Caelinn Leahy earned the Low Junior Jumper Circuit Championship in 2015 with Esquilino Bay and returned to win in the division again in 2016, with both Caribe and Esquilino Bay, who is pictured above. Photo by Sportfot.Wellington, FL – January 29, 2016 –
Steve Schaefer and Bellis Show Jumping hit the ground running, literally, to collect Championships early in the winter circuit. Thirteen-year-old Caelinn Leahy of Maple Park, IL, put the pedal to the metal on Caribe to win the $10,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic 1.25m sponsored by Maria Mendelsohn/Douglas Elliman at the Winter Equestrian Festival Week 2 (WEF). Caelinn Leahy and Caribe collected the Low Junior Jumper Championship and the Jumper Style Award at WEF 2. Photo by Sportfot.
Not only did Schaefer’s rider take the win in section A, she also won section B on her Esquilino Bay out of ninety-seven riders who attempted the track. Leahy also walked away with the Low Junior Jumper Championship on Caribe and the Reserve Championship on Esquilino Bay along with the coveted Jumper Style Award.
Leahy collected the WEF Reserve Circuit Championship in the Low Junior Jumpers with Esquilino Bay in 2015. She is currently leading the series on Caribe with Esquilino Bay right behind, starting the circuit as a tough contender.
Leahy headed into WEF after a successful indoors, winning the Low Junior Jumpers with Esquilino Bay at the Washington International Horse Show. During the 2015 season, Leahy also had a swing at her first grand prix as she continues to move up in divisions.
The Elgin Academy student commutes to Wellington once a month for two weeks of showing then back to school. The schedule changes depending on what classes they want to be sure to compete in during the circuit.
To prepare for the season, Leahy rode some young horses at home while her top jumpers took a well deserved break after indoors. While her show horses are in Wellington, Schaefer keeps them fit and ready to go and Leahy rides the young horses that stayed at home. Steve Schaefer and Caelinn Leahy on Caribe accepting the Jumper Style Award.
Leahy has the bonus of having multiple rides in the division. Besides Caribe and Esquilino Bay, Leahy also rides Laura Steffee's Bloesem in the division. Bloesem also earned top ribbons including second in the Low Junior Jumper Speed class WEF 1 and seventh in the classic WEF 1.
“It’s immensely helpful because I can fix my mistakes and grow as a rider faster,” said Leahy. “I'm very lucky to have the rides that I do and I want to be able to get better with each one.”
Leahy raved about her mount Caribe, “I love his flowing stride and that he can turn on a dime. He has such great foot speed so it's easy to go fast, which we both like to do.”
“The competition here is not a piece of cake,” said Schaefer. “You really need to be on top of your game to be at the head of the class. Caelinn works hard and her horses are fit and ready to go. It’s fun to see her go for it.”
Schaefer (Pictured right
), a long time competitor in the Chicago area, is a consistent winner himself in the higher jumper divisions and grand prixs. He is known for his quick jump off skills and his ability to ride difficult horses. His riding skills enhance his instruction, giving Bellis students a competitive edge.
His well thought out program stems from his years of riding and competing and his experience of what it takes to be at the top of the game. Schaefer gives riders experiences that prepare them for the next level of riding.
“Our plan for the season is to continue challenging ourselves with the horses we have, moving up in the ranks jumping higher as the summer progresses. Our strategy is not to get caught looking too far ahead into the future and just take our shows and our classes day by day,” said Leahy. “I'm having a blast riding these amazing horses and I can't wait for the rest of WEF and this summer!”
Bellis Show Jumping also congratulates rider Holly Yeterian for her second place finish in the Low Adult Jumper Classic aboard Eclipse during WEF 1. Holly and her husband, Matt, also collected 3rd, 4th and 5th place ribbons in the division with their horses Eclipse and Zanziboy, in the Low Adult Jumpers during WEF 2 and 3. Schaefer's wife, Heidi and her horse Caladesi, earned a fourth place in the $10,000 Adult Jumper Classic during WEF 3 with double clear rounds.
Schaefer’s facility features 32 stalls on 45 rolling acres complete with 8 grooming/wash stalls, vacuums, treadmill, heated indoor arena, large outdoor arena, grass grand prix field, group and individual turnout.
The farm is located just minutes from I90, I88 and the Elburn train station at 3N452 Francis Road, Maple Park, IL.
Call to see how Bellis Show Jumping Stable can help you move up to the next level. Lessons from beginners to Grand Prix.For more information, please visit their website at Bellisshowjumping.com or follow them on Facebook.