Santiago Lambre on D’Artagnan.
Lexington, KY – May 21, 2017 – The Kentucky Spring Classic came to a close with a full day of Grand Prix show jumping action in the Rolex Stadium. The final day of competition held not only the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek Farm, but also the $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, presented by Audi of Lexington as well as the jump off round for the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy CSI3* Grand Pix. Alex Granato was the quickest ride in the jump off class, earning him the win in the event that was originally scheduled to be held on Saturday evening after the Preakness Stakes. Eugenio Garza took home the blue ribbon in the Under 25 Grand Prix and Santiago Lambre stole the win in the Bluegrass Grand Prix to finish two weeks of top notch hunter and jumper competition. Lambre was also awarded the Kentucky Spring Classic Leading Rider Award, presented by Envisian Products, LLC.
D’Artagnan, the 9-year-old KWPN gelding who helped Lambre fly to the win in the $40,000 1.45m Grand Prix with a time of 30.592, is part of a newer string of horses for the Brazilian athlete. The pair has previously won several 1.40m and 1.45m classes during the Winter Equestrian Festival as well as at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, before making their way to the Kentucky Horse Park. Lambre, who has spent a good portion of his career competing in Europe, recently transitioned to the United States full time to live in Wellington, Fla. The 2017 Kentucky Spring Series marked the first time Lambre had competed at the Kentucky Horse Park and after his numerous successful rounds of the past two weeks, the Brazilian athlete is looking forward to more trips to the area.
With a full roster of thirty-nine horses, the $40,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix only saw eight clear rounds to return for the jump-off. Although French National Champion Eric Navet held the early lead on Basimodo with a clear time of 31.661, Luis Biraben and Colorado 210 eventually stole the second place honors by putting in a faultless effort and time of 31.557, sending Navet home to California with a third place ribbon.
Earlier in the afternoon, Eugenio Garza piloted his own Barino to the top of the leader board in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek Farms, with a double clear ride and jump off time of 41.675. Garza, who won big on Friday night in the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix on Armani SL Z, was the fastest of twenty-two starters in the class. Mavis Spencer and Chacco were second with a double clear effort and a jump off time of 41.834.
The highlight event of the Kentucky Spring Classic, the $130,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, was won by American rider, Alex Granato and Carlchen W with faultless jump off round and a time of 41.73. Granato competed against forty-eight other riders during a class that was split between Saturday night and Sunday morning due to unexpected storms. Aaron Vale and Finou 4 finished just off the lead time in 42.36 and Michael Morrissey and Chance Ste. Hermelle rounded out the top three spots with a clear round and time of 43.45.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series saw awards go to athletes from all over the world who gathered in the Kentucky Horse Park for the annual event. Professionals and amateurs alike were able to compete in top level hunter and jumper classes, all while enjoying the world class facilities at the of the Kentucky Horse Park. Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC is looking forward to hosting their competitors again during their Summer Series that will take place from July 26, 2017 – August 6, 2017.
Emma Kurtz and Dedication Declared Grand Junior Hunter Champions
On the final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, talented junior rider Emma Kurtz claimed the Large Junior Hunter division championship as well as the Grand Junior Hunter Champion title aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Dedication. Accumulating 46 points with the judges, Kurtz consistently placed at the top of the leaderboard on multiple mounts in the Stonelea ring and won the championship sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate.
On Saturday, Emma Kurtz of Hudson, Ohio executed two precise rounds in the Large Junior Hunter classes, landing Dedication, a bay Holsteiner, in second place after the first day of competition. Showcasing his reliability to perform well in the show ring, the 12-year-old gelding returned on Sunday and jumped his way to second place in the over fences classes, coming in third in the under saddle class.
Although the pair had not shown together since the Winter Equestrian Festival where they regularly ribboned in the large junior hunter classes, the break between Florida and Kentucky did not prevent them from outshining the competition across the division. In addition to Kurtz, Dedication has also been shown by top hunter athletes Scott Stewart and Victoria Colvin in the professional and junior divisions.
Competitive National and International hunter and jumper competition will resume at the Kentucky Horse Park in July with the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, presented by Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC.