Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 12, 2018 – The final day of competition for Equifest III at the Lamplight Equestrian Center closed out Sunday afternoon with the $2,000Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Amanda Pennington, Friday’s winner of the Junior/Amateur-Owner jumpers, wrapped up Equifest with a win in the classic riding her mount, Geronimo Van Berkenbroeck.
Kristen Franz and her mount, Porfidio, were the early leaders in the class as the first pair on course and the first pair to complete a swift double-clear finish. They set the jump-off time at 31.360 seconds. Many riders following their round attempted to match their quick jump-off time, but they managed to hold the lead until Pennington and Geronimo Van Berkenbroeck entered the ring.
Pennington is out of Mequon, Wisconsin and has only been showing Geronimo Van Berkenbroeck for six months. The pair has already developed a strong partnership, and this is only the pair’s first week competing at the 1.30m height. It has been about two years since Pennington has returned to the Wayne, Illinois showgrounds, but she has been competing at Lamplight since she was 8 years old. She hopes to continue moving up in divisions and one day compete in her first grand prix riding Geronimo Van Berkenbroeck.
Pennington and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood were the third to to last pair to enter the Grand Prix Arena to tackle the Paul Jewell-designed course. They successfully navigated a clear first round, allowing them to advance on to the jump-off to try to take over the lead from Franz. Rather than taking the same inside turn from the first to second fence, Pennington decided to take the longer route in order to leave out a stride. That maneuver would be enough to shave nearly two seconds off of Franz’s time to secure the lead in 29.741 seconds.
Annabella Sanchez and her mount Incitatus were the final pair to have their chance at the jump-off, attempting to catch Pennington’s time. She managed a clean jump-off, but her time was not quite fast enough to overtake Pennington or Franz. Franz would ultimately finish in second place in the class, with Sanchez rounding out the top three with a time of 32.084 seconds.
The Lamplight Equestrian Center would like to thank all of its exhibitors and generous sponsors for another incredible three-week Equifest show series!
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Amanda Pennington – $2,000 1.30m Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic winner
On her rounds:
“He felt really good! We went into today just trying to get another clear round, it still our first show in the 1.30m. He warmed up really well, it just felt like he was on his game. I went up the ramp a little nervous to be completely honest, but I knew he would try his heart out for me no matter what. It started out a little slow then kicked it into gear. I didn’t even think I was going that fast to be honest! He was so good, I can’t thank him enough.”
On her strategy for the jump-off:
“Originally I was going to go inside from one to two, but after watching quite a few horses go I realized that going around would probably be the fastest route in order to leave a stride out. I got into that line knowing I had to move up in order to steady to get him to jump up, then just canter down to the combination as fast as I could. I looked for the Lamplight [oxer] saw a little bit bigger one and just prayed a little bit and kicked, but he came back so well to the last oxer.”
On ending Equifest with a win:
“It feels amazing. I’ve missed Lamplight a lot since Spring Spectacular hasn’t been here, and this is my first time back here in about two years. It’s just so amazing.”