Tag Archives: David O’Brien

David O’Brien Earns Top Prizes on Day 2 of Classic Champions Developing Jumper Finals

David O’Brien and Octavious SCF won the 5-Year-Old division. Photo by Shawn McMillen.

LEXINGTON, KY – Sept. 19, 2019 – Day two of the Classic Champions Developing Jumper Finals kicked off competition in the Rolex Stadium at the 2019 Kentucky National Horse Show Thursday. Young Jumpers in the 4, 5, 6, and 7-year-old divisions had the opportunity to gain confidence and experience at one of the country’s most picturesque venues.

Course designer and vice president of Classic Champions, Tom Holden, builds inviting courses that allow the up-and-coming horses to become confident and enjoy the work. Holden, who hails from Ireland, has spent many years working as part of the Irish Young Horse Championships.

Each of Thursday’s divisions from the 5 through 7-year-olds were held in a Table II Section 2(d) format, a two-phase competition. All horse-and-rider combinations complete both rounds regardless of faults in the first phase. Scores are decided by accumulating the faults incurred over both phases and any time penalties.

Spy Coast Farm’s David O’Brien was victorious in both the five-year-old and seven-year-old divisions with Octavius SCF and Maldonado SCF, respectively.

“The courses today were great,” said Spy Coast Farm’s Lisa Lourie. “They were very well designed and asked the right questions for young horses but not dumbed down. It was very appropriate.

“We’re very excited at Spy Coast because we are starting to really develop some top quality jumper horses. After a decade of work to inspire quality breeding, America is finally becoming a place where people recognize they can now purchase very good young horses.”

O’Brien and the five-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Beluga) were one of only six double clear rounds and crossed through the second-phase timers in an efficient 35.320. The farm’s 7-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Simbette) was one of only three to finish double-clear in his division with a winning time of 29.716 seconds.

“What I really enjoy about this show and these classes is that they are all about bettering the young horses,” O’Brien explained. “Even if a horse has a problem or an error somewhere, they can always get out of it and regroup which builds their self-esteem.”

Maggie Jayne and Alex Jayne’s American Warmblood stallion (Amaretto D’Arco x Athena), Arizona ODF, took the red ribbon while Megan Wexler and Dolce Vita rounded out the top three.

Taylor Flury piloted the 4-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Calano Z x Role Model), Palano ABF, to a second consecutive high score of 85.00 points in the 4-year-old exhibition division. She also picked up another win in the 6-year-old class with Nefertari ABF, a Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x JFA Cirque D’chiari ABF) also owned by Flury’s Aliboo Farm, Inc.

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David O’Brien and La Belle SCF Capture Win in $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix

David O’Brien and La Belle SCF.

Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 18, 2019 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Despite high temperatures, 28 horse-and-rider pairs contested Ken Krome’s course attempting to walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money. At the end of a competitive jump-off, it was David O’Brien and La Belle SCF who walked away with the day’s top honors, in addition to winning the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.

Luminosity Shines Bright with Geoffrey Hesslink to Win $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show was bookended by the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, sponsored by World Equestrian Center and Kentucky Horse Shows, on Sunday to complete a week of exciting equestrian action. In their first ever class together, Geoffrey Hesslink and Luminosity topped the scorecard following two standout rides to top the field of 40 starters and earn the lead spot in the victory gallop.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

O’Brien and Vale Ride Away with Jumper Wins in Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tours

David O’Brien and Merly Chin SCF.

Lexington, Ky. – July 31, 2019 – The Classic Champions Developing Jumper Tour kicked off its fifth show of the eight-part tour Wednesday at the Kentucky Summer Classic with a talented collection of up-and-coming young horses tackling the 5, 6 and 7-year-old divisions. While Aaron Vale and Gray’s Inn topped the leaderboard in the 5-year-old class held in the Walnut Ring, the Rolex Stadium saw David O’Brien emerging victorious with the fastest double-clear round in the 7-Year-Old Jumpers. The 6-Year-Old division followed, where Vale topped the leaderboard once again, this time competing three horses in the class before riding away with a one-two finish with Vander Esch and Carina, respectively.

Gogul and Torano Tie for Grand Hunter Champion

Professional hunters wrapped up Wednesday. The Grand Hunter Championship, presented by Visse Wedell, is awarded to the competitors with the most points accumulated in the Green 3’6″ Hunter, Green 3’9″ Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, High Performance Conformation Hunter, and the High Performance Working Hunter divisions. Similar to last week, there was a tie for Grand Hunter Championship title. Jeff Gogul with Roberts Stables LLC’s Maverick alongside Jimmy Torano aboard Amethyst Equestrian Consulting LLC’s California both earned 44 points in their respective divisions to tie for the prestigious prize.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com

David O’Brien and KIR Royal SCF Win $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic

David O’Brien and KIR Royal SCF. Photo credit: Bailey Beck.

Mill Spring, NC – March 25, 2019 – Tryon Welcome 1 saw David O’Brien grab top honors throughout the venue’s first contest for 2019, which featured USEF “A” and Level 3 Jumper competition, topping off the week with a win aboard KIR Royal SCF in Sunday’s $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic. The Lexington, KY resident and his Spy Coast Farm, LLC mount posted two clear rounds on the day to take the win, stopping the jump-off timers in 36.112 seconds. Claiming reserve honors, Jorge Ludwig and his own The Graduate, hailing from Newbury Park, CA, sped through the short-course in 36.171 seconds, while Nicky Galligan (Keswick, VA) and his own Javas Miss Jordan produced a 37.804-second jump-off round to receive third place honors.

The course, set by Dean Rheinheimer of Venice, FL, saw ten entries with six pairs demonstrating a jump-off round. O’Brien noted that he was glad to be back at Tryon, especially following his success at the venue last fall. “The course was really nice, and it’s nice to get my horses back in this ring again after the break this winter,” he said. “This was my first show outdoors since October [2018], where KIR Royal SCF won a Speed class in CSI 5* competition. He’s home-produced, bred by Lisa Lourie at Spy Coast Farm.”

KIR Royal SCF, a 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve), improved on his second-place finish in Friday’s $5,000 1.35m Welcome Stake, where O’Brien also collected top honors riding Dayla 6, a 2009 Belgian Sport Horse mare (Ogano Sitte x Zeoliet). “We had one down in the second round Friday, but today there were no mistakes,” O’Brien continued. “I was very close to a double clear on Dayla today, and she was very good this week. She belongs to Cleveland Equestrian, and I don’t have her for that long, but she seems really nice.”

TIEC competitors have begun utilizing the newly-built jumps added to the inventory this winter, as well as enjoying recently-renovated barns and numerous facility updates ahead of the Tryon Welcome Series. As a rider known for his ability to bring along younger mounts, O’Brien mentioned that he appreciates the venue as a horse-friendly place to start the season and prepare them for the year ahead:

“I brought all my young horses here because we get to jump in the main ring with very nice jumps,” he explained. “I use TIEC as a preparation for Kentucky in May. I get them in the main ring with all these great jumps, so I’ve kind of caught up to everyone who’s been in Florida without having to go down there.”

O’Brien will spend another week at TIEC, competing in Tryon Welcome 2 (USEF “A”/Level 3) before returning to Kentucky for a bit to be with his younger horses ahead of their summer season. “We have a Young Horse Show at our farm in April – part of the same series that will come to TIEC in November this year – and then I’ll come back here for the summer and bring all my babies back,” he concluded.

Click here to view full results from the $15,000 1.35m-1.40m Jumper Classic.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

David O’Brien and O’Splendido Win $35k 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon

David O’Brien and O’Splendido. Photos ©LizCrawleyPhotography.

Mill Spring, NC – July 6, 2016 – David O’Brien (IRL) and O’Splendido sat atop the leaderboard early on in the $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), maintaining the lead to secure the win with a faultless round and a recorded time of 60.800 seconds. Coming in a close second place with a time of 61.250 seconds was Todd Minikus (USA) aboard Vita 24, while third place honors were awarded to Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Cannavaro BH with a time of 61.820 seconds.

O’Brien and O’Splendido, a 2002 Selle Francais stallion (Burggraaf x Voltaire) have been partners for close to a year, building their relationship and contesting multiple FEI classes representing the nation of Ireland. The pair finished second in last week’s Tryon Summer I $35,000 1.45m Horseware Ireland Opener CSI 3* and this week they kicked it into a higher gear to secure the win.

O’Brien went on to speak of the tough track set by Martin Otto (GER), which allowed for varied distances between fences, tight inside turns, and finished with a long gallop down to the last oxer.

“I did eight in the first line, allowing me to set up the tight turn that followed,” noted O’Brien. “I also chose the inside turn, which I believe saved me a lot of time on the clock.”

“With this horse, I gradually get faster as the round continues on, which gives me the ability to take out a stride here and there. I always start out steady, organize my turns, and then move him up steadily throughout the course. He really kicked into an extra gear for me today,” he added.

O’Splendido is a veteran to FEI competition and has plenty of experience in international competition. O’Brien commented on how he uses their combined knowledge to an advantage in the ring, saying, “My horse is older, so he knows how to perform. The speed class is his forte; his ears are pricked, he turns tight, and he really enjoys it. When he puts his eye on that first jump, he is so game, especially in that ring. He is on the job.”

Todd Minikus and Vita 24
Todd Minikus and Vita 24

O’Brien expressed his gratitude for Lisa Lourie and Spy Coast Farm for allowing him to not only compete on O’Splendido, but also provide the opportunity to bring multiple young horses up through the ranks.

“I just have the one horse to compete with at the elite level and the rest that I show are young Spy Coast-bred horses. Competing with the young horses makes the FEI classes possible and also makes wins like today so special,” he detailed. “I am so lucky that Lisa allows me to come to these shows and compete on her incredible horses. I am very thankful for her.”

TIEC continues with competition throughout the remainder of the week, hosting the $35,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 3* on Thursday, July 7. “Saturday Night Lights” will return presenting the $130,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 8:00 p.m. Premier AA Hunter divisions will run throughout the week, featuring the $10,000 Pre-Green Incentive on Thursday, July 7, as well as the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Friday, July 8. The $5,000 Pony Hunter Derby will take to the George H. Morris Arena on Saturday, July 9.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.tryon.com.