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The Platinum Farm Program: From Hoof to Saddle

Sirena Richter Liggett teaches riders of all levels, like Gianna Maiello with Millennium, from the ground up to success in the show ring.

Marengo, IL – May 2, 2018 – Platinum Farm is a special place for dozens of riders, where they learn about horses from the many programs owner/trainer Sirena Richter Liggett has created. Since 2014, Liggett has grown the farm she and her husband, Tim, purchased in Marengo, IL, to be a place where champions are successfully developed from the ground up. Her creativity and dedication to education keeps the barn in a flurry of activity, moving riders up the ranks in the hunter jumper discipline from the horse’s hoof to the rider in the saddle.
“I love sharing my passion for riding and working with horses with others,” said Liggett.  “I enjoy working with riders of all ages, teaching them not just how to ride, but teaching proper horsemanship, grooming, conformation of the horse and other valuable skills needed to provide the best care and safety for both horses and riders in the sport.”  
Liggett offers equestrian opportunities for all levels of riders in addition to their top show string. The Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) teams provide riders in grades 6-12 the opportunity to show without the expense of owning or leasing a horse.  For a Place to Start (PTS) shows, Platinum Farm has some wonderful horses available to lease for a show, for those riders who do not currently own a horse.  New riders can join one of the park district classes, which are run through the Huntley Park District, to learn the basics of horsemanship and riding. Horse enthusiasts can also sign up for summer camp, open to riders of all levels from beginners to advanced, with five different dates to choose from, listed on the Platinum Farm website - Liggett also runs some her own programs such as clinics with guest professionals including trainers, veterinarians and farriers and some fun events for holidays, where riders can have fun with friends and their four-legged pals.

Sirena Richter Liggett gives Sarah Darbor instructions before heading to the show ring with Remarkable.

Liggett remembers growing up with horses. “I was a lucky, horse crazy, girl, born into a family that owned a large boarding/lesson/training stable in Morton Grove. I was fortunate to get a pony for my 5th birthday and my riding career took off.  I rode with many trainers throughout my junior years and I worked to afford the sport I was so passionate about by doing just about any job that needed to be done.  I spent most of my free time at the barn and rode any horse they would let me ride, which molded me into a very versatile rider. Once I turned 16, I had to work to pay my horse’s board in order to keep him.  My parents made me a hard worker!”
Tim Liggett is also in the horse business as a farrier and learned the trade from his father, Bill Liggett, one of the top farriers in the country.
A perfect example of their successful program is rider Lauren George, Hampshire, IL, who participated in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) program for middle school and high school riders at Platinum Farm. She recently finished 7th in the Nation in the IEA Varsity 2’6” Individual Championships in Syracuse, NY, after winning the Varsity Open Over Fences Class at the regional and zone finals. But Lauren‘s accomplishments don’t stop there, she has dominated in the 3’3” Junior Hunters locally this year by earning Championships every time out at the Ledges Sporting Horses shows, qualifying her horse, King’s Landing, for the National Junior Hunter Championships in Saugerties, NY.

Lauren George, pictured here on her King's Landing, won at the IEA Zone Finals, qualifying her for the National Finals where she finished 7th.

Platinum Farm with assistant trainer, Melanee Stenstrom, have qualified IEA teams for the Regional Finals for the past three years with the middle school team going undefeated in the 2016-2017 season. In addition, Alexa Maiello, St. Charles, IL, was high point open rider for Region 9 during the 2017-2018 season.

The Platinum Farm IEA team.

The entire Platinum Farm team has been off to a wonderful start. Brianna Fusz riding Dream Boy has been champion several times in the Children’s Hunters and is looking forward to competing at the USHJA Hunter Challenge later this summer. Abby Schuning riding Benevolence is working to compete at the USHJA (United States Hunter Jumper Association) Zone Jumper Championships at Balmoral Park this summer as well.  

Brianna Fusz riding Dream Boy. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Liggett herself keeps up with education and will be attending the Benchmark Stables Jumper Derby and clinic May 11-13th, in Hampshire, IL, with Altarius, a horse owned by Platinum Farm. Liggett works on her riding skills during the year working with professional trainer and USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) licensed official, Diane Carney, who comes to the farm to help Liggett (pictured right)  keep the horses in top show condition.
“I’m always striving to improve my riding, teaching and training,” commented Liggett.  “My desire to continue my education enables me to provide the best possible training to my clients.”  
Platinum Farm riders will be joining Lauren George, traveling to Saugerties, NY, to compete at HITS on the Hudson V Horse Show before the Junior Hunter National Championships in July. They will also travel this summer to Balmoral Park in Crete, IL, Lamplight in Elgin, IL, Ledges Sporting Horses in Roscoe, IL, and to the Minnesota Fall Harvest horse shows.  

“We really have constant activity at the barn,” added Liggett, “but it is always centered around the best interest of the horses and their care. If riders are going to enjoy horses, they need to learn all the aspects of having a horse, which really makes better riders in the end because they understand and appreciate these amazing animals better.”
For more information on any of the teams, camps, lessons or training, visit their website at or call 815-923-2653.

Kendall George and Forever and Always at the USHJA Pony Finals. Photo Shaun McMillen Photography

Abygale Green and Sunny Days.  Photo Swan Studios

About Platinum Farm
Located on 47 picturesque acres in Marengo, Illinois, the farm is one of the mid-west’s top equestrian facilities. Platinum Farm offers a premium facility with 21 stalls, in a safe, friendly and professional environment. Specializing in hunters, jumpers, and equitation, Platinum Farm works with riders of all levels and offers an outstanding beginner program with the focus on developing horsemanship and a solid foundation of basics. Contact them to discuss the many programs offered.

19810 Beck Road
Marengo, IL



Hannah Fusz and Syrah nailed it at Ledges Sporting Horses.