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Kaneland Connection: GP Raymeister highlights Spirit of the Horse event

MAPLE PARK – When GP Raymeister – a horse that is the star at Grand Prix Equestrian in Maple Park – had some problems with his left eye, several options were explored.

Yvonne Barteau, the trainer at KYB Dressage, which makes its home at Grand Prix, said the beloved Ray was suffering from glaucoma, and there were two choices, kill the glaucoma, which also would cause Ray not to have vision in the eye, or remove the eye completely. She said the choice was “the lesser of the two options.” Ray kept the eye, and with the procedure done, she said he is much more relaxed.

“He’s back and working at the top of his game,” she said.

And that’s saying a lot. Ray is a grand prix champion, with Olympic dreams. Ray will be a big attraction next month, when Grand Prix Equestrian hosts its annual holiday event – The Spirit of the Horse – at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 at Grand Prix, 45W015 Welter Road, Maple Park. 

Barteau said those who visit should expect a fun show. She said there is added excitement, since this year the show also will be performed Friday and Saturday at Alltech Arena in Lexington, Ky. Because it’s being prepared for a bigger stage, she said the show in Maple Park will be improved as well.

“A lot of things are a notch above,” she said. “The people who see it here will see that it’s better. The special effects are better. It certainly won’t seem like a backyard horse show. I think they will be even more impressed than they were last year.”

For information or to purchase tickets, visit

Those who go will get to see Ray as a much happier horse, Barteau said. She said she is pleased that it wasn’t necessary to remove his eye.

“He’s such a beautiful horse,” she said, adding that, “he’s happy now. I don’t think he feels sorry for himself.”

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

Know more

Spirit of the Horse will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13 at Grand Prix, 45W015 Welter Road, Maple Park. For information or to buy tickets, visit

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