Chicago Equestrian - News, Events, Contacts and Marketing Services

Showplace Productions Kicks off Winter Circuit at Historic Ledges Sporting Horses

Affordable, Fun and Easy Horse Showing

Showplace Productions hosts shows year round at Ledges Sporting Horses. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Roscoe, IL – December 5, 2016 – Showplace Productions kicked off the 2016-2017 show season at the historic Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, Illinois. Anyone from the Midwest can probably share some great stories of show days at Ledges since it has been around for decades as the starting point for many top riders such as Kent Farrington,Will Simpson, the Alex Jayne family, Chris Kappler, Lisa Goldman and Todd Minikus just to name a few. The facility has hosted thousands of indoor and outdoor horse shows in its classic history with numerous upgrades made by owners Clay and Donna Struve.

Will Simpson 1980 on  Bremen Star. Photo from On Course Magazine.

Both Ledges and the Showplace Productions team with Patrick Boyle at the helm, have been together for decades to run the shows like clock work. Boyle’s experience leads to a fine tuned schedule, allowing junior riders to show on the weekends without missing school and adults can participate easily without time off from work. Quick access from the newly renovated I-90, complete with now five lanes and great lighting, makes the location easy and safe to get to with numerous hotels and favorite dining places nearby for exhibitors to enjoy. Many exhibitors love that they can stay at home and save on hotel costs along with the main highway that stays plowed during the snowy season. 

Chris Kappler on The Enforcer. Photo from 1980 On Course Magazine.

"I'm proud to have been a part of managing this facility for 25 years," said Boyle. "I've had the joy and privilege of watching riders go from short stirrup to the Olympics with Ledges as their starting point. This facility has been key in molding and creating riders in the area from the grass roots on up to medal finals, grand prixs and beyond."

Alex Jayne and Kermit from 1980 On Course Magazine.

Junior riders love being able to show 2-3 times a month, providing great show mileage and opportunities to rack up junior hunter and equitation points. Low entry and stall fees allow riders to show more often and gain valuable ring time to their training schedules. 

 Trainer Kim Gardiner walks the medal course with her riders. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

"It's great to come to work and show when its below zero but everyone inside is in polo shirts," added Boyle about the completely heated facility. 

All the stabling is connected so there is no walking outside to get to the ring. The barn area is kept at a comfortable temperature for horses and the show area is great for spectators to spend the day without the winter chill. The Struve's and Boyle are constantly remodeling and upgrading the facility to make it feel like a home away from home for many.

“It’s a great show series that allows riders plenty of time in the tack if they are moving up into a division or getting to know a new horse,” said Perfecta Farm trainer Kim Gardiner. “Getting them into the show ring frequently just helps us train better at home and builds confidence in the kids. We can get kids qualified for the medal finals by May 1st so there's not so much pressure on them during the summer - they can concentrate on improving their riding rather than trying to qualify.”
“We’ve been coming here for the past thirty years and will probably be coming for the next thirty,” said trainer Scott Gentry. “It’s easy to show and there are divisions for everyone from short stirrup to the jumpers. I don’t have to drive five hours to get there and don’t have to spend extra days to travel and set up.”

Photo from 1980 On Course Magazine.

Exhibitors and spectators enjoy great hospitality featuring Saturday evening light dinner courtesy of Showplace and other special feature events. The ring has great visibility from two different upper decks and many opportunities to socialize during the show day. Friendly and experienced office staff makes entering easy and on-site food services make spending the day at Ledges uncomplicated and affordable.

Kathleen Caya reviews the course with medal rider Amanda Pennington. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

“We can bring sale horses and young horses and give them time in the ring,” said Kathleen Caya of Integrity Farm. “We really do love ledges (#weloveledges) for many reasons but mostly because the management and office staff are amazing. Our customers love to come here as well and have a great time.”

Showplace Productions offers two USEF regular member shows a month from December through April, recognized by USEF, USHJA, the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association (IHJA), Wisconsin Hunter Jumper Association and Indiana Hunter Jumper Association. They also offer one IHJA B rated horse show a month for the entire show season beginning in January.
Showplace B shows at Ledges offer series derby awards and Medal Finals. 

The USEF shows include full division classes including NAL, WIHS and M&S classics and equitation and USHJA Green Incentive Stake & Challenge Classes during each show plus a USHJA National Hunter Derby once a month. Jumper classes include the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, Young Jumpers and plenty of classics for all divisions from Low Children’s to Amateur Owner Jumpers. The B shows include USHJA Outreach Classes and Medals along with a Chicago Equestrian 2’6” Hunter Derby monthly.

Exhibitors and spectators can do some shopping at the vendors between classes. Photo Chicago Equestrian. 

Ledges also offers an on-site tack store run by Barrington Saddlery, specialty vendors like Pouwer Patties and Equestrianista along with full service photography by Andrew Ryback Photography and video services by Star Creek Video.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit 

A Winter Dates:
December 1-4 and 8-11, 2016
January 5-8 and 12-15, 2017
February 2-5 and 9-12, 2017
March 2-5 and 9-12, 2017

March 30-April 2 and April 6-9, 2017

B Winter Dates: 
January 20-22, 2017
February 17-19, 2017
March 17-19, 2017
April 14-16, 2017