Kelli Cruciotti Wins Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search 2* at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Kelli Cruciotti and Monterrey.

Lexington, KY – May 8, 2015 – Kelli Cruciotti is a three-year veteran in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search, and today’s blue-ribbon performance further proved her excellence in the equitation ring.

The Talent Search classes showcase equitation basics over fences and on the flat, reinforcing the principle that form follows function. The class plays an instrumental role in preparing the next generation of professional American riders for the future.

Cruciotti and her horse, Monterrey, were the first on course, and the pair stepped confidently into the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, ready to face designer Scott Starnes’ 15-effort course.

Key technical elements included three double combinations, a liverpool and, Starnes’ personal favorite: an 11-foot water jump. The 2* ranking allowed for a fence height of 1.15m.

“It’ll be tough, but fine,” Starnes said of his course. “If they do qualify, they need to be ready for the Finals. I have the lines across the middle of the arena with four related distances in a row. There are numbers there, and they have to work them out and set up for the turns. They can get lost out there with the time, too. If they go all the way to the end of the ring, they’re going to get time faults.”

Overcoming the potentially tricky elements, Cruciotti smoothly navigated Monterrey around the course, while remaining comfortably under the time allowed of 99 seconds.

“I thought the course was fantastic, I thought it was really symmetrical off of both leads,” Cruciotti commented. “The time allowed was tight, so it really encouraged you to take the leave-out on all the lines and keep coming through the turns; it was nice. I loved the course. I have ridden under this course designer before, and I have always liked his courses; he did a great job today.”

With today’s win, Cruciotti and Monterrey have earned enough points to qualify for the USEF Talent Search Finals East in Gladstone, New Jersey.

“Monterrey is fantastic,” Cruciotti said with admiration. “He is the best horse I will ever ride for sure. He has scope, stride, and he loves to win; I think more than I do sometimes. We’ll give it our best shot at Finals.”

While Cruciotti made it look easy, some of the other young riders struggled with the course’s more technical elements. Second-place finisher Virginia Ingram and her mount Comanche, owned by Hilary Sapanski, had an unlucky rail and two time faults that separated her from the top spot.

Lucas Porter and Punch, owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC out of Bartonville, Texas, had a clear round, but incurred eight time faults, which earned the duo third place.

The competitors’ equitation continued to shine on the flat, where riders were asked to show their horses at the working trot, sitting trot, extended trot, working canter, counter canter and extended canter.

In the end, it was Cruciotti’s well-executed over-fences round that vaulted her to the top of the leader board, ensuring the pair will continue to Finals.

Up next at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, the Claiborne will take center stage on Sunday for “Derby Day.” The highlight events will include $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Events: 2015 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows

The Kentucky Horse Shows 2014 series includes two weeks of top hunter/jumper competitions during the month of May. The Kentucky Horse Show Series is the host of the Hagyard Challenge Series and Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series.

Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2*
$85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI2*
$25,000 Bluegrass Classic
$25,000 U25 Classic
$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Recognized Hunter Competition

$34,000 Welcome Speed CSI3*
$34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*
$127,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI3*
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix
$20,000 Bluegrass Classic
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, Audi of Lexington, Sleepy P Ranch, CWD, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program and the Official Hotel The Clarion.

8am – 5pm daily

Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $15.00. Dogs are permitted at the Kentucky Horse Park on a leash.

The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email:
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet –


Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.


CLARION HOTEL (Formerly Holiday Inn North) – 859-233-0512 – Approximately 4 miles (OFFICIAL HOTEL)
Discover the place where elegant comfort in an ideal location meets excellent service and affordability. At the Clarion Hotel Lexington, you’ll find well-appointed accommodations with options of double/doubles, double queens, king rooms or suites, exceptional amenities such as our free hot breakfast buffet, and Southern hospitality at its finest. The best hotel for Keeneland – located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region – home of the Kentucky Horse Park, the Lexington Convention Center, University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – our Lexington hotel is on Newtown Pike at Exit 115 on I-75, close to all the big attractions, and is the perfect place to stay whether you’re here to get down to business or have some fun. Best of all, bring your furry friends for any trip because the Clarion Hotel in Lexington is also pet-friendly.

Reservations may not be made through the Horse Show office. To reserve a campsite at the Kentucky Horse Park for any of the horse shows, please call the Campground store at (800) 370-6416 or 859-259-4157 or email Sherry Logan at Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and check-out is 12:00 noon. You must make arrangements with the Campground store if you plan to arrive earlier than 2:00 p.m. or stay later than 12:00 noon. Vehicles that are not removed from a campsite by check-out time will be towed.

Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12230 Forest Hill Blvd.
Suite 214
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

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