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Tory Van Uithoven and Cricket

Grace Knox and Tilikum

Ashley Shaw and Curiel Boston

Heather Zuber and Phoenix

Brian Moggre and MTM Erkle

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Tory Van Uithoven and Heather Zuber Earn Victories in the Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions at Lamplight Equestrian Center

Written by: Devaney Iglesias
Client: Lamplight Equestrian Center
Release Date: 2016-08-05

Wayne, Ill. – August 5, 2016 – Competitors may have faced challenges navigating through the Leopoldo Palacios-designed course on Friday, but a select few claimed victories in the SmartPak Grand Prix arena at the Chicago Festival of the Horse. The victors of the Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions did not allow obstacles come between them and a blue ribbon.

Tory Van Uithoven was the first to claim victory in the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division. The young athlete defeated a three-way tie to claim the win aboard her 8-year-old Hanoverian, Cricket.

Van Uithoven, Grace Knox and Ashley Shaw all incurred 4 faults during the first round,, creating a tie for the top spot. During the jump-off, Van Uithoven went clear in a time of 45.333 seconds to secure the win, while Knox settled for second place and Shaw earned third.

“I liked the course, but with Cricket I was nervous to do the bank,” Van Uithoven explained about the new obstacle that was just introduced at Chicago Festival of the Horse on Friday. “We had never done the bank with him before. He gets spooked by everything, so I was a little nervous about going up into it, but he did fine. The fence we had down was the one that I think a lot people struggled with. It was the tight rollback. I let him slow down too much. I needed to keep the pace going.”

Van Uithoven has been working with Shannon Hicks over the last five years. Within that time, she acquired Cricket. Her mother found him on the website about three years ago, and the rest is history.

 “I always call him a goofball,” Van Uithoven joked. “He’s really big, but he’s a goofball. He spooks at everything - jumps, flowers, anything that’s around. Lately, Shannon has told me to just keep going after the jumps and not to try to steady him too much. I need to keep the pace and the flow. I think that’s been working for us. I just keep going around my turns and move up a little bit more when I approach the jump.”

The duo competed at Lamplight Equestrian Center’s Spring Spectacular for the first time this year, but have enjoyed attending the Chicago Festival of the Horse for several summers. She smiled, “It’s a beautiful place, we love it here.”

Heather Zuber, winner of the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, shared similar sentiments noting, “We love this place. My uncle is the manager and helps run everything. We compete to show our support. It’s beautiful here.”

Zuber was tasked with the same course design as the Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division. Zuber and Brian Moggre were the only two competitors to keep all the rails intact, but each incurred a single time fault as they traversed the track.

After Moggre and MTM Erkle took a slower route and incurred six time faults, Zuber knew she just needed to be a little faster and leave all the fences intact with Phoenix to win. The pair added two time faults to their score, but crossed the finish like ahead of Moggre to take home the victory.

“I actually just got Phoenix a year ago,” Zuber said. “It was here at Lamplight, actually. I bought him from Mike McCormick and MTM Farm. I tried him here last year and loved him. I bought him and have been showing him throughout the year. This is actually the first show that we’ve competed in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper division.”

She continued, “He likes a forward ride with balance. He doesn’t like to go too slow, so you have to keep a good gallop around the course. He really likes that.”

Earlier in the day, Nicole Noland and Hyperion B had the sole double-clear round in the Modified Junior/Amateur Jumper division, and earned the victory in 44.367 seconds.

Lamplight Equestrian Center and the Chicago Festival of the Horse will be hosting the highly anticipated $75,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 6. Spectators will also be able to enjoy the $25,000 Jumper Derby on Sunday, Aug. 7.

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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