Taylor Land of Team Land had an impressive start during the first week of the HITS Chicago Lamplight Spring Spectacular, securing top finishes in several key events with her horses. Continuing her winning streak into the second week of the Spring Spectacular Series, Land triumphed in Thursday’s spotlight event, the $20,000 Alliant Private Client Cup.

On Saturday, June 8, 2024, Land clinched victory in the $35,000 Great American Grand Prix riding Caballero (Casall), a 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Kim Land. The duo also placed second in the $20,000 Alliant Private Client Cup the previous Thursday. This week, they were one of only two double-clear performances among the 17 riders competing in the class, and secured the win with a jump-off time of 39.703 seconds. Colleen Acosta finished second with Lancome (Eldorado Van De Zeshoek), a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Caacosta LLC, clocking in at 40.339 seconds. Shannon Sullivan rounded out the top three on her own 17-year-old Polish Warmblood gelding, Downtown’s Main Event, with the fastest four-fault time of 74.693 seconds.

Taylor Land and Caballero. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Land spoke highly of Caballero and their partnership, stating, “He’s just such a special horse. He’s 15 years old this year, and I’ve had him for about a year and a half. It’s taken me some time to feel like we could really get where I wanted to be, and I still feel like we have a lot to improve on together, but he has a heart of gold and tries so hard.”

Describing Caballero’s personality, Land added, “Caballero is a clementine-loving, quirky, and goofy horse. He’s not spooky at jumps, but he can be at other things. Sometimes he’ll spook at a sign or something simple that isn’t scary, and you’re just like, ‘Man, you didn’t look at anything in the ring. What are you thinking?’ He’s just a silly and fun horse.”

Colleen Acosta and Lancome. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Reflecting on the course, Land noted, “I thought the course was built well for a variety of horses. There were many options, and it was a lot of fun to ride. I went about halfway through the class before there was another clear, so it was definitely a very technical track.”

Land expressed her enthusiasm for returning to the Lamplight Equestrian Center, praising the venue’s beauty and friendly atmosphere. “I love it here so much! It’s such a beautiful facility, and there’s so much to do in the area too.”

Shannon Sullivan and Downtown’s Main Event. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Additionally, Friday’s events included the $10,000 STX Open Speed Class, where Hope Meinen won with Cameron Z (Canabis Z), a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, achieving a clear round with a speedy time of 65.093 seconds.

Hope Meinen and Cameron Z. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography