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Molly Sewell & EL Raymond Win $5k USHJA Nat’l Hunter Derby at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

By on July 27, 2015

Molly Sewell and EL Raymond.

Lexington, KY – July 26, 2015 – When it comes to winning the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, Molly Sewell and EL Raymond are two-for-two. The pair won the class last year at the Kentucky Horse Park, and they returned on Sunday to do it again this year.

“He never lets me down. I think we’ve been in the top four of every derby that we’ve ever done – usually winning because that’s what Raymond does,” Sewell laughed following her victory.

At 17 years old, the Warmblood gelding is owned and regularly competed in the Adult Amateurs by Leslie Campbell and can still out jump and outshine horses half his age, as he did on Sunday.

Sewell and EL Raymond went early in the order over the Joseph Carnicom-designed course to earn a score of 90 plus four high option points for a 94. That score would hold up through the entire first round as the best in the class. Sitting in second going into the handy round were Emma Kurtz and VIP Z on a score of 92, while Lilly French and Candor rounded out the top three on a score of 91.

As the top 12 returned for the handy round in reverse order of their standings, it was Addison Piper and Billy the Kid, owned by Cory Olson, who made the biggest jump up the ranks. The pair came in to round two in seventh place on a score of 84.5, but seamless round utilizing great handiness and all four of the high options would earn them a score 88 and shoot them to an overall total of 172.5. That total would end up being good enough to capture the third place award.

Heading into the top three contenders, French and Candor, owned by Redfield Farm, were the first to return. They gave a second solid performance, earning a score of 89 for a two round total of 180, which would put them ahead of Piper and Billy the Kid by 7.5 points.

“This is only my second hunter derby on this horse,” 15-year-old French said. “He’s only 7, and he just started doing the 3’6, so now we’re doing the 3’6 juniors. He’s the scopiest horse out there. He’s never bucked. He’s never done anything wrong, and he has the sweetest personality. You can just stand in his stall, and he’ll just play with you for forever.”

Following French’s impressive performance, it all came down to Kurtz and VIP Z and Sewell and EL Raymond. Kurtz returned next, but a disappointing refusal at the trot fence dropped them from second to 12th with an overall total score of 136.

Sewell and EL Raymond returned next, picked up an immediate and direct canter to the first jump and went straight to another score from the judges of 94. Together the pair’s dual scores of 94 would give them a 188 total and clinch their victory.

“He was really, really good,” Sewell said. “He was kind of dull in the schooling area so I thought ‘oh come on, Raymond. Wake up.’ I don’t know why I ever doubt that he’s going to wake up and jump flawlessly and beautifully. He was so high over everything and so smooth. He didn’t touch one jump; he was just right on it.”

EL Raymond, whose name stands for Everybody Loves Raymond, is extremely well loved in the barn and around the horse show, where Sewell says he has quite the fan club.

“He just brings us a lot of joy – the whole barn,” said owner Leslie Campbell. “He’s got a huge personality and all this talent. He’s just a treat. He’s really a gift.”

Campbell forewent showing EL Raymond in the Adult Amateurs this week in order to save the horse for the derby with Sewell, and Sewell will return to the derby ring on him again during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

Riders competing in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies held throughout the Kentucky Horse Show series are eligible for leading rider bonuses awarded to the leading professional, junior and amateur riders and generously sponsored by Hallway Feeds.

While Sewell is not necessarily contending the bonus this year, French says she may give it a go now that she continues to do well in the derbies.

“Originally I was just trying to enjoy it, but then I came down here, and I was like, ‘oh, I actually can do well, so I’ll just keep doing it,'” French said. “Whatever happens happens; it wasn’t like a ‘at-the-end-of-the-year-you’re-going-to-be-top-5’ thing. That wasn’t a goal for me; the goal for the year was just to get to know him and make the best out of whatever happens. Now I’m going to keep doing the derbies as much as I can.”

While Sunday marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, hunter/jumper competition at the Kentucky Horse Park continues on Tuesday with the start of the Kentucky Summer Classic.

Blue for Brett Burlington in $25,000 U25 Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Fresh off a successful week at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC), rising star Brett Burlington returned to the Rolex Stadium ready to give it her all during Sunday’s $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.

Brett Burlington and Anders Wictor L

Brett Burlington and Anders Wictor L

Out of 24 horse-and-rider combinations that attempted the Alan Wade-designed course, Burlington and Anders Wictor L were one of only three entries to advance to the jump off. Burlington was the final rider to go clear, joining previous qualifiers David Blake and Lorcan Gallagher.

Blake and Pine Hollow Farm’s Baron were the first to attempt the short course, clocking a time of 39.932 seconds and lowering two heights to earn the third-place spot.

Gallagher and Esquina Van Klapscheut stepped up to the plate next, delivering the fastest round with a time of 39.093 seconds, but clipping an unfortunate rail on the final fence to finish with four faults and the second-place ribbon.

“[Esquina Van Klapscheut] gets in the ring, and she fights hard to leave the jumps up,” Gallagher said. “She’s a trier; she’s really good at her job.”

Gallagher took over the ride for one of Sweet Oak Farm’s riders, Alexander Devries, just before the Country Heir Horse Show at the Horse Park, and he has seen great success with the mare since – including winning the $50,000 George Hennessy Grand Prix during Country Heir.

“Alex had been showing it all winter in Florida in the High Amateur classes and mediums. He’s been off doing something with school for the summer,” Gallagher explained. “It’s nice to be able to take over when he’s not here and be able to get some nice results.”

Burlington and Anders Wictor L were the final competitors to jump off, completing the short course in a conservative 44.714 seconds, simultaneously turning in the only double-clear effort of the day to secure the top spot.

“Since David had two down, and Lorcan had the last fence down, it kind of took the pressure off of me to go fast,” Burlington explained. “I knew that all I had to do was jump clear to win. Since Andrew’s stride is so big, you can’t really have a big jump into lines, because then you have to slow down a lot, so it’s important for time allowed to try to take room off the corners wherever you can and give him room at the oxers.”

Burlington and Anders Wictor L partnered up just before this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival, and the pair has experienced success ever since, most recently riding to team bronze during the NAJYRC.

Both Burlington and Gallagher train with Shane and Ali Sweetnam’s Sweet Oak Farm, based out of Spy Coast Farm, conveniently located adjacent to the Kentucky Horse Park.

“Michael DelFiandra trains Brett, and they do a great job together,” Gallagher said. “For her to be able to step up and be jumping against David and I in the jump-off is great. We’re a little bit older and more experienced, but she’s come out on top. That’s a great win for her.”

Gallagher continued, “We’re incredibly lucky to have the farm next door. We’re lucky that Sweet Oak Farm bases out of there, and I have to say thank you to Spy Coast and Lisa Lourie.”

Sunday marked the conclusion of jumper action during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, but classes will resume Tuesday as the Kentucky Summer Classic gets underway at the Kentucky Horse Park. Jumper highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday and the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix on Saturday.

To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit

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:
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 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 Ryan McGaughey at 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)

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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