Chicago Equestrian - News, Events, Contacts and Marketing Services

Sapphire Riding Academy is Full Speed Ahead

Giving Back to the Sport with Sponsorships 

Team Sapphire, winners and sponsors of the USHJA National Hunter Derby at Showplace Spring Spectacular with Bill Rube of the USHJA Foundation.

Mettawa, IL – September 8, 2016 – Sapphire Riding Academy is celebrating a fantastic season of both winning and giving back to the industry. Trainer Doug Boyd, 55, steers the ship toward success in the ring and supporting the sport with generous sponsorships.
Just this season, Sapphire Riding Academy has sponsored the USHJA National Hunter Derbies at Showplace Spring Spectacular, The Chicago Hunter Derby and The Showplace Fall Championship.  With the support of Mimi Rothman and Clara Ciancuillo, Boyd is full speed ahead in his commitment in the tack and on the ground, leading to smooth sailing for the Sapphire group.
“We firmly believe that giving to the sport and not just taking from it helps everyone,” said Boyd. “It’s good for our business, our local horse shows, the divisions, the sport in general and it’s good for our hearts too!”

Doug Boyd and Calido's Son. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Boyd not only supports the derbies with sponsorship, he is a competitor with Rothman’s Calido’s Son. The bay hunter has earned top ribbons in the National Derbies, standing 8th overall in the 2016 National Derby Lifetime money won with $13,625 in prize money and 6th in the 2016 National Hunter Derby Standings. The pair also is currently the Champion in the Zone 5 Performance Working Hunter 3’6” Horse of the Year Standings and is Leading in the National USEF standings in the division on the increment list, thanks to his numerous championships throughout the season.
Boyd credits the tremendous support of Rothman and Ciancuillo for his success.

Doug Boyd and Mimi Rothman.

“I really couldn’t have done it without them,” added Boyd.

He has taken a break from horses a couple of times thinking his time was over, primarily because of having to share boarding facilities that were not always run the way Boyd was raised. Those steps back lead to a giant leap forward. With the will to never give up and the inspiration that came from taking Amelia McArdle to medal finals, Boyd was determined to get back to the top levels of the sport again, with a vengeance.

Doug Boyd and Berkley III. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Boyd has demonstrated his versatility in the jumper ring as well, earning Championships at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival on Calvigo in the 1.35m, Nicholas in the 1.30m, and his grand prix mount Berkley III in the 1.40m. Boyd and Berkley III have also earned several top 12 finishes in Grand Prixs this year including a 6th place finish in the Equifest $75,000 Grand Prix and 2nd in the $50,000 Grand Prix. The pair is qualified and accepted for the Pennsylvania National Horse Show this year.
With assistant Ashley March as part of the crew, the farm keeps up with improvements on their new farm, lessons, summer camps and a full show schedule. They just added more paddocks to an additional piece of land they acquired as part of the expansion, making a comfortable home for customer and sale horses.

Doug Boyd and Nicholas. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Sapphire Riding Academy customers also share in the success of the farm with Marschlillie and rider Mimi Rothman placing 1st and 2nd in the GLEF Low Hunters and taking home the Reserve Championship week 2.  Ariel Reifman and Sapphire’s Clark Kent were Champion in the Short Stirrup Hunters and Equitation.
At the Summers End Horse Show, Green Eggs and Ham was Champion in the Baby Green Hunters with Ashley March aboard while newcomers Kaitlyn Reynolds with Sapphire’s Clark Kent were Champion Long/Short Stirrup Hunters and Reserve in Equitation. Clandestine and Denise Campbell were Champion Long/Short Stirrup Equitation and Reserve Champion in the Hunters while Czarina was Champion in the Schooling Hunters and Marschlilie was Reserve. Match Point made her debut in the baby Green and Schooling Hunters and won a blue ribbon in each section.
The next ports for Sapphire are the Chicago Hunter Derby, The Evergreen Invitational and the Showplace Fall Classic. 

For more information on Sapphire Riding Academy, 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