Lexington, KY – May 23, 2021 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic and the conclusion to Kentucky Horse Shows’ spring series saw a day full of exciting show jumping competition Sunday, May 23. A total of 39 rising young talents gathered for the $15,000 U25 Grand Prix CSI3* in the famed Rolex Arena, hopeful to close out competition in Lexington with a win. In the end, it was 15-year-old Caroline Mawhinney and her own Stella Levista who emerged victorious, claiming their first U25 win together.
Christina Kelly and Monique Take Top Honors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
The StoneLea Ring kicked off Sunday morning with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, wrapping up the final day of competition at the Kentucky Spring Classic. A total of 36 junior, amateur, and professional athletes took center stage to showcase their skills in the decorated derby ring. Three talented pairs emerged victorious, with Christina Kelly riding Monique, Libbie Gordon on Ascott, and Campbell Brown aboard Fleetwood laying down two jaw-dropping rounds to make up the podium for the class.
Emma Kurtz Dominates Junior Hunter Divisions at Kentucky Summer Horse Show
Lexington, KY – July 30, 2016 – The luck of the Irish certainly favored the winners of Saturday’s $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Irish riders Shane Sweetnam and Christina Kelly rode away with the top three ribbons, with first and third won by Sweetnam and Kelly earning second.
The first round saw 30 entries over fellow Irishman Alan Wade’s course, with 14 horse-and-rider combinations eventually advancing to the short course. The spectators cheered from the stands, enjoying the top-quality show jumping during the Kentucky Horse Park’s 14th annual Hats Off Day.
Kelly and Andrea O’Brien’s Kingdom were among the first to turn in a clear round, securing their place in the jump-off early on in the class.
“Kingdom has come such a long way,” Kelly said. “He jumped his first grand prix in April in Aiken, and he has moved up slowly. He has been unbelievable, and this is the biggest venue he has competed at, especially with the crowds and the night class. He showed so much potential, and he is getting better and better.”
Sweetnam and the Blue Buckle Group LLC’s Cobolt jumped their clear effort shortly after, and later Sweetnam followed up with another jump-off-qualifying round aboard Main Road, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC.
“Cobolt is a lot of fun to ride,” Sweetnam said. “It’s taken me a little while to figure out the buttons, but we seem to have figured it out in the last couple months. He’s been very consistent, so I’m very happy with him. He’s a really quick horse, and he jumped really well here the other night.”
As the riders returned for the jump off, only five of the 14 qualified would repeat their clear efforts. Kelly returned with Kingdom to lay down a quick round, saving time by taking tight turns and opening up the 17.3-hand horse’s massive stride between the combinations. Kelly and Kingdom stopped the timers in 45.474 seconds, securing her hold on the lead.
“I was very happy with him,” Kelly said. “I was going into this hopeful that he was going to jump well. My strategy was just to go double clear, but he was jumping so well I figured I could push him a bit to go faster. The track rode fantastic; I love Alan Wade’s courses.”
Sweetnam entered the ring on Cobolt shortly after, taking his turns even tighter and using his smaller horse’s agility to its full potential to shave an impressive two seconds off of Kelly’s leading time, finishing the course in a mere 43.882 seconds to take over the top spot.
“Christina was really fast,” Sweetnam said. “I know she was really quick everywhere, but Christina’s horse is a big-strided horse, and I think my fellow may just be a bit niftier and quicker through the corners. He’s definitely more competitive that way; he’s bouncy, you can turn quicker, and he gets his eye on the jumps. I think he was excellent in the jump-off. He likes going fast; he’s a bit like his dad [Cyklon 1083], so it’s great that Cobolt is winning, too.”
During his career with Cyklon 1083, Sweetnam has experienced a lot of success. At 10 years old, Cobolt is one of Cyklon’s oldest sons and is following in his father’s footsteps. Sweetnam got the ride on the gelding in January, and has since won the $130,000 Ariat Grand Prix CSI3* at Tryon, among other successes at the 1.50m level.
The final rider to return to the ring, it was clear that Sweetnam would be taking home the blue ribbon, but it was a question of whether he could beat his earlier time on his next mount, Main Road. Despite coming close with their clear effort, Sweetnam and Main Road’s time of 46.444 seconds would earn them the third-place ribbon.
“Main Road is only an 8-year-old,” Sweetnam explained. “He’s had a bit of success already this summer, and he’s coming along all the time. He was pretty quick tonight, and I think if I had to, I could have been quicker, but I would have taken more risks. I was already happy with his round, and he did exactly what I wanted to do. He can be very, very quick, and I think he’ll have other days where he’ll win, too.”
Sweetnam concluded, “I love Kentucky, and we always have success here. It’s our home for the summer, so that makes it nicer. I also want to thank my sponsors, between Lisa Lourie, the Buckle Up Group, the Gilbertsons and Paul Tracey; I’m just lucky to have such great owners. I’ve been very lucky this year to have these horses.”
Also going double clear, Adrienne Sternlicht and Starlight Farms 1 LLC’s Toulago tripped the timers in 49.442 seconds to take home fourth place. Trailing very closely behind, Juan Ortiz and the Synchronicity Group’s D’ulien Van De Smeets ended up in fifth place with their time of 49.842 seconds. Despite having the second-fastest time at 44.372 seconds, Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios and A S D Farfala rounded out the top six after catching an unfortunate four faults for having a rail down.
The final highlights during the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows include the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $10,000 Under 25 Grand Prix. The action will resume next week during the Kentucky Summer Classic.
Emma Kurtz Dominates Junior Hunter Divisions
Emma Kurtz dominated the Stonelea Ring on Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show with wins on Dominik in the Small Junior Hunter division, as well as a clean sweep in the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division on Frederick.
“My rounds on Frederick went really well today,” Kurtz said. “He was amazing considering it was so late in the day due to the weather delay. He is very flashy with his white socks and blaze, and he has a great rhythm to his canter.”
Kurtz has had the ride on David Gochman’s chestnut gelding for over a year, and the pair are no strangers to winning blue ribbons and championship titles. In Saturday’s Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, Kurtz and Frederick won both over fences classes and the under saddle class.
“Frederick is a quiet horse. He is so fun to ride and I love him,” she continued. “He may be a bit looky at times, but he is usually on it and he was great today.”
Kurtz of Hudson, Ohio also impressed the judges on David Gochman’s gelding Dominik. This was the third show the duo has competed together and though they are a relatively new pair they were Grand Champions at Brandywine. On Saturday, they earned the blue ribbon in both over fences classes during the Small Junior Hunter division.
“Dominik was feeling great today,” Kurtz explained. “He was a bit frisky which was kind of good because he is usually too quiet, so the rides today were nice. He is very simple and sweet.”
She plans on riding him in next week’s Kentucky Summer Classic and then Sophie and Mimi Gochman will pick up the ride.
“I love Kentucky,” Kurtz explained. “I love to be back here! The show is always run so nicely. The jumps are beautiful and it’s just a really nice show to come to.”
Brett Burlington of Miami, Florida leads the way in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division on Popish Farms LLC’s Due West. The pair won an over fences class as well as placed second in the under saddle class.
“I thought my rounds went really well today,” Burlington said. “He is very easy and straightforward. I float the reins and everything usually works out well. Basically the less I involve myself the easier it is. If I ride everything smooth and not change much, the distances come up nicely. The more adjustments I try to make, the distances can get a bit iffy.”
Burlington competed the 12-year-old gelding during the winter season at WEF and they were champions in Traverse City earlier in the summer.
“He is owned by a client at Sweet Oaks Farm and she is very nice to let me show him,” she explained. “I have been riding him on and off for a couple of years now. For the rest of the season we will work on having more consistent rounds and try my best.”
All junior hunter divisions will wrap up on Sunday morning at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show.
On Saturday morning, championships were awarded in the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. Jane Gaston won the Visse Wedell Grand Hunter Championship, as well as the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship aboard Because. The KWPN gelding had also earned the Green Hunter Championship with Kelley Farmer earlier in the week.
Lisa Butzer earned the tricolored ribbon for the Amateur-Owner 3’3 18-35 division on Pure Imagination, while Didi Mackenzie and MTM Do Right was crowned champion in the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3 Over 35 division.
On Sunday, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby will take place and it will be the third class in the $40,0000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series. The $15,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Bonus will award a $10,000 cash prize to the professional rider accumulating the most points in the five classes that make up the 2016 Hallway Feeds series. The series-leading amateur and junior riders accumulating the most points will each receive a $2,500 cash prize. Riders will receive points only on their highest placed horse in each of the classes. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the Hallway Feeds class at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 21.
Lexington, KY – October 5, 2011 – The Alltech National Horse Show’s debut at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, is just a few weeks away, and local rider Christina Kelly is quickly preparing for her own debut at the event. Kelly is based out of her family’s Diamond Edge Farm in Nicholasville, KY, and will be competing in the $25,000 Junior Jumper Division, as well as the $50,000 SJHOF Junior/Amateur Championships, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, Chansonette and Deeridge Farm.
Although Kelly represents Ireland, she has been competing in the United States for a number of years and has taken the circuit by storm in 2011. She has won numerous Junior Jumper Classics aboard her three talented mounts: Camirage, Creata Van Ten Biesen, and HH Narcos Du Marais, which have all earned a spot on the qualification list for this year’s Alltech National Horse Show.
“This is my first year competing during the Alltech National Horse Show, and I love the Kentucky Horse Park so I think it’s going to be a great event,” commented Kelly. “There are a lot of European riders coming over for the other classes and I think it’s going to be a great horse show, especially because it will be in the Alltech Arena. It’s going to be focused on that main event and I think it will be amazing.”
Kelly continued, “I love the Kentucky Horse Park. We stay there for five weeks during the summer and the horses never seem to get tired of it. They jump so much better on that footing and they have the grass field to ride in, I think they really like it and they perform better there.”
Lexington, KY – August 5, 2011 – There was nothing but sunshine at the Kentucky Horse Park for the third day of the Kentucky Summer Classic. Today, talented horse and rider combinations competed at the Rolex Stadium during the High and Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper classes. Taking home the blue ribbon in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class was Christina Kelly aboard Creata Van Ten Biesen, posting the target time for the jump-off as the first duo to compete in the class. Michael Murphy mirrored her success aboard Ultrafox in the Low Junior Jumper class, claiming the blue with no pair coming near his jump-off time.
Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela used the many of the same obstacles from last night’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class today in the Rolex Stadium. The obstacles included a liverpool, two vertical-oxer double combinations, and a vertical-vertical double combination. For the jump-off, riders began with a single vertical bending to a single oxer bending to the vertical with a turn to a single oxer. Riders then faced the vertical-oxer combination with a left rollback to the single oxer finishing the jump-off with the yellow-and-white-striped vertical.
Twenty-four horse and rider combinations attempted the first round in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers; however, sixteen succeeded into the jump-off with an amazing eleven riders going double clean. Christina Kelly was the first to do so with Creata Van Ten Biesen, owned by Diamond Edge Farm of Nicholasville, KY, setting the jump-off target time from the start at 36.864 seconds.
“It felt great to be the first one in, I was hoping she would get into the jump-off, and once she did, we just went fast and clear,” described Kelly. “It was intense watching everyone try and get our time; one girl was really close and I was a little bit nervous, but it worked out and I was so happy to win!”
WESTPORT, CT – June 30, 2011 – Christina Kelly aboard HH Narcos Du Marais owned by Double H Farm emerged victorious over a field of 24 competitors at the $32,500 Grand Prix on Saturday, June 25, 2011, the culminating event of the Fairfield County Hunt Club June Benefit Horse Show held in Westport, Connecticut.
Due to torrential rains earlier in the week, the decision was made on Friday to move Saturday’s Grand Prix from the grass Jumper Field to the Emerson Burr Ring with all weather footing.
George N. Venizelos representing Wells Fargo Advisors was on hand to present the well-earned blue ribbon, along with Laura Totten of Coca Cola and Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave and The Dressing Room, Show Co-Chairs, Alison Ashman, Catherine Herman, and Jennifer Ross, and Lynn Coakley, President of The EQUUS Foundation.
Thanks to the professional expertise of Show Manager William Glass and the Fairfield County Hunt Club staff led by General Manager Carla Nelson, spectators and over 400 guests at The EQUUS Foundation Grand Prix Benefit Luncheon were afforded ringside views to watch these riders and horses triumph over the difficult course designed by Olympic Course Designer Steve Stephens.
The show’s generous individual and corporate sponsors included: the show’s Official Vehicle Sponsors, Buick & GMC; Magazine Sponsor, Moffly Media; Gold Medal Sponsors Avenue Capital Group, Fairfield Equine Associates, and Newmark Knight Frank; Silver Medal Sponsors, Coca Cola, Corinthian Partners, LLC, D’Addario Industries, Gary Goldberg Financial Services, Hi Ho Petroleum, Hospital for Special Surgery and Imperial Dental Associates; and Bronze Medal Sponsors, Agriventures Agway and Margaret Bondy Interiors. These sponsors presented awards all week long to the winners of the 250 separate equestrian competitions, which culminated with the Grand Prix on Saturday.
Wellington, FL – April 26, 2011 – The Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) Spring Circuit held its sixth show on April 19-23 with a full schedule of hunter/jumper competition. The popular circuit featured three classes in the Spring 6 show: the $10,000 Pennfield Feeds Open Jumper Welcome Stake, the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Classic, and the $25,000 ESP Spring 6 Grand Prix.
Up and coming jumper stars ruled the International Arena this past week. In the $25,000 Spring 6 Grand Prix, 13-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, scored her first grand prix win with Monsieur Reverdy, owned by Rivers Edge. She beat a field of 32 entries with a double clear finish in 36.755 seconds. Quentin Judge (24) and HH Sandor were second in 37.143 seconds, while 16-year-old Christina Kelly and Camirage, owned by Diamond Edge Farm, were third in 37.261 seconds.
Wellington, FL – April 1, 2011 – Friday night during week twelve at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured the $30,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Zone Team Competition Final. The horses and riders were divided into sections of high, medium and low heights to jump, with each section awarding $10,000. In the highs, Charlie Jacobs, Gabrielle Bausano, Christina Kelly and Karen Polle jumped to victory. In the mediums, Katherine Steenberg, Madeline Cox, Cynthia McGrath, and Heather Irons earned top honors. The lows were the final level to compete, with a win for the team of Shannon Spencer, Erica Polle, Mahala Rummell, and Megan MacPherson.
Running through Sunday, April 3, this week’s remaining feature events include Round 2 of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and the Finals for the Adequan Young Jumpers on Sunday.