Lexington, Ky.—May 27
Ireland’s Paul O’Shea and Imerald Van’t Voorhof, a 10-year-old gelding owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC, won the FEI $70,000 CSI** Grand Prix, the feature event at the Lexington International CSI**, part of the Split Rock Jumping Tour.
Oscar Soberon designed a very challenging 16-jump track for these horses and riders, which featured a diagonal line of four elements, a vertical, a skinny vertical and a one stride oxer vertical combination, which caused most of the faults in the class. Eleven pairs made it through to the jump off round from an original starting field of 45, with six of those turning in double clear rounds, but it was O’Shea’s day.
O’Shea displayed some very fancy footwork in the jump off, and it paid off for him and Imerald Van’t Voorhof. He made a daring inside turn immediately after the first fence where most riders opted to go the longer route, and it showed on the scoreboard as he passed through the timers in 36.07 seconds.
“He has a huge stride, and he turns very easily,” said O’Shea. “That turn suited him very well. I also got a little lucky. I hadn’t had much luck this week so I’m glad it went my way today.”
Olympic veteran Margie Goldstein Engle had two horses advance to the jump off and as we have come to expect, she was fast, accurate and without faults. Engle placed second with the 9-year-old Dicas, owned by Show Horses Inc, Stormridge Capital and Gladewinds Farm. Their jump off time of 38.27 placed Dicas ahead of Indigo, the other of Engle’s mounts in the class. Indigo, Engle’s 18-year-old longtime partner, crossed the timers in 39.04 seconds for third place.
A SRJT tradition, the $500 Fist Pump Award, sponsored by Horseflight, was presented to Alejandro Karolyi for his very enthusiastic and emotional display in the ring. Karolyi was the first to go in the class and was very happy to have also turned in the first clear round.
Meghan Sarmiento took home the $500 Farmvet Grooms Award for her stellar work with the turn-out and presentation of the horses in her charge at Gyllebo Farm.
The $10,000 1.35 M National Prix was won by Hayley Barnhill and Halibo Van Texelhof. This was Barnhill’s third win at the Lexington International. “He is a really super horse,” said Barnhill. “I had the opportunity to show him, and he is a really experienced, fast and fun. I had a good shot today so I just went as fast as I could and he delivered.”