Articles: Horse News
YB Blue and Nick Novak Triumph in $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix
YB Blue and Nick Novak triumphed in the $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand
Prix at the conclusion of the Showplace Spring Spectacular III. Photo ©
2010 Lauren Fisher/PMG
Lauren Fisher for
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Showplace Challenge Cup Concludes with Wins for Ashley Reed, Alissa Kinsey,
and Dana Waters
Wayne, IL - June, 23, 2010 - The 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse
Show Series concluded its third and final week of competition this afternoon
at the scenic Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL. The exciting
$100,000 Showplace Challenge Cup completed its final three divisions with
wins going to Dana Waters riding Biloxi in the $10,000 Low Junior/AO Finals,
Alissa Kinsey riding Grisset in the $10,000 NAL Child/Adult Finals, and
Ashley Reed riding Madonna in the $4,000 Modified Child/Adult Finals. The
day wrapped up with a fantastic $30,000 Showplace Grand Prix victory for
Nick Novak and YB Blue.
Competing over a great track set by renowned course designer Conrad Homfeld,
Wednesday's grand prix class saw a total of 25 competitors in the first
round of competition. Eight horse and rider combinations were able to
complete the course fault-free and advance to the jump-off, and the
challenging shortened course saw just three clear rounds. Maggie Jayne and
Caretina III, Alex Granato and Mad Season, and India Anderson and Gesa were
first to attempt the course, but each had one rail down to finish with four
faults in fifth, sixth, and seventh place respectively. Nick Novak and YB
Blue returned next and were the first pair to go clean in the jump-off with
a time of 41.418 seconds.
The fastest four-fault round from Charlie Jayne and Speedy Chicolina came
next to place the pair in fourth place. Amelia McArdle and Pilot jumped
double clear in 43.482 seconds to finish in third place. John McConnell and
Katie Riddle came close, but could not quite beat Novak's time with their
clear round in 42.919 seconds, to finish in second.
Winners Nick Novak and YB Blue won their first grand prix together two years
ago in the fall, and returned to achieve their second grand prix victory
together today. Novak has owned YB Blue for six years, purchasing the
eleven-year-old gelding as a five-year-old. "I just kind of brought him
along myself and we have been working our way up," Novak stated. "He had
almost a whole year off last year because of a slight injury, so we had to
give him some time off, and ever since he came back he has just been
Novak rides with trainer Nancy Whitehead and has been competing at Lamplight
for many years. Novak has made it his goal this year to be in the top three
for the $60,000 Showplace Leading Rider Series Open Jumper division, and
will be competing with Showplace Productions at Lamplight and Ledges
throughout the summer to achieve that goal. YB Blue will hopefully be the
horse to aid in that accomplishment as the pair shows together throughout
the coming year. "He is hot, extremely hot, but he is very willing and he
has a heart of gold," Novak said of the horse. "He would jump over a fire if
you point him at it."
They may not have been jumping over fire today, but Homfeld asked many
questions of the horses and riders with his skillfully set course. Novak
commented, stating, "I thought it was a really good course; challenging in
some places. I thought it was a little tricky down the last line especially,
but it was fun. It was a good course and it was a good jump-off. There were
places where you could run and a couple of places where you had to turn
pretty fast, so I thought it asked all the tests of a good jump-off."
Novak has enjoyed the last few weeks competing at the Showplace Spring
Spectacular and explained why he returns year after year, stating, "I have
been here ever since I started riding seven years ago and I have been around
this area pretty much my whole life. Everybody knows everybody here and it
is like a big family. Everyone is really supportive of one another and it is
just a good, fun show to come to. The rings are great and the footing that
they put in is really nice, especially since it rained all day today; the
footing held up so well. It is really a fun show and I live 40 minutes from
here, so it is really easy to get to."
Just before the exciting $30,000 Showplace Productions Grand Prix commenced,
the $10,000 Low Junior/Amateur Finals, sponsored by Pony Lane Farm, crowned
Dana Waters and Biloxi with top honors. The pair not only earned the win in
today's class but they earned the reserve champion of the Low Junior/
Amateur Owner Jumper division behind Erin Haas and Chianti 67.
Today's third class in the Challenge Cup consisted of 12 numbered obstacles
including a triple combination, a double combination, and a plank fence.
Seven riders advanced to the jump-off to attempt the six numbered obstacles
in the short-course.
The first rider to set the jump-off time with a clear round was Ali Wolff
and Residenz. The pair completed the round in 37.730 seconds, setting the
time to beat for the rest of the pack. Chianti 67 and Erin Haas entered the
Grand Prix Ring chasing the timers and stopping the clock at 34.892 seconds,
which held up for two more riders, but in the end their time would earn them
the third place ribbon.
Lonestar and Stephanie Mengarelli were blazing through the course but their
pace would not be fast enough to take the lead. The pair would trip the
timers at 36.557 seconds placing them fourth place overall. Barbara Ruziska
aboard Look Again moved lickety-split over the short-course and their time
of 34.799 seconds would capture the lead.
Ruziska's lead did not last long when the last pair, Dana Waters and her
Dutch Warmblood Biloxi, entered the ring. The pair dashed across the ring
and Biloxi's agile turns would save the duo a few seconds. The pair darted
to the last jump, flying over the vertical and looking over at the crowd
excitedly. Waters glanced at the board as the time of 33.991 seconds
appeared and the win would be captured by the duo, placing Ruziska into the
Waters was the last to attempt the jump-off course behind the six other
horse and rider combinations. This line-up would give Waters a few moments
to think about how each of the other riders challenged themselves. Waters
explained, "Before I entered the ring Nancy Whitehead mentioned I could be
faster if I really moved to the last jump because everyone else had held up
to that last jump. My plan was to do seven strides to the double and I did
seven and a quarter. Since I got to go last I decided to watch the riders
in front of me attempt the course. I kept hearing that they were clear and
as we moved down the list they kept getting faster and faster. Barbara, who
went just before me really flew through the course ending up in the lead. I
figured since no one had any faults I could earn sixth place with four
faults, or sixth place with a slow and careful ride. However, I decided to
go as fast as I could and I had no idea if it would be fast enough until I
crossed the finish line."
Waters enjoyed Homfeld's course design for all three days of the Challenge
Cup. She noted, "Conrad, as usual, wanted you to know your horse from the
start to the finish. You definitely had options on how you rode the
course. I thought the course was nice and inviting and I thought that
Conrad was conscious of the conditions. I think the course was really made
for everyone. I did not see any disastrous rounds and there were four fault
penalties all over the course."
She continued, "Before I went in to the ring we had a large rain storm and I
was wondering how the footing would be. I was pleasantly surprised that
there was no slipping. The footing was wonderful and the only thing that it
caused was a bit of a distraction because of the splashing of the water.
But the footing was definitely not a factor in how the horses went."
Waters has owned the talented gelding for about three years now. "Three
years is probably a world record for us, I am surprised someone else has not
bought him yet," laughed Waters. "He has been such a great horse. He was
Zone champion in the Amateurs last year and I do not show him week in and
week out. I like to save him for the weekend competitions. He is always
fast, consistent, always competitive, studies each and every jump and it is
nice that you can count on him when you really want to try and win. He is a
very kind horse, has lots of gumption, and is beautifully careful. I enjoy
the fact that you do not have to do anything special to get him ready before
the show. The most important factor when we are not showing is fitness.
Biloxi gallops a lot of miles throughout the week and this type of training
really benefits him in the show ring. I feel blessed to have a horse that
is so wonderful especially being the old lady of the group. Every year that
I keep riding I cannot believe how well these juniors ride and how good
their horses are. I am so lucky to have such a top ride."
She added, "I want to thank my entire team at Waterworks including my
husband Chuck, Tommy Feigel, my daughter and my staff. We have a really
great team and have had a really great year so far. I hope it keeps going
After today, Waters and her team will head home to Pennsylvania where they
have not been since October. After a few weeks of relaxation, they will
head onto HITS Culpepper and then HITS Saugerties.
Prior to Dana Waters earning her cooler and trophy, Grisset and Alissa
Kinsey topped the $10,000 NAL Child/Adult Finals sponsored by
WeatherTech.com. The pair not only earned the win in today's class but won
the championship of the Child/Adult Jumper division.
Ramona and Nadine Beck were first to attempt the short-course setting the
time at 44.955 seconds. Their time would hold for a brief period until
Grisset and Alissa Kinsey would knock Beck out of the lead. Grisset and
Kinsey raced over the short-course, hurried through the turns, and flew
through the timers leaving all of the rails in their cups in 35.725
seconds. Kinsey's time would be challenged but would not be broken by any of
the next riders earning Kinsey the first place ribbon.
After Kinsey's expeditious round, Rebound and Barbara Ruziska picked up
their pace. Ruziska would pilot Rebound through the first five fences
effortlessly. As they approached the double combination they would knock
down two rails causing them eight faults in a time of 36.599 seconds. Their
time would earn them the fourth place ribbon.
Last in the ring was young Marshall Reed who won the first day of the
Child/Adult Challenge Cup class and earned second in yesterday's class. The
dup would fly over the fences at a swift pace tripping the timers in 37.504
seconds placing them right behind Kinsey in second place.
Kinsey commented, "The first round seemed fairly straight forward, but the
jumps were bigger than the first two days. It was nice that the jumps were
kept on the small side because we had jumped a lot. I enjoyed that the
fences were bigger today because I have been going fast for so many days in
a row that the height slowed her down a little and backed her off. Conrad is
a genius of course designing. He is very fair for the classes and he knew
that we had to jump a lot this week. I think that the courses were not
tricky, it was just pure consistency, and he gave us plenty of options in
the jump-off to really shine and do our thing, so it was exciting."
She continued, "Grisset was perfect in the first round and she did
everything I asked of her. Then we entered the jump-off and I found as we
rode through the course that I rode it differently than how I had walked
it. I knew I had to go fast because I had some fast horses after me, so I
walked every line and I gave myself reference numbers to go by. Then, when I
got in the ring she just took the reins and started to go so fast that I
lost my brakes and just kept kicking. I ended up leaving a stride out of
what I was already leaving out, so she did like a double leave out
everywhere. That is her thing though, if you try to slow her down, she will
have a rail. You just have to let her go once she gets rolling. The funny
thing is that she is very lazy and she will not go unless you ask her to go,
but then once you get her wound up she is spectacular. Grisset has a huge
stride, you know that you can trust her at the jumps, and I like that she is
smoother than the little horses. I am fortunate to have this horse and I am
very lucky that she is as great as she is. I do not ever make her work this
hard and she will be going to get a big vacation after our 17 hour drive
Kinsey enjoyed the Challenge Cup but was mad at herself for scratching out
of the speed class on Monday, so yesterday she went for it and wound up
winning round two of the Challenge Cup. She noted, "I love the idea of the
Challenge Cup but I was weary because it you have a rail you are
done. However, I knew that my horse was consistent and it definitely lets
the top horses shine through. I am still kicking myself though, I broke
Grisset's streak here because she had won every class we entered here until
I scratched her from Monday's class."
Kinsey has owned the Hanoverian mare for about four years now and has showed
at Lamplight for two years. "I had come to the Showplace horse shows on a
whim last year because I had heard really great things about the place. The
shows in my neck of the woods are mostly on grass right now so I enjoy that
I can come and show on the footing. I love the improved footing for this
year, they really listened to the exhibitors and they were able to make
things happen. I will gladly come back next year."
Competition in the Grand Prix Ring began this morning in the midst of heavy
rains, but riders were able to expertly conquer Conrad Homfeld's course in
the $4,000 Modified Child/Adult Jumper Challenge Cup Finals. The class was
generously sponsored by Bill Kay Auto Group, and held in a Table II 2(A)
format. Today's class saw 11 competitors and seven were able to clear the
first round course to jump off. Those seven returned over the shortened
course, and it was the last trip of Ashley Reed and Madonna that stopped the
clock in 39.570 seconds that earned the day's top prize.
Off with a Bang and Alana Swanson jumped double clear in 42.170 seconds to
finish in second place, and the only other double clear of the class
belonged to Rio Z and Maggie Knapke with a time of 46.038 seconds to finish
in third. Faithfully and Rebecca Williams had the fastest four-fault
jump-off round in 36.228 seconds to earn fourth place.
Fifteen-year-old Ashley Reed, of Winnetka, IL, has been riding her
nine-year-old gray mare Madonna since March. Reed noted that her trainer,
Lance Williamson, gave her the option to ride the mare and thanked him for
the opportunity. "She is a great mare," Reed stated. "I have just been
riding her this year, but we are a good match and it has been going really
"She can be a difficult ride because she is a mare, so she can act girly and
throw a hissy fit every once in a while, but for the most part she is a
great mare and I am very happy with her," Reed acknowledged. "The course was
great today; the mud was a problem, but she was good. I just rode it kind of
like an equitation course for the first round and trusted her a lot, and it
Reed has had a lot of success competing with Showplace Productions and was
excited about the addition of the Challenge Cup this year. "I thought the
Challenge Cup was really exciting because it is something different and it
was a lot of fun," she said. "I loved it because it is a big deal at the end
of the week, and it gave us something to look forward to."
Today's competition concluded the 2010 Showplace Spring Spectacular Horse
Show. For results and more information on Showplace Productions horse shows,
please, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com.