Showplace Production's Ledges Winter Series Brings Top Riders and Trainers to Illinois
RELEASE: March 4, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Lauren Fisher
Photo Courtesy Showplace Productions (Ledges Sporting Horses show grounds.)
Showplace Productions is pleased to announce that they are now under way with the 2010 Ledges Winter Horse Show Series at their Ledges Sporting Horses Show Grounds. Ledges Sporting Horses is the home of the Ledges Winter Series of indoor shows. Located two hours northwest of Chicago in Roscoe, IL, Ledges boasts a spacious indoor facility, and numerous outdoor arenas for hosting events in the summer.
From December to April the indoor arena is host to the Ledges Winter Series of 12 USEF "A"-rated shows. The shows offer Marshall & Sterling, Washington International Horse Show, and North American League points in all eligible divisions. During the winter there are also several Illinois Hunter Jumper Association and Wisconsin Hunter and Jumper Association "B"-rated hunter/jumper shows. The Ledges Winter Series has four weeks of indoor competition remaining, with shows held March 11-14, March 18-21, April 8-11, and April 15-18.
During the Winter series the focus of activity is the fully heated 72,000-square foot indoor facility. Ledges has a 200' by 86' competition arena with an attached 100' by 86' warm-up ring. Adjacent to the arena is a 300' sky deck with enclosed viewing areas, office space, and vendor areas. The fully heated stabling area has 275 oak-sided 10' by 10' stalls with wash racks and restrooms in each wing. The entire structure shares a common roof; during winter competitions horses are outside only for loading and unloading.
Diane Carney is a Chicago-based trainer who frequently brings her Telluride Farm horses and students to compete at the Ledges Winter Series. Carney's business is located just outside Chicago, and she is a USEF licensed official, rider and instructor of grand prix jumpers, national hunter and equitation riders, and also trains novice children/adults working their way up the horsemanship and competition ladders. Carney teaches and hosts clinics around the United States and Canada and has a full horse show schedule each year.
The 2010 Team Telluride show schedule will include Ledges indoor and outdoor shows, HITS Ocala, the Tampa Equestrian Festival, Devon, Spruce Meadows, Evergreen Invitational, Kentucky National and Indoors (Pennsylvania National and National Horse Show).
Carney moved to Chicago from Denver as a professional and first showed at Ledges in the winter of 1985 and noted the great improvements in the shows and the facilities over the years. "Ledges as a facility is essential to the horse economy in the Zone 5 area," Carney stated. "The facility provides a warm, safe location for clients to gain showing experience and horse sales to have a monthly location as well. Green horses to national champions have gone through the ingate at Ledges. Young riders watch and learn from competitors at Ledges. Showing at Ledges will give a new horse as good a test as you will find anywhere with the ring having an elevated spectator area and aisle on one side. If the horses and riders can get the job done at Ledges they will do very well anywhere.
"Ledges fits into my showing strategy well and it is a great opportunity for clients to get show mileage and points with their costs kept as low as possible," Carney added. "For the dollar spent at Ledges the experience gained is double. The management does a fantastic job. Pat Boyle and Mike Puffer see to it that the footing, stalls, ingate and horse show offices are tops! I will add that the homemade cooking by the ladies in the food stand makes the necessary long days easier."
Freddie Vasquez is another professional rider and trainer who frequently attends the Ledges Winter Circuit and Showplace Production's horse shows. Vasquez competes in both the hunters and jumpers and has students across every part of the discipline, from Short Stirrup to Amateur-Owner Jumpers. This year Vasquez's show schedule includes Ledges and Wellington's FTI Winter Equestrian Festival over the winter, followed by Showplace Production's shows and Trader's Point and Kentucky in the summer.
"Starting the 2010 season at Ledges is the perfect place to step up the horses and clients into their new divisions," Vasquez stated. "It is a phenomenal atmosphere for green horses to get confidence, and also green riders. The staff at Ledges is incredibly kind and helpful, and they make it a very comfortable environment for my clients and myself."
Vasquez first showed at Ledges as a junior, and has had many years to be grateful for the facility. "It has helped me prepare horses for indoors, and it is weather-controlled, so no one is ever wet or cold in the middle of January!" he noted. "It has also given my students many hours of riding to prepare for the outdoor season. Many famous professionals and Olympians have cantered around that ring at one time or another; not to mention how many famous hunters and jumpers started there! Ledges is a unique horse show that has been around for over 30 years."
Along with Carney and Vasquez, many other local riders and trainers make the Ledges Winter Series an important stop on their yearly horse show schedule. For more information, please visit www.showplaceproductions.com