All posts by Associate Editor

Darragh Kenny Claims Second Consecutive Kentucky Horse Shows Grand Prix

Photo: Darragh Kenny and Balou du Reventon.

Lexington, Ky. – May 19, 2018 – Saturday of the Kentucky Spring Classic closed with the week’s highlight event, the $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, honoring the late Mary Rena Murphy. Forty-one horse-and-rider combinations were tested over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort course which saw 11 athletes finish clear to move into the jump-off round, but once again Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was unstoppable to claim the Saturday night victory under the lights on the second week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show series, this time with brand new mount, Balou du Reventon.

Kenny and Ann Thompson’s Balou du Reventon just started showing together two weeks ago, but they are on an impressive streak after finishing second in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and jumping to a number of clear rounds during their new partnership in Kentucky. Saturday night amplified their success as they flew to a clear round in 41.54 seconds to capture the featured grand prix victory. The 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion is already showing promise as an option for Kenny in this year’s World Equestrian Games.

Early pathfinder Margie Engle (USA) was the first to produce a clear round with long-time partner Royce, and first to return for the jump-off round. She and Gladewinds Partners, LLC’s 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion put on the pressure with a clear round in a time of 42.08 seconds, but their time was just overtaken by Kenny and the pair finished in second place.

Rowan Willis (AUS) and his own Blue Movie, an 11-year-old Anglo European Warmblood mare, followed with a clear jump-off round in a time of 42.55 seconds, speeding to a third place finish. The pair recently traveled to the United States in February to capture a notable victory in the $265,000 Longines Grand Prix CSI5* at HITS Ocala.

The Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix is held every year in honor of the late Mary Rena Murphy, an important part of American horse show history. Murphy was known for helping many top hunter and jumper professionals begin their careers, in addition to being a successful horse show organizer. She began her career in her hometown of Lexington, Kentucky. She is most known for promoting the Kentucky Horse Park and helping shape the park into what it so well-known for today, world class hunter and jumper shows that not only cater to world class competition, but also to all levels of the equestrian sport.

Emma Wujek and Augusta Iwasaki Lead Day One of Large Junior Hunters

The Kentucky Spring Classic’s junior riders braved Saturday morning’s rainy weather to compete in the Large Junior Hunter divisions, which are divided by age into the 16-17 and 15 and under. After two over fences classes in the 16-17 division, it was Emma Wujek who took the lead with Carento after placing first and third. Directly after, the 15 and under juniors took to the ring to see Augusta Iwasaki top the lead by placing first and second in the over fences rounds with Small Occasion.

Wujek and Carento just began their partnership together last week, while showing at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Their compatibility showed in the ring after producing two solid over fences rounds which placed them as the top contenders for Sunday’s champion ribbon. Carento showed successfully throughout the duration of the Winter Equestrian Festival with owner Erika Luter. Wujek also placed second and fourth with her other mount, Puppet.

Iwasaki is no stranger to the winner’s circle at just 14 years old, with big wins at USEF Pony Finals in 2017 and USHJA National Hunter Derbies. Her partnership with Small Occasion began during the summer of 2017 and the pair plan to continue to show in the Large Junior Hunters, with high hopes of capturing the championship ribbon. Iwasaki is also entered in the division with another mount, Small Anecdote, where they placed second and third in Saturday’s over fences classes.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

USHJA Hunter Derby Competitions Feature Top Sport at TIEC

Liza Boyd and Clemens. Photo Credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – May 18, 2018 – The $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby saw Liza Boyd of Camden, SC guide the Finally Farm Inc.’s Clemens through two rounds in Tryon Stadium at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) on Friday night, scoring a 383 to take the lead in the class for the second year in a row ahead of 20 additional entries. Holly Shepherd of Grand Bay, AL took second place honors aboard Triompf, owned by Loretta Patterson, with a score of 373, while Boyd also rounded out the top three, this time piloting Leonardo Aljure’s Easter to capture third on a score of 366.

The highlight class of the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week showcased top hunter talent under the lights in the iconic Tryon Stadium, with a course designed by Andres Christiansen.

Boyd commented, “I thought that the first rounds were nice for both of the horses today. It was raining quite hard on my first horse, but she was great in it. Clemens won this class last year, so I know he likes this arena and he just jumped amazingly. It was a nice course and a fun class!”

The course design made eloquent use of the space provided within the large arena, featuring several turns and a variety of options. Boyd explained, “It rode pretty much like it walked, which was nice. The one bending line was a little tighter than I realized, but that’s the beauty of having two horses. In the handy, I did one inside turn, but did not do both because I was pretty far ahead. It’s like that factor if you’re in a jumper class: do you really go for it or do you just try to go double clear? In the handy I tried to be under the time allowed and bright enough so that it still reflected well for the judges, but wasn’t extremely risky.”

Boyd has the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships in Kentucky on her list, and credits TIEC and the venue for being the perfect place to prepare for the prestigious competition. “Easter, she was ridden by Roberto Teran before she came to me. She’s for sale and an amazing Derby horse. This is just a great venue to come to because it sets them up nicely with the lights to be prepared for Finals,” she said.

Boyd will also make several more visits to TIEC throughout the coming summer months to make use of the Tryon Summer Series that is so close to her home base of Camden, SC. “We come back here for the summer shows,” she continued. “We are really looking forward to that. There’s a big $50,000 class, so hopefully we make the cut for that.”

With 35 entries presented earlier in the day on the Derby Field at TIEC for the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, Sara Taylor of Sherborn, MA piloted Eight Oaks’ So Fun, to victory on a two-round score of 184, scoring 90 and 94. Wakefield, RI native Jennifer Hannan rode Cynthia Sulzberger’s Coeur de Leon to second place on a score of 180.5, and Mary Antonini of New Orleans, LA secured third place aboard her own MTM Making Waves, their two round score totaling 178.5.

Please visit www.tryon.com or call (828)-863-1000 for more information.

Safe Sport Updates from USEF President and CEO

Safe sport has been a topic of national conversation recently and we take this issue very seriously. USEF has been proactive for several years under the leadership of our General Counsel Sonja Keating to develop and implement safe sport programs and we want to share additional steps we are taking to ensure our children and young athletes are safe while practicing and competing in the sport they love.

Expanding Mandatory Requirements for Safe Sport Training

Currently, Safe Sport training is required for designated individuals including persons that the USEF formally authorizes, approves or appoints to a position of authority over athletes or have frequent contact with athletes. At the June meeting, the US Equestrian Board of Directors will consider expanding this rule to require mandatory Safe Sport training for all participants at USEF licensed competitions. Safe Sport training is done online with the initial course taking approximately 90 minutes and the refresher course required annually taking approximately 30 minutes. This would be a personal responsibility rule and compliance would be done by US Equestrian and not by competitions.

Newly Created Safe Sport USEF Staff Position

US Equestrian has recently hired a staff member dedicated to all elements of our Safe Sport program including education, communication and compliance.

New Training Resources for Parents and Participants

It is essential that all members educate themselves regarding Safe Sport. Not only to understand when and how to report, but also to recognize the signs in order to prevent abuse before it occurs. To further your education and participation in this movement, US Equestrian provides numerous Safe Sport Initiative resources on our website at www.usef.org including the following:

  • Safe Sport Training – FREE to members! Three modules that take just under ninety minutes to complete initially, with refresher training (currently voluntary);
  • New resources developed by the Center and designed specifically for parents of equestrian athletes of all ages are available on our website. The training video is free. Parent toolkits are available too for parents of preschool age children, middle school age children, school age children, and high school aged adolescents.
  • A banned list that identifies the person by name and reason for their ban; and
  • The U.S. Center for Safe Sport has partnered with RAINN to provide a 24-hour victim services hotline, reached at 1.866.200.0796.

Know the New Federal Legislation Reporting Requirements –they impact you

In addition to the resources offered by the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian, it is extremely important you are aware of legislation that passed on February 14, 2018, Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.  It requires amateur sports organizations and its members to report sex-abuse allegations to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and to local or federal law enforcement, within 24 hours of such knowledge. Failure to do so is a crime.

Bully, Harassment and Unsportsmanlike Behavior

Not all misconduct is sexual. Bullying, harassment and unsportsmanlike behavior are also violations of our Safe Sport policy and unacceptable. All reports will be properly investigated and appropriate measures taken should those investigations result in a finding of a violation.

Under the Safe Sport policy, bullying and harassment are defined as follows:

  • Bullying – Repeated and/or severe (a) aggressive behavior (b) among Minors, (c) that is intended or likely to hurt, control, or diminish another person emotionally, physically, or sexually. Such misconduct between adults does not constitute bullying; the conduct must be directed toward someone under 18 years of age to be actionable as bullying under the Center’s Code or our Safe Sport Policy.
  • Harassment – Repeated and/or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance; (b) offends or degrades; (c) creates a hostile environment; or (d) reflects discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual athlete or group based on age, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, or mental or physical disability; or (e) any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law. Whether conduct is harassing depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the behavior.

Reporting

Sexual and non-sexual misconduct have two distinct reporting processes:

  • All sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the U.S. Center for SafeSport by phone at 720-524-5640 or online at safesport.org.
  • All non-sexual misconduct or violations of the Safe Sport Policy should be reported directly to US Equestrian. Reports through US Equestrian can be submitted using the USEF Incident Report Form, or by email or phone to Sonja Keating, General Counsel, skeating@usef.org, 859-225-2045, Sarah Gilbert, sgilbert@usef.org, 859-225-2022, or Emily Pratt, epratt@usef.org, 859-225-6956.

Both the U.S. Center for SafeSport and US Equestrian will accept anonymous reports, but please note that it can be very difficult to investigate anonymous complaints.

US Equestrian is dedicated to bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible and part of that joy is making sure you have the resources available to assist you in making safe choices for our children.  In the same way that our members look to US Equestrian, US Equestrian looks to the Center for the answers to our questions so that we do all we can to make your experience safe and fulfill our responsibilities as an NGB.

Please contact Sonja Keating in our legal department for all Safe Sport inquiries. She can be reached at skeating@usef.org.

Murray S. Kessler
President

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

US Equestrian Federation
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511
P. 859 258 2472 , F. 859 231 6662

Andy Kocher and Kahlua Capture Back-to-Back Wins at $35k Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*

Photo: Andy Kocher and Kahlua.

Lexington, Ky. – May 17, 2018 – Thursday evening at the Kentucky Horse Park once again welcomed the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The audience of the Rolex Stadium watched 61 starters over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort course as an impressive 16 horse-and-rider combinations delivered clear rounds, but once again Andy Kocher (USA) and Kahlua could not be caught, and the pair captured their second consecutive win of the Kentucky Spring Classic.

Kocher and Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua are on a roll after just claiming Wednesday’s highlight event, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*. The dynamic duo was second to enter the ring in the jump-off and they put forth a speedy, clear round in 42.72 seconds that would be closely challenged by the 12 remaining entries, but could never be caught. With the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in top form, Kocher now aims for Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*.

Last week’s Hagyard Classic winner, Darragh Kenny (IRL), claimed the second place finish, this time with Ann Thompson’s Balou Du Reventon. Kenny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion challenged Kocher’s quick time, but just fell short as they completed a clear round in 43.31 seconds.

Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Volage Du Val Henry, the 9-year-old Selle Français mare owned by BTR LLC, finished in a close third with a time of 43.61 seconds and a clear round.

Chris Payne and Truman Take Grand Hunter Champion Title

Day two of hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic continued earlier in the day with the Grand Hunter Champion award being presented to the rider that accumulated the most points throughout Wednesday and Thursday’s professional divisions. The Grand Hunter Champion award is presented by Visse Wedel. It was Chris Payne and Maypine Farm’s Truman that dominated in the High Performance Confirmation Hunters to claim the championship title.

Payne and Truman secured their championship award by placing first in all four over fences classes during Wednesday and Thursday. They continued to dominate in the under saddle class as well, placing first once again. The long time partners often found themselves in top placings in the High Confirmation Hunters during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. The pair will head to the Devon Horse Show.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Tanner Korotkin and Analyze This Take Champion Honors in $10k Open Stake at ESP Spring V

Tanner Korotkin and Analyze This. Photo Credit ©AnneGittinsPhotography.

Wellington, FL – May 16, 2018 – The ESP Spring Series concluded on Sunday, May 13, at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with a victory for Tanner Korotkin of Wellington, FL and Kimberly Jakubowski’s Analyze This in the $10,000 Open Stake.

Korotkin and his mount crossed through jump-off timers in 41.641 seconds, taking ownership of the Jamie Morillo (ECU) designed course ahead of 18 other horse-and-rider combinations. Reserve placing went to German Camargo of Loxahatchee, FL and his own Centurio, who passed over the fast track in 42.977 seconds. Third place was rounded out by Nataly Leibovitz of Wellington, FL and her own Freaky Friday, riding to a jump-off time of 44.658 seconds, with four added faults.

The $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic saw Elizabeth Ecclestone of Aspen, CO and Believe, owned by SF Equestrian Investments, ride to victory, as they finished the jump-off time in 35.674 seconds. Emilio Mantero of Miami, FL and Ideale By Marstyl, owned by Mantero, finished in second place with a time of 37.829 seconds and four faults, ahead of Sara Williamson of Wellington, FL and Den Dekker, owned by Ossian Ventures LLC, who finished third, and dropped a rail to add four faults to their time of 38.407 seconds.

The $2,500 NAL Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Stake was championed by Dana Ventrice of Pompano Beach, FL and Dollard Jessy Stable, owned by Ventrice, who topped the class with a time of 33.895 seconds. Laurie Sharma of Wellington, FL and her own Equine Couture’s Jolie collected second place with a time of 34.722 seconds, while Tanner Korotkin of Wellington, FL and Fairtrade VD Hazelhof, owned by Eagle Valley Partners, LLC, took third place with a jump-off time of 36.391seconds.

Ideal One, owned by Linda Smith-Faver, and Annie Soper of West Palm Beach, FL took home championship honors in the Wanderers Club Children’s Pony Hunter Division, while Kara Jones of Wellington, FL and her own Happily Ever Laughter took home the division’s reserve champion awards.

Ella Bostwick of Wellington, FL and Fariella FLF, owned by Linda Sommers, topped the UHealth Children’s/Adult Hunter Division, after a weekend of strong performances. Reserve champion honors were awarded to Rather Clever, owned by Staci Rosner and shown by Aspen Gaffey of Boca Raton, FL.

Carlson 55, owned by Sarah Chatfield and ridden by Caitlin Houlihan of Scottsdale, AZ took home champion honors in the USHJA Hunter 2′ & 2’3″ Division, while Jane Herman of Stuart, FL and her own As You Wish were presented with reserve champion honors.

Anna Toha of Boca Raton, FL and Snowcap, owned by Megan Wessinger, captured top honors in the Walk/Trot Division, while Maxima Lanasa and Happy Daze, owned by Michelle Moen, were presented with the division’s reserve championship honors.

The Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″ & 3’6″ Division saw Christina Plichta of Wellington, FL and Kingsford, owned by Purple Lane Farm, LLC, were victorious in the division, taking champion honors. Plichta also took reserve champion honors aboard Purple Lane Farm, LLC’s Rightfully So.

The Pilates Rocks Low Child/Adult Hunter Division saw Lyda Denney of Wellington, FL and her own Lubeck take the divisional championship ahead of Cornelia Rutledge of Bethesda, MD and Heathfield Hunters LLC’s The Golden Compass, who finished in reserve.

The 17 and Under Equitation Division saw Erin Ecclestone of North Palm Beach, FL guide Cento For Ever, owned by Castlewood Farm Inc, to top honors after their consistent performances throughout the week. Annie Soper of West Palm Beach, FL and Linda Smith-Faver’s Ideal One rode to reserve.

Please visit www.PBIEC.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Houston Dressage Society Hosts CDI Small Tour Showdown

Bonnie Canter and Fifinella in the CDI2* Prix St. Georges. Photo by Susan J. Stickle.

The Houston Dressage Society’s (HDS) Texas-sized clash of the Small Tour horses at the Shoofly Farm CDI and Houston Dressage Classic I & II in Katy, Texas was a battle for the books.

Adult Amateur Bonnie Canter and professional trainers Nancy Hinz and Marta Renilla duked it out and each took home a win in the CDI2* Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and Intermediaire Freestyle April 27-29 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.

Canter led the class of 12 competitors in the April 27 CDI2* Prix St. Georges, where she and her own Fifinella GCF captured the win with a 68.824 percent followed by Hinz on Carzanola with a 67.843 percent and Renilla on Rhustler with a 66.569 percent.

It was the 8-year-old Fifinella’s first Prix St. Georges. Canter wasn’t keen to start the mare’s Small Tour career with a CDI, but she was persuaded to do so in order to support HDS and to be a part of the only CDI in the state of Texas.

“It was all my husband’s idea,” she said of her husband Doug, a member of the HDS board of directors. “But the CDI was a great experience. It was fun to watch all the talented pairs at work, particularly since many of them are good friends. We are lucky to have a super well-run show like this, with this level of competition, in our own backyard. A big thank you to HDS, Shoofly Farm and the other sponsors.”

Canter has owned Fifinella, a 15.1-hand, Connemara/Hanoverian cross (ES Fred Astair-South Ridge Bliss) since she was 2 and has trained the mare up the levels herself. In the last two years, they have won a championship at Second Level and two reserve championships at Third and Fourth Levels at the US Dressage Finals.

“I was happy with the ride and really, really proud of Fifi. Looking at the video you can always see things that you’d like to do better. She is just 8 this year so it’s the very early days for her.”

Since the mare has just started competing at PSG, they did not enter the other Small Tour classes at the Shoofly CDI. Instead they entered the Developing PSG class where the pair earned a 68.897 percent on April 29.

“I hope to nudge her up to I-1 toward the end of the year,” she said. “At this point, she needs the strength and we need to tidy up the loose ends before we move up a level.”

Small Tour Showdown Continues with Intermediaire I

On April 28, with 11 in the class, the standings changed and Renilla claimed the blue ribbon in the CDI2* Intermediaire I on Rhustler with a 68.725 percent to edge out Hinz by a quarter of a percentage point.

“Rhustler is a horse that is just getting stronger and stronger,” Renilla said of her 9-year-old American Hanoverian gelding (Rosseau-Rheporter, Royal Prince). “He’s taking longer than other horses. He can do everything Grand Prix but now he’s starting to show off his power in the small tour.”

The pair has represented Spain twice in the Nations Cup in Wellington, Florida, and in 2017, they earned a team bronze medal there. She said he got a tune-up in late March while in Florida, where she trains with Conrad Schumacher.

“I had Nations Cup and then I was able to have the clinic with Conrad,” she said. “That brought me even more feel of what I am looking for and then at the show I had a plan. Rhustler is a horse who needs his mama. When I’m on his back, the world can explode but he has mommy on top. I think when you have that partnership with your horse, it’s very special. I feel very grateful that he gives me his best every time I ride him.”

Renilla said she will continue training the Grand Prix and enter some recognized shows at that level.

“Canter pirouettes are very easy for him and canter zig-zags are a piece of cake,” she said. “He’s very talented for everything. He can do the tempis for Grand Prix effortlessly. He has big suspension and big gaits but he has to learn to get shorter and quicker behind in the piaffe. Because his gaits are so huge, he’s boing, boing. He’s a dancer. He doesn’t know how to trot average.”

Freestyle Shoot-Out

On April 29, the tables turned and Nancy Hinz edged out the others in the Intermediaire Freestyle on Carzanola, her own 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lanola-Tuschinski, Wellington) with a 71.808 percent. Renilla took second place with a 69.933 percent.

“It was really fun,” Hinz said. “It was fun for me because it was good competition. Everybody had good rides and the numbers were close. I had been working really hard to get him ready for the PSG and I-1 and everything paid off. What I like best about that horse is, personality-wise, he is very consistent so I can count on him to do the work he knows how to do. Wherever I take him, it doesn’t matter if it’s inside or outside or noisy or quiet, he’s not reactive to the environment.”

Hinz was quick to praise the HDS for consistently putting on an organized show.

“It’s an amazing group of people. There are a good number helping out and the volunteers are just wonderful. We have some people who don’t even ride who come and learn how to be a ring steward. A mother of one of my students pitches in and she’s not really an animal person and she was happy to run tests to the judges.”

Hinz is particularly fond of the camaraderie of the other professionals at the show and she’s thankful for the support of the competitors as well as her clients. One of her junior riders, Sarah Evans, earned her USDF Bronze Medal at the show on her new horse, Winterstolz.

“She just got him in January and it was her first time competing on him,” Hinz said. “This was her first third level experience. It was just a very exciting weekend for all of us.”

Long-time show sponsor Kimberly Rathmann of Shoofly Farm also had praise for the competitors, show organizers and volunteers.

“It was a great show,” she said. “As always, it was run to perfection. The volunteers work behind the scenes to make it happen and it’s always lovely. We have a wonderful lot of great riders – people coming up to different levels and willing to try things. There’s a lot to be proud of in this group of people.”

Valentino captured blue ribbons in the Grand Prix on both April 27 and 28 with Andrew Phillips aboard.

She was quick to point out that other USDF Group Membership Organizations (GMO) in Region 9 helped contribute monetarily to the show.

“The most important thing about this show is the team of people who put it on,” she said. “They just get it done and it is better every year. We have the most wonderful group of volunteers who work tirelessly – just super-duper nice people. I appreciate HDS. They are just awesome. It’s such a joy to watch people move up and really dance with their partners. I can’t wait until next year.”

For more information, contact:
Chris Renne
President, Houston Dressage Society
president@houstondressagesociety.org

Andy Kocher and Kahlua Kick Off Kentucky Spring Classic with $35k Welcome Speed CSI3* Win

Photo: Andy Kocher and Kahlua.

Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2018 – The second week of CSI3* competition at the Kentucky Horse Park kicked off during the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed in the Rolex Stadium where 36 horse-and-rider combinations raced ahead of the rain, contesting Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. The speed class saw eleven clear rounds, but Andy Kocher (USA) was uncatchable as he raced to the victory aboard Christian Rogge of Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua with over two seconds separating him at the top.

Kocher intends to jump the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, so his initial plan was to use Wednesday’s class as training, but with identical prize money to Thursday night’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and a careful mare, Kocher decided to go for it and his last-minute decision paid off. He flew through the timers with a quick, clear round in 61.11 seconds to capture and maintain the lead.

Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Doloris, chased Kocher’s time, but fell short, finishing a clear round in 63.68 seconds to settle for second place. Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, captured the third place prize with a clear time of 64.07 seconds.

Chris Payne Places on Top with Ovo in Green Hunter Incentive Stake

Earlier in the day, in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park, hunter competition began with 10 competitors vying for the Green Hunter Incentive Stake’s top prize. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in the 3’6” and 3’9” sections of the Green Hunters, with one round being designated toward the stake’s final results. It was Chris Payne and Ovo who claimed Wednesday’s top ride after putting in a near flawless round that would earn them a winning score of 88.

Ovo, an 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, was purchased by Melissa Jacobs in November of 2017 from The Hunt, a European hunter auction organized by Chris Sorenson. Payne took over the reins during the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Payne and Ovo have had a successful partnership, finding themselves in top placings consistently throughout the WEF circuit.

Second place was captured by Havens Schatt and Diantendro with a score of 85. Tim Goguen and Just A Cobbler secured third place with a score of 83.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Lady Aurelia Set for a Return to Royal Ascot

Photo: Keeneland via Twitter.

American sprinter Lady Aurelia has established herself as one of the quickest horses on the planet over the last couple of seasons and she will get the opportunity to win another big race in Europe later this year when she travels across to the UK for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Wesley Ward’s runner first rose to prominence as a two-year-old in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2016, where she made all in a dominant display which saw her prevail by seven lengths on her first appearance in the UK.

The filly returned to the Royal meeting last year to take on the opposite sex and much more experienced horses in the King’s Stand Stakes when going off at 7/2 in the betting for one of the leading spring races at the meeting. Under the hands of John Velazquez, she was ridden prominently once again and was able to hit top speed inside the final 200 metres to score by three lengths ahead of Profitable and Marsha, respectively.

Lady Aurelia is 4.5 in the ante-post betting for the King’s Stand Stakes next month and she is sure to be popular, especially with punters who take advantage of the best free betting offers on Royal Ascot, including a £30 free offer from Dafabet. Her odds drifted slightly recently as she was beaten on her seasonal reappearance at Keeneland in the Giant’s Causeway Stakes where she had to settle for second place behind Triple Chelsea.

Battaash Looks to Continue Dominance in Sprint Division

Battaash is the bookmakers’ favourite at 3.5 for the King’s Stand Stakes, following what was a dominant campaign in 2017, with four victories coming from his five starts. Charles Hills’ runner is set for his first outing at Royal Ascot this year and will be bidding to prevail in one of the biggest sprint races in the British Champion Series.

The son of Dark Angel beat a strong field in the Group Two King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last year which earned him the opportunity to line up in a Group One field. Connections took their chance in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York. Unfortunately for those associated with the horse, he did not produce his best performance of the season as he could only come home fourth on the Knavesmire.

Battaash had a second shot at Group One contest at Chantilly in the Prix de l’Abbaye. With Champion Jockey Jim Crowley on his back, the pair made all in France in what was a career-best performance from the then three-year-old. Given what he has achieved in the last 12 months, he is arguably the best sprinter in Europe right now.

Redkirk Warrior to Carry the Flag for Australia

FlemingtonRacecourse via Twitter

Australian horses often travel across to the UK for Royal Ascot – in particular, the leading sprinters who tackle the European horses in the King’s Stand Stakes and Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Redkirk Warrior has an entry in both races.

The seven-year-old has two Group One wins in the bag already this year at Flemington. He last raced at Ascot in 2014 when he was based in the UK in William Haggas’ stable.

Royal Ascot begins on June 19 and the King’s Stand Stakes is one of the feature races on day one of the meeting.

Justify Has Triple Crown Quality

Photo: KentuckyDerby via Twitter.

Justify produced an outstanding performance to win the Kentucky Derby, delivering on the pre-race expectations to triumph at the event. The bay colt was considered the favourite for the meet, although there was perceived threat of a challenge from the emergence of Aidan O’Brien’s Mendelssohn. However, O’Brien’s charge endured a miserable time at the Churchill Downs as Justify confirmed his dominance of the field, securing the victory ahead of Good Magic by two-and-a-half lengths. It was Bob Baffert’s fifth triumph in the Derby, leaving him just one behind Ben A Jones at the top of the all-time list.

Justify has the talent to build on his success, boasting similar qualities to that of Baffert’s previous victor at the Derby – American Pharoah. The horse would win the Triple Crown, adding further victories at the Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic. The three-year-old’s performance has seen him installed as the leading contender for the next race of the trilogy – the Preakness Stakes. As a result, he does not have great value in the betting odds, although given the dominance of his performance at the Churchill Downs, the bookies will be confident in their assertions.

However, given the difficulty of achieving the Triple Crown, it could be worth considering an outsider for the crown. In recent years, both California Chrome and I’ll Have Another have won two of the events but, ultimately, fell short of etching their place in history. Justify may have the quality to rise to the occasion on the two race days, but it could be worth considering another horse for the Preakness Stakes such as Good Magic. He does have a victory at the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, defeating Solomini and Bolt D’Oro. Good Magic could be worth backing with a free bet at 7/2, with https://freebets.uk/ offering a variety of sign-up offers, including with Bet365 to get up to £100 in free credits.

Baffert’s charge has known nothing other than victory and is rightly the leading contender for the Preakness Stakes. He has four races under his belt in his limited career, becoming the first horse since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby having not competed as a two-year-old since 1882. Justify has won four of his meets by comfortable margins. In his final outing before the Derby he put a marker down against one of his rivals for the crown, defeating Bolt D’Oro by three lengths.

One of the criticisms levied at Justify ahead of the Derby was his lack of action away from Santa Anita. Conditions were tricky due to heavy rainfall at the Churchill Downs, but Mike E Smith ensured that he kept his charge on course for the victory. He made his move four furlongs from the end of the race and was able to maintain his surge down the straight to see out a comfortable win, finishing two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Good Magic. The next challenge for Justify will come at Pimlico where his rival could end his attempt for a historic run towards the Triple Crown.

Super Chilled Keeps His Cool to Win $35k Commonwealth Grand Prix with Kevin Babington

Photo: Kevin Babington and Super Chilled.

Lexington, Ky. – May 13, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show highlighted national jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by AUDI of Lexington, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek, to conclude the first week of competition in the spring series. Sunday’s featured victories were awarded to Kevin Babington (IRL) and Eugenio Garza (MEX) in their respective classes.

In the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, the first round saw 32 starters over Robert Murphy III’s 17-effort course, resulting in a 10 horse jump-off. With two mounts in the class, Babington increased his odds when he piloted both Super Chilled and Shorapur to clear rounds and into the jump-off. Babington and the first of his two rides, Debra Wycoff’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Super Chilled, scored a double-clear round in a time of 38.761 seconds to capture the gelding’s first grand prix win. An unfortunate rail with Shorapur LLC’s Hanoverian mare ended with the pair in seventh place.

Ramiro Quintana (ARG) rode Corento VH Dingenshof, the 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Smith Hogan LLC, to a double-clear finish in 40.217 seconds for the second place ribbon. Third place was awarded to Alex Granato (USA) aboard Moyer Farm LLC’s Beorn. Granato and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding finished just behind Quintana with a time of 40.449 seconds.

Prior to the National Grand Prix, 25 riders challenged a very difficult 1.50m track in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek. Many of the athletes found trouble at the final combination, consisting of a triple combination to a liverpool oxer, and only the final two riders of the class cleared all 17 efforts fault-free with room to spare under the altered 88 second time allowed.

The head-to-head jump-off saw Sloan Hopson and her own Costa Rica VH Waterschoot Z put the pressure on as they flew to a clear second round in a time of 46.081 seconds. Eugenio Garza followed as the final rider in both the first and second rounds, knowing he had nothing to lose with longtime partner Bariano. Garza and the 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, flew to the finish in 41.127 seconds to earn the victory. Garza concluded a successful first week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, hot off his third place finish in Saturday night’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3* with Armani SL Z. Hopson and her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare settled for the second place finish.

Lacey Gilbertson and Teddy Vlock ended the first round with just one time fault, but as the faster of the two, only 10 milliseconds over the time allowed, Gilbertson earned the third place ribbon, finishing in 88.018 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Cobolt. Vlock received the fourth place prize.

Darragh Kenny also concluded a successful week, capturing the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, with a total of 28 points based on wins in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and Saturday’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*.

Kelley Farmer and Jeff Gogul Claim Top Prizes in USHJA Hunter Derbies

Hunter competition continued in the Stonelea Ring with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, which concluded competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. At the end of the handy round of competition, it was Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy that put in the best effort to take home top honors in the National Hunter Derby. Directly after, it was veteran rider Kelley Farmer and Aizlynn Radwanski’s Because who claimed the blue ribbon in the International Hunter Derby.

During the USHJA International Hunter Derby, 24 competitors tried for the champion ribbon, but no horse-and-rider combination could catch Farmer, who took home the top prize with a cumulative score of 392 after both rounds of competition. Farmer sat in a good position to claim the lead in some fashion, as she had entered with four different horses. Farmer and Because tackled the first round of competition with ease, despite some technical elements to the course including a wall fence that was placed in challenging location. During the handy round the pair secured the highest score of the day by utilizing all four of the high option fences in addition to accumulating 15 handy bonus points from the judges.

In second was another veteran hunter rider, Jennifer Alfano aboard her own Candid, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. The pair rode to second place with a cumulative score of 382. Alfano also claimed third place with Sharon O’Neill’s Miss Lucy with a score of 380.50. The pair recently placed second in the $50,000 USHJA Pin Oak Charity Horse Show.

Earlier in the day, the USHJA National Hunter Derby took place in the Stonelea Ring as well. Athletes navigated over a 10-fence course that offered four high option fences. The top twelve riders were asked to return to complete a handy round where they demonstrated their capabilities over a trot fence and multiple options for tight turns.

Despite being a relatively new combination, Jeff Gogul and Just Ruffy dominated the first round of competition with a score of 91. They were the only competitors of the day to achieve a score in the nineties, which put them in a good position entering the handy round. After the handy round, the pair had a cumulative score of 180. Just Ruffy has been a reliable derby mount for Gogul, having won six derbies during the winter season at the World Equestrian Center in Tryon, North Carolina.

Second place was captured by Jordan Allen and Eclypse, a 10-year-old Hanoverian owned by Holly Orlando. The pair narrowly missed tying for first place with Gogul, acquiring a final cumulative score of 179. In a similar fashion, Alyssa Mansfield and Candor placed in a third with a score of 178 after two rounds of competition.

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
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