Canterbury Farm Kicks Off Fall Season in Kentucky

September 30, 2016 - Hampshire, Illinois

Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Cassius celebrate a fourth place finish in the USHJA National Hunter Derby at Kentucky National.
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Cavalier II
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Cavalier II
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Michelle Durpetti and Lucca
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Michelle Durpetti and Serafina
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Michelle Durpetti and Serafina enjoy a beautiful day in Kentucky.
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography

The fall season has officially begun, and the horses and riders of Canterbury Farm took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and also get some indoor practice by competing at the Kentucky National Horse Show on September 21-25, 2016. Canterbury Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper training and show facility located in Hampshire, IL, and led by trainers Greg Franklin and Caitlyn Shiels.

Competing with trainer and rider Caitlyn Shiels, the talented young gelding Cassius continued his reign as the hunter derby star of Canterbury Farm during his time at the Kentucky National. Shiels and Cassius, a seven-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Don Stewart, finished fourth in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby out of 38 competitors, earning top scores throughout two rounds of competition. The pair also competed in the Second Year Green Working Hunter division.

"I was extremely happy with Cassius this week,” Shiels remarked. “This was his first experience showing indoors, and I thought he handled it like an old pro. We had moments in the Second Years where he felt a little too excited to be jumping those big jumps inside the Alltech Stadium, but he really handled it great. The best finish was Cassius cantering around on Sunday in the $10,000 National Hunter Derby, moving from 8th place to 4th place, with a handy score of 90. He rode beautifully. I am so excited for next year with him. Now he gets a little down time before gearing up for the Florida circuit. "

Shiels and her nine-year-old Warmblood gelding Cavalier II (by Whitesnake) also earned a second place finish in the 1.35m jumpers in Kentucky. Since getting the beautiful gray gelding when he was six years old, Shiels has steadily developed Cavalier into an emerging show jumping talent and looks forward to what the future holds for his career.

In addition to top results for Shiels, Canterbury rider Michelle Durpetti and her horses Lucca and Serafina had a great time competing in Lexington. Durpetti and Lucca earned consistent ribbons in the older Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” division, including a win over fences. The Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Zento) is just seven years old and continues to show his dependability and wonderful character, carrying Durpetti to top ribbons throughout the year.

Along with Lucca, Durpetti showed her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare Serafina (by Verdi) in the Adult Jumpers in Kentucky last week. The pair had fantastic rounds and a fun few days of showing in the beautiful fall weather.

The next stop on the fall circuit for Canterbury Farm will be the famous Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, where Durpetti and Lucca will compete in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” division. The pair is also currently on the wait list for the Washington International Horse Show and hopes for the opportunity to compete there as well. The fall indoor season will conclude for Durpetti at the CP National Horse Show in November, returning to Lexington, KY, for her final competition of the season.

For Durpetti, qualifying for indoors is the culmination of a fantastic year and something that she has worked very hard to achieve with the help of Franklin and Shiels.

“As any amateur balancing a career and horses and life knows, there is a lot of work, time, and patience that happens before we even step foot into a show ring,” Durpetti stated. “One year ago, after a bad fall, I did not know if I would find my way back into the Amateur-Owner Hunters. My trainers, however, never doubted that I would. Their faith and abilities, combined with the good old-fashioned luck of finding a great horse in my Lucca, gave me a summer full of joy and accomplishment in the 3'3 A/O division. This was the most challenging year I have faced in my professional life since we opened a second location of my family's restaurant. I am so proud of my horse and all of the humans who came together as a team this year, resulting in the huge opportunity to show at Harrisburg, Washington and Kentucky.

“I am over the moon to be able to participate, excited for the experience, and so grateful for the opportunity,” Durpetti continued. “For me, showing at indoors is fantastic icing on an already awesome cake! I hope that Lucca and I will be consistent and confident, and mostly I just look forward to enjoying the ride.”

While Durpetti contests the national championships at Indoors, everyone else at Canterbury Farm will have a much deserved rest and some down time before preparing for the winter circuit in Florida.

Canterbury Farm would like to thank the following sponsors for their continued support: Blueberry Hill, Butet, Éce Equestrian Co., EquiFit, inc., Hayward Sportswear Ltd., O3 Animal Health, ReitenRight, Samshield, and Tucci.

About Canterbury Farm
Canterbury Farm maintains a horse show schedule on a local, regional, and national level that is created with their customer’s competitive goals in mind. For over 35 years, Greg Franklin has ridden hunters and jumpers to numerous championships nationally and has brought home numerous Zone 5 ‘Horse of the Year’ awards. Franklin has qualified horses and riders for the Pennsylvania National, Washington International and the National Horse Shows including the Medal and Maclay Finals. He has also shown internationally at Canada’s Spruce Meadows in the 1.40m and 1.45m divisions and is a certified trainer with USHJA. Additionally, Franklin holds his ‘R’ card in Hunters, Hunter Seat Equitation, and Jumpers, and judges throughout the country.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Massachusetts, Caitlyn Shiels began riding at the age of eight. A highlight of Shiels’ early career was being a team and individual gold medalist at the 2004 North American Young Riders’ Championship. Shiels went on to apprentice under such professionals as Andre Dignelli, Mclain Ward, Ken Smith and Kate Stoffel-Oliver. Almost immediately after she joined the Canterbury team in 2013, Shiels and Franklin both began earning championships at major shows. Their partnership is an excellent balance of training both on the horse and from the ground.

With qualified trainers, attention to detail, and a caring staff, Canterbury Farm is committed to excellence in horsemanship, and to giving all of their riders a great experience in the show ring.

For more information, visit www.canterburyfarmchicago.com or email info@canterburyfarmchicago.com.

Photos copyright Collin Pierson Photography. Photos may be used only in relation to this press release.