Stephen Foran stands for presentation. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

The second week of the Lamplight Spring Classic continued Friday, May 17 as professionals, juniors, and amateurs alike prepared for a busy weekend ahead. Held at the historic Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois, the HITS Chicago series spans throughout the spring and summer and brings top-tier hunter, jumper, and equitation competition to the beloved midwest location. In the venue’s Douglas Elliman Stadium, an even dozen athletes geared up for Friday’s featured class — the $5,000 Alliant Private Client 1.35m Jumper Classic. Hungry for a win after earning the runner-up ribbon in the same class the week prior, Stephen Foran continued on his hot streak with Idool to take the top call. 

Of the original starting field, six entries managed to produce double-clear efforts but, despite their best attempts, Foran’s victory was imminent as he held a two-second lead over the second-fastest finisher. The Freedom Woods-owned 11-year-old KWPN stallion (VDL Zirocco Blue x Gelha’s VDL Emilion) has been a top contender for Foran in their time together, producing multiple placings in the ribbons up to the CSI3* level. 

Stephen Foran and Idool. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“Idool is probably the best horse I’ve had to campaign on in my career,” enthused Foran. “He’s very intense and an aggressive competitor. He gets in the ring and has so much energy and enthusiasm for it. He gives 110 percent in the ring and really gives me so much confidence.” 

That confidence shined through in Friday’s main event as the pair produced a blazing fast fault-free effort in 41.74 seconds, which placed them comfortably ahead of Mara Kranz with Wheeler, a seven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Nixon van’t Meulenhof) owned by Mint Hill Farms’, who took the second place with a time of 43.29 seconds. Danielle Urban and Halsey Hooper’s 11-year-old Warmblood gelding (Baltimore), Baltino, rounded out the class’s lap of honor as the third-fastest double-clear effort in a time of 43.76 seconds.

Mara Kranz and Wheeler. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“I thought today’s jump-off was an intelligent course design that could kind of lull people into having some rails,” Foran described. “I came back early and went clear, and then I watched the rest of the class and saw that a lot of the pairs had faults in the second half.” 

The course, Foran confirmed, is just one of the many things that brings him back to his hometown horse show. 

Danielle Urban and Baltino. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“I’m really happy to have this horse show series here because it’s very close to us,” he added. “To have this level of competition right by our back door is wonderful, and it’s a really nice place to bring a horse for them to have a positive experience. There’s room to ride and it’s not high stress, but the quality of the ring and the competition is quite high. It’s just an excellent place to have available to us, and I enjoy bringing my own horses here as well as my students because I feel they all get a lot out of it.”

Danielle Urban stands for presentation. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Show jumping action got underway during the second week of the tour with the $2,500 VitaFlex Open Welcome where Danielle Urban piloted her own nine-year-old Warmblood gelding (Chacco Rouge), Falco de Vesquiere, to the fastest finish in a time of 41.55 seconds. Tiffany Hammack clocked in as the winner of the day’s featured event on Thursday as she and the Foxwood Farms’ 11-year-old Zangersheide mare (Glasgow W vh Merelsnest),Ghana FS Z, led the way in a blazing 55.74 seconds to win the second leg of the $10,000 STX Open Speed. After quickly becoming a new class favorite during HITS Ocala, HITS is excited to announce the popular STX High Point Rider Award for the STX Open Speed will continue for all of its summer venues, including HITS Chicago! Points are awarded weekly in the STX Open Speed and the leading rider at the finale of each venue will receive a STX Tack Box.  

Tiffany Hammack stands for presentation. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Competition in the Douglas Elliman stadium will resume Saturday, May 18, 2024 as the weekend excitement comes to a head in preparation for the $24,500 Adeptus Grand Prix. For a full list of class results, please visit