Pablo Barrios Reigns with Zara Leandra in $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic

Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra.

Lexington, KY – July 24, 2014 – Pablo Barrios will soon be crowned king of the Kentucky Horse Park, and Zara Leandra will be his queen. Tonight, the dynamic duo notched yet another $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic victory. The Venezuelan native won both of the events during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and that was following his domination of the series in 2013. It appears to be a repeat year, as Barrios grabs a firmer hold on the 2014 Hagyard Challenge Series, which awards a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus to the top finisher following the culmination of the series in September.

Forty-eight horse and rider combinations gathered at the Rolex Stadium for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. World-renowned course designer Steve Stephens tested entries with 13 numbered obstacles that included three double combinations, an aqueduct wall and a liverpool oxer. The technical lines had many of the riders leaving the ring with faults next to their name, but nine made it to the jump-off.

The final test featured multiple rollbacks and opportunities to gallop across the ring and slice fences. Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam was the pathfinder as the first to return with Solerina, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Spy Coast Farm. They were able to quickly navigate the track without error and set the pace to beat at 36.600 seconds.

Three rounds later, Chris Ewanouski entered the arena with Orbetello, owned by Hampton Farms. Although they are still forming a partnership, Ewanouski and Orbetello proved they were up to the challenge when they made a hard slice across the ring after the wall. With all the rails intact they broke the beam at 36.285 seconds.

“When you start going fast with Orbetello, he gets even more careful. He gets sharp, so I knew I could be really fast at the beginning of the jump-off,” explained Ewanouski. “I really caught Shane to the wall and then to the last jump. We really tried to fly there. I just got the ride on him this spring, and he’s done a lot so far in his career, so I’m very lucky and fortunate.”

Unfortunately for Ewanouski, Barrios was the final rider to compete with his veteran mount Zara Leandra, and as they landed off of one of the middle verticals it was clear why they are leading the Hagyard standings. They raced over the final obstacles without touching a rail and blazed across the finish in 35.350 seconds to capture the victory, relegating Ewanouski to second place and Sweetnam to third place.

Shane Sweetnam and Solerina
Shane Sweetnam and Solerina

“I was very tight to the combination,” admitted Barrios. “She jumped the combination in the first round really, really good so I took advantage of that, that she would jump it again good. She jumped it really good.”

Despite her victory tonight, Barrios will not be entering Zara Leandra in Saturday’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix. “I did this class with her because I really want to win the bonus,” he commented. “I’m taking her and Antares to the World Equestrian Games and the Nations Cup Finals, and they will each jump in one. Then she will rest until the Central American Games in November. We need to qualify for the Pan American Games there, and we’re the defending champions, so I really want to take my best horse. I think that is Zara Leandra.”

Barrios added, “She should be resting right now, but she’s in top shape. I knew that this class wouldn’t affect her, but for the moment I will only do the grand prix with Antares.”

Before he goes abroad, Barrios is focused on winning the $50,000 Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. “It’s a little more pressure with this class with Zara Leandra because I feel like she should automatically go clear,” he said. “It’s so nice to have a horse that you know her percentage of clear rounds is higher than the rounds that she has faults. The Hagyard series puts a little more pressure on, but I think I’m better under pressure.”

Barrios concluded, “I really want to thank my sponsors and my team. My sponsors include Purina, Der Dau, Choice of Champions, Healthy Coat, Animo and Devoucoux, and this would not be possible without them.”

The next event for Barrios will be Saturday night’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix. The class will get underway at 7:30 p.m. in the Rolex Stadium, and is held in conjunction with the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hat’s Off Day, a celebration of the horse and its impact on the state of Kentucky.

For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Kentucky Summer Series Fast Facts

Events:
Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, USEF National Pony Finals, Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and KHJA Horse Show, and the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals.

What:
The Kentucky Horse Show LLC’s 2014 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.

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

When:

NORTH AMERICAN JUNIOR & YOUNG RIDER CHAMPIONSHIPS – July 15-20, 2014
KENTUCKY SUMMER HORSE SHOW – July 23-27, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

KENTUCKY SUMMER CLASSIC – July 29 – August 3, 2014
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footings
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

2014 USEF PONY FINALS – August 5-10, 2014
BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL HORSE SHOW – August 12-17, 2014
USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals
USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship
$25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
$40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby
WCHR Member Event

KHJA HORSE SHOW – August 20-24, 2014
$10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake
$30,000 KHJA Grand Prix
$5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby

Sponsors:
A special thanks to the generous sponsors of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows: Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, Hallway Feeds, Audi of Lexington, GGT Footing, Equestrian Services International, Johnson Horse Transportation, Farm Vet, Dietrich Insurance, Take2 Thoroughbred Program, Sleepy P Ranch, and the Official Hotel The Clarion

Hours:
8am – 5pm daily

Parking:
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.

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

Information:
Before Show – (859) 233-0492, Email: hakshows@earthlink.net
During Show – Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling – Email Tom Blankenship at tomblank@bellsouth.net
Stable office – Before Show: (843) 269-4737, 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

Ring Dimensions/Specs:

The Stonelea Ring, Murphy Ring, Walnut Ring, Stonelea/Murphy Schooling Ring, the Alltech Arena and the Rolex Stadium have Otto Sport footing consisting of fine sand and synthetic fiber on pvc mats. The Claiborne, Annex, and Covered Arena (old) rings’ footing consists of a sand cushion on limestone base. The dimensions of the competition areas are as follows:

Stonelea: 140′x 280′, Murphy: 135′x 280′, Stonelea and Murphy Schooling: 110′x 400′
Walnut: 300′x 370′, Claiborne: 140′x 270′, Annex 130′x 250′, Covered Arena (old): 145′x 285′ Rolex Stadium: 360′ x 384′, Alltech Arena: 132′ x 265′

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

Hotels:

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.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS:
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 sherryd.logan@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 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.

Management:
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)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
www.phelpsmediagroup.com

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