Lisa Goldman-Smolen stands for presentation. Photo © HITS Horse Shows/ Phoenix Jeannides

The $35,000 FarmVet Grand Prix was the highlight event of the week during Lamplight Summertime I at HITS Chicago in Wayne, Illinois, on Saturday afternoon, July 6, 2024. Lisa Goldman-Smolen showcased her strong partnership with Ivaro N, securing a well-deserved victory.

A total of 12 competitive horse-and-rider combinations tackled Oscar Soberon’s challenging course, which featured 12 obstacles, including a formidable triple combination. Seven pairs advanced to the jump-off, with five delivering double-clear efforts.In an impressive display of precision and speed, Lisa Goldman-Smolen and Ivaro N clocked a jump-off time of 31.79 seconds. 

Lisa Goldman-Smolen & Ivaro N. Photo © HITS Horse Shows/ Phoenix Jeannides

“Ivaro N really shined today,” said Goldman-Smolen of Barbara Disko’s 15-year-old KWPN gelding (H5 Elvaro x Celano) “He’s one of the fastest horses I’ve ever had, and his stride is incredibly adjustable. We managed to execute a slightly different strategy, taking fewer strides in key sections, which gave us the edge.”

Following closely in second place was Friday’s $10,000 STX Open Speed winner, Caelinn Leahy, aboard Steve Schaefer’s 16-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Guidam x Sir Libero), Zarkava. They completed the jump-off in 32.42 seconds. Brian Murphy and Glenara Chacco DP, Light Speed Equestrian’s 10-year-old KWPN stallion by Chacco Blue, took third place with a time of 32.93 seconds, rounding out the podium.

Caelinn Leahy & Zarkava. Photo © HITS Horse Shows/ Phoenix Jeannides

“The atmosphere here at HITS Chicago is fantastic,” expressed Goldman-Smolen. “I want to thank my sponsors, owners, and everyone at HITS for their continued support and for organizing such a fantastic event. It’s moments like these that make all the hard work worthwhile.”

Brian Murphy & Glenara Chacco DP. Photo © HITS Horse Shows/ Phoenix Jeannides

Competition resumes on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 as hunter, jumper, and equitation riders gear up for another exciting week.