The arena at Fox Valley Saddle Association in Hampshire, Illinois filled with laughter and spooktakular decorations as 11 entries from the tri-state areas of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan challenged the cold weather to a showdown. The competitors won. Nicole Chastain Price, r, California, officiated over the day’s events.
Seven entries competed in the Introductory Open class, with breeding stock paint Comedian’s Silkyair ridden by Maureen Tolemy taking 1st place in Dressage (65.95%) and 3rd place in Ease of Handling, to bring them the overall championship for the day. Wisconsin resident Kris Blacklock rode her Quarter Horse mare Boon Ocean Blue to the Reserve Champion overall, with their 2nd place finish in both Dressage (64.28%) and Ease of Handling (64.06%).
The two-entry Novice A class was won by Michigan resident Karen Rach-StClair and her Grade Andalusian mare Salina. The two took 1st in Dressage (60.68%) and Speed (182.65 seconds) to earn the overall Champion ribbon for the day. Wisconsin resident Kim Corcoran and her Appendix Quarter Horse Dashing Player won the Ease of Handing (58.33%), taking the overall Reserve Championship for the day. Karen Rach-StClair also schooled her Haflinger My Music Maker MHF in the Novice A class, riding as a Training Wheels ride (hors concours).
Erica Peet and SM Serafin, a PRE gelding owned by Janita Smith, were the sole entries in the Intermediate A class. Their 63.57% in Dressage and clean finishes in Ease of Handling and Speed earned Erica her second qualifying score toward her Lifetime Silver Rider Medal.
Once the WE classes were done for the day, the group gathered for a very well turned-out eight-entry costume class, won by Andrea Marcinkus and Rorschach Valentine.
Two pairs of riders (Christine Righeimer / Whisper with Sandy Klinkey / Coco Babe and Toni Harmon / ELS Scottish Lad with Maureen Tolemy / Comedian’s Silkyair) also competed in the just-for-fun Working Pairs / Ribbon Race, navigating the Slalom, Bell Corridor, Drums, Sidestepping Over a Log, and Move a Glass obstacles while holding the rope from the rope gate between them. Toni and Maureen raced away with the victory in that class.
Five entries also competed in the horseless speed trial (where humans on foot or wheeled chairs raced through a modified obstacle course). Toni Harmon narrowly edged out Erica Peet for the victory, with less than a second separating the two. Julie Alonzo lagged 10 seconds behind to finish 3rd, with Sandy Klinkey and Christine Righeimer also turning in memorable races.
No show is possible without volunteers. We’d like to acknowledge the help of Sharon Kinney, who drove from Wisconsin to serve as the Technical Delegate, Katie Berger who scored throughout the morning and also organized the ribbons (a Herculean task!), Lisa Habbley, who served as scribe all day long; Richard Klein, who helped with obstacles as well as running score cards between the judge and scoring/announcing booth, Sandy Klinkey, stable manager; Howard Peet, photographer as well as obstacle transport, provider; and Howard and Erica Peet, Sandy Klinkey, and Richard Klein, who decorated the obstacles for an Extreme Halloween appearance, and Christine Righeimer / Righeimer Law Offices, Kris and Dale Blacklock, and Peet Equestrian, for donating fantastic prizes for the weekend’s show.
What a blast!