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Spring Season Brings Great Experience for the Horses and Riders of Canterbury Farm

June 5, 2017 - Hampshire, Illinois

Great Suprise and Alexa Maiello
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Hopetown
Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and KT Kicero
Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Testimony
Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography
Cassius and groom Elaezar Torres
Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Cavalier II
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Michelle Durpetti and Lucca
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Michelle Durpetti and Moody Blues
Photo by Collin Pierson Photography
Caitlyn Shiels and Incognito
Photo by Jump Media
Caitlyn Shiels and Whiskey at Midnight
Photo by Jump Media

Hampshire, IL – Canterbury Farm trainer and rider Caitlyn Shiels had an exciting spring, competing across the country with top young horses and guiding several talented students to excellent results alongside the farm’s head trainer Greg Franklin. In May, Shiels showed and trained at the Spring Gathering Horse Shows at the Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center in Iowa. She then competed at the prestigious Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania on May 29-30.

Canterbury Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper show facility that offers a family-oriented atmosphere and world-class training program for horses and riders of all levels.

After spending their winter in Florida, Shiels and Franklin returned to Canterbury Farm’s home base in Hampshire, IL, this spring with four exciting sale horses for training. Great Suprise, Testimony, Kicero, and Hopetown all competed at Maffitt Lake’s Spring Gathering Horse Shows in May and earned top ribbons. They will be available to try at the Kentucky Horse Park during the two weeks of Country Heir competition in June.

In Iowa, Canterbury student Alexa Maiello rode BG Equine LLC’s Great Suprise to top ribbons, including a championship tricolor in the Children’s Hunters and a reserve championship in the Modified Children’s Hunters. The gorgeous six-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare also earned the Green Hunter 3’ reserve championship with Shiels in week one. Great Suprise is Pre-Green eligible and perfect for someone looking for a three-foot horse that will move up to the 3'6".  She is a wonderful mare that would be a quality addition to any barn.

The nine-year-old mare Hopetown, owned by Rolling Acres Show Stables, also had consistent performances in Iowa, jumping the 1.10m jumpers with Shiels and showing in the Modified Adult Jumpers with Canterbury student Niki Holtzman. "Hope" has a great stride, easy rhythm, and sweet personality! She would make a fantastic Low Junior/Amateur or Children’s/Adult Jumper.

“When Hope first got imported, she walked right into the Low Junior/Amateur Jumpers,” Shiels stated. “She has nice blood, and she is very easy to ride and very straightforward. As soon as she walks into the ring, she just knows her job. The buzzer rings, and she’s ready to go.”

The handsome seven-year-old Warmblood gelding KT Kicero, owned by Michael Kirby, jumped to the Modified Open Jumper championship in week one in Iowa and also stepped up to do the Welcome Stake in week two with just one rail down. Kicero would make a great equitation horse or jumper.

“Kicero was just imported in February, so he has come along quite fast within a short period of time,” Shiels detailed. “He jumps 1.30m easy, but is also quiet enough to teach a kid to do the equitation. He is a lot of fun to ride.”

The youngest of the group at just four years old, Tara-Dawn Hazen’s KWPN gelding Testimony was fantastic at Maffitt Lake. Shiels jumped Testimony to the division championship in the .75m Jumpers during week one and also earned consistent ribbons in the .85m jumpers in week two.
Testimony was imported in September of 2016 and will make a fantastic Children's/Adult jumper. He will also be available to be tried in Kentucky.

In other results, Shiels showed her top hunter Cassius, owned by Don Stewart, to great ribbons and a reserve championship in the Performance Hunter 3’6” division the second week in Iowa. Cassius also placed second in the $2,500 National Hunter Derby during week one and sixth in the derby during week two. As the eight-year-old Warmblood gelding prepares for the coveted USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in August, Shiels will jump Cassius again in Kentucky and Traverse City, MI, in preparation.

“Cass came home after Iowa and had a little down time, and we have since been incorporating some bounce exercises and doing our homework again to get ready for the derbies coming up,” Shiels stated. “I think we are on the right path getting ready for the Derby Championships. Traverse City has two international derbies, so that will be great practice to get set up.”

Shiels’ ten-year-old Warmblood gelding Cavalier II (by Whitesnake) also earned top results at Maffitt Lake. Shiels imported Cavalier when the horse was six years old and has been successfully developing him up to the grand prix level. He has been jumping very consistently and finished third in both the Welcome Stake and the $25,000 Grand Prix during week one in Iowa.

Additionally, Canterbury client Michelle Durpetti and her seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Lucca (by Zento) continued their success this season with a clean sweep, winning all four classes over fences and the under saddle, to take the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” championship in week one. Lucca also earned the reserve championship in the Performance Hunter 3’6” division with Shiels.

Durpetti and her steadfast gelding Moody Blues then earned the reserve championship in week one, and the championship in week two, competing in the Adult Amateur Hunter 18-49 division.

Wrapping up a fantastic month of May, Shiels had the incredible opportunity to compete two horses for Mary Lisa Leffler’s Rolling Acres Show Stables at the prestigious Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania. After Leffler was injured at the end of the winter, Shiels helped with some of her riding duties in Florida, and also flew up to Virginia at the beginning of May to help show a few horses. When the call to show two young hunters at Devon came, Shiels was honored.

Shiels showed the handsome chestnut gelding Incognito, owned by Kirsten Pollin, to a third place in the Green Hunter 3’6” handy class and also finished sixth over fences. She then guided Holly Bossert’s beautiful bay gelding Whiskey at Midnight to consistent rounds in the Green Conformation Hunters. It was the first time at Devon for both horses, and Shiels’ first time back at Devon in years since competing there as an amateur. It was a great experience for everyone involved!

The horses and riders of Canterbury Farm compete next at the Country Heir Horse Shows in Lexington, KY, from June 7-18.

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. 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.

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 as an assistant trainer and rider in 2013, Shiels and head trainer Greg Franklin both began earning championships at major shows. Their partnership is an excellent balance of training both on the horse and from the ground.

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