Lexington, KY – May 23, 2011 – As the Kentucky Spring Classic hosted another night of show jumping, the incredible duo of Kent Farrington and Uceko continued their complete domination of the last two weeks by securing the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix victory. Tonight’s event was sponsored by Audi of Lexington and honored Mary Rena Murphy, a horsewoman whose dedication to equestrian sport was unmatched. Once again, speed proved to be the determining factor during the thirteen horse jump-off, and that is something Farrington and Uceko are proving to master. The duo was a full two seconds ahead of second place finishers Ali Wolff and Lanoo, while Christian Heineking and River of Dreams took home third for the second time this week.
“During the first round, there were more clear than I expected,” admitted Farrington. “The outside line started with a wall and then an awkward distance to an oxer-oxer combination, and then a very steady distance to a liverpool. I thought that would catch more horses than it did. I think the footing here is excellent, and these horses have been here for two weeks now, so I think they are really comfortable in the ring. I think that’s why there were more clear rounds than Richard expected. It’s under the lights, so they are a bit impressed, and I think the horses were just really going well on the ground.”
For the final test, Jeffery had riders start over a single oxer to the liverpool and make a bending line to a single oxer. They then made a sharp roll back to a vertical-oxer double combination and galloped across the ring to a wide oxer. Finally, riders made another sharp turn to a tall vertical before they galloped towards the timers over the last oxer. Of the thirteen qualifiers, seven were able to make it a perfect night and finish without any faults added to their score.
Although Farrington and Uceko took an overwhelming lead by over two seconds, the rest of the field was very close together as they determined the final placings. Young rider Ali Wolff and Lanoo, owned by Blacklick Bend Farm, were the first to set the standard, completing a clear round in 42.55 seconds, which would eventually take the second place honors. Christian Heineking was not far behind Lanoo with his talented mount River of Dreams, owned by Kai Handt. They clocked in at 42.63 seconds, just 1/10th of a second later for the duo’s second third place finish of the week.
Kent Farrington was the fourth rider to show clear during the jump-off with RCG Farm’s Uceko. The duo did so in a very commanding effort as they made quick rollbacks and held a big gallop across the ring. After already securing two major wins during last week’s $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix and Thursday’s $30,00 Hagyard Lexington Classic, it was no surprise when they blazed through the finish in 40.79 seconds to head straight to the top of the leaderboard and eventually lead the victory gallop.
“After the third fence in the jump-off, Uceko can roll back really short, so I turned very short into the combination and again very short back to the FEI vertical, and used his stride to get the last fence,” explained Farrington. “The main focus has been getting him back fit. He just came back this winter, and I’ve just been legging him up. He’s a good jumper all by himself, so it’s just a matter of having him fit and healthy to do his job, and then just staying out of his way.”
Earlier this week, Farrington noted that Uceko can be a bit playful, which is a very similar characteristic to one of his most successful mounts, Up Chiqui. “I just like good jumpers, so I’ll ride whatever. I think sometimes a horse with a strong personality is a fighter in the ring too, and sometimes you have to put up with that too. He’s not as wild as Up Chiqui, he just has a playful attitude. That’s sort of his demeanor, but as he’s getting more experience he’s really coming to the party when we go to compete.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows have been hugely successful for Farrington, and he could not be more pleased with the performances of all of his mounts. “This was a great place for me to come and fine tune and really get him back show fit and ready to go. Uceko has performed great, so it has been exciting. It’s been good mileage for my young ones and some of my students have new horses, so it’s just been getting everybody ready to go for this summer.”
Farrington concluded, “I’d like to thank my owners. To be successful like this you need to have the support, so I really appreciate all the people that are behind my career.”
Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday
Wednesday was another day of chilly temperatures and rainy skies to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Rolex Stadium hosted the 1.45m Open Jumper class and the 1.40m Open Jumper class. Quentin Judge took home top honors in the 1.45m Open Jumper class with HH Sandor after completing the fastest double clear effort. Earlier in the day, Kent Farrington continued his winning streak by scoring the 1.40m Open Jumper victory aboard Samar.
Kent Farrington and Valhalla, owned by Haity McNerney, showed the way to start the class, completing a double clear effort as the first pair on course. They broke the beam at 37.791 seconds, which would eventually hold up for second.
Quentin Judge and HH Sandor, owned by Double H Farms, followed just one horse later and the pair jumped straight to the top of the leaderboard, after they left all the fences standing in 35.725 seconds. Their excellent effort would hold up through the rest of the class and score the winning prize. Victoria Colvin aboard Monsieur Du Reverdy completed a fault free short courses as well to place third.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Kent Farrington continued his excellent showing at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows by winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class with Samar, owned by RCG Farm. The duo were the fastest over the track by almost three seconds, leaving all the rails untouched in a time of 59.582 seconds.
For Thursday night’s $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic it was once again about speed in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. Continuing his streak at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, Kent Farrington once again led the way, winning his second grand prix event in a row with Uceko. The duo dominated the fifteen horse jump-off, beating second place finisher Margie Engle and Lord Spezi by a full second.
Thursday night’s class was the second of seven grand prix events that make up the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by Hagyard Medical Institute and presented by Pfizer Animal Health. Following the final event in the series, a cash prize of $45,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series for the Leading Rider Bonus.
Farrington was the clear leader as the first rider to post a double clear round aboard Uceko, owned by RCG Farm. They blazed through the timers in 27.63, which proved to be an unmatchable feat.
The next three top finishers were separated by just one tenth of a second after the final tally, and all nine double clear rounds by just four seconds. Margie Engle and Ashland Farms’ Lord Spezi clocked in at 28.60 to claim second, but Germany’s Christian Heineking was right on her heels with River of Dreams, owned by Kai Handt, with a time of 28.79 seconds for third.
The sun was brightly shining as the exciting jumper action in the Rolex Stadium continued on Friday at the Kentucky Spring Classic, held at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park. Double H Farm proved to be a dominating force today, taking home two blue ribbons with mounts winning the 1.45m Open Jumper class and the High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper class. Quentin Judge piloted HH Sandor to victory in the 1.45m Open Jumper class for the second time this week, while junior rider Christina Kelly took home the winning title with HH Narcos Du Marais in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
The 1.45m Open Jumper class kicked off just before noon, and there were eight riders that managed to successfully complete the first round and advance to the short course. During the jump-off, only three entries left all the rails in place to finish with a perfect effort.
The first rider to leave all the fences intact was Alejando Karolyi with Vichy. The duo easily galloped over each obstacle and stopped the clock at 37.369 seconds, which would hold up for second. Quentin Judge had his aim on a second blue ribbon for the week with HH Sandor, and he pushed his horse quickly across the track. They were able to best Karolyi’s time after breaking the beam at 35.125, which would be good enough for the winning prize. Elizabeth Bates tried to catch Judge’s effort aboard Marvelous 6, but her clear effort was too slow as they tripped the timers at 38.593 seconds for third.
The next event in the Rolex Stadium was the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, where Double H Farm continued their winning ways. This time, only seven riders mastered the first round track, but four of those competitors were able to mach that effort with double clear rounds.
Paige Johnson set the standard aboard La Martinee. She left all the rails in place over the shortened course and stopped the clock at 36.130 seconds, which would eventually place second. Eight rounds later, Christina Kelly stepped into the ring with last week’s winner, HH Narcos Du Marais. The duo wanted another win, and they got it after besting Johnson’s time in the jump-off by almost four seconds, blazing through the finish in 32.457 seconds.
Nicole Bellissimo and Hotspur 23 were also able to complete the jump-off track without fault, but their time of 36.495 seconds fell just short of Johnson’s posted time, and would only be good enough for third.
Early Sunday morning, riders gathered at the Rolex Stadium to compete in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic, as the Kentucky Spring Classic came to a close. Four horse and rider combinations were able to advance to the jump-off. The fastest of the day proved to be Danielle Goldstein and Levistano 2, who notched a double clear effort just ahead of Paige Johnson and Kadena R. Rounding out the top three was Richie Moloney and Let’s Go, who also had a perfect short course.
Goldstein was the final rider to show over the short course with Levistano 2, owned by Starwyn Farms, and proved to be the best of the bunch. The duo held a steady pace throughout the course and never touched a rail, stopping the clock at 35.786 seconds, to go straight to the top of the leaderboard and lead the victory gallop.
Paige Johnson went in the ring just before Goldstein with Salamander Farm’s Kadena R. The duo was slightly conservative when they rolled back to the oxer, but a kept a quick pace throughout the rest of the course, and included an excellent roll-back to the double combination. They eventually finished just behind Goldstein for second place with a fault-free time of 35.966 seconds.
Richie Moloney was the second to show over the jump-off course with the Equinimity LLC entry of Let’s Go. At that point, there had been no clear efforts over the challenging track, so Moloney chose to keep a conservative pace with his new mount. The pair was able to leave all the fences standing, but stopped the clock at 39.811 seconds, which, while two seconds off the winning pace, would hold up for third at the end of the class.
Hunter Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday
Wednesday was a rainy first day at the Kentucky Spring Classic, but that didn’t keep the competitors from boasting the beautiful courses in the Stonelea arena. Wednesday kicked off the Kentucky Spring Classic for the second week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. This week featured World Champion Hunter Rider Week. Riders had the opportunity to earn quality points in various hunter divisions, excellent prize money, and year-end awards. In the Stonelea Ring, the Green Conformation Hunters, First Year Green Working Hunters, Second Year Green Working Hunters, and Regular Conformation Hunters completed their first two courses.
Scott Stewart swept the competition in the Green Conformation with Empire owned by Becky Gochman. Stewart had an impressive score of 89 in his second round and secured first place in both classes. Jennifer Alfano and her horse, Michigan Avenue, placed second in the first class with a score of 84 and third in the second class with a score of 84. Louise Serio earned the red ribbon in the second round with a score of 83 aboard Black Tie, owned by Blair Balmer. Maria Rasmussen took home third with San Diego.
Tammy Provost aboard Adonis owned by Wendy Hofmeister, placed second in the first course with 83 points. Provost also took first place in the second round of First Year Green Working Hunter division with an amazing score of 91 points. Scott Stewart and his horse, Dedication, won the first class with a score of 85 points. Havens Schatt riding Macallan claimed second place over the second course with a score of 86. Chris Payne and Pacino took third over the first round course with a score of 81, and third in the second round aboard Holden with a score of 84.
Louise Serio took first place with Sigfried, scoring an 88 in the second round of Second Year Green Working Hunters. Serio also placed third in the first class. Cookie Beck and Last call earned the blue ribbon in the first round with 85 points. Havens Schatt and Humor Me took second in the first class with 82 points. Tim Goguen riding Whatever earned the red ribbon in the second class with 86 points.
Cookie Beck and Déjà Vu claimed first in both rounds of Regular Conformation with scores of 85 in the first round and 86 in the second. Louise Serio took second in the first trip and third in the second trip aboard Phillipa. Cookie Beck riding Ohh La La placed third in the first class while, Kenneth Berkley and Sambalino earned the red ribbon in the second class.
Hunter riders at the Kentucky Spring Classic enjoyed a day without rain on Thursday. The professional hunter divisions awarded championship honors in the Stonelea Arena. Louise Serio earned four tricolor awards throughout the day, scoring the High Performance Hunter Championship and the Second Year Green Working Hunter Championship, as well as the reserve championship title in the First Year Working Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters. Scott Stewart had a successful day taking home the championship in the First Year Working Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters.
The High Performance Hunters awarded the championship honors to Louise Serio and Phillipa owned by Jennifer Burger. Serio and Phillipa earned three blue ribbons and two yellow ribbons during this week’s competition. Brian Walker earned the reserve championship prize with Garfield, an entry from Steeple Chase Farm. The pair received two first place ribbons, a second, and two thirds for their efforts.
“Phillipa was recently purchased from McLain Ward for Louise to work towards doing the Hunter Derby classes. We have been getting used to her in Virginia and Kentucky doing the High Performance Hunters and the Regular Conformation Hunters,” said Burger. “I have seen huge progress. Every time she walks into the ring she relaxes more and more and takes on the hunters role.”
In the First Year Green Working Hunters, Scott Stewart secured the championship prize aboard Dedication. Stewart and Dedication earned two blues and a red to secure the championship award. Louise Serio continued to be successful earning the reserve championship prize in the First Year Green Working Hunters with Rock On. The pair earned two blue ribbons for their efforts.
Scott Stewart took home his second championship of the day in the Green Conformation Hunters. This time Stewart piloted Becky Gochman’s horse Empire to the win. Stewart and Empire earned four blue ribbons out of the five division classes. Louise Serio took home another reserve championship this time in the Green Conformation Hunters. Serio was aboard Black Tie an entry from Deer Hill Farm. They earned a blue, three reds, and a yellow ribbon during throughout the division.
Serio commanded the Second Year Green Working Hunter Division earning the championship aboard Susanne Stroh’s Sigfried. The new partnership between Serio and Sigfried proved to be successful. They earned two first place ribbons and three third place ribbons to secure the championship. The reserve championship in the Second Year Green Working Hunters went to Cookie Beck and Last Call owned by Lisa Cudahy. Beck and Last Call earned two blue ribbons and a yellow ribbon for their efforts during this week’s competition.
Beck went on to earn the championship honors in the Regular Working Hunters with Déjà vu owned by Lisa Cudahy. Beck and Déjà vu earned two blue ribbons, two red ribbons, and a yellow ribbon to secure the championship title. Ken Berkley took home the reserve championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters aboard Becky Gochman’s Sambalino. Berkley and Sambalino earned three first place ribbons and a yellow for their efforts throughout the division.
Friday the sun was shining for competitors at the Kentucky Spring Classic. In the Stonelea Arena, junior riders competed in the USEF/Pessoa Hunter Seat Medal and the WIHS Hunter Phase. The USEF/Pessoa Hunter Medal title went to Greer Hindle, while the WIHS Hunter Phase was won by Hayley Barnhill.
Four riders were invited back in the ring for the final test. After they lined up, the judges instructed them to canter fences four and seven, counter canter fence eight, hand gallop fence two, halt, and return to the line at a sitting trot.
Shawn Casady and Widget were the first to test and navigated it with ease, but did not land on the counter canter, and had to switch leads before fence eight. With three other riders left, Casady’s performance was only good enough for the third place ribbon. Chelsea Huss and Cool Man were the next to perform the test and also had a very smooth trip, but a brief pause picking up the counter canter, which cost her the win and she landed in fourth place. Victoria Colvin and VIP Z were the next to try their hand at the test. Colvin had an impressive round, as she was the first to land on the counter canter and maintain it around the end of the ring to fence eight. Colvin’s riding earned her the second place ribbon.
Greer Hindle and Freedom were the last pair to navigate the test round. Hindle also landed on the counter lead and was able to maintain it until fence eight. Hindle had a strong hand gallop to the last fence, with a nice clean stop, which earned her the lead. Hindle took home the top honors in today’s USEF Medal.
Twenty-eight riders turned out for the Washington International Hunter Phase.
It was Hayley Barnhill that prevailed in the WIHS Hunter Phase, earning the winning title. Barnhill had a very solid round earning her the blue ribbon. Chelsea Huss also showed exemplary equitation and took home the second place honors. Lauren Tyree secured third place with an impressive showing, and the fourth place honors went to Victoria Colvin.
Saturday was another beautiful sunny day at the Kentucky Spring Classic, held at the prestigious Kentucky Horse Park. The Amateur-Owner Hunter riders competed for the championship honors in the Stonelea Arena as they wrapped-up their second day of competition. Becky Gochman, Tracy Sheriff-Muser, and Kelley Corrigan all scored major victories and took home their respective championship tricolors.
Becky Gochman and Sambalino took home the championship honors in the Amateur-Owner 35 & Over Hunters. They earned blue ribbons in four out of the five division’s classes, and had two scores of 90 to secure the championship prize. Reserve championship honors were awarded to John Yozell and Aiden. The pair earned three red ribbons, and a white ribbon for their efforts.
The Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Division awarded the championship prize to Tracy Sheriff-Muser and Absolut. The duo has been together for four years. This week, they earned two blue ribbons and two red ribbons, with high scores of 90 and 85 to secure the championship award. The reserve championship was presented to Wesley Newlands and Pure Abundance. Newlands and Pure Abundance received a first, second, and third place ribbons for their efforts.
Kelley Corrigan and Good Call earned the championship honors in the 3’3 Amateur-Owner Hunter Division. Corrigan and Good Call earned a blue and red ribbon, and placed in the top five in the other classes as well to secure the championship prize.
The reserve championship prize was presented to Dawn Fogel and Patron Patrone. The pair earned a first, third, and fourth place ribbons for their work throughout the division this week.
Sunday was another beautiful sunny day at the Kentucky Spring Classic, held at the prestigious Kentucky Horse Park. The Stonelea Arena presented championship honors in the Junior Hunter Divisions as they wrapped-up their second day of competition. Hannah Goodson-Cutt earned two tricolors with her mounts Caretano and Superman in the Junior 16-17 Hunter Divisions. Catherine Tyree also earned championship and reserve championship awards with her mounts Savant and Concetto in the Junior 16-17 Hunter Divisions.
The Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Division awarded championship honors to Hannah Goodson-Cutt and Caretano. The duo earned three blue ribbons, and red and yellow ribbons to secure the championship honors.
Catherine Tyree and Concetto took home the reserve championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters. This week, they earned two first place ribbons, and a second place ribbon for their efforts during the competition. Tyree took home another tricolor, this time earning the championship honors in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Tyree and Savant earned two first place ribbons and a fourth place ribbon to earn the championship honors.
Hannah Goodson-Cutt earned her second tricolor aboard Superman. Goodson-Cutt earned the reserve championship prize in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters with her talented mount Superman. The pair earned a first, second, and fourth place ribbons to take home the reserve championship honors.
Chloe Reid took home the championship honors in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter Division with Pavarotti. Reid and Pavarotti earned three blue ribbons and yellow and white to take home the championship prize. Victoria Colvin earned the reserve championship in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters with Scott Stewart’s Touchdown. The pair earned a first place ribbon, second place ribbon and two fourth place ribbons for their efforts throughout the division.
Victoria Colvin continued to do well in this week’s Junior Hunter competition, this time taking the home the championship ribbon in the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter Division with Sanzibar. They earned three blue ribbons and two red ribbons securing the championship prize. Colvin also took home the reserve championship ribbon with Ariel. The pair earned a first place ribbon and two second place ribbons.
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