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Liz Atkins and Benchmark Stables are Ready to Ring in the New Year


 Liz Atkins and Johnny Bravo in good form after the George Morris Chicago Clinic. Photo Andrew Ryback Photography

Hampshire, IL – December 16, 2017 – Trainer Liz Atkins of Benchmark Stables in Hampshire, Illinois is ready to hit the ground running for the 2018 show season, especially after a tune-up from the legend himself, George H. Morris. With a list of horse shows on the calendar and the Benchmark Stables International Sale Horse Showcase and Jumper Derby scheduled at her facility in May, she is enthusiastic and is ready to take 2018 by storm.
Learning From the Legend
Atkins participates yearly in the annual George H. Morris Chicago Clinic at Rush Weeden’s Brookwood Farm on Thanksgiving weekend, this year taking two of her mounts for the intensive 3-day schooling session. Atkins is making a comeback after a broken collarbone in June left her training from the ground for the season. She got back in the tack in time to prepare for the clinic, which included a lot of discipline and riding without stirrups. Fortunately she has a stable of incredible horses to help get the job done.

George Morris put Johnny Bravo through the paces during the clinic.

“The clinic is always a great reminder of the key skills we should be working on everyday,” said Atkins. “The clinic really pushes you a bit outside of your comfort zone and helps you sharpen up. It’s continuing education for trainers! The better you can do it the better you can teach it to your customers.”

Liz Atkins and Johnny Bravo jump the 10' water during the Chicago clinic. 

Atkins takes every opportunity to train with Morris. She was hand selected for the 2015 George H. Morris Gladstone Program training session held at Brookwood Farm and schedules in the Thanksgiving weekend clinic automatically. Atkins turned professional in 2014 and was named Top Young Professional Grand Prix Rider by USHJA that same year, after a successful career as an Amateur-Owner Jumper rider. She now welcomes customers to her custom built farm in Hampshire. Atkins has a variety of riders, both juniors and adults, competing in divisions from the puddle jumpers to the grand prix and low hunters up to the International Hunter Derby. Liz’s training program is designed around developing and challenging both horse and rider to achieve success at any level.  She especially likes to bring along young, green horses to the upper levels of show jumping.
Hitting the Road Early for 2018
Atkins and her customers already started earning points and ribbons at the World Equestrian Center in Ohio last week. Atkins herself was at the top of the pack in good competition, earning top 3 finishes in the 1.30m on Johnny Bravo, in the 1.35m on Carletta and in the 3'6” Performance Hunters on My Guardian Angel.
Customers Show at the World Equestrian Center

Alexandra Blasi and Biblia -  3rd, 4th, 5th in High Children's Jumpers. Photo Andrew Ryback

Stacy Ryback and Carlotta W - 5th & 7th in the High Adult Jumpers. Photo Andrew Ryback

Jocelyn Miller and Cool Diamond .  Photo Andrew Ryback         
   5th & 8th in Intermediate and Novice Jumper Classics with multiple other placings in the divisions

Brianna Laheta and My Guardian Angel (not pictured) - 3rd in the 3'6 Junior Hunters Handy round


Benchmark International Sale Horse Showcase & Jumper Derby
Atkins is planning the first sale horse showcase in Chicago, May 11-13th at her facility. The event includes:
  • Jumper Clinic with Diane Carney Friday and Saturday
  • Sale Horse Showcase Friday evening
  • Fabulous Dinner, Drinks and Giveaways during the showcase
  • Jumper Derby on Sunday with Champagne Brunch
Sponsors, auditors, sale horses, clinic riders and competitors welcome!
Contact Liz Atkins or Brenda Mueller for more information.
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



Happy Holidays from the Benchmark Crew!