Logan Marksbury and Hailey Berger Are Best in Adult and Children’s Jumper Classics

Hailey Berger and Shannondale Gino.

Lexington, KY – August 2, 2015 – This summer marks Hailey Berger’s first time competing at the Kentucky Horse Park, but after the two weeks that she had, she cannot wait to come back.

On Sunday, the 15-year-old from Parkland, Florida closed out her enjoyable and extremely successful time at the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows by earning the win in the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic.

“This is my new favorite show, definitely. I love it here,” Berger said. “I just love the scenery. Going out to the field was definitely the best thing. It was amazing. The rings are great; the people are great. This is a true show, and that’s what I love about it. Everyone’s so supportive.”

While the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows quickly won Berger over, besting a field of 55 entries to win the Children’s Jumper Classic could not have hurt her experience either. She and her own Shannondale Gino were one of 29 combinations to go clear over the Florencio Hernandez-designed course in the Rolex Stadium.

After completing the course without fault, riders had the option to return immediately for the short course or save their jump-off effort for after the conclusion of all riders’ first rounds. Berger, and the vast majority of the clear riders, elected to return immediately, and she and Shannondale Gino delivered once again. This time they finished clear on a time of 32.032 seconds, which would hold through to the end as the fastest double clear.

With many in hot pursuit of tripping the jump-off timers in the fastest time, only eight of the 29 first round clear riders were able to also go clear in the second round. Of them, Avery Hinson and Vaillant came the closest to besting Berger’s time, finishing on 32.939 seconds. Rounding out the top three was young rider Taje Warrick with her mount Drommels; the pair finished on 33.573 seconds.

“Everything went pretty smoothly today, except coming at the last, I came at it a little crooked,” Berger said. “I said ‘oh Gino, come on. We can do this. We’re at the last jump!’ He jumped it fantastic! We landed, and I looked up and saw that we had a great time. It was a great ride. He was fantastic.”

Berger, who trains with David Blake and Declan McGarry at Pine Hollow Farm, acquired Shannondale Gino at the beginning of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival season, and, while she says that they did not necessarily mesh instantly, they are now a strong combination.

“We’re really clicking now to the point where if I mess up he’ll save me. He’s fantastic,” Berger said. “He’s a jokester for sure. He’s the sweetest horse ever though. He’ll be on the crossties, and you can just cuddle on him, and he’ll love on you. He’s definitely spoiled too. My mom and I will walk up to him, and he’ll nicker and run at us for treats.”

Following the $1,500 NAL/WIHS Children’s Jumper Classic on Sunday morning, it was the Adult Jumpers turn in the Rolex Stadium for the $2,500 NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic.

From a field of 36 entries, it came down to Sweet Oak Farm barn mates Logan Marksbury and Lindsey Tomeu for the top two spots.

“Normally if she goes clear, she wins,” Marksbury joked of Tomeu.

The two went back-to-back, and while Tomeu and her mount, Bonapart, did go clear, it was Marksbury’s turn for the victory. She and her own Evano S took a slick inside turn to edge out Tomeu’s time of 33.406 seconds, finishing on 32.972 seconds. Both girls’ times would hold through to the end of the class to give Sweet Oak Farm the one-two finish.

“My horse was really good to me today. It wasn’t the smoothest course for me. It was kind of a hard course with a lot of tight lines, which are hard for me because I have such a big-strided horse, but he was great,” Marksbury said.

After showing exclusively hunters, Marksbury just started doing the jumpers a year ago, but she is enjoying every minute of it with Evano S.

“I had done hunters before that. I love it. I have one hunter, and after him I’m probably just going to do the jumpers,” Marksbury concluded.

Sunday marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Summer Classic, but summer horse shows at the Kentucky Horse Park resume on Tuesday with the 2015 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals.

Emma Kurtz Takes Championship in Large Pony Hunters Section A

With the 2015 USEF Pony Finals just days out, many of the nation’s top pony competitors have already made their way to the Kentucky Horse Park to prepare during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Such is the case for young rider Emma Kurtz, who piloted Cherrybrook Skye Blue to the Large Pony Hunter Section A division championship on Sunday.

Emma Kurtz and Cherrybrook Skye Blue
Emma Kurtz and Cherrybrook Skye Blue

Although Kurtz only acquired the ride on Cherrybrook Skye Blue three weeks ago, the duo was nearly unstoppable against the field of 35 top-class ponies. During Saturday’s competition, Kurtz and Cherrybrook Skye Blue, owned by Christine Carlsen, navigated the Bobby Murphy-designed course to back-to-back second place ribbons.

“He was really good Saturday,” Kurtz said. “He’s a great pony. He’s really lazy, like really lazy, but he is basically the perfect pony. You don’t have to worry about anything.”

On Sunday, Emma and the eye catching white gelding returned ready to win, claiming blue ribbons in both the conformation and handy over-fences rounds.

“He felt amazing today,” Kurtz said. “He always does. He’s just such a great pony.”

The division’s reserve championship went to Claudia Freeman and Spellbound, owned by Ponies and Palms Show Stables, whose first and two thirds yesterday left them in a strong position for Sunday, where the duo placed second twice to secure the reserve honors.

“He’s awesome,” Freeman said. “He just goes around so easily and is such a nice ride. I started riding him at [the Saratoga Springs Horse Show in May]. He’s awesome. He loves attention.”

Returning for her third USEF Pony Finals, Freeman is looking forward to competing Spellbound in the Large Pony Hunter division at the Kentucky Horse Park next week.

“The Kentucky Horse Park is a great venue,” Freeman said. “I love Kentucky, and even the shows before Pony Finals. There’s so much to do; you really can’t get bored.”

Kurtz will also be competing in Pony Finals on a large pony, a large green pony and a medium green pony.

“I really love how exciting they make it with so much stuff to do,” Kurtz said of the annual competition. “They make it a really big deal, which is really fun.”

In the Large Pony Hunters Section B, the championship was awarded to Grace Everett and Dianne Randolph’s Hidden Springs Linus, with the reserve going to Maddie Weber’s Kingston and Augusta Iwasaki.

To learn more about the 2015 USEF Pony Finals, click here.

For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Show series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Horse Shows 2015 Horse Show Series Fast Facts

Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals and the Pre Green Incentive Championship.

The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2015 series includes five weeks of top competition throughout the summer. These premier hunter/jumper competitions host the Hagyard Challenge Series with seven grand prix competitions that culminate with a Leading Rider Award, as well as the Hallway Feeds National Derby Series.

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



$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 28 – August 2, 2015
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2015 USEF PONY FINALS – August 4-9, 2015

USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 19-23, 2015
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Series: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Hollow Creek Farm, GGT Footing, Rood and Riddle, 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: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 281-7979, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Pat Duncan (503) 510-8797
Stable office – Before Show: (503) 510-8797, During Show: (859) 255-0605
Prize List Advertising – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Vendors – Email Cindy Bozan at cindy@kentuckyhorseshows.com or call (859) 608-3709
Shownet – www.shownet.biz

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

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

CLARION HOTEL (http://www.clarionhotellex.com) (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 Ryan McGaughey at Ryan.mcgaughey@ky.gov. Be specific as to the show name and the dates you wish to stay. Check-in time is 2:00 p.m. and checkout 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)
email: hakshows@earthlink.net
website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

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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