Elianna Kirson and Jackie Stary Showcase Exquisite Equitation at Lamplight Spring Spectacular III

Wayne, Ill. – June 24, 2022 – Equitation riders gathered at the Grand Prix Ring on Friday to showcase their skills during the USEF Talent Search Medal 2* and the USHJA Junior/Adult Jumper Medal at the Lamplight Spring Spectacular III. After a jumping phase and flat phase for both classes, it was Elianna Kirson and Ilyana who topped the Talent Search, while Jackie Stary and Conenzo led the way in the USHJA Jumper Medal.

 Elianna Kirson and Ilyana. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

During both events, riders competed over a course designed by Hector Loyola that shared many similarities with the course for the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix earlier in the day. Riders faced the same vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination as the fourth element, followed shortly after by an “S” line through the middle of the ring that included a bending line to an oxer-vertical double combination and another bending line. The final fence featured a water option with a pole across the middle, or they could jump a single vertical.

The top riders from the jumper phase for each class were invited to return for the flat phase, where they had to showcase effective riding, while also demonstrating the shortening and lengthening of their mount’s stride, in addition to the counter canter.

At the conclusion of the USEF Talent Search Medal 2*, the top prize was awarded to Kirson and Ilyana for their impeccable style in the ring. “This is our first time doing the Talent Search with [Ilyana], so we just wanted to go in and have a smooth round– come forward to all the fences and use our track to be smooth,” noted Kirson after accepting her blue ribbon. “[During the flat], we worked on being solid in showing a difference in the lengthening and the extensions – being prompt with transitions and putting myself out there, because I have a tendency to hide a little in the flat phase. We focused on staying forward, smooth and connected.”

The USHJA Junior/Adult Jumper Medal was next; this time, Stary and Conenzo earned the winning title. “My main goal was just to stay nice and keep the same canter without getting too long,” explained Stary. “{Conenzo] was a jumper a little while ago and is just learning his job in the equitation ring. Keeping the same slow canter was a big goal for me today. I tried hard to keep the same canter and leave a little gap. I think the way my horse jumps up to me, and I allow him to jump to his full potential while keeping all the jumps the same made all the difference.”

Jackie Stary and Conenzo. Photo by: Alison Hartwell

Competition during the Lamplight Spring Spectacular III will continue throughout the weekend as part of the HITS Chicago Series. Hunters will take center stage in the Grand Prix ring on Saturday morning during the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Junior and amateur athletes will showcase their skills during their respective hunter classics to close out the third week of the horse show, earning valuable points toward qualifying for the Marshall and Sterling Finals.