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.
Lexington KY – August 5, 2012 – It was the championship day for the Adult Amateur Divisions at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Riders and their top mounts approached the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for the final day of the show, examining the courses as they prepared. The Adult Amateurs did not disappoint as they vied for the top honors in their respective divisions, but it was Leigh Cofer and Breaking News who really shined in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter division, also riding to the high scoring NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic second round score, and the winning title.
The clouds sat precariously over the Kentucky Horse Park, offering shade and a cool breeze from the usual hot midsummer day, as the NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic got underway. Today’s courses were designed by Danny Moore, and offered competitors the perfect opportunities to showcase their mounts to the best of their abilities. Each round was made up of natural obstacles set with enhancing foliage to accent the birch, brick and stone obstacles that challenged the teams. The track was set with an opening oxer leading riders through a vertical-vertical-oxer combination on the inside. The serpentine progressed with a steady seven-stride outside line and an inside turn over a standalone oxer to finish with the vertical-oxer outside line.
Lexington KY – August 4, 2012 – The applause and excitement could be heard resounding throughout the Kentucky Horse Park tonight 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.
Anthony D’Ambrosio designed tonight’s track, using bending lines, tight turns, a vertical-oxer double combination, an open water jump, and a triple bar-oxer-vertical triple combination. The jump-off course began over a standalone vertical near the in gate and moved them with a left turn over an oxer. From there, they then had to use their mount’s pace to their advantage to clear a large space and ride to a vertical and make a hard right rollback to a skinny vertical. Upon landing, they then navigated toward the triple bar-oxer combination, shortened from the previous round, and with a right turn take an oxer along the outside and race to the final vertical to break the beam.
Lexington KY – August 4, 2012 – The Stonelea Arena was bustling today as it saw six divisions stretching the length of the day. Lined with sponsor bulletins, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby turned out a crowd as well as promised top riders and steep competition. Out of 29 riders, Shawn Casady once again emerged as victor, this time upon Bolero, scoring 178.50. Louise Serio returned riding Corvine, beating her last week’s points and scoring 178, coming in a half point behind Casady, earning the duo a second place standing. Riding to a third place finish, Erica Quinn and Chit Chat came in with a total of 175.
Employing heighten sensory to navigate a well schemed course, riders leaped walls of obstacles, lined in rows creating a sideways Y shape. Brilliantly designed by Danny Moore, the course opened with the Hallway Feeds fences, made up of natural wood and refined vegetation. The variation ranged from brick walls, birch verticals and oxers to grass roll tops, and a fallen tree, hay bale obstacle. The fence arrangement had riders jumping the equidistance to complete the jump line full of lead changes and round turns.