Caelinn Leahy and The Gray Man Lead the Way in $25,000 HITS Grand Prix at Lamplight Spring Classic III

Wayne, Ill. – May 27, 2023 – Caelinn Leahy and Lisa Goldman-Smolen have consistently been at the top of the standings during the three weeks of the Lamplight Spring Classic, and the final $25,000 Grand Prix of the series proved to be no exception. Leahy and The Gray Man turned in a wire-to-wire victory on Saturday at HITS Chicago to lead the lap of honor, with Goldman taking home second and third with Sovereign and Ivaro N, respectively, after the three-horse jump-off.

Caelinn Leahy and The Gray Man

The Gray Man had more than just Leahy’s skills in the ring to support his win on Saturday, he also traveled with is “emotional support horse” for the warm-up and prize giving. “He has an emotional support horse that goes everywhere with him,” laughed Leahy after her win. “He even goes into the ring at the end there to take the picture. We warm up with him and The Gray Man needs that because otherwise he just gets a little bit too nervous in the schooling ring. That’s his buddy!”

The Gray Man and his best friend

Oscar Soberon’s first-round course demanded excellence and precision, and only three advanced to the tiebreaker. For the jump-off, riders began by galloping through a bending line before rolling back to the second line which included an oxer-vertical double combination. They then had a long gallop to a new oxer before a very sharp rollback to the final line.

As the pathfinders during the first round, Leahy and The Gray Man were the first to return for the jump-off. With Smolen behind her on two mounts, Leahy knew she would need to lay down a quick and clear effort to top the standings. With a fast gallop across the middle and a very sharp turn back to the last line Leahy was able to dash through the timers in a faultless 38.591 seconds.

Lisa Goldman-Smolen and Sovereign

Smolen was next with Sovereign and followed Leahy track almost perfectly, leaving all the rails intact but breaking the beam just 3/10ths of a second slower in 38.845 seconds. She had one more opportunity to take the lead with Ivaro N, but a rail at the penultimate vertical after the sharp rollback added 4 faults to their score of third place with a time of 38.764 seconds.

Lisa Goldman-Smolen and Ivaro N

“I know that Lisa's always fast and she's always such a great competitor, so it's always fun when I'm in the jump-off with her,” noted Leahy. "Both of her horses are faster turnover type horses than mine. The Gray Man has a big stride, but he's very lofty, so I was trying to get as much foot speed as I could. There was one nice little gallop stretch in the middle of the course after the combination, so our plan was to really go there as much as we could and then be able to get the inside turn afterward. We were thinking that I could do fewer strides than Lisa just because he has a big step, but she's always super-fast, so it's always tight when you're going against her!”

Caelinn Leahy and The Gray Man

Leahy was excited to close out the Spring Classic with another victory and concluded, “I love showing here and I plan to be back this summer. I'm really enjoying the new management and the show looks beautiful – it’s back to the old Lamplight. More people are going to come out and watch these classes and be a part of it. It’s a beautiful venue and they're just treating it really well, so I think that that leads to great competition and great spectatorship.”

Sunday marks the end of the final week of competition during the Lamplight Spring Classic Series, but competition will resume on June 7 as part of the Lamplight Spring Spectacular, which runs through June 25. To submit your entries or reserve your stall for the HITS Chicago Series, hosted at Lamplight Equestrian Center through September, please visit

Caelinn Leahy and The Gray Man