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Sunshine and Blue Ribbons for Benchmark Stables During Gulfport Circuit

 Liz Atkins and Johnny Bravo won the 1.20m in the grass field at the Gulf Coast Classic. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Gulfport, MS - March 8, 2017 – Liz Atkins and her Benchmark Stables of Hampshire, Illinois, escaped the frigid Chicago winter for four weeks of fun in the sun at the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Series in Gulfport, Mississippi. While soaking up the sun and playing in the sand, the group is enjoying the blue sea and plenty of blue ribbons.

Stacy Ryback and Carlotta W clinched the High Adult Jumper Championship. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

During week IV, the group added five big wins to the Benchmark Stables banner. Adult rider Stacy Ryback, jumped her way to the head of the class in the High Adult Jumpers with Carlotta W, finishing the division with a first and second for the division Championship.  Alexandra Blasi and Biblia took the top prize in the High Children’s Jumpers.

Alexandra Blasi and Biblia took the top prize in the High Children’s Jumpers. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Trainer Liz Atkins is hitting her stride, making a comeback after a broken collarbone from the 2017 show season, getting back in the tack just in time for the annual George H. Morris Chicago clinic in November. Atkins showed her game is on, winning the 1.20m with the adorable Johnny Bravo in the field, the 1.30m on Good Vision and the 1.35m with Carletta.

Liz Atkins and Carletta won the 1.35m on the grass. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Liz Atkins and Good Vision jumped to the top spot in the 1.30m. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography.

"The Gulf Coast Classic has become one of my favorite places to show!" said Atkins. "The footing is excellent, management and office staff are friendly and accommodating and we have been having some fantastic weather! All of my clients have said how much they are enjoying the show and there's plenty to do in the surrounding areas. We will definitely be back!"

Congratulations also to:
  • Leslie Quillen and Timeless took top ribbons in the Amateur Owner Hunters.
  • Sara Busche’s Bohemian collected ribbons in the Baby Green Hunters with Atkins aboard.
  • Week III Brianna Laheta added a first and second among other junior hunter ribbons to the Benchmark banner with My Guardian Angel.
With two more weeks to go, Benchmark Stables will step into the spring/summer show season tuned up and ready to go off their experience at Gulfport.
Atkins will return home after the circuit to prepare her beautiful facility for the Benchmark Stables International Sale Horse Showcase and Jumper Derby May 11-13thContact Liz to:
  • Get a sale horse in the showcase (limited to 20 horses)
  • Attend the showcase dinner
  • Reserve a clinic spot for the jumper clinic
  • Reserve a spot for the jumper derby
  • Sponsor an event
About Benchmark Stables
Benchmark Stables is a 20 acre farm located in Hampshire, IL (50 miles west of Chicago). The Atkins family purchased the farm in 2005, and built a top facility with multiple barns, riding arenas and turnouts. The stable is a state of the art facility with the following amenities:
  • 30 12×12 stalls with rubber mats
  • Keypad entry at front gate for security
  • Heat in all barns
  • 180×80 heated indoor arena
  • 225×160 outdoor ring
  • 6 horse Kraft horse walker
  • Automatic fly system in all barns
  • Several grass paddocks
  • Full service care option
For more information visit her website at

Benchmark Stables
13 N 200 Romke Rd
Hampshire, IL 60140


Special thanks to Benchmark's in house photographer, Andrew Ryback. Visit to schedule your portrait session.

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