Kevin Babington and Shorapur (Photo courtesy of The Book LLC)
Lake Placid, NY (July 12, 2019) – Olympian Kevin Babington took peak performance to a new level this Sunday in Lake Placid, where he achieved a rare Grand Prix hat trick. In what he described as a major highlight of his career, the Irishman finished first, second, and third on three of his horses for a clean sweep of the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix. Babington piloted Shorapur (33.212 seconds), Super Chilled (35.436 seconds), and Mark Q (38.430 seconds) to the top three spots out of 64 entries, marking his fourth Grand Prix win in Lake Placid.
“I’ve been pinching myself ever since my last round. I never would have foreseen something like this happening,” said Babington. “My horses have been in really good form and I was hoping for a couple of good rounds, but if someone had wanted to bet me that I’d be one-two-three, I never would have taken the bet. I think I had the luck of the Irish with me. Shorapur had a really hard rub at the third-to-last fence of the first round and easily could have had it down. She’s the fastest of my three horses and normally I’d prefer to have her go last; but since she was first, I decided to go for broke and it all just played out beautifully after that.”
2019 George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Champion and defending 2018 ASPCA Maclay National Champion Sam Walker was once again a top contender, winning two major classes on Sunday after securing the $7,500 Chevrolet Low Junior Jumper Classic on Saturday. Walker won the Kathy Scholl Equitation Classic presented by Kate Levy & Family for the second consecutive year, then topped a field of 34 horses with two fault-free rides on Gidora S in the $10,000 Crowne Plaza Resort & Golf Club Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.