Taylor Land Takes Home Two Top Finishes During Lamplight Spring Spectacular I


Taylor Land was on quite the hot streak during the first week of the HITS Chicago Lamplight Spring Spectacular, securing top placings in multiple spotlight classes with her mounts. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography.

On Saturday, June 8, 2024, Taylor Land and Caballero clinched victory in the $35,000 Great American Grand Prix. This achievement saw Land expertly navigate Kim Land’s 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Caballero (Casall), to triumph. The duo also secured a commendable second place in Thursday’s $20,000 Alliant Private Client Cup. Land and Caballero were one of only four pairs to achieve double clears that day, ultimately winning with a remarkable jump-off time of 39.003 seconds.

Thursday’s $20,000 Alliant Private Client Cup winner, Linda Radigan, took second place aboard her 16-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Balveneur Z (Balougran Z), clocking in at 40.512 seconds. Shannon Sullivan completed the podium with her 17-year-old Polish Warmblood, Downtown’s Main Event, finishing just behind Radigan with a time of 40.551 seconds.

Taylor Land and Caballero. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“Caballero has lived in France most of his life, and has been with a couple of different riders, having success at the 2 and 3-star levels,” explained Land. “I’ve had him for about a year and a half, and he’s one of the only horses I’ve bought without trying him first. I think he’s an incredible horse with so much heart and talent, and he’s a total blast to ride.”

Linda Radigan and Balveneur Z. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Land attributed much of their day's success to the course's suitability for her mount, adding,“Caballero really responded well to this course. There were three combinations, no triple, but it was connected. There were a lot of options, which I always think is fun because it wasn’t a course suited to just one type of horse. There was a lot of variety, with bending lines and options, even in the jump-off. There were big turns, rollbacks, and options everywhere.”

Shannon Sullivan and Downtown’s Main Event. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

In addition to her victory in the $35,000 Great American Grand Prix, Land triumphed in Sunday’s prestigious $15,000 Horseflight Jumper Classic. This time, she partnered with Escobar WW, a nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Team Land Syndicate. The duo delivered one of only four double-clear rounds, finishing with a commanding three-second lead at 33.39 seconds. Katie Murray followed, securing second place on her 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Izmir Van De Baeyenne, with a jump-off time of 36.74 seconds. Murray also took the yellow ribbon, placing third with her 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Kasstender C, to complete the podium.

Shannon Sullivan and Downtown’s Main Event. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“Escobar WW is the first horse that I’ve ever owned with a group,” described Land. “His group of owners is really supportive, and I’m incredibly grateful for them. I would be lying if I said he wasn’t one of my favorites, but he’s really such an incredible horse. He’s really fast, really careful, and he always gives his all. He’s so much fun.

“When I walked the course, I planned out the numbers pretty much everywhere,” she continued. “There was just one rollback, and everything else was a number. I was able to ride my plan the way I wanted, and Escobar really listened well and did everything I asked of him.”

Taylor Land stands for presentation. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

Reflecting on her success, Land expressed deep gratitude for her parents' unwavering support. She shared, “Both of my parents have undoubtedly been my biggest supporters, trainers, and role models in riding. They grew up as equestrians and met while riding as teenagers. They’ve taught me nearly everything I know, and I truly owe everything to them. Riding has always been a family affair, and it’s incredibly fun.”

Land is enthusiastic about returning to the Lamplight Equestrian Center this summer, expressing her affection for the historic venue.

Katie Murray with one of her two top-finishing mounts. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

“I had so much fun here last year, so I wanted to come back. It’s just a beautiful facility. Everyone’s friendly. I stayed in Saint Charles last year, and now I’m staying in Elgin. The towns are great, with good restaurants and things to do. It’s just a friendly atmosphere, which I really enjoy at horse shows, and there’s great jumping. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Katie Murray jumps to third with Kasstender C. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

The $15,000 Horseflight Jumper Classic was just one highlight in an action-packed Sunday lineup. Next, the $5,000 Adequan/NAL/Jr/Am 1.25m/1.35m Jumper Classic saw Leighton Goldberg achieve victory. Riding her 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Borsalino Birdavenue (Eros Platiere), Goldberg secured a win with a double-clear round and a jump-off time of 34.97 seconds.

Leighton Goldber and Borsalino Birdavenue. Photo by Alison Hartwell Photography

The $1,000 Puddle Jumper Classic marked the conclusion of the first week of the Lamplight Spring Spectacular. Carley Schwendel, riding her Paint mare Smokin Indigo Blue (Smokin’ Tuff McCue), delivered a swift and precise performance to secure the top honors in the final class of the week.


Though the week's events have wrapped up, the excitement at HITS Chicago resumes this week, starting on Wednesday, June 12, with the commencement of the second week of the Lamplight Spring Spectacular Series.

Courtesy of The HITS Shows

Since its inception in 1982, HITS, LLC has grown into the market-leading lifestyle management company producing hunter, jumper and dressage horse shows. Based in Kingston, New York, HITS is a national company producing horse shows in Ocala, Florida; Culpeper, Virginia; Wayne, Illinois, East Dorset, Vermont, Del Mar, California, and Saugerties, New York. HITS is owned by Traub Capital Partners.

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