Lexington, KY – May 11, 2017 – California’s Eve Jobs put in two near flawless rounds to best a field of 66 horses and riders to capture the victory in the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* with a time of 34.71 seconds. The 18-year-old athlete and her talented mount Charleville sped past riders that were her senior not only in age but also in experience as she bested the 15-horse jump-off with a blazing time. Sharn Wordley of New Zealand and Rye Val De Mai were hot on Jobs’ heels finishing a close second in a time of 34.85 seconds. Rounding out the top three spots on Thursday night at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show was Abigail McArdle on Cade, finishing with a time of 34.94 seconds.
The $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* was the first class in the Hagyard Series Challenge. The series consists of seven grand prix classes to be 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.
Although Charleville, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, is one of the more recent additions to Job’s string of talented show jumpers, the pair has had several top placings together at the Winter Equestrian Festival, including winning the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Classic presented by Engle & Völkers. Despite her age, Jobs has wasted no time moving up the ranks and competing in more challenging classes.
For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
Eve Jobs, on Charleville: “I just got Charleville in March and I was a little slow yesterday with him through the turns, so I was planning to keep a good rhythm and have a nice trip. He’s pretty fast so I wasn’t worried about the time. He’s really fast and he’s a fighter. He always wants to win.”
On showing in Lexington: “This is one of my favorite facilities. The footing is amazing and it has a really nice feel to it being in the stadium.”
Scott Stewart Secures Grand Hunter Championship with Private Life and Fun
As hunter competition continued into day two at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Scott Stewart proved to be his biggest competition, tying with two mounts scoring 56 for the Grand Open Hunter Championship. Stewart expertly guided both Fun, a 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood, and Private Life to win their respective division championships and shared Grand Hunter Champion title, sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate.
Fun, owned by David Gochman, ruled the over fences classes in the High Performance Conformation Hunter division both days with scores in the 80s before going on to win the under saddle class. Earlier in the day, Stewart was aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Private Life to secure a division championship in the Green Conformation Hunters. The 6-year-old KWPN gelding was first in both rounds during day one with scores of 88 and 90. Stewart is planning to show later this month at the prestigious Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Scott Stewart, on the Kentucky Spring Horse Show: “We always come here as the show before Devon because it’s a good place to get ready for that event. The horses feel great because they’ve had a little break since Florida. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show is great, the facility is wonderful, but it’s also the town of Lexington. We’re done early enough and the whole area is pretty so I really like it.”
Lexington, KY – May 10, 2017 – Chilean athlete Samuel Parot rode Quick De Pottier to a blue-ribbon finish in the $35,000 FEI Welcome Speed 1.45m to kick off the first week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows at the Kentucky Horse Park. Parot blazed through the timers in a time of 58.590 to beat 38 other competitors who joined him in the Rolex Arena. Bull Run’s Faustino, ridden by Kristen Vanderveen, was a close second to Parot, finishing the course in a speedy 59.180.
Parot, who is known internationally as a fast and fearless rider, proved yet again that he is a force to be reckoned with and has a string of very competitive horses. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show is the first show back for Parot, who had a successful winter season at the Winter Equestrian Festival which included winning the $86,000 Suncast 1.50m Grand Prix with Quick Du Pottier. The 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Hurlevent De Breka x Cuba) was the second mount for Parot in the opening speed class and they were in perfect sync over the 14-obstacle course, designed by Marina Azevedo.
The top five spots were rounded out by Aaron Vale on his horses, Quidam’s Good Luck and Carlo, followed by Andrew Welles on Boo Van Het Kastanjehof.
Samuel Parot, on the difference between his two rounds: “This horse is very fast. The other horse I went fast too but made a mistake in the last line. I tried to go in 6 but I decided to do 7 at the last minute. The second time I decided to do the 7 early and it worked out perfectly.”
On showing in Lexington: “I love showing in Kentucky. It is a nice city, nice place, with nice people – just that easy.”
Goguen and Stewart Come Out on Top in the High Performance Working Hunter
As the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows begins at the Kentucky Horse Park, Hunter competitors are eager to secure a division championship. Tim Goguen aboard Clever, a 7-year-old Warmblood gelding, claimed the blue ribbon during the first round of the High Performance Working Hunter class with a score of 84. The country’s top hunters took their turn in the beautiful Stonelea Ring over courses designed by Bobby Murphy. Kelley Farmer finished just two points behind Goguen to secure second place aboard True Enough, owned by Kent Farrington & Derby Lane, LLC. Meagan Murray-Tenuta and Becky Price’s Editorial picked up third place with a score of 81.
Scott Stewart and Catch Me, winners of the 2017 World Champion Hunter Spectacular at the Winter Equestrian Festival, dominated round two with a score of 87. Stewart has shown the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding since he debuted in the First Year Green Hunters. Farmer and True Enough were again not far behind and scored 84 to secure second place. Meagan Murray-Tenuta and Editorial received an 81 to round out the top three once again.
Tim Goguen, on the round: “My strategy with Clever was to keep it smooth throughout the entire round. He was a little bit nervous, but he just needed to take a breath and jump around a couple times and then he was good. I was happy with him; he tried and it went well.”
On Lexington: “The restaurants in downtown Lexington are great. It’s a great town to hang out in for the summer and Kentucky Horse Park is a great facility; it’s fantastic.”
Lexington, Ky. – March 21, 2017 – Kentucky Horse Shows LLC is pleased to announce that they will be joining forces with Ohio’s World Equestrian Center (WEC) to create an 11-part USHJA National Hunter Derby Series. In addition to the 10 USHJA National Hunter Derby events held at the Kentucky Horse Park and the World Equestrian Center, there will be a $30,000 Series Finale and $30,000 in leading rider bonuses.
The USHJA National Hunter Derby program will be in its eighth year in 2017 at the Kentucky Horse Park. As it has grown in prestige and popularity, the Kentucky Horse Shows and the World Equestrian Center have worked together to create a series where amateurs, juniors and professional riders are eligible to compete, giving it a broad base of support and interest. The dates of the shows are as follows:
Kentucky Spring Horse Show: May 10-14, 2017
Kentucky Spring Classic: May 17-21, 2017
WEC Summer Series I: May 24-28, 2017
WEC Summer Series II: May 31 – June 4, 2017
Kentucky Summer Horse Show: July 26-30, 2017
Kentucky Summer Classic: August 1-6, 2017
WEC Summer Series III: August 9-13, 2017
Bluegrass Festival Horse Show: August 15-20, 2017
KHJA: August 23-27, 2017
Kentucky National: September 20-24, 2017
WEC Invitational: October 24-29, 2017
The $30,000 World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows Leading Rider Awards will include a $20,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the 11 classes that make up the 2017 World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders accumulating the most points will each receive a $5,000 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the finale event during the WEC Invitational.
“I’m excited about this Hunter Derby series collaboration because I have a lot of respect for Hugh and Robby and I truly believe that by working together we will create something very special,” said Brandon Saxton, World Equestrian Center General Manager. “Whether you are a professional, an amateur or a junior rider, this series recognizes the many nice horse and rider combinations at the three-foot level who want to compete at beautiful venues for some really nice prize money.”
Driven by a passion for horses and a commitment to supporting equestrian sports in the United States, the World Equestrian Center aims to return horse showing to its former grandeur while incorporating an element of fun reminiscent of the horse shows of the past. Located in Ohio’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the venue is less than one hour from Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton airports and now with an exciting new venue planned for 2018 in Ocala, Florida. For more information please visit www.WEC.net.
Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 3, 2016 – After seven weeks of challenging competition wrapped up at the Kentucky National Horse Show, Pablo Barrios topped the charts to take home the $50,000 Leading Rider Award in the 2016 Hagyard Challenge Series: a summer-long series of seven show jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Aaron Vale finished second in the final standings, earning the $10,000 rider bonus for being the runner-up.
Barrios missed one of the Challenge Series events while competing for Venezuela in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and said he worried that Vale would overtake him in his absence. However, Barrios secured a wide enough lead throughout the rest of the season to stay on top, racking up a total of 1130 points to claim the bonus.
“It’s always great to win this bonus,” Barrios said. “This is the first time I got to the last show with someone else so close in the points. In this case it was Aaron Vale. The final class was pretty exciting, especially because we know that any one of us was capable of winning the bonus. I was lucky that my horses jumped great, and Antares ended up winning the grand prix, so that was enough to win the bonus. The series is great; when you know the points are on the line, there’s extra pressure that makes it fun.”
Barrios went on to thank his team and his personal sponsors for their continued support, including Devocoux, Animo USA, Purina, Parlanti, Kask, Choice of Champions, Kentucky Horsewear, Healthy Coat and MDC Stirrups.
For the third year, the Hagyard Challenge Series offered an additional $10,000 rider bonus for the runner-up. This year, it was Vale who collected the secondary bonus, taking home top ribbons throughout the series with multiple horses.
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute’s Dr. Stuart Brown commented, “All of us at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute continue to be proud to support the equestrian competitions here at the Kentucky Horse Park, and no better example of that commitment exists than with the Hagyard Challenge Series. This year saw another exciting series of grand prix-level jumping that began with the first class in May and culminated in September at our finale, The Betsy, where we awarded the Leading Rider and Reserve Champion Bonuses for the series.
“We would like to congratulate Pablo Barrios for a successful quest to win this year’s $50,000 Leading Rider Award and Aaron Vale as the reserve champion and $10,000 recipient. Both these riders bring the highest level of sportsmanship to the series at the Kentucky Horse Park, and we are grateful for their commitment to this competition and the level of exciting performance they bring to this venue along with all the other riders participating in the Series. We can only look forward to wishes for another successful season of great competition next season here in Lexington.”
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and wellbeing of the horse.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 Digital Radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine since 1876 and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology. For more information about the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include title sponsor MWI Animal Health and presenting sponsor Zoetis as well as Dean Dorton Allen Ford, PLLC, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, Pike & Preston, Sallee Horse Vans and Hagyard Pharmacy. Additional sponsors include Equine Therapy and FooteWorks.
Lexington, KY – Sept. 1, 2016 – After five weeks of premier hunter derby competition in the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, it was young professional Goeffrey Hesslink who topped the leaderboard to take home the 2016 series win and the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Professional Rider Award.
The Hallway Feeds Series consists of five national hunter derby events held throughout the 2016 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. After winning the final event at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Hesslink earned enough points to claim the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Professional Rider Award, which went to the professional rider who accumulated the most points in the series.
Aaron Vale finished the series in second place, while Molly Sewell ended up in third. The leading amateur rider, who took home the $2,500 Leading Amateur Rider Award, was Leyland Gleeson, who sat in sixth in the overall standings. Earning the $2,500 Leading Junior Rider Award was Hunter Holloway, who sat in seventh place at the series finale.
Hesslink said he enjoys participating in the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series so much that he has not missed a single one this year. “I love the derbies because I feel like it’s a great place to show off your horse and your handiness as well as how smooth and soft you can be,” Hesslink said. “Esco really excels at it because he doesn’t care about any of the jumps. He never spooks at anything.”
“I think the Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby Series is amazing,” Hesslink said. “I think that it really helps to advertise and get the name out there for the derbies, and I think it drives people to want to do them more and participate. I know Taylor [Kain], Aaron [Vale] and Sydney [Shulman] all came back and wanted to do them again and I did the same. I think it’s a great program and it’s a good thing for people who are here.”
Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the formula for success.
Hesslink Takes Blue in $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby to Earn Series Title
Lexington, KY – Aug. 21, 2016 – Before she heads to the Hampton Classic on Monday, Tori Colvin snuck in one more victory aboard Take The High Road LLC’s Cafino in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, on the final day of Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“This is my favorite week because the course designers bring the cool jumps out,” Colvin said. “It’s amazing to win on Cafino. I knew he was ready today, so I was really going for it out there. I’m really happy to have him going so well. Karen [Long Dwight] has been the one who helped us with him, and she’s the sponsor and the owner. She’s wonderful, and Cafino is just perfect.”
Bobby Murphy’s course still contained many elements from last night’s USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, including the obstacle that certainly stuck in most riders’ minds: the 1.57m wall, which was set at 1.54m for the grand prix.
“The only thing I thought was just stay on at the wall, and I’m good,” Colvin laughed. “That’s it; just hang on. I loved having the wall out there. I loved this course because it was like half hunter derby and half grand prix.”
Murphy’s hunter-esque course saw 37 entries in the first round, with six entries eventually advancing to compete over the short course.
Among the jump-off-qualified horse-and-rider combinations was Shane Sweetnam and Main Road, who is owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC. After a second place finish in another grand prix during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show series, Sweetnam said he was looking for a win aboard the gelding.
The duo came close, turning in the first clear round of the afternoon and setting the early time to beat at 41.775 seconds in the jump-off.
“Main Road is a very good horse,” Sweetnam said. “He’s only 8; he’s had a good summer. It was a difficult course, but I think he jumped really good in both rounds.”
It was not long until Colvin and Cafino overtook their lead, however, turning in a fast round and tripping the timers in 41.23 seconds. Colvin’s lead would hold out for the win, while Sweetnam settled for second.
“I could’ve been maybe a bit quicker turning after the double,” Sweetnam said. “I think it would’ve been harder for them to beat me if I had turned quicker. I think that’s what cost me the win. He’s still learning.”
Colvin said she began riding Cafino about a year ago, and she loves the soft, easy ride the gelding gives her.
“Cafino is the easiest thing to ride,” Colvin explained. “You literally just loop the reins. When he lands, it’s like you’re on a cloud. He’s perfect. He doesn’t land hard, he’s just soft. He has a little quirk, because he will buck when he gets a little excited, but I just have to hold on.”
A final challenger, Sloane Coles, piloted the Spring Ledge Group’s Esprit to the third place spot with a clear round completed in 43.573 seconds. Clocking a faster time, but unfortunately picking up 4 faults in the jump-off, was Sweetnam and another entry, Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Chaqui Z. Fifth place went home with Blythe Marano and Virginia Ingram’s Figeac De Reve with 4 faults and a time of 44.007 seconds. Aaron Vale and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R turned in another very fast round in 43.267 seconds, but unfortunately lowered two heights to finish on 8 faults and in sixth place.
Hesslink Takes Blue in $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby to Earn Series Title
It was the 20-year-old, newly-turned professional rider, Geoffrey Hesslink, who took home not only the blue ribbon and championship cooler for Sunday afternoon’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, but also for the entire Hallway Feeds Hunter Derby Series. Saturday’s derby marked the last leg of the popular series, held during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Hesslink piloted Garland Alban’s Esco to victory, after receiving an 89 in the classic round and an 83 in the handy, collecting a lead score of 172 points to seal the win. He successfully tackled three high-option fences. While Hesslink has competed in the Alltech Arena more times than he can count due to his illustrious equitation career as a junior, it was Esco’s first time in the intimidating indoor arena.
Hesslink, of Shelburne, Vermont, said, “I started riding Esco post-circuit at the Winter Equestrian Festival this year. He’s been great. He does the Performance Hunters and the derbies. He’s been perfect.”
Hesslink enjoys participating in the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series so much that he has not missed one this year. “I love the derbies because I feel like it’s a great place to show off your horse and your handiness as well as how smooth and soft you can be,” Hesslink said. “Esco really excels at it because he doesn’t care about any of the jumps. He never spooks at anything.”
Although it was Esco’s first time in the large indoor venue, and their partnership is fairly new, Hesslink was not concerned about the 8-year-old Rhinelander.
“I know he’s always a steady eddie and he doesn’t care about those things. For sure, it’s more spooky. There’s more pressure on the horses with this atmosphere,” Hesslink acknowledged.
Hesslink has made a smooth transition into his budding career as a young professional under the guidance of Tim and Kelly Goguen of Boggs Hill Farm, as well as the generosity on behalf of Dina Testa and Garland Alban.
As the winner of the Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series, Hesslink took home the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus. “I think it’s amazing,” said Hesslink. “I think that it really helps to advertise and get the name out there for the derbies and I think it drives people to want to do them more and participate. I know Taylor [Kain], Aaron [Vale] and Sydney [Shulman] all came back and wanted to do them again and I did the same. I think it’s a great program and it’s a good thing for people who are here.”
Earning second place honors in this weekend’s derby was Courtney Baggett’s Highmark, ridden by Amanda Dougherty. She took on three high options and judges awarded the pair with an 82 in the classic and 85 in the handy. Tori Colvin rode Rivercross Onyx, owned by Rivercross Farm, to third-place honors with a total score of 167.5 points.
Hallway Feeds’ close proximity to the Kentucky Horse Park provides ample opportunity to utilize the freshest feed, manufactured with time-honored commitments to high standards of quality and the latest scientific advancements. Combining a premium nutrition package with a professional level of dedication in horsemen and women provides equine athletes with the formula for success.
The Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series would not be possible without many generous sponsors including Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Fenwick Equestrian Products, EquiVision, Inc., Caddel Equine Therapy Center, Bauer Hay & Straw, Alfagreen Supreme, Trouw Nutrition, The Andersons, Mark Fischer Inc., Double S Liquid Feed Services, Inc., Agri-Business Insurance Services and Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher.
The $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, marked the conclusion of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. The action will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park during the KHJA Horse Show, which begins on Wednesday.
Sophie Michaels and Wallenberg Race to Victory in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. — Aug. 20, 2016 — A hush fell over the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium as the final two riders prepared to take the stage in the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. As Jennifer Alfano and the SBS Farms team looked on anxiously from the sidelines, Kristy Herrera entered the ring with Miss Lucy and laid down the trip of a lifetime to secure the sweetest victory, bringing a true fairytale ending to life for the SBS Farms team during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“I still can’t believe it,” Herrera said, fighting back tears of joy. “This is obviously a dream come true, and of course I have to first thank Jen for letting me ride Miss Lucy. I can’t believe it. Miss Lucy loves being in that ring, and I just steered, really. She just rose to the occasion. It’s unbelievable. I was in there riding, and I knew Jen was riding from the side for me. Every jump felt unbelievable, especially the last one.”
Sitting snugly in third place after Friday’s classic round, Herrera gathered her composure before heading into the ring for Saturday night’s handy round. Herrera was able to shake off the pressure and put her faith in Miss Lucy to lay down a spectacular trip, earning scores of 90.5, 90.5, and 92.5 from the three judging panels to combine with her 25 handy points and all of the high options. Herrera’s round brought Alfano to tears.
“I’m still in shock, also,” Alfano said, also fighting back emotion. “Everyone knows that that horse has such a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons, and so does Kristy. It was hard for me to be here not riding, but I was in tears and had goosebumps. It was so beautiful to watch the two of them together. I’m so proud of both of them. It was meant to be.”
After sustaining an injury in late May at the Devon Horse Show, Alfano was rendered unable to finish the season on Helen Lenahan’s 14-year-old derby star, Miss Lucy. Herrera, a former student of Alfano’s, rose up to fill Alfano’s shoes, taking over the ride on Miss Lucy just three weeks ago.
Beginning at the young age of 9, Herrera started training at SBS Farms, where, under Alfano’s tutelage, Herrera began to blossom into the rider she is today. Saturday’s victory truly marked a mentorship coming full circle for the two riders, as Alfano quite literally handed the reins to her student, putting her faith in Herrera and looking on as the duo filled her with pride.
“I really didn’t imagine this,” Alfano said. “I’m so happy. To be honest, I was a little nervous about tonight. Miss Lucy is an incredible horse, and Kristy is an incredible rider, but when you come to these handy rounds, that is when you really need to have a partnership with your horse. You have to know where all the buttons are. I think Kristy did something tonight that not a lot of people could have done.”
In a heartbreaking twist of fate, Kelley Farmer and Baltimore, who were leading after the classic round with a high score of 291 points, watched the win slip away as a piece of the final fence fell with Baltimore’s back hooves, bringing an unfortunate ending to an otherwise perfect round.
Standing proudly at 1.57m, the final fence not only marked the tallest obstacle on course, but also the tallest one in hunter derby history. The daunting wall dashed the dreams of many a rider, but Farmer’s mishap was easily the most devastating of the night.
“You know what, it is what it is,” Farmer said. “That horse did nothing to let me down tonight. It just happened to be a little bit of bad luck. The way Kristy went, and the way her horse went and with the scores she got, deservedly so, I wasn’t going to beat her doing anything else but trying to jump the high options. It’s not my nature to take the easy way out or jump the low side or anything. Kristy went beautifully, and she deserved to win. The only way I was going to beat her was to give it a shot.”
All hope was not lost, however, as Farmer still brought home the reserve championship aboard Nina Moore’s Kodachrome with scores of 89, 91, and 88 tacked onto 22 handy points, resulting in a grand total of 582 points. Another round laden with emotion, Farmer dedicated her ride to the late Russell Frey, who had the ride on Kodachrome until his passing in May. Making her stellar round even more special, Saturday’s finale happened to fall on Frey’s birthday.
“That horse had to carry the weight of the world over the past months, and he’s done nothing but get better and better,” Farmer said. “To walk out there and go like that, I couldn’t be more proud of him. Nina bought that horse for Russell to come to Derby Finals. When she sent him to me, she said that’s what she wanted him to do. She told Russell that he would, so I’m honored that she gave me the opportunity to keep going.”
Before heading to the Kentucky Horse Park, last year’s champion, Liza Boyd, kissed her superstar, three-time Derby Finals champion, Brunello, and teared up as she drove down the driveway without him. Boyd brought a piece of Brunello’s tail with her, which she tucked safely in her pocket and rubbed before her round aboard O’Ryan. With some luck from Brunello’s tail, the duo turned in the best handy round of the night, earning scores of 91, 90 and 92 in addition to a total of 27 bonus handy points for a total score of 578 points to finish in third place overall.
“On a lighter note, I was a lot more laid back than Kelley and Kristy,” Boyd said, laughing. “With the pressure that these two had, I don’t know how they did it. I just had fun on my junior hunter, and he stepped up for me, and I couldn’t be happier. I thank the owners, the Styslingers, for letting me do this with him. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to be in this press conference without Brunello, so I was glad to be here.”
Course designers Bobby Murphy and Danny Moore said that they were looking to raise the stakes with Saturday’s course, challenging the derby riders by pushing them to new heights. Murphy and Moore also decorated the ring with elaborate sand sculptures, crediting the generosity of donors such as Hugh Kincannon, Rob Murphy, Diane Carney, Ron Danta and the Gochman family for making that a possibility.
“If you have more people in the hunter industry that will step up to finance these courses, then we can create more spectacular courses,” Murphy said. “It comes down to money with this, and tonight moved this program a step in the right direction. I’m sure the Hunter Derby Program created new fans tonight through this course and through these riders, and through them jumping this gigantic wall. It was an exciting class. The specs say in bold, ‘no maximum height,’ so we’ll treat this as a hunter puissance, and we’ll just keep inching up. That half inch counts!”
Sophie Michaels and Wallenberg Race to Victory in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
Sophie Michaels was aboard Serenity Equestrian Ventures’ Wallenberg to capture the win in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show out of 15 entries. Michaels currently trains with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm in Katonah, New York.
The 18-year-old rider, of New York, New York, sped to victory in an impressive time of 59.69 seconds that no one else could top. Despite the rain in the Rolex Stadium, Michaels was able to keep her composure and come out on top. Her mount, a 13-year-old Hanoverian by Stakkato, has also seen success in the jumper ring with another accomplished young rider, Kelli Cruciotti.
“I’ve had Wally since Florida. I leased him from Kelli,” Michaels said. “He’s been really great. He is really conventional and he’s really broke so he’s fun to do speed classes on. I can feel like I have a shot because he’s on his game to do neat turns and go fast.”
The plan going into the class was simple, to go fast, and Michaels was confident in her partner’s ability to do so.
“My trainer told me just to have the fastest time. I knew I could do it because he’s really good at going fast and I feel comfortable on him,” she said.
In addition to Saturday’s win in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class with Wallenberg, Michaels won the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers with her mare, Balouba, on Friday.
“I’ve had her for a few years now. She’s been so great – she’s super careful and really fun. I got to go last, so it was an advantage, for sure.”
She also won the Medium Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers on Friday with Darero. Michaels took MCB Maya in Friday evening’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, where they put down a clear round but were 0.5 seconds over the time allowed.
Michaels is looking forward to beginning her freshman year of college at Yale University, where she will be able to continue training at Heritage Farm and gearing up for equitation finals in the fall.
Anna Beth Athey guided her own Samoa to the second place position behind Michaels, with 60.014 seconds on the clock. Banda De Hus earned third place honors with Ashley Fleischhacker in the irons. The chestnut mare is owned by Ashland Show Stables, LLC, of Lexington, Kentucky.
In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Kyle Timm reigned supreme aboard his own Georgie B. He was able to navigate the course against 18 other competitors and finish clean. In the nine-horse jump-off, Timm and the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse rose to the top to claim the victory in a time of 40.46 seconds.
Timm, of Apex, North Carolina, trains at Apex Equestrian Center, where they specialize in importing, buying, selling, and training high-quality hunter, jumper, and equitation horses in the Raleigh and Durham areas. An international show jumping star, Timm grew up in Calgary Alberta, Canada.
Coming in second place behind Timm was Carlos Quinones aboard Michelle Navarro-Grau’s Sagu. The pair just missed Timm’s time, clocking in at 43.232 seconds. Quinones also took the third-place ribbon in the class, with Alhalil, also owned by Michelle Navarro-Grau. Alhalil galloped through the timers with a 43.585 second finish.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will wrap up on Sunday with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
Kelley Farmer and Baltimore (Photo: Shawn McMillen)
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 19, 2016 – Out of 66 entries in the first classic round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Kelley Farmer had four of the rides. Not only did the hunter derby veteran qualify two of her mounts, Baltimore and Kodachrome, for Saturday’s handy round, but she also took first and second place honors for Lane Change Farm.
Baltimore, owned by Jane Gaston, was the first ride of the day for Farmer. She took the 11-year-old Oldenburg around the course, designed by Danny Moore and Bobby Murphy, to earn scores of 92, 95, and 92 for a total of 291 points going into Saturday’s handy round. Farmer also chose to jump all four high-options. Contrary to the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, where the top 30 qualified horses go into the final round with a clean slate, the classic points will carry over to merge with Saturday’s handy round score.
Although Farmer had three other rides left, she was able to maintain her first place position with Baltimore throughout the entire class. As much as the other riders tried, Farmer’s near-perfect scores could not be beat as the class continued. Since she got the ride on the bay gelding by Balou du Rouet, Kelley has also earned many titles and championships in the Regular Conformation Hunters and High Performance Working Hunters.
Kelley did not let the thought of going early on in the class take away from her concentration.
“He was amazing. He was unbelievable. He went first last week in Saugerties and I sort of was glad to get it over with,” Farmer said. “It was a little nerve wracking that I had to do him first, but he was unbelievable. I mean, he tried so hard and he’s so brave. He can jump so much, so I never worry about what they build.”
Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm added, “I never say this, but it was flawless. Because usually, I have a lot to say when she comes out of the ring. Flawless.”
Friday was bittersweet for Farmer, because her usual winning derby mount, Mindful, is currently out of commission. However, Farmer was happy as he is set to get back to work at the beginning of next week.
“It is what it is, but he’ll be back for Florida,” Farmer said about her longtime partner. “He’s been a great horse for me and I’ll be excited to have him back.”
Coming in second place during Friday’s classic round was Farmer and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Moore. Although Farmer has not had the ride on him for very long, the pair still laid down a beautiful trip to earn the red ribbon and a grand total of 280 points.
Trainer Larry Glefke was also extremely pleased with Kodachrome’s performance, saying, “He fits in with Mindful and Baltimore. He has that kind of ability to pop at the jumps. He has a freaky jump, and it gets bigger every week because he’s getting stronger. Both of those horses have quality; [Miss] Lucy has the same quality.”
He continued, “They walk to the jumps every day and they don’t want to knock them down. I mean, things go wrong, things can happen, but they make an effort to jump the jumps every day. You never have to ask them to do too much. Their sincerity is to jump this high over everything.”
Farmer agreed, “It’s a nice feeling when you know that no matter what you aim at, they not only can jump over it, but they can jump over it high, clean and well.”
Kristy Herrera had the ride on Helen Lenahan’s Miss Lucy, who is normally Jennifer Alfano’s mount, and took third place in the classic round. Alfano is currently injured from a fall that occurred at the Devon Horse Show, so she entrusted her longtime friend, Herrera, to take the reins for her. Herrera only had one other show under her belt with Miss Lucy, so she was a little nervous going into Friday’s classic round on the “quirky” mare.
According to Alfano, “She has a little bit of a funny canter, and she doesn’t really like you to touch the reins.”
“It’s Lucy’s way or no way. I was the one that needed to adjust to her,” Herrera said with a laugh. “She has her own way of going and it is different from a lot of other horses I’ve ridden, but she’s so incredibly athletic and smart that once you get it, you don’t have to do anything else.”
She continued, “I was nervous about it, but she walks in that ring and puts her ears forward and gives you the confidence that you can jump anything. It was awesome.”
While Alfano was a little sad that it was not her in the irons aboard Miss Lucy, she was very proud of Kristy and Miss Lucy’s trip that received a combined total of 276.5 points.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was so nervous, I thought I might have a heart attack. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I woke up this morning and I was a little sad and feeling sorry for myself. Watching her go around, it made me teary eyed. That was a hard thing she did today,” Alfano said.
“And I don’t think if anyone else was standing on the ground, I could have walked in there on a horse like that,” Herrera said.
Alfano said that her efforts were a result of trust and friendship built over many years. Alfano had faith in Herrera to take the ride on Miss Lucy, and Herrera trusted Alfano to instruct her as to how best ride the mare.
“I think what made it easier was that we have such a long-standing relationship. We’ve been together since she was 9 years old,” Alfano said. “She may not know the horse, but she and I are so in sync. Lucy is a little different. Kristy has the faith in me to say, ‘Okay, if that’s what you say to do, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll take your word for it and do it.’ I could not be any more proud of either one of them.”
Thirty horses and riders have qualified to compete in Saturday’s handy round, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. Keep your eyes out for Kelley Farmer and her two horses, as well as Kristy Herrera and Miss Lucy.
Aaron Vale and Finou 4 Win $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
After winning the 1.40m Open Jumpers on Thursday, Aaron Vale was looking to continue his winning streak under the lights on Friday night. The Ocala-based professional and Finou 4 did just that, stealing the win from Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“This was a great class,” Vale said. “It was good fun, and I’m glad I came out on the long end of the stick. It ended up being an entertaining class. You get a little flavor this week with the jumps for [USHJA International Hunter] Derby Finals. The horses are so used to jumping stripes, so tonight we got more of a natural tone to some of the obstacles, so that was a fun thing.”
Bobby Murphy’s first-round course produced a 16-horse lineup for the jump-off, with Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt going double clear and setting the early lead with a time of 36.909 seconds.
Vale re-entered the ring aboard Thinkslikeahorse and Don Stewart’s Finou 4, and used his horse’s massive stride to his advantage, cutting his turns and tripping the timers in a blazing fast 33.035 seconds.
“Each horse you have to ride to their strengths, you know,” Vale said. “Finou has a big enough stride that I can leave a stride out, even in a forward line. It’s a strength of his, covering ground.”
Two more challengers came close to Vale’s time. Sharn Wordley and the Sky Group’s Famoso D Ive Z were the first to come within seconds of the lead, clocking a time of 35.84 seconds to eventually finish in third, bumping Sweetnam down to finish in fourth.
Going second-to-last in the order was Benjamin Meredith and Shader Sporthorses LLC’s Anabelle 28. Meredith and Anabelle finished strongly in second place after stopping the clock in 34.022 seconds – just fractions of a second behind Vale, whose time proved unbeatable.
“I didn’t see Aaron go, but for sure I was going to try to beat him,” Meredith said. “The only place I could have gotten ahead of him was the first line. I jumped the first jump, and I landed and said there’s no way I can leave a stride out. But the rest of the course Anabelle kept up with him. We tried to win again, but we just couldn’t get there.”
Vale said he began riding Finou 4 about a year ago. Surprisingly, the gelding is blind in his left eye. Vale said that Finou 4 is instinctively very protective of his body, and will swing himself around worriedly to be able to see.
“He’s a little difficult to train because he’s working against his instinct and he’s worried,” Vale explained. “When he has a good day he usually wins. He’s got enough stride, he has a lot of ability, and he can be really fast in the jump-off. When I have his brain right, he gives me a great class. There were a few things I was worried about for him tonight, but he handled it all.”
Making his victory even sweeter, Vale has reclaimed the top spot from Pablo Barrios in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings, moving one step closer to earning the leading rider bonus.
“We’re all chasing the $50,000 bonus,” Vale laughed. “I’ve got a wedding next week, so I’m missing that class. I know Pablo was at the Olympics this week, so he missed this one. You’re not supposed to count points. You’re supposed focus on riding your horse in the class, so it’s just an added pressure. For people like me it makes a difference, so thankfully we got it done tonight. Hopefully we can come out on the right end of the bonus, because it’s a great thing for Hagyard to do and Kentucky to put it on. We love coming here.”
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2016 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 as well as a $10,000 prize for the reserve champion.
The series concludes with the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner of the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be announced and presented with the cash prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. New this year is the $200 Best Turned Out award, sponsored by Bob Mickler’s, which will go to a well-deserving groom following each grand prix. In addition, a Hagyard’s Handsomest Hound contest will also be held at each grand prix, sponsored by MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets.
The title sponsor, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry. Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 digital radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens MRI, nuclear scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full medical and surgical services, 24-hour emergency services and hyperbaric medicine. The practice has performed veterinary medicine for more than 137 years and is currently composed of over 50 experienced veterinarians, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of medicine, surgery and theriogenology. For more information on the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please visit www.hagyard.com.
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Saturday with the finale of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 18, 2016 – Scott Stewart’s name is synonymous with winning hunters, and Thursday at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was no different. Stewart had a total of seven entries that qualified for the final round in the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, but it was Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch, who was in the lead after Wednesday’s second round with 520.5 points, who took home the prize. For the top thirty horse and rider combinations, it was an even playing field going into the championship round, as everyone had a clean slate.
Stewart and Storm Watch were the second pair to compete in the 3’3″ section, but as soon as the 6-year-old Oldenburg landed from the final fence, it was obvious that the pair had impressed the judges as well as the crowd outside the Kentucky Horse Park’s Walnut Arena. The three judging panels awarded them with scores of 91, 88, and 85.5 for a grand total of 264.5 points.
Thursday’s stellar performance by Storm Watch proved that Stewart had made the right decision to make time to try him out during his vacation in Holland.
“I bought him off a video. Randy Hendri sent me a video and I couldn’t go over to look at him, so it was almost two months before I got to go and the horse was still there,” Stewart said. “He was in Holland, and the week after the National Horse Show, we went over. We didn’t go over specifically to look at horses, but he was sort of in the area so we looked. It was supposed to be a vacation, but it was on the route.”
Stewart has recently returned to the show ring after time off from a pinched nerve in his neck. During his time recovering, Ken Berkeley took the reins for Stewart to prepare the horses before coming to Kentucky.
“Ken has been riding him at home, so he really got the horse ready for here,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t able to ride for a month or so, right after Devon. I got through the last day of Devon and this is my first show back. I rode at home last week, then came to Pony Finals. I went to some very good doctors in New York and they said I just needed physical therapy.”
Stewart said that Storm Watch’s way of going is slightly different than what he prefers, but the gray gelding is improving every day.
“He’s pretty laid back and quiet. He’s naturally a good jumper, but his balance is a little low.” Stewart continued, “He doesn’t pull, but it’s a little of a different ride for me. I don’t really like them that low, but he’s getting better and better.”
In addition to the tricolor ribbon, wool cooler, and generous prize money, Stewart was awarded a free lease for one year on a Sundowner Charter SE two-horse trailer.
Coming in second place was Lisa Hankin’s Hanoverian, Puissance R, ridden to victory by California’s Jenny Karazissis. The duo won the first round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship on Tuesday, and Thursday’s efforts in the 3’3″ section proved that the mare is ready to show at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in October. Judges awarded them scores of 88, 89, and 87 for a total of 264 points.
“This is my first time doing the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. I’m so excited to be here. We were going to choose between here and Capital Challenge,” Karazissis explained. I said, ‘She can come here and if she does well, she could do both.’ So I’m really glad that we made the trip and it was so worthwhile.”
In third place overall was Hunt Tosh and Douglas Wheeler’s Chicago, who campaigned in the 3’3″ section. Tosh led the 8-year-old gelding around the course to finish up with scores of 86, 84, and 92 for a total of 262 points.
All three hunter professionals agreed that the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship was a step in the right direction for the hunter sport. It is a great way to showcase the younger horses and it features good prize money, which attracts the owners.
The next event for hunter fans during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show is the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Some of the same hunter riders who went head-to-head Thursday will set their eyes on the prize for the derby championship, which starts on Friday at 8 a.m. in the Rolex stadium.
Aaron Vale Victorious in 1.40m Open Jumpers
After coming close to winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class on Wednesday, Aaron Vale and Acolina R returned on Thursday, this time taking home the blue ribbon with their double-clear round during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
Going near the middle of the order in the Rolex Stadium, Vale and Sarah Turner’s Acolina R tripped the timers in 36.069 seconds in the jump-off and unseated Kyle Timm and Georgie B from their leading time of 37.727 seconds.
“I tried out a different bridle today,” Vale explained. “Acolina is hard to find the right bridle for, so more than anything I was trying a new piece of equipment, and it seemed to suit her pretty well. She kind of likes to go. I caught the fences off the turns really well, so she just ended up being really fast today.”
Vale said he got the ride on the 11-year-old mare about a year and half ago. Together, the duo has had top placings in grand prix events at a number of horse shows, including the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival and Kentucky Horse Shows.
“She gets a little wound up,” Vale explained, laughing. “Her energy probably gets in the way more often than it helps us, but when things come up right and I can do the turns smoothly and keep that gallop, her forwardness is definitely good. Controlling her across a technical course can be difficult, though. You live by the sword; you die by the sword.”
However, Vale said the course rode perfectly for the mare, who was unfazed by the sand sculptures that dotted the ring.
“She wasn’t worried about the sand at all,” Vale said. “It’s nice having the decorations for the [USHJA International Hunter] Derby fences. It livens the ring up. It’s such a big ring, but with the decorations there was more ambiance out there. The courses themselves were really fun and balanced today, and I really liked the tracks. It was a pretty course for my eye.”
Earlier in the day, Sharn Wordley continued his successful week with a win in the 1.35m Open Jumper division aboard Didienne.
“I just got Didienne,” Wordley said. “She’s a cool horse. I gave her a little warm-up yesterday to see how she was in the ring and get to know her, and she was really good. I thought today I’d give her a little try to see how fast she was, and she was really fast. I was only just cruising, and she was just naturally very fast and careful. She’s such a good horse in the ring.”
Wordley purchased the mare with Steve Tinti in Morocco about six months ago. After riding the 8-year-old for the past three weeks at home, this marks the duo’s first appearance together in the show ring.
“She’s a special horse,” Wordley said. “We kept her at our barn in Belgium for six months. My rider there did some shows with her there and got her trained up, because she hadn’t seen a whole lot yet when we got her. This is my first show on her, and she’s turned out to be a real pleasure of a horse; I really like her, and I’m excited about her future.”
Wordley said he plans to continue showing the mare in the 1.35m division, and will try her out in the 1.40m division next week.
“The 1.35m is probably enough for her now,” Wordley said. “She’s had a couple of months off, so from now on, we’ll just see where she’ll be comfortable. She’s improved so much in her rideability in the past three weeks that I’ve had her, so I’ll just see how quickly she wants to go, and she’ll tell me.”
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Friday with the beginning of the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days. Other highlight events include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington.
Sharn Wordley Claims Win in 1.40m Open Jumpers at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show
Lexington, Ky. – August 17, 2016 – Scott Stewart guided Rivers Edge’s Storm Watch into the new leading position on the second day of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship with a total of 520.5 points. Storm Watch is a 6-year-old Oldenburg by Chacco Blue, and even as a relatively new addition to the River’s Edge team, he has made his mark at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
“We bought him at the end of last year, when he was still a stallion,” Stewart explained. “He got castrated, and then he was shown a couple times in Florida in the Pre-Green Hunters. Then, he did Kentucky Spring Horse Show and I haven’t really shown my horses since then, so he’s just been at home getting trained.”
The gray gelding placed fifth over the Patrick Rodes-designed course, after being tied for second place Tuesday.
“He was awesome. He was great both rounds. He’s very laid back. He likes to go like a hunter with his head and neck low,” Stewart said. “He’s probably one of the best jumpers I’ve ever had. He really tries hard every time over these jumps that are kind of small for him.”
Stewart’s plan for Thursday’s third and final round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship will be simple and straightforward.
“He’s pretty laid-back, so I only jump a few verticals before I go in. He’s brave, so I’m not going to do too much. He’s pretty quiet as well,” Stewart said.
He continued, “Today, I only jumped three jumps and went in. They’re all getting a little tired.”
When asked about the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, Scott said, “I think it’s great. It’s nice prize money for these young horses and we get to showcase them a little bit. It’s a very good thing for the hunters.”
While Storm Watch is currently in the lead overall, it was Tim Goguen and Davidson that captured the blue ribbon during the second over-fences round of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship.
Goguen was quick to mention that Davidson really tries to give it his all in the show ring, and that is what helped him both days.
“He went really well today and yesterday,” Goguen stated. “He’s just a trier; he’s been really good. He’s been going well for the past two days. He got a low score the first day from one of the judges. I think he was like 25th overall going in, but I think today moved him up a little bit.”
Davidson, a homebred warmblood, has only been showing under the expertise of Goguen since the end of June. Despite their short time together, Davidson has made it to the winner’s circle every time out.
“I started riding him at the Country Heir Horse Show, which was in June or July, and I’ve shown him maybe three times,” Goguen shared. “He’s been champion all three times. He’s just been a great horse.”
Davidson enters Thursday’s phase in the ninth place position, with a total of 513.5 points.
Dr. Betsee Parker’s Liberty Road is now in second place overall with 519 points. Chicago, owned by Douglas Wheeler, narrowly missed the second place spot with 518 points. Both horses were ridden by esteemed hunter rider, Hunt Tosh.
On Wednesday afternoon, a new winner for 2016 will be crowned as the championship will culminate after the top 30 horses battle it out for the coveted title. The course walk for the third and final round is set to begin at 3:15 p.m. and officials can begin walking the course at 4:15 p.m. The opening ceremonies will take place at 4:30 p.m., and the championship round is planned for a 5 p.m. start.
Sharn Wordley Claims Win in 1.40m Open Jumpers
As the jumper action began on Wednesday in the Rolex Arena, it was Sharn Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek who brought home the blue ribbon in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper division at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.
The Rolex Arena was filled with intricate sand sculptures, fully decorated and ready for the USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, which begin on Friday. Despite the decorations and the light rainfall, Wordley and Glamour Van De Kakebeek navigated the course successfully, going clear in a time of 66.018 seconds.
“My plan was to just go fast,” Wordley said. “There were a lot of fast people in this class, including Aaron Vale and Tori Colvin. I had to go reasonably quick if I wanted to beat those guys. With the course, I know Glamour Van De Kakebeek doesn’t spook at anything, so the sand sculptures didn’t bother him at all. I could have jumped over the sand pile, and it wouldn’t have mattered to him. He felt great today.”
Wordley said that he got the ride on the Kerry Anne LLC entry two months ago, and has been showing the 10-year-old gelding to successful finishes in the 1.40m division. His goal is to eventually show the gelding in FEI ranked classes.
“It’s been really easy getting to know him,” Wordley said. “The first show I went to with him, we won a class. The second and third shows, he was champion in the 1.40m. I’d say I’ve done about seven classes with him, and he’s won five of them.”
The gelding was previously owned by Darragh Kenny, who alerted Wordley when he realized the two would be a great match.
“I had a horse that I bought from Darragh,” Wordley explained. “But he called me saying he had another horse that would be more suited to me. So, he sent me Glamour Van De Kakebeek, and he was right – this one is a great little horse. He’s a real winner, and he just wants to get out there and go as fast as he can.”
Finishing second to Wordley was another rider known for his speedy rounds – Aaron Vale. Vale turned in a clear round aboard Acolina R, tripping the timers just behind Wordley in 66.871 seconds. With a time of 67.328 seconds, Wordley also came in third with Caiman De Sequoias, who is owned by Sharn Wordley and The Sky Group.
Earlier in the day, the 1.35m Open Jumpers had the stage in the Rolex Arena, and it was Richard Rinehart and Virginia Bartholomay’s Donnalaris who swept the field of 32 entries to earn the win.
“I took it as a good sign that it stopped raining before my round,” Rinehart said. “Donnalaris was just awesome. My plan was to try not to take any chances, but to save time where I could. I’m really lucky to have Donnalaris to ride.”
Rinehart, who is based in Indianapolis, said he began riding the 8-year-old mare during July of last year.
“She’s got girl-power,” Rinehart laughed. “She’s very brave, and she gets it done. She’s so nice to ride, and she’s really obedient. I feel like she’s always trying to please. And she likes this ring, even with the sand. I just really wanted her to jump the Diane Carney jump clean, because she’s my trainer, so I’m happy that she did.”
The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will resume on Thursday with the finale of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship. Other highlight events include the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will take place over the course of two days, and the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. For more information, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
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