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ATTACHED PHOTOS

Taylor Johnson and Cavalli

Taylor Johnson and Cavalli

Holly Shepherd and HJ Noteworthy

Taylor Johnson and Cavalli

Maggie Jayne and Color Pearlz

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Taylor Johnson and Cavalli Take Home Blue in $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Written by: Allyson Lagiovane
Client: Lamplight Equestrian Center http://lamplightequestriancenter.com/
Release Date: 2016-07-29

Wayne, Ill. – July 29, 2016 – The Chicago Festival of the Horse played host to the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by CWD on Friday, July 29, at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. It was 18-year old Taylor Johnson and Cavalli that bested the field of 22 riders to take home the blue ribbon.

“He’s amazing,” Johnson said of her horse Cavalli. “I’ve had him for almost seven years now and I know him really well at this point. He’s pretty much made, so he’s really good!”

Johnson and Cavalli earned themselves a score of 88 in the first over fences round, placing them in the top spot going into to the handy round. Johnson commented, “The first course was really good. There were a lot of single fences, and he was really good. It was awesome!”

For the handy round, Johnson was able to maintain her lead, navigating her way around the tight rollbacks and trot fence to clinch the blue. Johnson and Cavalli earned a score of 87 in the handy after tackling all four high options, bringing their total score to 175.

Johnson was given last minutes tips from trainer Catherine Rinehart before heading into the ring to put down a winning handy round. Johnson said, “Catherine just said, ‘If you see the inside turn after the trot jump then go for it,’ so I went for it. And she said, ‘Just have fun, that’s all you need to do.’ I’ve been with Catherine Rinehart for a long time, and she’s great!”

Holly Shepherd and HJ Noteworthy followed closely behind Johnson, earning a first round score of 84 with all four high options. Shepherd commented on HJ Noteworthy, saying, “He’s a Staccato bloodline, which is a pretty famous bloodline. He was imported from Argentina as a 3-year-old, and he’s getting ready to turn 5-years-old. He is probably the easiest horse I’ve ever taken to the ring. He’s super sweet!”

Shepherd’s impressive handy round earned a score of 88, securing her second place spot for the class with a total score of 172. She said, “I didn’t really have a plan for the handy. Since [HJ Noteworthy] is so young, I just wanted him to be comfortable and let him canter around and not ask him to do anything too hard. I was very excited about his finish. He’s pretty new at this, it’s only his third derby!”

Loretta Patterson owns HJ Noteworthy, and has been working with Shepherd for years to bring up new hunter and jumper horses. While Patterson owns the horses, Shepherd rides and competes with them, and has already earned countless ribbons as well as multiple championships during the first week at the Chicago Festival of the Horse.

Rounding out the top three in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby was Maggie Jayne riding Color Pearlz, owned by Holly Yeterian. Jayne and Color Pearlz earned a total score of 169 to clinch the spot in the top three.

While many riders have had years of experience at the Lamplight Equestrian center, this is Johnson’s first year showing there. She concluded, “I was here last year but I didn’t have a horse. I watched my brother last year, and I wanted to have a horse here. I have another hunter, so now that I have two horses here I really like it!”

Competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse continues Saturday, July 30, beginning at 8:00 a.m. For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center's Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit www.lamplightequestriancenter.com. A downloadable prize list is accessible online.

 

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