Hampshire, IL – February 9, 2015 – The horses and riders of Canterbury Farm are off to a fantastic start in Ocala, FL, after showing in the first four weeks of competition at the 2015 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit. Head trainer Greg Franklin and the team at Canterbury Farm will base in Florida for the ten-week circuit through March 22, 2015, and look forward to continuing their success.

Owned by the Franklin Family, Canterbury Farm is a family-owned and operated hunter/jumper training facility based in Hampshire, IL. For more than 30 years, they have dedicated themselves to providing exceptional service to their clients by offering personalized training and care for both horse and rider.

“Teaching is something I truly enjoy,” says Franklin. “There is no greater feeling than the one of producing a successful student, with the understanding that the word “success” is whatever it means to the student. I am excited for my beginner students when they first learn how to post as much as I get excited for my students who qualify for Harrisburg. I find joy in teaching and working with a horse and rider to achieve the goals we have laid out for them.”

Led by Greg Franklin with assistant trainer and rider, Caitlyn Shiels, Canterbury Farm offers beginner through advanced riding lessons, and takes great pride in creating an environment that is fun and full of learning, where horses and customers are treated like family.

“We have a fantastic group of competitors in Florida this winter, and it has been so exciting to kick off the season in a great way!” says Shiels.

Caitlyn Shiels and Kadence Darco. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Caitlyn Shiels and Kadence Darco. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Along with their riding and training program, Canterbury Farm has talented horses for sale or lease. They have a select group of horses available for sale in Ocala this winter, including Big Bill, MTM UP2U, and Kadence Darco.

Janet Walker’s Dare to Dance started out strong with two first place finishes in the level three jumpers, resulting in the championship for week one. Dare to Dance was also reserve champion for the division in week four.

“She is a fantastic young horse! She is so smart, fast, and brave and an absolute blast to ride,” says Shiels.

Caitlyn Shiels and Dare to Dance. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Caitlyn Shiels and Dare to Dance. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Big Bill and Katherine Heywood started the circuit out strong with a win in the $1,500 Medium Child/Adult Jumper Classic week one. The pair has had consistent success in the medium adult jumpers, including a first and third place in the division during the week and a third place finish in the classic week three.

Big Bill is a 15-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding. Coming in at about 17 hands, Bill is a tall, reliable teacher who could make a great first jumper for a novice rider. Bill knows and loves his job.

“He is fast, great at turning despite his tall frame, and is really fun to ride,” says Heywood.

Katherine Heywood and Big Bill with Caitlyn Shiels. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Katherine Heywood and Big Bill with Caitlyn Shiels. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Heywood showed her other mount, Balida, to top ribbons as well. Heywood and Balida were consistent in the High Adult jumpers, including a second place finish week one. Balida also jumped to a second place ribbon in the Level 3 Jumpers in week one with Shiels in the irons.

Natalie Alden and MTM UP2U began the season with some great performances. Alden jumped MTM UP2U in both the Modified Child Hunter division and the Children’s Hunter division to consistent ribbons including a second over fences.

In week three, Shiels and MTM UP2U had a fantastic championship win in the Low Hunters. The pair won two classes over fences and finished second and sixth in the other over fences, along with a second place under saddle.

MTM UP2U is a nine-year-old Wamblood gelding. He is a beautiful mover and a good jumper with a huge stride, and a great rhythm. He makes a delightful three-foot hunter, who is uncomplicated, quiet and easy to find the jumps on.

Natalie Alden and MTM UP2U. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Natalie Alden and MTM UP2U. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Kadence Darco kicked off the season with a great week three, making her debut in the Training Hunters with Caitlyn Shiels. She won her first class, and finished strong in the division with a second, third and third over fences and a fifth place finish under saddle.

Kadence Darco is a five-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Darco. She is a lovely mover and an excellent jumper, who is ready for the Pre-Green Hunter division in 2015.

“We are so excited to see this very talented young mare progress, and are very much looking forward to seeing how she meets the challenges of the pre-green division,” says Franklin. “So far, she has met every challenge to come her way with remarkable maturity and athleticism, so I can’t wait to see how she continues to develop!”

Michelle Durpetti and Moody Blues had a solid week one, with consistent placings in the adult equitation and medals, including a second in the Adult Equitation 18-35 and fourth in the Marshall & Sterling Adult Medal. Moody Blues and Durpetti went on to more success in week two, showing for the first time together in the Amateur-Owner Hunters, winning their first class, and finishing strong in the division, including a fourth place finish in the Amateur-Owner Classic.

Michelle Durpetti and Moody Blues. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Michelle Durpetti and Moody Blues. Photo copyright ESI Photography.

Shiels and Durpetti also shared the riding duties on Durpetti’s Kenya throughout the first three weeks of competition and earned some great ribbons.

Marcia Franklin’s Cydelle showed in the Low Hunters with Shiels in week two and earned a win and a second place finish over fences. The pair also showed in week four and placed second and fourth.

Along with the hunters, Shiels had a great few weeks showing her young jumper Cavalier II, including consistent placings in the Level 3 Jumpers in week one and moved up to Level 5 with a fourth place finish in week two.

The team at Canterbury Farm will continue to compete at the 2015 HITS Ocala Winter Circuit through March 22.

Canterbury Farm is thrilled to continue partnerships with Tucci, Samshield, Butet and O’Shaughnessy Apparel. They are also pleased to partner with Blueberry Hill and Ardie Hastey for all of their tack needs during circuit. Blueberry Hill carries many of their sponsor brands, including Butet, Samshield, and Tucci.

Additionally, Canterbury is pleased to announce that they will be featuring Equifit products and look forward to a successful partnership with this quality brand.

Canterbury Farm maintains a horse show schedule on a local, regional and national level that is created with their customer’s competitive goals in mind. For over 35 years, Greg Franklin has ridden hunters and jumpers to numerous championships nationally and has brought home many Zone 5 Horse of the Year awards. Franklin has qualified horses and riders for the Pennsylvania National, Washington International and the National Horse Shows including the Medal and Maclay Finals. He has also shown internationally at Spruce Meadows in the 1.40 and 1.45 divisions and is a certified trainer with USHJA. Additionally, Franklin has his ‘R’ in Hunters, Hunter Seat Equitation, and Jumpers and judges throughout the country.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Massachusetts, Caitlyn Shiels began riding at the age of 8. A highlight of Caitlyn’s career as an emerging talent includes being a double gold medalist in both the team and individual NAYRC In 2004. After achieving this success, Caitlyn apprenticed under such professionals as Andre Dignelli, Mclain Ward, Ken Smith and Kate Stoffel-Oliver to name a few. She joined the Canterbury team in 2013, almost immediately after becoming a part of the team, Caitlyn and Greg began enjoying great success with multiple championships at major shows including Spring Spectacular, Horse Shows by the Bay, Traders Point Charity Horse Show, and Kentucky. Their partnership is an excellent balance of training both on the horse and from the ground.

With qualified trainers, attention to detail, and a caring staff, Canterbury Farm is committed to excellence in horsemanship, and to giving all of their riders a great experience in the show ring.

For more information, visit www.canterburyfarmchicago.com or email info@canterburyfarmchicago.com.