Photo: Andy Kocher and Kahlua.
Lexington, Ky. – May 16, 2018 – The second week of CSI3* competition at the Kentucky Horse Park kicked off during the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed in the Rolex Stadium where 36 horse-and-rider combinations raced ahead of the rain, contesting Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. The speed class saw eleven clear rounds, but Andy Kocher (USA) was uncatchable as he raced to the victory aboard Christian Rogge of Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua with over two seconds separating him at the top.
Kocher intends to jump the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, so his initial plan was to use Wednesday’s class as training, but with identical prize money to Thursday night’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and a careful mare, Kocher decided to go for it and his last-minute decision paid off. He flew through the timers with a quick, clear round in 61.11 seconds to capture and maintain the lead.
Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Doloris, chased Kocher’s time, but fell short, finishing a clear round in 63.68 seconds to settle for second place. Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, captured the third place prize with a clear time of 64.07 seconds.
Chris Payne Places on Top with Ovo in Green Hunter Incentive Stake
Earlier in the day, in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park, hunter competition began with 10 competitors vying for the Green Hunter Incentive Stake’s top prize. Horse-and-rider combinations competed in the 3’6” and 3’9” sections of the Green Hunters, with one round being designated toward the stake’s final results. It was Chris Payne and Ovo who claimed Wednesday’s top ride after putting in a near flawless round that would earn them a winning score of 88.
Ovo, an 8-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, was purchased by Melissa Jacobs in November of 2017 from The Hunt, a European hunter auction organized by Chris Sorenson. Payne took over the reins during the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida. Payne and Ovo have had a successful partnership, finding themselves in top placings consistently throughout the WEF circuit.
Second place was captured by Havens Schatt and Diantendro with a score of 85. Tim Goguen and Just A Cobbler secured third place with a score of 83.