Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini Capture 1.40m Open Jumper Victory to Kick Off Equifest II

Wayne, Ill. – July 30, 2019 – Jumper competition at the Chicago Festival of the Horse continued on Tuesday with the Open Jumper division taking center stage in the picturesque Grand Prix Arena. With another sold-out week underway bringing together equestrian athletes from around the country, Lamplight Equestrian Center is welcoming all of the excitement. In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, it was professional Shannon Hicks and her mount Al Pachini who started the week off strong to claim a swift win in the class.

Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini
Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini

Equifest II course designer Leopoldo Palacias set the course for the Open Jumper competitors, challenging them to ride a nice pace while navigating sweeping turns and several combinations. Taking an early lead in the class was Jill Gaffney and Dayla 6, owned by Freestyle Farms LLC. The pair successfully completed double-clear rounds with a jump-off time of just 38.306 seconds.

Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini
Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini

Gaffney and Dayla 6 were unchallenged for much of the class, while horse-and-rider combinations were unable to beat her speedy jump-off round. It was not until Hicks and Al Pachini, an 11-year-old gelding owned by Helen Gilbert, entered the ring that they would meet their match. Hicks piloted Al Pachini through a clean first round to add their names to the list of challengers. Riding into an immediate second round, she allowed Al Pachini to pick up speed and give it all in the jump-off, something that she explained he is a natural at. Managing to leave up all the rails, the pair crossed the finish in 37.033 seconds to assume the top position on the leaderboard. Gaffney and Dayla 6 maintained their second place position to take home the red ribbon, and Liz Atkins aboard Carletta, owned by Benchmark Stables LLC, rode into third place.

Liz Atkins and Carletta
Liz Atkins and Carletta

In the 1.30m Open Jumpers just prior to the 1.40m class, Ryan Sassmannshausen and Babar, owned by Maeve O’Sullivan, were double-clear with a jump-off time of 30.398 seconds to finish in first place. Steve Schaeffer and Wyndmont Inc.’s Alter Ego earned a second place finish, also riding double-clear with a second round time of 42.143 seconds. Lauren Ditallo and Zero Gravity, owned by Scott Durchslag, rounded out the top three with a 2-fault first round time of 80.956 seconds.

Competition in the Grand Prix Arena will resume on Wednesday, July 31, with the 1.35m Open Jumpers and 7-Year-Old Jumpers.


Shannon Hicks – 1.40m Open Jumper winner

On Al Pachini:
“We’ve had Al Pachini about five years now. We bought him when he was just imported so he never horse-showed. I am the only person who has ever shown him. He and I have a very good understanding of one another. He actually has had a little bit of a rough road—he had two colic surgeries. He coliced this winter in January, so he is just now getting back to jumping high again. It’s really good to have him able to compete at the level he competed before.” 

On her rounds:
“The first round we just wanted to get around nice. He is actually a little harder to ride in the first round because he likes to go, so I have to keep him reined in a little. Once the jump-off comes, I just let him rip. He is way better, turning and jumping slows him down just a little, so I can just let him do his thing.”

Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini
Shannon Hicks and Al Pachini

On Lamplight Equestrian Center:
“The courses have been great. The course designers are great, they are big and challenging but really good courses. Good for the horses. My favorite part is all the natural shade, and the jumper ring is just amazing. It’s just such a nice place for people to come sit and watch. It’s just such a beautiful facility.”


1.40m Open Jumpers:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Shannon Hicks / Al Pachini / Helen Gilbert / 0 / 65.479 / 0 / 37.033
2. Jill Gaffney / Dayla 6 / Freestyling Farms LLC / 0 / / 0 / 38.306
3. Liz Atkins / Carletta / Benchmark Stables LLC / 0 / 69.503 / 0 / 40.012
4. Steve Schaeffer / Meadow Vale Cruise / Wyndmont Inc / 0 / / 0 / 40.918
5. Ryan Michael Genn / Dante’s Inferno / Wilhelm Genn / 0 / 66.686 / 0 / 41.146
6. Tony Font / Von Casius / Deana Blackburn / 0 / 64.405 / 0 / 41.277
7. Steve Schaeffer / Favoriet U / Wyndmont Inc / 0 / 63.23 / 4 / 37.049
8. Ryan Michael Genn / VDL Gerinus T / Wilhelm Genn / 0 / 66.335 / 4 / 39.256
9. Jacqueline Steffens / Kapriool / Andrew Kocher / 0 / 67.503 / 4 / 40.213
10. Christoph Schroeder / Celine / Christoph Schroeder / 0 / 66.179 / 4 / 41.925

1.30m Open Jumpers:

Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults / Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Ryan Sassmannshausen / Babar / Maeve O’Sullivan / 0 / / 0 / 40.398
2. Steve Schaeffer / Alter Ego / Wyndmont Inc / 0 / / 0 / 42.143
3. Lauren Ditallo / Zero Gravity / Scott Durchslag / 2 / 80.956
4. Anna Hallene / Wocello / Glenwood Farm LLC / 4  / 41.683
5. Faith Davis / Da Vinci / Faith Davis / 4 / 74.14
6. Christoph Schroeder / Diamant De Revel / Camwood Farm / 4 / 75.061
7. Alexandra Veleris / Peter Pan / Third Coast Equestrian LLC / 4 / 75.282
8. Molly McAdow / Donnalaris / Mary Beth Canfield / 4 / 75.3
9. Mark McKone / Fearless / Mark McKone / 4 / 77.775
10. Jacqueline Steffens / Calordo / Bertrand Legriffon / 6 / 80.17


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