Lexington, KY – August 18, 2012 – It was a night that will be well remembered, and a win well deserved. The Rolex Stadium was packed at the Kentucky Horse Park as the Handy Round brought the 2012 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals to a close during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. One of the industry’s most successful hunter professionals, Jennifer Alfano, led the victory gallop aboard her renowned mount Jersey Boy. Elizabeth Boyd and Brunello rode to the second place honors, while Scott Stewart and Garfield took the third place award.
After a 12-month qualifying period, the hunter elite were invited to compete for the coveted championship title. With a record number of 95 entrants, the Derby Finals got underway yesterday in the Rolex Stadium, with the top 30 horse and rider combinations returning to tackle the handy hunter course. The scores from the Classic Hunter Round carried over into tonight’s competition, factoring into the overall score for each pair.
The esteemed Rob Bielefeld, Patrick Rodes, Linda Hough, Geoff Teall, Betty Oare and Scott Williamson had the pleasure of judging the rounds tonight, scrutinizing the style and handiness of each trip. Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, designed the final course and riders were able to increase their overall score by attempting the high options, adding an additional point per fence to their base score, as well as earning ‘handy points’ from the judges’ panels for their ingenuity and ability.
Lexington, KY – August 18, 2012 – It was a clear, crisp morning at the Kentucky Horse Park for the fourth day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. A select group of talented riders looked on to the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper course at the Rolex Stadium with anticipation in hopes of posting the best-marked time. Taking home the division’s blue ribbon, Meagan Nusz outclassed other top riders with Vesuvius, riding to one of only two double-clear efforts. Placing the lead score until bested by Nusz was Alexandra Duval aboard Cipriani Z, who expertly navigated a faultless short course and received second place in the class.
The course, designed by Allen Rheinheimer, featured elements from yesterday’s Hunter Derby at the Rolex Stadium, to provide accents for the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper class today. The course used several natural colored hunt jumps, sponsor fences and an option fence offering the liverpool to the left and an oxer to the right. The obstacles of the short course included a vertical-oxer-liverpool triple combination, stonewall pillar oxers, and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination. For the jump-off, riders began with a single oxer taking a hard left loop to the Sleepy P Ranch oxer; they then completed a right turn to a natural looking vertical and long line to natural oxer. The rider then rode a line to the right over the vertical-liverpool combination, taking a left to finish over a brick pillar oxer to break the beam within the allotted time of 47 seconds.
Lexington, KY – August 17, 2012 – The lights were bright in the Rolex Stadium as the onlookers cheered on their favorite horse and rider combinations in a highly competitive 14-horse jump off. It was the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic that took center stage tonight, seeing a field of 50 entrants vie for the top prize and valuable series points. Shane Sweetnam and Amaretto D’Arco jumped to the fastest of only four double-clear efforts, leading the night’s victory gallop. Kaitlin Campbell was just a hair shy of Sweetnam’s time, finishing in the second place spot with Rocky W.
Tonight’s class was the fifth of seven grand prix events that make up the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by Hagyard Medical Institute and presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.
Allen Rheinheimer designed the track tonight, utilizing standalone verticals, rollbacks, technical lines, an oxer-oxer double combination, a vertical-oxer double combination, and a tight oxer-vertical combination leading into a daunting oxer. Riders had to navigate the course within the tight time allowed of 95 seconds, treading carefully with the agility to leave all the rails in their cups.
Lexington, KY – August 17, 2012 – The crème de la crème of the hunter world gathered at the Rolex Stadium for the first day of the long awaited 2012 $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals. All the attention turned toward the classic hunt course that decorated the Rolex Stadium at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Scott Stewart rode to the top of the leader board with Dedication, laying down a stunning round and showing the necessity of fluidity, athleticism and rideability along with finesse. Elizabeth Boyd piloted Brunello to the second place finish, while Jennifer Alfano navigated the famous Jersey Boy to the third place slot.
This is the fourth year the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals have been in existence, created purely to bring show hunters to the world stage in an effort to increase spectators, media, sponsorships, and bring tradition and basic riding principles back to the sport of show hunters. The top 81 qualifying horses were invited to showcase their talents over the demanding traditional hunter course this morning. The International Hunter Derby Finals include a 12-month qualifying period, and only the top 30 horses will continue into tomorrow night’s handy round with the hopes of garnering the championship title and lion’s share of the prize money.
Lexington, KY – August 16, 2012 – It was perfect weather at the Stonelea Arena for greeting champions into the winner’s circle today at Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Professional Hunters Divisions wrapped up the two-day competition with one name resounding above others. While Hunt Tosh and Rosalynn earned an honorary moment of pinning in the High Performance Hunter division, it was Scott Stewart who brought an A-team of mounts who gave top-notch performances, all worthy of the championship tricolors in three of today’s five hunter events.
Aligned in an original pattern, today’s hunt course designed by Patrick Rodes, posed an intricate track for riders to navigate. The first over fences class used only eight of the eleven obstacles, while the handy class used nine of the eleven, with fence two consisting of two options, creating different lines to fence three, the narrow trot-jump. Both courses’ lines closed with the vertical-oxer outside line, finishing on the near side of ring.
The first of the elite team to make their mark was in the Green Working Hunter Conformation division, the second event to be seen in the Stonelea Arena. Scott Stewart rode Beholden, a dark brown gelding, owned by Fashion Farm of Philadelphia, PA, to a back-to-back class win in the over fences and handy class, as well as a second place in the under saddle class. The duo was awarded the championship honors, while Chris Payne and Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO, also ranked high and took the reserve championship.
Lexington, KY – August 16, 2012 – The morning was ablaze with fierce competition in the Rolex Stadium as the second day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show got underway at the Kentucky Horse Park. Time was the bottom line today, with riders speeding to break the beam with both accuracy and an unsurpassed pace. Shane Sweetnam and Solerina exceeded expectations in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, capturing the victory with an insurmountable lead. It was Megan Moshontz-Bash and Pourkoipa Fontaine who emerged triumphant in the 1.35m Open Jumpers with a spectacular double-clear effort, and an outstanding time to beat.
The 1.35m Open Jumpers welcomed riders and their mounts to a challenging second-day course, designed by Allen Rheinheimer of the United States. He utilized a tight time allowed of 77 seconds, and designed a course consisting of an oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination, a vertical-oxer double combination, standalone obstacles, and demanding lines. The jump-off was immediate, and Rheinheimer made sure it challenged the duos fairly. They began over a single vertical and with a bend to the left* took a large oxer. They continued through the double combination and with a sharp left rollback took a standalone vertical set in the center of the ring. From there, they made a right over the Sleepy P Ranch oxer and finished with the Hagyard Lexington blue-white-and-red vertical.
Lexington, KY – August 15, 2012 – It was a welcoming day for the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park show grounds where five divisions were set to display the top hunter horse and rider combinations. The morning started off with a variation of winners while the two divisions to emerge with double blue ribbons were Scott Stewart and Dedication for the Second Year Working Green Hunters and Hunt Tosh and Rosalynn in the High Performance Hunters.
The course, designed by Patrick Rodes, was made up of nine fences signature of a traditional hunt field. Made of natural woods, the obstacles assorted of vertical oxer combinations, decorative stand-alones and a grassy rolltop, all strategically arranged on a bed of freshly churned footing. The course lines ran smooth, with pleasant stride counts and thoughtful approaches, suggesting fine ingenuity.
The first division featured in the Stonelea Arena was the Green Conformation Hunters. Christopher Payne on his mount Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO, took home the first and sixth place ribbons after a show of beautiful horsemanship on the course. Kelley Farmer aboard Lightning Z, owned by Lochmoore Stables of Lebanon, OH, took two third place ribbons in the over fences classes in the division.
Lexington, KY – August 15, 2012 – It was the start of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, and talented horse and rider combinations gathered at the Rolex Stadium to showcase their speed and agility in the 1.35m and 1.40m Open Jumpers. Today was all about accuracy and tripping the timers with a blazing fast time. It was Shane Sweetnam and Kalle who delivered the 1.35m Open Jumper Victory, and later in the day Columbia’s Ilan Bluman rode to the top of the leaderboard in the 1.40 Open Jumpers.
The 1.40m Open Jumper class featured a one-round timed course, and gave competitors a real challenge with courses designed by Allen Rheinheimer. Twenty-one horse and rider combinations were challenged over a course that included an oxer-vertical double combination, open lines, tight turns, and an optional water jump.
Kim Farlinger and Caprice Van De Brouwerhoeve laid down a competitive time to beat after clearing the course in a speedy 83.693 seconds. Although their time seemed as though it would be hard to beat, while still keeping all rails intact, Jorge Verswyvel aboard Victoria, owned by Louis Garcia of Mexico, stepped up to the plate. The pair posted a clean round more than ten seconds faster than Farlinger’s, proving that Rheinheimer’s course was built to test the strengths of horse and rider alike. Verswyvel’s time of 73.400 seconds proved good enough for the second place.
Lexington KY – August 15, 2012 – It was Shawn Casady who once again rose to the top of the standings during Saturday’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby. Now only 50 points shy of the overall leading rider, Casady is going head to head with professional rider Louise Serio in the Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Series. Although the $45,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby series is taking a short intermission, and will resume during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show with the fifth event of the series. The Hallway Feeds Series consists of six national hunter derby events held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded to the series’ leading riders.
The Kentucky Summer Series is held July 24 – Aug. 26, 2012, and features four of the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derbies. The stakes are high as the top riders in the nation prepare for the final two events of the series, to take place during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. With only two chances left to rise to the top, hunter riders of all levels are competing for the winning title and valuable points towards the $15,000 Leading Rider Awards.
Lexington, KY – Aug 6, 2012 — The applause and excitement could be heard resounding throughout the Kentucky Horse Park Saturday evening as the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix got underway in the Rolex Stadium. It was the fifth day of the Kentucky Summer Classic, and the nation’s top riders gathered to show under the bright lights of the stadium for a share in the prize money, and the desired $8,000 SSG ‘Go Clean for the Green’ Digital Riding Glove promotion bonus. Out of 33 entries only five were able to ride the first course clear, and progress into the arduous jump-off. It was Blythe Marano and Urban who wowed the crowd tonight, taking the top earnings and the bonus money. Aaron Vale piloted Palm Sunday to the second place finish as the only other rider to go double clear.
Blythe Marano was the first to outwit D’Ambrosio’s shortened course. She guided Urban, owned by Riverview Farm of Franklin, TN, to a speedy jump-off time, leaving all rails intact as she utilized Urban’s sure footing to her advantage. The duo tripped the timers in a mere 43.770 seconds, setting the target time as the pathfinder.