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Bellis Show Jumping Sets Up For a Summer of Success

Caelinn Leahy won the $10,000 High JR/AO Jumper Classic on Tztargazer at Showplace Spring Spectacular. Photo Chicago Equestrian.

Maple Park, IL-June 24, 2016- Bellis Show Jumping, Maple Park, Illinois has created a reputation for molding top riders. Trainer Steve Schaefer’s program is centered on riders moving up and being competitive in all divisions. The program and attention to detail have paid off, with numerous wins from the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Maffitt Lake Spring Gathering and Showplace Productions Spring Spectacular.

Leahy finished off WEF as Low Junior Jumper Circuit Champion aboard Esquilino Bay. Photo Sportfot.

Young rider, Caelinn Leahy of Maple Park, Illinois, finished off WEF as Low Junior Jumper Circuit Champion aboard Esquilino Bay. Fourteen–year-old Leahy, also competed for Ireland in The Hollow Creek Farm Children’s on Horses Nations Cup team aboard Caladesi. Leahy helped the Irish team to a fourth place finish by delivering three clear rounds. Her success has already led her to be invited to the European Championships this summer.

“It was a very cool, amazing experience to ride with the Irish team. It was a really different format from riding individually. The rest of the team flew in Monday morning from Ireland and competition started Thursday, so we were quick to get to know each other. Michael Blake, our chef d’ equipe, made sure I knew everything and the team hung out around the show so we had some time to connect,” said Leahy.

Steve Schaefer won the $30,000 Grand Prix on Caribe at Maffit Lake Spring Gathering.

After WEF, Bellis moved north to Maffitt Lake Spring Gathering in Cummings, Iowa, where the success continued. Schaefer took home the top honors in the $30,000 Grand Prix aboard Caribe. Schaefer wasn’t alone though, Leahy also tried her hand at the big course aboard Esquilino Bay and rode away with a mere four faults in the first round.

“The atmosphere was great, the show was great, our focus was to condition our horses and get them ready for the summer, see how they’re feeling and look ahead to the future and strategize for that,” stated Schaefer. “We’re looking to get into our groove and keep the training diverse so we can achieve the best results possible,” said Schaefer.

This summer will continue to present new challenges for Leahy as she moves into the higher jumper levels. Leahy’s new mount Tztargazer, affectionately known as Utah, is blind in his right eye, which has made Leahy become a more mature rider when preparing her horses.  Leahy has become more conscientious of the classes she’s entering and focusing on her horses.

“I’m hoping to get more experience this summer and work at moving into the Grand Prixs,” explained Leahy.
The hard work and effort has already started to pay off.  During the Showplace Productions’ Spring Spectacular Series, Leahy won the $10,000 High JR/AO Jumper Classic, sponsored by Horseflight with Tztargazer and came in third in the $15,000 Marshall and Sterling 1.30m Grand Prix, presented by Barrington Saddlery, her first time in the class.

Leahy raved about her new mount, “It’s cool, it’s a new experience, he’s a great horse whether we’re cantering a five-foot oxer or ground poles, he’s so easy and light.  I’m excited to move up with him,” added Leahy.

Esquilino Bay and Caelinn Leahy with trainer Steve Schaefer and her mother, Heidi Schmid Schaefer.

Leahy topped off the series by winning the $20,000 High Junior Amateur Jumper Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic with Esquilino Bay on the last day. Leahy was the fastest clean round over a difficult track, of which only three made it to the jump off. 

Leahy has been gradually moving up to the 1.30m Grand Prixs and High Junior Jumpers. Its all part of the process and trainer Schaefer, decides which horses and which classes she is ready to try. Bellis’ focus doesn’t pertain to mere results, they emphasize learning and provide their riders with experiences to learn from.  Schaefer has had a hand in numerous Grand Prix riders’ success. He’s worked with top riders, such as, Kristen and Josh VanderVeen from their time in short stirrup, to the Grand Prix level. Schaefer’s emphasis in rider development has led riders to seek out Schaefer’s expertise.

Lindsay Scianna won the Maiden Junior Equitation on Rockefeller. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Bellis just welcomed a new young rider, eleven-year-old Lindsay Scianna and her mount Rockefeller to their team. Scianna has already started her road to success with a Championship in the Maiden Junior Equitation at Showplace Spring Spectacular’s second week, aboard Rockefeller.

Color Pearlz with Maggie Jayne were the Reserve Champion in the $2,500 Green Working Hunters. Photo Chicago Equestrian. 

The farm also congratulates Holly and Matt Yeterian on the purchase of Color Pearlz. The seven-year-old Zangersheide mare was imported from Holland, and has already started off a winning career, ending up Reserve Champion in the $2,500 Green Working Hunter’s and making her International Derby debut in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, presented by Bull Run Farm, with Maggie Jayne in the irons.

Matt Yeterian and Zanziboy earned a blue in the Modified Adult Jumpers.

Matt Yeterian not only had the pleasure of watching his new horse Color Pearlz win, but Yeterian himself won a class in the Modified Adult Jumpers with his horse, Zanziboy.

Bellis looks toward the future, with the hope for a trip to Europe, for Leahy. In the interim, the team will finish out Showplace Spring Spectacular to return home to prepare for the next show.

Schaefer’s facility features 32 stalls on 45 rolling acres complete with 8 grooming/wash stalls, vacuums, treadmill, heated indoor arena, large outdoor arena, grass grand prix field, group and individual turnout.
The farm is located just minutes from I90, I88 and the Elburn train station at 3N452 Francis Road, Maple Park, IL. 
Call to see how Bellis Show Jumping Stable can help you move up to the next level. Lessons from beginners to Grand Prix.
For more information, please visit their website at or follow them on Facebook.
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