Lexington, KY. – July 26, 2017 – On the opening day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Rolex Stadium played host to four show jumping classes that offered combinations the opportunity to warm up for an upcoming week of competition. David Beisel of Cincinnati, Ohio and Sharn Wordley of New Zealand both achieved blue ribbons and set themselves up for a successful week of showing at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Beisel and Colato Sabata were the fastest of seven entries in the 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper class, presented by Spy Coast Farm. The chestnut gelding navigated the first portion of the power and speed class with no faults, allowing him to move on to the speed phase, where he was also clear in a time of 33.094. In addition to Colato Sabata, Beisel rode two other entries in the class, which made for an exciting hour as he quickly dismounted one horse just to mount another that was being held for him at the ingate.
New Kentucky resident, Sharn Wordley, also found success in the Rolex Stadium on Wednesday afternoon in the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m Speed class, besting a field of thirteen other competitors with his gelding Famoso D Ive Z. The pair completed the course, designed by Oscar Soberon, in a time of 62.934, a full three seconds faster than the next fastest competitor.
Hunter Divisions Kick Off on Opening Day
On the opening day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, top hunter competitors were eager to head into the Stonelea Ring to kick off competition. On Wednesday morning, Tim Goguen aboard Belhaven Stables LLC’s Perhaps led the way in the Green 3’6″/3’9″ Hunter division after placing second in the first over fences round, winning the second over fences round and placing third in the under saddle.
Goguen rode the talented gelding to a handful of championship titles at the Winter Equestrian Festival earlier in the season and he has mainly competed in the Pre-Greens. Robert Crandall and On the Slye are following behind in the division standings after winning the first over fences round and earning a red ribbon in the second round.
In the High Performance Conformation Hunter division, Kathryn Haley of Colts Neck, New Jersey won both over fences classes on Outshine, a 9-year-old Warmblood gelding owned by Alexandra Worthington. The pair placed second in the under saddle behind Jeff Gogul and Cortese.
Lexington, KY (May 23, 2017) – It was a rewind of the previous week at the Kentucky Horse Park with Todd Minikus in the money and in the top ribbons again on multiple mounts at the 2017 Kentucky Spring Classic, May 17-22. Minikus again started early with an impressive first place win after an outstanding go on Alex Verlooy’s Carvelo Z in the 135m class.
Once again Minikus was on the move riding a bevy of horses. He piloted Elarina owned by the CoverBoy Group to top placings in both the 7-year-old jumping classes. Minikus wrapped up the weekend with a series of successes on clients’ horses as well as a few of his own, including the 8-year-old bay mare JuJu VDM and 9-year-old I Dottori VD Richter owned in partnership with Brems Sport Horses, the striking bay gelding, VDL Excel owned by the CoverBoy Group, and Alice Lawaetz’s chestnut gelding Incitatus — all finishing in the money for their primo performances in the jumper ring.
And Minikus’ own bay gelding Exceptional continued demonstrate his promise in the hunter ring by earning three second place ribbons in Green Hunter 3’3’ classes. “He is going to make someone an outstanding hunter mount,” Minikus said of Exceptional. “He really lives up to his name and he just a fun horse to show.”
Next Team Minikus heads south to Tryon International Equestrian Center, North Carolina, to get the jump on summer circuit.
When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, a FEI Nations Cup veteran, is also a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist. Be a part of the action by following Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Lexington, KY – May 21, 2017 – The Kentucky Spring Classic came to a close with a full day of Grand Prix show jumping action in the Rolex Stadium. The final day of competition held not only the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek Farm, but also the $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington as well as the jump off round for the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy CSI3* Grand Pix. Alex Granato was the quickest ride in the jump off class, earning him the win in the event that was originally scheduled to be held on Saturday evening after the Preakness Stakes. Eugenio Garza took home the blue ribbon in the Under 25 Grand Prix and Santiago Lambre stole the win in the Bluegrass Grand Prix to finish two weeks of top notch hunter and jumper competition. Lambre was also awarded the Kentucky Spring Classic Leading Rider Award, presented by Envisian Products, LLC.
D’Artagnan, the 9-year-old KWPN gelding who helped Lambre fly to the win in the $40,000 1.45m Grand Prix with a time of 30.592, is part of a newer string of horses for the Brazilian athlete. The pair has previously won several 1.40m and 1.45m classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival as well as at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, before making their way to the Kentucky Horse Park. Lambre, who has spent a good portion of his career competing in Europe, recently transitioned to the United States full time to live in Wellington, Fla. The 2017 Kentucky Spring Series marked the first time Lambre had competed at the Kentucky Horse Park and after his numerous successful rounds of the past two weeks, the Brazilian athlete is looking forward to more trips to the area.
With a full roster of thirty-nine horses, the $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix only saw eight clear rounds to return for the jump-off. Although French National Champion Eric Navet held the early lead on Basimodo with a clear time of 31.661, Luis Biraben and Colorado 210 eventually stole the second place honors by putting in a faultless effort and time of 31.557, sending Navet home to California with a third place ribbon.
Earlier in the afternoon, Eugenio Garza piloted his own Barino to the top of the leader board in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek Farms, with a double clear ride and jump off time of 41.675. Garza, who won big on Friday night in the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix on Armani SL Z, was the fastest of twenty-two starters in the class. Mavis Spencer and Chacco were second with a double clear effort and a jump off time of 41.834.
The highlight event of the Kentucky Spring Classic, the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, was won by American rider, Alex Granato and Carlchen W with faultless jump off round and a time of 41.73. Granato competed against forty-eight other riders during a class that was split between Saturday night and Sunday morning due to unexpected storms. Aaron Vale and Finou 4 finished just off the lead time in 42.36 and Michael Morrissey and Chance Ste. Hermelle rounded out the top three spots with a clear round and time of 43.45.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series saw awards go to athletes from all over the world who gathered in the Kentucky Horse Park for the annual event. Professionals and amateurs alike were able to compete in top level hunter and jumper classes, all while enjoying the world class facilities at the of the Kentucky Horse Park. Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC is looking forward to hosting their competitors again during their Summer Series that will take place from July 26, 2017 – August 6, 2017.
Emma Kurtz and Dedication Declared Grand Junior Hunter Champions
On the final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, talented junior rider Emma Kurtz claimed the Large Junior Hunter division championship as well as the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Dedication. Accumulating 46 points with the judges, Kurtz consistently placed at the top of the leaderboard on multiple mounts in the Stonelea ring and won the championship sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate.
On Saturday, Emma Kurtz of Hudson, Ohio executed two precise rounds in the Large Junior Hunter classes, landing Dedication, a bay Holsteiner, in second place after the first day of competition. Showcasing his reliability to perform well in the show ring, the 12-year-old gelding returned on Sunday and jumped his way to second place in the over fences classes, coming in third in the under saddle class.
Although the pair had not shown together since the Winter Equestrian Festival where they regularly ribboned in the large junior hunter classes, the break between Florida and Kentucky did not prevent them from outshining the competition across the division. In addition to Kurtz, Dedication has also been shown by top hunter athletes Scott Stewart and Victoria Colvin in the professional and junior divisions.
Competitive National and International hunter and jumper competition will resume at the Kentucky Horse Park in July with the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, presented by Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC.
Lexington, Ky. – May 20, 2017 – Donning a commemorative blue ribbon on his hunt coat, Jeff Gogul earned another blue ribbon, piloting Sofia Roberts, LLC’s Snowbird to win the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby sponsored by the World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC. Entering the ring as the final competitor over a multiple option course designed by Danny Moore, Gogul upset Victoria Colvin’s commanding lead aboard Caliber, with a score of 184.
Out of twenty-five entries in the Stonelea ring, only the top twelve combinations who scored an 80 or above in the classic round were invited back to vie for top honors and a pair of luxurious Fabbri boots. Gogul had an almost flawless first round aboard the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Snowbird, receiving an 86 from the judges. He also received four additional bonus points for taking all the high options. The score was high enough to position Gogul in first place going into the handy round, but Winn Alden and World Affair were not far behind with an 89.
Heading into the handy round, Gogul had the advantage of going last in the order, but he knew they would have close competition. Victoria Colvin, who won the USHJA National Hunter Derby with Caliber during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, was on track for another victory, rising to the top of the leaderboard with a high score of 92. As the final rider on course, Gogul was prepared with multiple plans after the trot jump at fence four. Calling upon the gelding’s bravery and natural jumping ability, Gogul guided Snowbird over all of the high options, earning them four extra bonus points. The pair received a score 90 from the judges, ensuring their victory in the class.
Snowbird, who has spent the winter showing indoors at the World Equestrian Center, only started showing outside last week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. During that first week under Kentucky’s blue skies, the pair placed fourth in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Gogul not only came into the ring prepared to win but he felt the added presence of his beloved friend, Ellen Veitch, whose memory was honored by spectators, riders and show organizers alike with ‘A Day in the Park.’ As he took his victory lap, blue braids standing out in Snowbird’s mane, Gogul reflected on what a perfect day it was to honor his friend who loved her home state of Kentucky and horses equally.
Victoria Colvin secured the second place honors with a score of 179 aboard Laura Karet’s Calibur. Winn Alden scored 178.5 aboard World Affair, owned by Southern Arches, LLC.
Sancento, ridden by Todd Minikus, goes clear in his very first Grand Prix. (Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography)
Lexington, KY (May 16, 2017) — Todd Minikus’ feet barely hit the ground between stirrup irons at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington, May 10-14. Minikus competed on a dozen horses over the weekend making a lot of owners happy with top finishes on several horses. Alex Verlooy’s Carvelo Z took the blue in the 135m leading the Minikus jumper charge. Minikus also finished in the money with eight others including Alice Lawaetz’s handsome bay gelding, Incitatus and her fiery chestnut, Sancento, along with four horses owned by The Coverboy Group — Coverboy, VDL Excel, Eldorado VDL, and Elarina — and Chablis S owned by Los Establos Sport Horses.
As he did at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival this year, Minikus found a few spare minutes to campaign in the hunter rings, as well. Minikus’ own bay gelding Exceptional lived up to his name by earning first place in the Young Hunter 3” & 3’3 class.
Always quick to credit his team, Minikus shared, “I’ve got 12 horses up here and I’m just riding all day. I’ve got my staff with me and they are doing a great job. They are all hustling.”
Though Minikus is a seasoned competitor with well over 100 Grand Prix wins under his belt, his equine partners were a bit newer to the scene. “The highlight of the week was when Alice Lawaetz’s horse, Sancento, jumped clear in his very first Grand Prix. We were very excited about that,” said Minikus. “Hopefully this weather cooperates so we can just keep on moving these young horses up,” commented Minikus.
Minikus is now focusing on the upcoming Kentucky Spring Classic, which runs May 17-24 at the Kentucky Horse Park. Team Minikus will then get the jump on summer competition at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.
When not competing nationally and internationally, Todd Minikus offers sales and training services in Wellington, Florida. Minikus, a FEI Nations Cup veteran, is also a U.S. Pan American Games Team Bronze Medalist. Follow the excitement of Team Minikus on Facebook and Instagram @Todd_Minikus, or visit www.ToddMinikusShowJumping.com.
Lexington, KY – May 19, 2017 – Alma Bjorklund and her own S.I.E.C. Contessina sped past the competition in Friday’s High Junior/Amateur-Owner speed class during the Kentucky Spring Classic. Out of 33 total entries, Alma was one of only four riders able to navigate the speed course without accruing any faults. Her clear time of 61.477 seconds scored the blue ribbon for the day.
Lacey Gilbertson, who won this same class a week ago during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, showed Bizonder to the second place position with a time of 64.900 seconds. Nicole Bellissimo and VDL Bellefleur rounded out the top three spots with a clear round and time of 65.130 seconds.
Bjorklund, who hails from Sweden, has been competing with her brother Viggo at the Kentucky Horse Show, LLC events over the past two weeks under the watchful eye of Irish rider and trainer Eddie Macken. In much the same way as Macken has helped Mexico’s Eugenio Garza, the winner of the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix CSI3*, develop his string of competitive horses, he has also guided the Bjorklund siblings to top placings. Bjorklund specifically appreciates Macken’s quiet support and humble demeanor.
The 23-year-old University of Miami student will enter the Rolex Stadium Saturday in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic on another of her talented horses. After the Kentucky Spring Classic wraps up, she will move on to the first event of the 2017 Split Rock Jumping Tour, also held in Kentucky.
FEI jumper competition continues with the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, which will be held after the Preakness viewing Saturday evening in Rolex Stadium. Saturday will also feature “A Day in the Park” to honor Ellen Veitch, a beloved member of the Kentucky Horse Show, LLC family who unexpectedly passed away on February 9, 2017. Exhibitors are encouraged to braid with blue yarn and wear a blue ribbon in loving memory of Ellen. All material is available in the show office for competitors to participate including braiding yarn, ribbons, and pins. Running from noon until 2pm, there will be a Kids Korner children’s party that will be held at the end of vendor row adjacent to Murphy Ring. The entire family is invited for the afternoon featuring horseless show jumping, face painting, and an ice cream social. The $50,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix will finish out competition in this year’s edition of the Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC spring series on Sunday afternoon.
Lindsey Tomeu Captures Ariat National Adult Medal aboard Red Drum
Lindsey Tomeu returned to the Claiborne Ring prepared to win the Ariat National Adult Medal Friday morning of the Kentucky Spring Classic. During last week’s Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Tomeu of Wellington, Florida and Elm Creek Holdings, LLC’s sale horse Red Drum competed together for the first time in the same class, scoring third place honors. In the first round exhibitors were asked to show over an eight fence course designed by Danny Moore. The top four combinations scoring an 80 or above to advance for additional testing.
Tomeu executed a smooth first round, receiving a high score of 83, which put her into second position behind Lizzie Van Der Walde who scored an 85 aboard Sarah Turner’s Holsteiner gelding Cacadu just before the test. In reverse order, riders were instructed to step forward from the line and canter to fence eight, trot fence two, canter fence six, counter canter fence seven, and return to the line in sitting trot.
Tomeu was impressed with the ease in which the Hanoverian gelding Red Drum completed the lead change and the pair made an impression on judge Bobbie Reber, resulting in a favorable adjustment in the standings. With the impressive performance Red Drum and Tomeu claimed the blue ribbon while Van Der Walde placed second. Lyriss Jaeger of Georgetown, Kentucky piloting her own Catanova rounded out the top three.
Tomeu has competed in equitation for four years, and is an accomplished jumper athlete, training with Shane and Ali Sweetnam at Sweet Oak Farm in Wellington, Florida. She can be seen at world-class venues across the country including the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Longines Global Champions Tour, the Devon Horse Show and the American Gold Cup.
Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2017 – The atmosphere at the Kentucky Horse Park was electric on Friday night as fans came out to watch the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* as part of the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show. Sixty-four riders competed their horses for a chance to not only win the 1.45m class, but also earn valuable points towards winning the Hagyard Challenge Series. Eugenio Garza, of Mexico, was victorious aboard Armani SL Z even though Roberto Teran of Colombia and Il Rubacuori held a seemly unbeatable lead until the very end. Santiago Lambre and Dingeman finished in a close third place.
Armani SL Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding, has been a part of Garza’s program for three years. Garza, who is trained by the famed Irish rider and coach, Eddie Macken, has been careful to bring the striking grey gelding along thoughtfully, in hopes of achieving the moment that came in the ring tonight. The class saw very few clear rounds in the first half of competition, but by the time Garza had entered the ring, eleven other riders were waiting to come back in the jump-off. Aaron Vale, of Ocala, Fla., had even qualified all three of his rides for the short course.
Teran was the first rider to produce a clear first round on Il Rubacuori and he came back for the short course, ready to win. Internationally recognized as a fast rider, he clocked in a time of 40.29. Santiago Lambre, also of Mexico, came the closest by producing a clear round in 40.570. While Garza was schooling for the jump off, he could hear the cheers and gasps from the crowd in the Rolex Stadium and knew that he would have to put in an incredibly fast round to overcome Teran’s early lead. Armani SL Z performed like a Grand Prix veteran and crossed the times in 39.330, giving Garza the definitive win.
Not only did Garza go home with the commemorative cooler and blue ribbon, but he also earned valuable points towards the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series consists of seven grand prix classes that are held during the 2017 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series. Garza is now tied with Eve Jobs, who won the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Tim Goguen Earns Grand Open Hunter Championship aboard Expression Z
After two days of competition in the Stonelea Ring to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic, Tim Goguen beat out close competitor Kelley Farmer for the coveted title of Grand Open Hunter Champion on Thursday afternoon. Scoring four out of five blue ribbons in the High Performance Hunter Division, Goguen sealed two division championships, the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6, and ultimately the Grand Championship aboard 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Expression Z.
Sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate, the Grand Open Hunter Championship is awarded to the combination that receives the highest number of points in their respective division. Posing the greatest competition for Goguen’s chance at the title was Kelley Farmer who had top placings with Discretion in the Conformation Hunter and It’s Me in the Green Hunter 3’9.
Goguen and Belhaven Stables, LLC’s Expression Z both stood out and received praise from respected hunter judges Rob Bielefeild and Shane George for their consistency in the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6 during the Kentucky Spring Classic. The pair produced memorable and beautiful performances in each round, capturing top honors throughout both divisions.
Goguen of Lexington, Kentucky has earned continual success in the hunter ring, particularly excelling in the High Performance Working Hunter division. Professional hunter riders will take to the Stonelea ring once again this Saturday for the greatly anticipated USHJA National Hunter Derby, the highlight of the week.
Lexington, KY – May 14, 2017 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded a week of action packed hunter and jumper competition at the Kentucky Horse Park. There was no shortage of excitement in Rolex Stadium. Under perfect blue skies, Sarah Segal and Cantara 59 won the $40,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix presented by Audi of Lexington, while Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi topped the Under 25 Grand Prix presented by Hollow Creek Farm.
Cantara 59 has been part of Segal’s string of show horses for two years but Segal has been taking her time with the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare. Segal made the decision to only compete Cantara 59 in select CSI2* Grand Prix classes at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival and chose to come to the Kentucky Spring Horse Show as her first show of the 2017 summer competition season. The pair went towards the midpoint of the class which featured 43 horses and riders. After jumping a tidy clear round, they returned as part of a field of 12 in the jump off on Sunday afternoon.
While there were many fast riders in the jump-off round, including Todd Minikus, Aaron Vale, Samuel Parot and Amanda Derbyshire, just to name a few, Segal stuck to her plan with Cantara 59 and put in a blistering pace of 44.705. Aaron Vale achieved a faultless round but came up short with a time of 45.946. Ramio Quintana and Iluna finished third in a time of 46.783.
Just before the $40,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, another lady rider, Lacey Gilbertson, stole the show in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, sponsored by Hollow Creek Farm. Gilbertson did not have the opportunity to watch many of her peers rounds in the class of twenty-eight as she went early in the long course and first in the jump-off. Gilbertson knew that with six other riders vying for the blue ribbon she would need to ride Baloppi smart and fast. The ten-year-old Danish Warmblood mare did not miss step and jumped an impressive clear round in 38.457 that proved impossible to beat. Hollow Creek Farm’s own Emanuel Andrade was second on Jenni’s Chance in 39.76 and Kaley Tomue placed third with Gentille in 40.211.
Although Aaron Vale did not win a class, he did earn the title of Envisian Products Leading Jumper Rider for this week’s competition. Envisian Products sponsor the weekly Leading Jumper Rider Award, which will be presented following the Sunday Grand Prix, each week of the 2017 Kentucky Horse Shows series. Brian and Visse Wedell are partners in Envisian Products, which offers several products and services, but is presenting this award with a focus on Polylast Rubberized Flooring.
Lexington, KY – May 13, 2017 – The French flag was flying proudly over the Rolex Arena on Saturday night as Eric Navet and Catypso were victorious in the $130,000 CSI3* Grand Prix presented by Hollow Creek Farm. The pair, who has traveled to Kentucky from their home in California, bested a field of 51 athletes to take home the top prize after a double clear effort. Hollow Creek Farm’s own Emanuel Andrade came in a very close second place with Bon Jovi, while Sharn Wordley and Casper rounded out the top three placings.
Navet has been waiting for the perfect course and right venue to let his mount put all the lessons he has learned over the past few years to work. The Rolex Arena provided that perfect platform for the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding to show his competitiveness at the Grand Prix level. The pair went early in the order of go and posted the first clear round of the night over a course designed by Marina Azevedo.
The French National Champion and Olympic medalist has been working with Catypso since he was acquired by the Cook family as a six-year-old. Even though 2016 was the first year that Navet began regularly competing Catypso in Grand Prix classes in California, the pair qualified to compete in the 2017 World Cup Finals in Omaha, Nebraska with positive results.
The spring Kentucky Horse Shows offered Navet with the perfect venue for his first show back since World Cup Finals. After competing in Kentucky for the first-time last year, the Kentucky Horse Park has become an ideal destination for Navet and his students because of the professional atmosphere and outstanding footing.
The $130,000 Hollow Creek Farm CSI3* Grand Prix was a truly international event, as can be demonstrated by the various countries that occupied the top three placings in the class: Navet of France, Andrade of Venezuela, and Wordley of New Zealand. In all, there were twelve different countries represented by the equestrian athletes.
Sam Walker Speeds to the Win in the High Junior/Amateur Owner Speed Class
Lexington, KY – May 12, 2017 – Sam Walker sped to the top of the High Junior and Amateur Owner Jumper class on Friday morning at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Walker was aboard Missy Clark’s Twan and completed the speed course in the fastest clear time of 61.198 seconds. Addison Gierkink rode Wisconsin III to a second place finish one second slower in a clear time of 62.484 seconds, and Noel Fauntleroy took home the third and fourth place ribbons with Arbitrage and Mae, respectively.
Thirty-four entries competed in the Rolex Arena over a course that was designed by Maria Azevedo and was very similar to the track that was featured in the first round of the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* from Thursday evening.
Walker, a Canadian junior rider from Ontario, completed the speed course on the 16-year-old bay gelding who is owned by Missy Clark of North Run Farm. Walker and Twan have been competing together since March and had multiple top place finishes in the Junior Jumper and 1.30m divisions at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
No stranger to the show ring, Walker was raised on his families Forest Hill Farm and began riding at the age of four. Once his parents placed him on top of a horse, he has never looked back and has excelled at hunter, equation and jumpers.
Sara Santisi Scores Ariat National Adult Medal Win
Competing in her first show of the year, Ohio State University student Sara Santisi of Dublin, Ohio was on form, winning the Ariat National Adult Medal Friday morning at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Exhibitors were asked to navigate a course of eight fences designed by Bobby Murphy in the Claiborne Ring for the first round, and the top four to place returned for additional testing.
Returning in the reverse order of preference, riders were instructed to enter the ring at a walk, canter directly to fence two, halt, canter to fence eight, trot fence one, and exit the ring at a walk. Santisi was aboard her own Swedish Warmblood, Jackson, and scored an 83 in round one to come into the test in second place behind Emily Kowalchik who had an 88 in the first round.
The test played to Jackson’s strengths, and Santisi took over the lead to win the class. The duo executed a beautiful, consistent round, where Jackson immediately picked up the left lead after the halt.
Santisi purchased Jackson, a 12-year-old gelding, five years ago and the duo showed together in the junior hunters in 2016 before she aged out. Having also competed in the jumpers for a year, Santisi enjoys watching the professional jumper classes while at Kentucky Horse Park. Lyriss Jaeger of Georgetown, Kentucky rose from a score of 78 in round one to claim second place aboard her own Catanova while Lindsey Tomeu piloted Red Drum, owned by Elm Creek Holdings, LLC, to the third place honors.
On Saturday, the hunters will take center stage in the Stonelea Ring where the Grand Champion Amateur-Owner Hunter will be named. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will come to a close on Sunday after the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $5,000 World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows USHJA National Hunter Derby.