Lexington, KY – August 22, 2010 – It was a beautiful and sunny Kentucky afternoon, for the final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Today riders competed for top prizes during the jumper divisions in the new Indoor Ring at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park. The highlight event of the day was the $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix where Georgina Bloomberg and Fiedi 3 stole the show after completing an incredible double clear-effort with a blazing jump-off time of 40.83 seconds.
Today’s class featured a course designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. The first round included an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, with numerous bending lines.
Six riders were able to show perfection over the technical first round track and advance to the short course. For the shortened tiebreaker test, they began by jumping a wide oxer in the corner and then made a right turn to the double combination before galloping to the end of the ring to jump a single vertical. Next they made a left turn to another oxer and then had a long gallop to an oxer-vertical bending line. Riders finished by galloping home off the left lead over a tall, single vertical.
The first horse and rider combination to complete the opening round without fault was Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Pamina L. As the first entry to compete over the speed round, the pair was setting what appeared to be an excellent pace, but as they made their way around the turn to the bending line, there was no distance to the first oxer and Engle tried to fit the extra step in. Unfortunately, Pamina L was not able to get over the fence successfully and came down hard on the back rail. Engle became dislodged from the saddle, but she showcased what a talented rider she is by remaining aboard. and six strides later she regained her composure and jumped easily out of the line. The duo stopped the clock at 44.79 seconds with a four-fault total, good enough for today’s sixth place finish.
Shane Sweetnam was next to show over the short course with Traffic Boy, owned by Sweet Oak Farm. Sweetnam chose to be conservative and kept a steady canter throughout the course. His plan worked as they left each rail in its cups, but their slow and careful time of 50.47 seconds was only good enough for third place.
Mark Bluman and Cataro Ask stepped into the ring next. The pair was having an excellent round until Bluman extended his mount’s stride to the final vertical in an effort to beat the clock. Unfortunately, the brave move would not pay off and the top rail rolled out of its cups to incur four faults with a time of 41.27 seconds, earning Bluman fourth place honors.
Georgina Bloomberg galloped into the ring next aboard Fiedi 3, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, ready to dominate the class. They picked up a quick gallop to the first oxer and never held back. The New York duo easily made their way over each obstacle, increasing their pace as they advanced through the final test. Bloomberg and Fiedi 3 completed a clear round and tripped the time at 40.83 seconds to take over the lead. It was a score and time that would eventually net them the Sunday victory.
Saer Coulter tried to catch Bloomberg’s time with Springtime, owned by Coernicus Stables, but they had to add a stride, and ended up chipping at the vertical after the double combination, causing the rail to fall and adding a four-fault penalty to their score sheet. Coulter stopped the clock at 43.85 seconds and took home the fifth place ribbon.
The final horse and rider combination to challenge Bloomberg’s lead was Kent Farrington piloting Hillary McNerney’s Valhalla. Farrington was quick, but not quick enough. While Farrington managed to leave all the fences standing, their time of 42.06 seconds, was two seconds too slow, slotting them into the second spot in the final standings.
“Valhalla is only eight years old, so for me it was more about mileage with her,” noted Farrington after his round. “My plan for the jump-off was just to go as comfortably fast as I thought she was ready to go, and wherever that ends up it ends up. Now, I’ll probably take her and do a small class like New Albany. I’m trying to find some smaller grand prix classes to let her step up and get some mileage.”
Georgina Bloomberg and Fiedi 3 were today’s big winners and led this afternoon’s final victory gallop. “He jumped great in the first round and I just really tried to go as quick as I could in the jump-off,” she explained. “After the first jump I misjudged the turn a little bit and I was just lucky a good distance came up. I turned a little bit tighter into the double then I would have liked, but he has all the scope in the world so I knew I could just trust him. I just had to make tight turns and keep him together and hope that it held up.”
Bloomberg traveled to Kentucky to compete during Friday’s World Cup Qualifier, but she had a difficult time getting Fiedi 3 to focus after a long break following Spruce Meadows. “On Friday, I think he got a little bit nervous and the jumps came up a little bit quick for him because he’s big and a little bit awkward,” she commented. “He can jump anything in the world, but he sometimes gets a little bit uncoordinated and forgets to pick his legs up out of the way. We just always need to keep him calm and focused on the jump. In a small indoor like this, it can be a little bit difficult to just keep his attention. He jumped great though today and he really focused in the ring.”
Now Bloomberg and her talented string of horses will travel to the Hampton Classic before beginning a full show schedule this fall as they aim for the 2011 World Cup Finals.
“The World Cup Qualifier is really the reason we came all way from New York,” said Bloomberg. “It’s great to be here and I love the Horse Park. I’m excited that WEG is going to be here and I hope it does great things for the sport in this country.”
Earlier today, riders had the opportunity to compete in the $5,000 High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Classic sponsored by Audi of Lexington. The first place prize when to Christina Kelly with Diamond Edge Farm’s Creata Van Ten Biesen after the pair completed a double clear effort in 39.755 seconds. Hayley Barnhill and Toucan Tango took home the second place award after crossing the finish line in 41.126 seconds, while Chase Boggio and Hennessey placed third with a time of 41.993 seconds.
Today’s $30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix was the final event during the month-long Kentucky Summer Horse Show series. Now, the Kentucky Horse Park will begin preparing for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where the top horses and riders will compete at the highest level of the sport.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
$30,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
1 180 FIEDI 3 GEORGINA BLOOMBERG GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES 0 0 0 75.840 0 0 0 40.830
2 211 VALHALLA KENT FARRINGTON HAITY MCNERNEY 0 0 0 80.910 0 0 0 42.060
3 847 TRAFFIC BOY SHANE SWEETNAM SWEET OAK FARM 0 0 0 80.230 0 0 0 50.470
4 661 CATARO ASK MARK BLUMAN MARK BLUMAN 0 0 0 74.690 4 0 4 41.270
5 327 SPRINGTIME SAER COULTER COPERNICUS STABLES LLC 0 0 0 76.910 4 0 4 43.850
6 695 HIDDEN CREEK’S PAMINA L MARGIE ENGLE HIDDEN CREEK FARM, INC. 0 0 0 74.270 4 0 4 44.790
7 615 CHARRO ANTONIO MAURER ENRIQUE GONZALEZ 4 0 4 77.640 0 0 0.000
8 888 TOP GUN KENT FARRINGTON IRON HORSE FARM 4 0 4 78.130 0 0 0.000
9 314 APRIL PETER LUTZ COPERNICUS STABLES LLC 4 0 4 78.630 0 0 0.000
10 660 LIFESTYLE DANIEL BLUMAN DANIEL BLUMAN 4 0 4 78.730 0 0 0.000
11 616 CALLAO ANTONIO MAURER FRANCISCO DEL RIO 4 0 4 78.750 0 0 0.000
12 483 CLEU DEBBIE STEPHENS CENTENNIAL FARM 4 0 4 78..890 0 0 0.000
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