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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