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Sapphire Riding Academy Seizes the Day - and the Championships During HITS Ocala

Sapphire Riding Academy collected multiple Grand Overall Circuit Championships during the HITS Ocala winter circuit. 

Mettawa, IL – April 26, 2017 - Sapphire Riding Academy and trainer Doug Boyd returned from HITS Ocala with loads of ribbons, championships and fun times, chalking up another successful winter circuit. Boyd has been full speed ahead with the business since opening the doors in 2014, adding land, paddocks, horses and an assistant trainer to keep up with the demand.
After a successful 2016 show season, which included a national championship with Mimi Rothman’s horse, Calido’s Son, Boyd continues to display numerous tri-color ribbons on the Sapphire banner.  This winter, Boyd handed the reins for Calido’s Son over to Sydnie Ziegler, who rode the handsome gelding to the Grand Overall Circuit Championship in the Small Junior Hunter 15-17 division after winning the 2nd - half Circuit Championship.

Sydnie Ziegler and Calido's Son in the Junior Hunters. Photo ESI

Ziegler continued to accumulate top ribbons on Big Bang, winning the USEF/Pessoa Medal, the Marshal & Sterling Junior Medal and placing 2nd and 3rdin the Maclay. Big Bang is owned by Maddie Chenoweth and is now leased to a new Sapphire client, Georgia O’Neil, who will show in the equitation divisions. Ziegler is currently a working student at Sapphire and is learning more about horsemanship on a daily basis.

Sydnie Ziegler and Big Bang. Photo ESI

“Riding in Ocala with Doug Boyd was an amazing experience,” said Ziegler. “Throughout the course of ten weeks, I was able to gain so much knowledge not only about showing but also about time management, horsemanship and networking. Doug challenges all his riders everyday with getting out of their comfort zone. Although Doug can be tough on us, he always has a positive and encouraging attitude toward his riders. I personally love training with Doug and to be a working student for him is a great opportunity that I am thankful for everyday.”

Clara Ciancuillo and her new horse, Secretive. Photo ESI

Clara Ciancuillo and her new horse, “Secretive”, hit the ground running in Ocala, collecting top ribbons to earn the Grand Overall Circuit Championship in the High Adult 18-45 Jumper Division as well as the 2nd - half Circuit Championship.

"I was a bit nervous the first time I showed her," admitted Ciancuillo. "She's just so powerful and always ready to go, but I trust her. She's awesome. she's incredible! She's so game for the jumps and we had a blast!"

Mimi Rothman and new mount, At One's Word, took the Grand Overall Circuit Championship in the HITS Hunter division. Photo ESI

Mimi Rothman didn’t waste anytime getting used to her new horse “At One’s Word”. The pair took home the Grand Overall Circuit Championship in the HITS Hunter Division after rounding out the 2nd half of the circuit with the championship.

Doug Boyd riding Jodi Krugman's As You Wish. Photo ESI

Boyd piloted Jodi Krugman's As you Wish to the Reserve Championship in the baby greens early in the circuit and  moved up to the 3' Greens while continuing to win classes. Krugman made her debut in the Modified Adults with her mount, earning top ribbons even though she was only able to attend two of the shows in Ocala.

Doug Boyd and Berkley III. Photo ESI

Boyd rode one of his favorites, Berkley III, in the FEI events and earned the championship in the 1.30m jumpers the last week. The duo has plenty of wins on their record including the $20,000 American Royal Grand Prix, the  $5,000 1.40m   Welcome Stake at the World Equestrian Center, the $15,000 World Equestrian Center Welcome Stake and the $10,000 Open Welcome at the Minnesota Fall Harvest to name a few.

Doug Boyd and Calvigo. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography.

Boyd also rode Calvigo to the Grand Overall Circuit Championship in the 1.20m Jumper Division after earning the 2nd- half Circuit Championship. Boyd’s consistency is remarkable, proof that his program works for his riders as well as it works for him.
Not only did Sapphire Riding Academy earn top awards on their horses, they also earned the Landscape Award in Ocala’s Best Tack Room Competition. 

Sapphire Riding Academy won the Best Landscape Award during the HITS Best Tack Room Compeitiion.

“It had to be the rooster,” laughed Boyd. “We found it at a landscape place down the road and bought it. We shipped it home with the golf cart and now it’s sitting in the back yard of the house in the new garden area!.”
The group added to the fun by going on an adventure to Universal Studios.
“We really have a great time,” added Boyd. “We work hard and then play hard which makes for a nice balance to the circuit.”

The Sapphire group had a great time at Universal Studios.

While some riders were in Ocala, assistant Ashley March kept a tight ship at home after recovering from a serious virus after a trip to Mexico.
Sapphire Riding Academy will continue to seize the day as they head to the new HITS Balmoral Park for several weeks of showing at the new facility in Crete, Illinois.
To find out more about Sapphiire Riding Academy’s program, visit their website at

 About Sapphire Riding Academy

Sapphire Riding Academy is a premier Hunter/Jumper training facility located in Mettawa, Illinois, and offers full service training with an experienced staff and on-site management to oversee all operations. Sapphire Riding Academy can meet the needs of all levels of riders, whether your own a horse or lease one of theirs, you can be assured both you and your horse will be ready to compete successfully. Experienced trainers can take you to any ring; hunters, jumpers and equitation, from short stirrup to medal and maclay to the grand prix ring. Juniors, amateurs and pony riders are all welcome at Sapphire Riding Academy.

Conveniently located off Interstate 94, just 45 minutes from downtown Chicago and 25 minutes to O’Hare International Airport!

15141 Little Saint Marys Road
Mettawa, 60048

Phone: (847) 573-1795
Fax: (847) 573-1794

Email :

Doug Boyd, Trainer/Manager
(847) 867-1999

Ashley March, Assistant Trainer
(773) 799-7021