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Press Release


Giavanna Rinaldi and Thalys Z

Giavanna Rinaldi and Thalys Z_

Holly Shepherd and Skymiles

Brian Moggre and MTM Flutterby

Douglas Boyd and Berkley III

Hanley Morrison and SCS Luigi

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The Uncatchable Giavanna Rinaldi and Thalys Z Race Away with the $15,000 Welcome Stake at Chicago Festival of the Horse

Written by: Devaney Iglesias
Client: Lamplight Equestrian Center
Release Date: 2016-08-11

Wayne, Ill. – August 11, 2016 – Giavanna Rinaldi entered the SmartPak Grand Prix arena at the Lamplight Equestrian Center for her first class of the week Thursday morning. After eight consecutive competitors failed to keep all the rails intact, she gave the spectators a memorable round. The junior rider beat the only other double-clear effort by nearly 14 seconds, clocking in a time of 36.862 seconds aboard Thalys Z to take home the win in the $15,000 Welcome Stake at the Chicago Festival of the Horse.

“My goal is always to put the pressure on everyone else,” Rinaldi explained. “I just want to go out there, go smooth, quick and clear and have the result that I hope for. When we got to the jump-off, I knew there was a lot of fast people behind me, so I wanted to set the pace and get it done from the start.”

Hanley Morrison and SCS Luigi led the day in the jumper arena, setting the tone early with a faultless effort in the first round. Keeping all the rails intact, she was the first rider to go clear in the speed round and set the initial time to beat at 50.345 seconds.

Eight riders came and went, before Morrison’s spot on the leaderboard was taken by none other than Rinaldi and her Zangersheide mare. The duo entered the arena on a mission to stay out of reach to the field of competitors that were left to ride.

Rinaldi explained, “Thalys felt really great today. We had a really nice first round. She was listening well, jumped really good and did not touch any of the jumps. I knew she wasn’t going to want to touch anything in the jump-off and I knew there was tough competition behind me, so we went for it. I feel like I made up time at the beginning, we left out some strides that others didn’t. She turned well and stepped up to the task. I feel like that’s our strong suit. Thalys gave a really nice overall effort.”

The only athlete that came close to stealing away the win from Rinaldi was second-place finisher Holly Shepherd. The Accolade Farm owner and her Canadian Warmblood, Skymiles crossed the timers a fraction off the pace, finishing in a time of 36.881 seconds.

“It’s really hard to try and catch Gia,” Shepherd said. “I honestly did not think I could catch her, but Skymiles felt great today and was truly amazing, so I just tried to give it a whirl.”

She smiled, “I was really close though, only 2/1000 of a second away from catching her.”

Shepherd has been riding, training and competing with the 11-year-old bay gelding for five years. Sharing details about her confidence in him, she said, “I’ve had him since he was six and I know him really well. He’s super game for anything and is a good horse for any class he’s entered in. He’s a good speed horse. If he’s getting close to catching Gia, he’s the right horse for the class.”

Shepherd was surrounded by up-and-coming talent on the leaderboard. While Rinaldi was above her, Brian Moggre was just below. The junior rider and MTM Flutterby held on to the red ribbon with a time of 38.225 seconds for three rounds, before Shepherd snuck in and forced him to settle for third place.

A total of 10 athletes were able to attempt the speed round of the Steve Stephens-designed course, however only five were able to navigate it faultless. While three of those five were Rinaldi, Shepherd and Moggre, Douglas Boyd and Morrison rounded out the top five. Boyd and Berkley III sat in fourth place with a time of 43.229 seconds, while Morrison and SCS Luigi settled for fifth place.

Many of these athletes will face-off again in the anticipated $50,000 Grand Prix, slated to take place on Saturday, August 13 at 4 p.m. For more information on the Lamplight Equestrian Center's Chicago Festival of the Horse Equifest show series, please visit A downloadable prize list is accessible online.


RESULTS - $15,000 Welcome Stake

1     THALYS Z             GIAVANNA RINALDI     0     0     0     78.415     0     0     0     36.862     
2     SKYMILES             HOLLY SHEPHERD         0     0     0     76.361     0     0     0     36.881     
3     MTM FLUTTERBY         BRIAN MOGGRE         0     0     0     76.580     0     0     0     38.225     
4     BERKLEY III         DOUGLAS BOYD         0     0     0     79.574     0     0     0     43.229     
5     SCS LUIGI             HANLEY MORRISON     0     0     0     80.946     0     0     0     50.345     
6     BACHELOR 4             FREDDIE VAZQUEZ     0     0     0     78.231     8     0     8     39.036     
7     S & L ELITE         DOROTHY DOUGLAS     0     0     0     80.014     8     0     8     40.717     
8     POWERPLAY             CAITLIN ZIEGLER     0     0     0     78.286     8     0     8     46.768     
9     MTM ERKEL             BRIAN MOGGRE         0     0     0     81.493     8     0     8     46.788     
10     HAPPYBOY VAN DE DOORNAKKERS     JORDAN GILCHRIST     0     0     0     80.955     12     0     12     43.893     
11     CUPINA COLADA         MAGGIE JAYNE         4     0     4     73.564                     
12     CARIBE                 CAELINN LEAHY         4     0     4     74.392                 


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