Wayne, Ill. – Aug. 4, 2018 – Competition at the Lamplight Equestrian Center is winding down for Equifest II with World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) week. Division championships were awarded Saturday afternoon to amateur-owner competitors in the main hunter arena. Madeline Thatcher received both champion and reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter division with two of the Thatcher family’s Pony Lane Farm mounts.
Thatcher led the class after the first portion of the division concluded on Friday. She was able to maintain her lead on not one, but two of the mounts she had entered in the class. Thatcher had already received a first and third place with Like I Said over fences. During Saturday’s portion of the division, Thatcher rode the 10-year-old mare to two first place ribbons over fences, receiving one of the first place ribbons for their high score of 85 in the handy round.
Thatcher and 8-year-old Coronado ultimately received the reserve championship award. During Friday’s portion of the division, the pair was awarded a second and first place over fences. Saturday, Thatcher and Coronado rode to a third place over fences as well as a second place for their handy round score of 78. Under saddle, the pair received third place.
Thatcher has been with Like I Said for over two years, and the mare was recently reserve champion in the Amateur-Owner 3’6’’ Hunter division at the Balmoral Showplace Summer Spectacular I in Illinois and at Summer in the Rockies VI in Colorado. Thatcher planned to retire Coronado from showing about a year ago, however, after taking him back to Clemson University with her for nine months, she decided to bring him back into the show ring this summer. She plans to compete with both mounts in Sunday’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and then will head off to Emory University School of Law with Coronado in tow.
The Grand Amateur Hunter awards were also presented for Equifest I and II on Saturday. The Devoucoux Grand Amateur Hunter championship went to Sarah Morris and her mount Gidget. The pair received first place ribbons in the Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic for both Equifest I and II. Thatcher and Like I Said were ultimately awarded the Grand Amateur Hunter reserve championship.
Competition during WCHR week at Equifest II will conclude Sunday, Aug. 5, with the week’s feature event, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by the Bull Run Equestrian Center.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Madeline Thatcher – Amateur-Owner 3’6” Hunter division champion
On Like I Said:
“We’ve had ‘Sally’ for about two and a half years now, and she’s such a perfect amateur-owner horse. She jumps great when you get it right and she’s forgiving when you don’t. She’s been wonderful this summer. She was champion and reserve at [HITS] Balmoral and at [Summer in the Rockies] in Colorado, and she was great at Devon. She’s wonderful, I have nothing but good things to say about her.”
“About one year ago here he got fired from being a show horse by my mom. He had such a bad attitude in the ring and was grumpy. I actually took him to college and we just goofed around for nine months. I brought him back this summer and he’s really figured it out. He’s been great and getting really good scores. He is a great horse to have at school because he can have two or three days off and still be productive. He’s the same horse every day — he’s just so level-headed and has finally figured it out. He hasn’t had a professional ride in over a year so it means a lot that he’s doing really well because I put in the effort myself.”
On her future plans:
“I’m excited to ride both of them in the [$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby] tomorrow! My goal is to have a nice, consistent, solid round that I’m happy with. Then, I’m actually going to law school and Coronado is coming with me. Like I Said will just rest until December. I’ll show a little over winter break and I hope to sneak down for a few weeks of the Winter Equestrian Festival. I’ll show next summer as well. [Like I Said] gets a nice three-month vacation so she’s looking forward to that!”
On the Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“I love Lamplight! I wish I could do all three weeks. I came here for years as a junior, then I took a few years off while I was in college and horse showing in the southeast. I just love it — it’s beautiful, the footing is fantastic, the jumps are pretty, it has great landscaping and the show is efficiently run. I love this place, I wish we could show here all summer.”