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Press Release


Sarah Young and White Lightning

Holly Shepherd and HJ Noteworthy

Holly Shepherd and Zoso

Holly Shepherd and Longstreet

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Professional Hunter Divisions Kick Off WCHR Week at Chicago Festival of the Horse

Written by: Allyson Lagiovane
Client: Lamplight Equestrian Center
Release Date: 2016-08-02

Wayne, Ill. – August 2, 2016 – Week Two at the Chicago Festival of the Horse kicked off on Tuesday, August 2, featuring World Championship Hunter Rider Week. Professional hunter divisions debuted in the Main Hunter Ring, with Sarah Young starting the week strong with two blue ribbons under her belt.

Young was aboard White Lightning, a 13-year old gelding owned by Helen Gilbert, for her winning performances in the High Performance Hunters. Young has been riding the horse for about two years, and shows him for Shannon Hicks. Just last week, Holly Shepherd took home the division championship with the gelding.  

Young explained, “Holly rides him some and I ride him some. He kind of has different riders. He takes a lot of leg to hand, and he’s super easy. He loves his job, he doesn’t spook at the jumps, and he jumps amazing. He’s just one of those horses that really loves what he does!”

Young will return to the High Performance division with White Lightning on Wednesday, August 3, to defend her blues and attempt to clinch the championship. Young will also be riding various other mounts throughout the week in the Performance divisions as well as the Pre-Green divisions.  

Holly Shepherd continued her winning ways at the Chicago Festival of the Horse, riding three different mounts in the Conformation Hunter division. Shepherd first entered the ring on HJ Noteworthy, a mount owned by Loretta Patterson. Shepherd and HJ Noteworthy ended the first portion of the division with a first and a third place ribbons.

“HJ Noteworthy was imported from Argentina as a 3-year-old, and he’s from the Stoccato bloodline,” Shepherd said. “He’s getting ready to turn 5 years old. He is probably the easiest horse I’ve ever taken to the ring, he’s been easy to bring along. And he’s super sweet!”

Shepherd then took the ring riding Zoso, an entry also owned by Loretta Patterson, and earned two second place ribbons. Zoso was originally started as jumper, but recently transitioned over to the hunter divisions.

Shepherd said, “This is his fifth horse show doing the hunters, and he isn’t really sure about what he’s doing out there, but he’s pretty cool and fun to ride!”

Shepherd’s final mount for the class was Longstreet, owned by Barbara Risius, and they earned a first and a third place ribbon. Shepherd has been riding Longstreet for a few years, and is planning to take the gelding to Derby Finals in Kentucky a few weeks from now.  

In the First Year Green Working Hunter division, Maggie Jayne came out on top with her two mounts, Color Pearlz and Frosted Blue. Riding Frosted Blue, Jayne earned a first and a sixth place, while she and Color Pearlz came away with two-second place ribbons.

Jayne said, “Frosted Blue was awesome, he’s been getting better and better, and he jumped great. Color Pearlz was the best and most consistent she’s been, she was super. We’ll probably do the same thing again, and they’ll both do the $25,000 International Derby on Sunday!”

She continued, “The spookier the jumps are, the better, and they’re both just so brave. I think they’re both going to be good in the Grand Prix ring. They both did the Derby in June in there and they were both good, so I’m excited!”

Riders will return to the Main Hunter Ring on Wednesday, August 3, to contend for the championship and reserve in their respective divisions. Highlights for this week’s WCHR week include the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby as well as the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by Equo US.  

For more information on Lamplight Equestrian Center's Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest Show Series, please visit A downloadable prize list is accessible online.


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