The curtain closed Sunday on the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the first in the summer series, and the last event of the week did not disappoint. The week featured classes such as the NAJYRC finals and the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and the most prize money was offered in Sunday evening’s $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. As the sun set over the Kentucky Horse Park’s Main Outdoor Stadium it was 20-year-old Hungarian Henri Kovacs garnering the win with Plain Bay Farm’s Sassicaia II in their third Grand Prix victory as a team here in Lexington.
The first pair to take on the course was also the first duo to go clear: Addison Phillips with her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Teirra, proving that the course could be conquered. Another clear round came nine trips later as Colombian rider Mark Bluman left with his 15-year-old gelding Cataro Ask.
For the next 24 rounds it seemed Phillips and Bluman might go head-to-head in the jump off. The oxer-vertical-oxer triple combination resulted in the most knockdowns, and two riders voluntarily withdrew.
Kovacs and Sassaicaia II were in the middle of the order and had the third clear round. The pair has been a successful duo at the Kentucky Horse Park in the past three years, and Kovacs had a confident style with his competitive mare who has earned top wins internationally.
The next two clear rounds came from two German riders, Christian Heineking with River of Dreams and Christoph Schroeder with Sequoyah Farms Utopia.
Addison Phillips was the first to go in the jump off. Twenty-year-old Phillips did her best, but the outcome was eight faults, as she had a knockdown at the oxer in the first line of the course and again at the “A” element of the double combination.
A bold, fast ride came next from Mark Bluman, and his double clear effort in 40.708 seconds seemed to be a shoo-in for the blue ribbon. Bluman galloped between the fences and sharply sliced fence number 15, and his run home to the last fence had the crowd holding their breath.
Repeating his first fast, clear round was Kovacs, as he bested Bluman’s time as the next in the arena. Kovacs and his mare shaved 1.6 seconds off Bluman’s blistering pace thanks to his on-a-dime turns.
The next riders to attempt the jump off took to the arena, but Heineking had a rail resulting from slicing fence number 15 and took a block off the wall for an eight fault total and the fourth place award. Fellow countryman Schroeder knocked down fences 15 and 8 as well, but with a slower time, securing Kovac’s victory.
“I went in and I knew my mare is very fast, so I just had to be tight with my turns and coming to the last jump I knew I was on it,” said Kovacs of his jump off round. “She was very good at turning, that’s probably where I won it.”
For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Show Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Jumper Highlights – Wednesday through Sunday
Competition kicked off at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show Series Wednesday at the Kentucky Horse Park, the host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. The most competitive jumper classes of the day were in the Walnut Ring, beginning with the $5000 Open Jumper 1.40m class, a time first round class. Junior rider Reed Kessler of New York took the top two ribbons and half of the prize money aboard her horses Ligist and Onisha, respectively.
The first pair to challenge the track was amateur rider Navona Gallegos and her mount, No Fear. Earning a no-fault score for her effort, Gallegos’ time of 68.614 seconds was well within the 81-second time allowed and it became the time to beat.
The next clear round came fifth in the order of 19 starters, as Kessler and her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare Onisha whipped around the course five seconds faster than Gallegos. Kessler held on to the top spot with Onisha until her next mount, 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood Ligist, took the blue ribbon with an even faster time, thanks to the gelding’s long stride.
Sixteen-year-old Kessler has an impressive resume, complete with a championship at last year’s USEF Junior Jumper Championship and Grand Prix wins at Spruce Meadows, among others. Her one-two finish in today’s 1.40 m class served as a warm up for the North American Young Rider Championships, for which Kessler competed in Thursday with Zone 2.
Eleven clear rounds were posted in the 1.40 class Wednesday. Christian Heineking and Kai Handt’s River of Dreams stopped the clock with a quick and accurate round that was good enough for the yellow ribbon, crossing the timers in 64.255 seconds. Fourth place went to Aaron Vale and Royal Farms’ Ubico-H at 67.925 sconds , and fifth place went to Jill Knowles and Timberley at 68.029 seconds.
In the 1.35m Open Jumpers, Ecuadorian rider Luis Barreiro took top honors with Pablo Vivero’s VSilverado. Their bold inside turns in the jump off round gave them the top spot of the eight that competed in the second round.
Thursday was a busy, non-stop, wall-to-wall day of equestrian competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show at the Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, with the grand finale finally bringing down the curtain at 10:30 p.m. on a hot and muggy July day in the Bluegrass State.
Once again making headlines, it was Reed Kessler of Armonk, New York, putting together yet another day of incredible success. In addition to taking the lead in the grueling and challenging North American Young Riders Championships with a victory in the first Individual test, Kessler then went on to post her first ever major grand prix win in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
Each week, the Kentucky Horse Shows offers the exciting race to the Hagyard Challenge Series Leading Rider Award. $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points. The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of five grand prix events, beginning May 13 and concluding August 20, 2010. The award will be presented following the $50,000 Hagyard CSI-W Lexington Grand Prix on August 20, 2010.
In Thursday’s tiebreaker, Maurice Beatson and Zibibbo blazed the trail with a second clear round, setting the pace in 46.200 seconds, a score and time that would hold up for Thursday’s eventual fourth place finish.
One horse later a new leader emerged as newcomer Diego Vivero of Ecuador shattered the pace set by Beatson by over six seconds. Vivero raced home in what, at the time, looked like an unbeatable time of 40.430 seconds.
Another couple down the list, Katie Dinan and Amoroso took over second place, cruising home handily in a speedy time of 42.811 seconds.
Two horses later, the lead changed hands for good as Reed Kessler and her new mount Onisha somehow found a way to slice 6/10ths of a second off of the pace set by Vivero, racing home in an incredible 39.896 seconds to seal the deal.
That’s not to say that time didn’t get topped. In fact, three riders in the jump-off were able to get home faster than Kessler. They just couldn’t match the speed with a clean round. With Kessler’s go on Onisha, the clean rounds were done for the night. The balance of those in the jump-off were forced to chase, and did so without success.
The fastest of the four fault rides was a heartbreaking one for Californian Guy Thomas, competing for the first time at the Kentucky Horse Park. Riding his long time partner Peterbilt, Thomas was rolling to the win, but rolled the rail on the last jump. He had easily beat Kessler’s time in 39.031 seconds, but the four faults at the last jump would drop him to fifth place.
Aaron Vale also caught Kessler’s time, but with a rail down on Ubico-H. Vale finished in 39.718 seconds to finish sixth.
Rounding out the top eight were Lauren Tisbo and Crème Bruele and Patricia Griffith with Man in Black, both with four faults in the jump-off. Tisbo broke the beams in 41.392 seconds, while Griffith crossed the finish line in 41.631 seconds.
As far as her strategy for the jump-off, Kessler said that she didn’t get a chance to see Vivero go, but noted that that didn’t matter because it was really up to Onisha anyway. Kessler was third in the Hagyard standings coming into class and will surely make a move up in the standings.
Saturday was another beautiful day at the Kentucky Horse Park, host of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, and ultimately, the FEI World Equestrian Games this coming fall. Being clean and fast was key for competitors in the High Amateur Owners Junior Jumper class on Friday. Having a timed first round required riders to be fault free, and with the fastest time possible to be in ribbon contention.
It was a bright beginning with the first rider to go, Dr. Fernando Cardenas and Orphan Car who went through a clean round in 74.728, well under the time allowed of 83 seconds. It was just two more rounds until Audrey Coulter registered the second clean round aboard Copernicus Stables, LLC horse Titania, just a tick quicker in 74.301.
Out of a field of 27 competitors, only five riders went clean. Near the end of the class, it was Megan Fellows and her horse, Le Supra, who took a commanding lead with a clean round in 71. 051. But Fellows stay at the top was short-lived as the next to go was Elizabeth Boyd’s First Lady, ridden by Shawn Casady. The pair re-set the stage with another flawless round and stopped the clock in a blazing 69.843, good enough for the win.
The next class in the Walnut Arena was the Low Amateur Owners Junior 1.15m-1.25m class. The course was also designed by Richard Jeffery and despite the lowered jumps, it demanded more turns and attention to lines.
The time allowed was 69 seconds and was also a timed first round. Being that the class consisted of 60 competitors, the ending outcome resulted in a double pinning, or the so called California split, for first.
Stopping the clock at 54.383 was Marquee Cincotta and Vianco, owned by Centennial Farm, to take home a blue ribbon. Alison Register and her horse Droxello were the next fastest time of 54.822 to earn the other blue.
Earlier in the day, the Young Jumper classes were held in the Walnut Ring. Twenty-three duos competed in the mid-summer heat for the top prize in the 7 & 8 Year Old young Jumper Championship Qualifier.
Eleven pairs had a clear effort in the first round to continue to the jump off. The most accurate attempt came from Sergio Campos aboard Kristianna Lindgren’s 7-year-old Holsteiner mare, Circa. Campos negotiated the track expertly as he turned Circa midair and they blazed from jump to jump, keeping each obstacle standing. As Campos cross the timers at 27.179 seconds, which put him in the lead, the crowd was cheering. His time was more than a second faster than runner-up Aaron Vale’s, with Tatra Farm’s Gunner.
Hunter Highlights -Wednesday through Sunday
The Hunter Divisions got underway on Wednesday in the Stonelea Ring with the Green Conformation Model where Jocelyn Martin earned the first and third place ribbons with Banderas, owned by Friday’s Farm, and Shadowplay, owned by Perry Peterson. Cookie Beck and her mount, Goosebumps, owned by Lisa Cudahy, squeezed between Jocelyn’s two mounts for reserve. Later in the day Beck returned for the First Year Green Hunters with Hidden Creek’s Lennon clearing both rounds to claim a pair of blue ribbons over fences.
In the Green Conformation Hunters over fences classes, it was Katherine Newman and CME Holding’s Aljano Jr. to claim a second and first place prize over fences.
The Second Year Green Working Hunter division was next up in order, with Russell Frey capturing a first place and a second place ribbon aboard Inside Scoop, owned by Chloe Reid.
Wrapping up the day was the Regular Working Hunters, where Will Roberts and mount Dubari, owned by Gayle Cox, made a comeback in the second round to claim top honors and receive a blue ribbon. After misreading the first line, the pair regained their winning rhythm in the second class.
Thursday was another clear day for competitors for the Kentucky Summer Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. The day began in the Stonelea Ring with riders competing for championship and reserve championship honors beginning with the First Year Green Hunters. In the end, it was Cookie Beck an Hidden Creek’s Lennon to claim the First Year Green Under Saddle and go on to earn championship award in the division and Patricia Griffith on Platinum, owned by Lexi Maounis, took home the reserve championship ribbon.
Next in order was the Green Conformation Hunter division and it was Jocelyn Martin and Banderas, owned by Friday’s Farm, which received a pair of blue ribbons for the championship honors. Cookie Beck and Goosebumps, owned by Lisa Cudahy, earned reserve championship award for their excellent effort.
In the Second Year Green Hunters, it was Russell Frey who guided his mount, Inside Scoop owned by Chloe Reid, to the grand prize, championship honors. The pair earned a first place ribbon Wednesday and then went on to win Thursday’s handy round. Jocelyn Martin and Quality Control, owned by Margaret Taylor, remained close enough to capture reserve championship award after winning the under saddle class.
The Professional Hunters Divisions wrapped up Thursday with the Regular Working Hunters. Will Roberts guided Dubari, owned by Gayle Cox, to the championship title after earning a blue ribbon Wednesday and two blue ribbons Thursday. Arly Golombek remained in contention and claimed the reserve championship tricolor aboard Ralando Z after winning today’s handy round.
Friday’s sunshine welcomed competitors and spectators for the third day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. Friday’s highlight event was the THIS Children’s Medal class held in the Murphy ring, which challenged young riders for an excellent trip over fences in order to qualify for a top four spots in the test round immediately following the class.
The top four riders to qualify for the test resulted in Katherine Strauss and mount Duncan, owned by Heidi Tummel, Nikki Carr and Whisky, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spencer Smith aboard Icarus, owned by Selby Merrit, and Destry Spielberg riding Patriot, owned by Mallory Olsen. The top scoring pair in the qualifying round, Spielberg and Patriot earned a solid 85. The other top scores were as follows: Smith and Icarus (84), Carr and Whisky (83), and Strauss and Duncan (80).
The first to go was Strauss and Duncan who unfortunately had a rail down at the second jump, but they still advanced to the third place position in the final results. Next in the order was Carr and Whiskey who were clear despite a small chip and eventually earning the second place prize. Smith and Icarus were third to go, the pair left out the sitting trot at the end of the test, which dropped them into the fourth place position. Last to go was Spielberg and Patriot who completed a beautiful round with no flaws to walk away with top honors in the THIS Children’s Medal.
Closing out the day in the Stonelea Ring was the WIHS Hunter Equitation class. This first of two phases, the hunter phase consisted of 42 entries. Jessica Springsteen piloted Class Action, owned by Stone Hill Farm, to the day’s highest score of 87 points. Half a point behind Springsteen was Catherine Tyree and Triple Lutz scoring an 86.5. The WIHS Equitation Jumper Phase finished on Sunday morning, August 1, 2010 in the Covered Arena.
The Large Junior 16-17 Hunters proved to be a competitive division, on Saturday, with Samantha Schaefer and Vida Blue, owned by Elm Rock, LLC, jumping their way to the tricolor this afternoon. The pair was second and forth Saturday, adding to their two blue ribbons from Friday to garner the championship prize. Maggie Boylan and Poetic took home the Reserve Champion honors for their excellent effort.
The Small Junior 16-17 Hunters were last to go in the Stonelea Arena Saturday with Samantha Schaefer and Bolero taking home the championship ribbon. Bolero and Samantha won three of the four over fences classes and also earned a second place ribbon to score the top spot. Kayla Briel and Enlighten were named the reserve champions as the day came to a close.
The Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters were held this morning, with Shawn Casady riding Scout to the tricolor ribbon. The pair won both over fences classes today, adding to their first and second place ribbons during yesterday’s over fences classes. The prize for the reserve championship was awarded to Samantha Batt and Sun King for their notable placings during the week.
The next division to compete was the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters with Lismacbryan Junior and Alyssa Mansfield taking home the championship honors. The pair was second in both over fences classes today, after winning both rounds on Friday. The reserve championship title was awarded to Destry Spielberg and her top mount, Rumba.
Sunday brought on more sunny skies for exhibitors in the final day of competition at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions wrapped up this week’s competitions in the Stonelea Ring, awarding championship and reserve champion ribbons to the top horse and rider combinations..
Alise Oken and her mount Take Away jumped their way to the tricolor ribbon Sunday afternoon in the Amateur Owner 18 to 35 Hunter division. The pair was second and first Sunday, adding to their second and fifth place ribbons from Saturday to secure the championship. Arly Golomber and her Ralanda Z were awarded the Reserve Champion honors for their excellent effort throughout the weekend.
The Amateur Owner 35 and Older Hunters were next in the order at the Stonelea Arena Sunday with Jane Gaston and Lumiere taking home the championship ribbon. The pair was awarded first and second place ribbons in their over fences efforts, along with a second in the under saddle class to add to their second place finish from Saturday. Brad Wolf and his mount Rio Renior were named the Reserve Champions as the division came to a close.
“Yesterday he was absolutely awesome, and won the first amateur class,” beamed Gaston. “I was thrilled with him. Today he was just a good solid horse you can always depend on. I’ve had him for five years and he’s just a love.” Gaston added, “It has been 18 years since I have been to Kentucky and I came to meet my trainer, Larry Glefke, this week. I am enjoying my time here and have really enjoyed this gorgeous facility. They really do a great job with the courses and the footing.”
The Amateur Owner 3’3” Hunters were the final division Sunday to round out the week of showing at the Kentucky Horse Park. Westville and Becky Gochman were awarded the championship ribbon for their efforts in this competitive division. The pair garnered a third and fourth place ribbon Sunday adding to their two blue ribbons from Saturday’s rounds. Alise Oken and Alisette were awarded the Reserve Champion tricolor for their weekend efforts.