping as the jumpers headed into the arena on Saturday night.

The first class was the Show Jumping Hall of Fame $50,000 Jr/AO Championship. We had three entrants from the Chicago area that qualified throughout the show to compete.

A/O rider Laura Linback riding Whittaker MVNZ for Woodrun farm took 8th place after leaving up all the rails but going just over time allowed. Laura raced to cross the finish timers while her husband anxiously looked on from the gate. The course was large and technical, it looked as if she was just a tad slow getting moving at the beginning.

Junior rider Lillie Ross riding Pako for Allison Ross took home the 10th place ribbon after having just a single rail down. She was fast enough with a 4faults to make the top 10. Great job for this junior rider and her beautiful horse Pako!

Caitlin Hope riding Total Touch for Kathleen Hope also qualified and rode in the Championship class.

Next up on the schedule was the pristine main event for the evening! The Alltech National Horse Show $250,000 International Grand Prix.

George Morris was a guest speaker to talk about the importance of supporting the Horse Show, the industry, the trainers and the riders. Mason Phelps, president of the National Horse Show and Dr Pierce Lyons, owner of Alltech welcomed the National Horse Show to it's permanent new home at The Kentucky Horse Park.

A single rider represented the Chicago area in the International Grand Prix. Charlie Jayne riding Athena for the London Group.
Charlie had a very exciting ride and left everyone holding their breath as he raced to the last jump. A collective groan from the crowd was heard as a rail on the very last fence splashed into the liverpool. Charlie took 11th place and a check for $5,000.

Congratulations to all the Chicago Area Jumper riders that qualified and competed at the Alltech National Horse Show!

For additional coverage of The National Horse Show please see www.chicagoequestrian.com
For full class results NHS.org

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:KHP, Lexington, KY

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Alltech National Horse Show: Saturday Junior Hunter Updates

The Hunter competition heated up today as the top contenders battled it out for Champion and Reserve Champion of their divisions. Under Saddle classes were held first followed by the highly competitive Stakes classes.

Chicago area riders Madeline Thatcher and Catherine Tyree did their best to win the coveted Champion medals.

Congratulations to Maddie and Catherine on all their hard work!

Maddie Thatcher riding Catch Phrase

Maddie Thatcher riding Bella Blue

Maddie Thatcher riding Summer Place

Catherine Tyree riding Savant

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:KHP, Lexington, KY

Alltech National Horse Show: Friday Jumpers update

Friday evening at the Alltech National Horse Show had the action heating up with the Jumper classes!

Several Chicago area riders competed in the Alltech Arena.

Caitlin Hope on Total Touch

Lillie Ross on Pako

Laura Linback (no photo)

Charlie Jayne on Waldman Z

For more information on the show and on Chicago area riders please see our website. www.chicagoequestrian.com
For full class results go to NHS.org

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:KHP, Lexington, KY

Friday, November 4, 2011

Alltech National Horse Show: Junior Hunter Update

As the Hunters wrap up the afternoon at The Alltech arena a special award was given to Madeline Thatcher riding Summer Place for Pony Lane Farm. The award was for the Best Handy Round for all Junior Hunters.

Madeline also won her Large Junior Hunter 15 & under Handy class on Summer Place for Pony Lane Farm.

Congratulations Maddie!

- Steph

Location:KHP, Lexington, KY

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We are headed to Lexington!

Alltech National Horseshow, here we come!

Chicago Equestrian, an official media partner of The National Horseshow, will be covering all the excitement of competition.

We will be on the lookout for any and all Chicago area riders. Stay tuned for Facebook updates, behind the scenes blog posts, and of course coverage on the website.

If you are going to be in Lexington, give us a shout! Facebook us, leave a message on the blog or just be on the lookout at the Alltech Arena at The Kentucky Horse Park.

See you in Kentucky!

- Steph

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Birch Hill NIHJA at CrossWinds Farm

A beautiful day in Marengo, IL!

Kelly Watson from Cross Winds has done an amazing job with the show arenas. The hunter rings are set with big beautiful flowers and the Derby course looks amazingly fun.

- Steph... From my iPad

Location:Cross Winds Farm, Marengo, IL

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Going to The National Horse Show

Chicago Equestrian will be attending The National Horse as an official media partner!!

Mark your calendars and get ready for the excitement. The National Horse show will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park this November. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Chicago!

- Steph... From my iPad .,ll.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USHJA 3' National Hunter Derby

Congratulations to Madeline Thatcher on Bella Blue to riding to victory in the USHJA National Hunter Derby with combined score of 181.

It was a large class of 53 with the top 12 coming back for the handy round. The weather was perfect for horse showing, the sun was out with a slight breeze and a nice temperature in the mid 70's.

The cutoff for the return to the handy round was 79.50. The competition coming into the Handy Round was fierce. Maddie Thatcher outshone them all with her smooth tight turns and a beautiful hand gallop to the last fence.

The final Combined scores of the top 12 ranged from 125 up to Maddie's 181 with the next closet being a 177.

Now onto the USHJA International Hunter Derby. the jumps are going higher!

- Steph... From my iPad

Location:Lamplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, IL

Lamplight Clinic Day

Yesterday was a perfect day for USHJA clinics at Lamplight.

Diane Carney and Thomas Cerra gave an excellent Open Water Jumping Clinic. I did a full write up of the clinic for the website www.chicagoeqestrian.com

Diane also did 2 Hunter clinics and there was a Pony model class with an ask the judges section.

The Hunter clinic consisted of 2 groups of riders. The emphasis of the clinic was on thinking on your horse. The concept of proper position coupled with being mentally and physically strong was reviewed in the deceptively difficult exercises. Every rider completing the clinics left with great feedback and information, and an increased confidence in their riding abilities.

- Steph... From my iPad

Location:Lamplight Equestrian Center, Wayne, IL

Saturday, June 11, 2011

$1000 ChicagoEquestrian.com Hunter Derby at Cross Winds Farm

The afternoon was splendid! The weather was a bit on the cool side for June but pretty perfect for horse showing. The sky was overcast and while we would have liked the sun to have made an appearance, we were all pretty happy that it never rained.

Kelly and Cross Winds Farm did a fabulous job hosting this afternoons Hunter Derby. The course was beautiful, everything ran very smoothly, Kelly sponsored an exhibitors picnic to go along with the derby as well as added to the prize money to make it a $1000 class.

37 riders competed with the top 15 called back.
The first round consisted of 15 jumps with 3 options. Each option of a higher jump taken was worth one additional point. 2 judges scored each rider/horse combination and those with a first round score of 153 and over were called back for the Handy Round.

The Handy Round consisted of 7 jumps one of which was a trot jump and 2 of the others were options for an additional point. By the time we reached the Handy Round the wind decided to pick up and the cooler weather had some of the horses a bit frisky. The riders all did a great job approaching the first jump at a trot right from the entrance gate, a couple were a little anxious as could be expected and the competition was getting close.

One thing every rider agreed on was that the course, designed by Diane Carney, was challenging and fun, as well as the jumps set by Kelly and her crew at Cross Winds Farm!

Congratulations to Virginia Bartholomay and Pepe on 1st Place

- Steph... From my iPad
Location:Marengo, Il

Getting ready for the $1000 Hunter Derby

Greetings from Cross Winds Farm in Marengo, IL!

The crew from Chicago Equestrian is here on this cool, overcast June day. The ChicagoEquestrian.com banner is hung, our giveaway and information table is set up. The crew is working hard at setting up this beautiful Hunter Derby course.

Everyone is eagerly awaiting the class this afternoon! Prize money has been increased to $1000. I don't think I have ever seen a $1000 class at a NIHJA show before. Everyone should come out and join the fun. We still have 3 more classes in the series...

- Steph... From my iPad

Location:Cross Winds Farm, Marengo, IL

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bad Horsemanship? Tell me what you think!

Chicago Equestrian spent this past weekend at the Midwest Horse Fair at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The weather was not the best, it was cold, it was rainy, it snowed, the wind whipped but there were lots of horses. Horses of every size, shape and color. Horses for every possible discipline, horse lovers of every age and every type flooded into the Alliant Energy Center.

There were some great clinicians like Mike Major and Steffen Peters. There were breed demonstrations, discipline demonstrations, clinics, a Grand Prix and shopping for every kind of horse paraphernalia. Read all about it at Chicago Equestrian.

There was also the worst demonstration of horsemanship that I have ever seen, The Liberty sessions. It actually made me sick to my stomach to watch. I think as horse owners and horse lovers we have all at one time or another been witness to a case of bad horsemanship. A frustrated rider overusing a crop, a handler being overly rough with a horse, etc.
However, these 'Liberty' sessions took bad horsemanship to a new extreme. Below is what was in The Midwest Horse Fair guide for an explanation of Liberty sessions.

One of the not to miss events during the Midwest Horse Fair includes the 18 different liberty presentations, which are spread throughout the entire weekend. A liberty appearance exhibits the beauty and elegance of each horse as they are individually turned loose in the John Deere Coliseum. They have two minutes to strut their stuff. Some horses may gallop wildly, others may buck and rear to test out their freedom, while others may go through their various gaits. All of this is performed without a saddle, bridle or halter. The horse enters the arena with up to two handlers. At the first sound of music, the halter is removed and the horse runs free in the arena demonstrating various gaits, or just trotting to the music. A whip may be used to encourage the horse, but the handler may not touch the horse during the performance. Music is selected that will enhance the performance and is chosen to suit the style and movement of each horse. Liberty means freedom and this is just what every horse loves to show off each year during the liberty presentations.
So, from the above description I was envisioning a couple different scenarios. Scenario 1: a girl and her horse playing in a field, innocence, beauty and grace. Scenario 2: A horse turned out in a safe environment to get his energy out. A few minutes of bucking, playing and running while surpvervised. Scenario 3: a horse and the handler working together at liberty, using voice and body language to convey meaning and to encourage deeper communication, trust and understanding between horse and handler.

Of the 12 examples of Liberty that I witnessed only once did one of these scenarios prove true.

The eleven other examples were of handlers scaring the crap out of their horses, of thousands of people screaming, of music so loud that some of these horses were terrified. The arena was ringed with temporary fencing that a horse could get a leg through, the footing was a sticky clay and I could imagine multitudes of soft tissue injuries, a well placed kick to one of the handlers any number of things could have gone wrong. It was just so ugly and sad and wrong.

A family affair? Great lesson for a young rider...

or this owner with a scary bag terrifying her Thoroughbred. I can only imagine what would happen if a bag happens to blow by when they are in the show ring...

'BAD' Liberty

I must give credit where credit is due. There was one owner who actually showed at Liberty work with her horse. She did a very good job of it and put all the others to shame.

'Good' Liberty

I would really love to hear what everyone else thinks of this display! Am I being overly critical? or do you agree on this awful display? Please leave your comments... I want to know! You can leave an anonymous comment or add your name.