Lexington, Ky.—April 27
It’s finally cross-country day here at the Land Rover Kentucky CCI5*-L! Riders will set out on Derek di Grazia’s track at 10:30 a.m. this morning. Follow along with our live commentary here all day.
Top 10 After Cross-Country
1. Oliver Townend on Cooley Master Class (25.3)
2. Boyd Martin on Tsetserleg (27.9)
3. Tim Price on Xavier Faer (30.9)
4. Phillip Dutton on Z (31.7)
5. Piggy French Quarrycrest Echo (32.7)
6. Felix Vogg on Colero (33.6)
7. Doug Payne on Vandiver (33.6)
8. Lauren Kieffer on Vermiculus (40.6)
9. Ariel Grald on Leamore Master Plan (45.3)
10. Hawley Bennett-Awad on Jollybo (45.4)
2:01 p.m. Lauren Kieffer is through the finish flags in 11:41, and cross-country is officially over.
1:58 p.m. Bug trots through the water at the Head of the Lake, but they jumped out clear. Next up is the Normandy Bank. She goes the long route and is a tad behind the minute marker, so she’s likely to have a few time penalties.
1:55 p.m. Lauren and Bug are clear through the Hollow and head to the second water. He jumped through it with knees like a hunter. That’ll be a nice photo!
1:53 p.m. “Bug” looks happy to be out, and he’s jumping beautifully for Lauren. In his post ride interview Boyd said thought the course looked easier than it ended up riding and was thrilled to be late int he day to get enough info. After Phillip jumped the straight route at the Normandy, Boyd decided to take the risk.
1:51 p.m. Boyd finishes in 11:11 and is clear all the way around. He’ll be second overnight. Lauren Kieffer looks good through the first couple combinations. She’s the only one left and is the only rider who got to ride more than one horse today.
1:50 p.m. Here’s our last horse Lauren Kieffer and Vermiculus.
1:48 p.m. Boyd just went the direct route the the Normandy Bank. He wants to come in clear, and he’s way up on the time right now. He just needs to ride smart now.
1:47 p.m. Boyd Martin found a beautiful line through all parts of the Head of the Lake, and this pair makes it look like a cake walk.
1:46 p.m. Vandiver is through the finish flags and gets lots of pats from Doug. They’re ne second over in 11:21. They’ve moved into sixth at this point.
1:45 p.m. Thomas is brave and bold through the second water, and this horse looks great so far. He’s working hard to get through the corner at the Hollow, and when Boyd asked, he stepped up no problem.
1:42 p.m. Doug brings his horse way back for the bank out of the Head of the Lake, but this horse is clever with his feet desipite being huge and steps up easily. He takes an inside turn in the long route of the Normandy Bank, jumps the shrubbery and is still good on the time.
1:41 p.m. Doug is clear at the Narrow Knolls, and Boyd is clear at the first combination.
1:40 p.m. Leading U.S. rider Boyd Martin heads out with Tsetserleg. They canter out easily as if they were going on a walk in the park. Make no mistake though, this horse is efficient in his gallop.
1:37 p.m. Vandiver is galloping along strongly and is through the combination at 9abc with no trouble.
1:36 p.m. Jollybo looks eager and ready to go around as they are over the last. Hawley gives her lots of pets as the cross the finish in 11:47.
1:35 p.m. Doug Payne is on course with Vandiver.
1:33 p.m. Hawley’s horse catches his hind legs in the second drop at the Head of the Lake, but they kick on and continue.
1:31 p.m. Phillip Dutton and Z finish inside the time on 11:18. Cooley On Show refuses at the first water. She turns to do the long option, and he stopped again at the drop to the water. Sharon’s walking through the water and put her hand up to retire.
1:30 p.m. You can’t miss that orange on Sharon White and Cooley On Show as they head out. She gets a lead into the box because Louie is pumped and ready to go.
1:28 p.m. Phillip Dutton’s horse trips up the bank some, but he still takes the direct route. We’re hearing that Will Coleman has been awarded 15 penalties because of the flag.
1:27 p.m. Phillip Dutton rides through the Head of the Lake in the backseat and goes clean. Jollybo is galloping beautifully for Hawley and they’re clear so far.
1:26 p.m. Townend is through the flags in 11:23, so he’ll be our overnight leader.
1:25 p.m. Hawley Bennett-Awad is off with Jolly Bo.
1:23 p.m. Oliver Townend choses to go long at the Normandy Bank. It’s unlikely we’ll see anyone attempt the long route anymore. Phillip Dutton is really going for it with Z. Townened goes the long route with Coolio at The Frog Pond.
1:21 p.m. Jessica is through the finish flags in 11:46 with Bogue Sound. Z looks more focused than he did last year at his five-star debut, and he’s good through the first combination.
1:20 p.m. Phillip Dutton heads out with Z, who had some antics in the startbox.
1:19 p.m. Both Jessica and Oliver are still clear. Jessica at the Normandy Bank, and Oliver has to ride hard at the second water, but no problem.
1:16 p.m. Tim Price is double clear with a time of 11:18. Oliver Townend has to sit in the middle as “Coolio” gets tight to the second element of the first combination, but they’re off.
1:15 p.m. Your leaders Cooley Master Class and Oliver Townend are out on course. He has about 9.4 penalties in hand.
1:14 p.m. Tim Price is up on the clock despite going long earlier on course. They’re making up time on the straightaways.
1:12 p.m. Matt Flynn finishes his first five-star course in 12:04. People are having a bit of trouble at the second drop at the Head of the Lake, and Tim Price’s horse looks like he also lost momentum. Jessica Phoenix has had no trouble so far with Bogue Sound.
1:10 p.m. Jessica Phoenix is out of the box with Bogue Sound.
1:09 p.m. Matt’s horse jumps boldly up the Normandy Bank, and Matt has to keep him on course but he jumps out fine. Tim’s horse is looking a little green at the Rolex Grand Slam combination, so Tim takes the long route at the Park Question.
1:07 p.m. Tim Price added through the first water and “Hugo” gallops away stronger. Wizzard got careful at the Head of the Lake, Matt sits up and they get through without any problems.
1:05 p.m. Tim Price looks very relaxed as he gets ready to head out on Xavier Faer.
1:04 p.m. It may be Matt Flynn’s first Kentucky, but his horse is being smart through the combinations.
1:03 p.m. Waylon catches the brush down into the Head of the Lake; the horse goes way left he goes to do the long route. It will probably be scored as a refusal, and that’ll be a costly mistake for them.
1:01 p.m. Indy 500 is so game no matter where she is on course and she looks full of run as they head to the last few fences. Waylon’s took a long route at Pete’s Hollow, and it’s a smooth trip through. Andrea Baxter stops the clock at 11:44.
1:00 p.m. Rookie pair Matt Flynn and Wizzerd are on course.
12:58 p.m. Lancaster needs a bit of stearing through the Park Question but he’s through clear. Indy 500 jumps in bold to the Head of the Lake and then Andrea rides through the water to give her a really straight line out which works well for her.
12:56 p.m. Baxter takes her time in the turn at the Hollow and it works well for her. The riders are probably reporting back that it’s easy to slip there. Lancaster and Roberts are clear at the first combination.
12:55 p.m. Waylon Roberts and Lancaster are on course.
12:54 p.m. Baxter takes the long route at 9abc, and it works out well for her. This mare locked onto the skinnies at the Rolex Challenge.
12:52 p.m. Baxter and Indy are the only ones on course. They’ve got to work hard through the Park Question at 7abc, but this mare is game and has a nice ride out.
12:51 p.m. Ariel’s horse seems to have slettled down now. Colleen’s horse is clever through Pete’s Hollow, but Qorry slips on the turn afterwards and he falls. Colleen and her horse are both up and walked away. Ariel finishes in 11:36.
12:50 p.m. Andrew Baxter heads out with her OTTB Indy 500.
12:48 p.m. Ariel is clear through the Head of the Lake, but she’s pulling flags everywhere. Colleen’s horse is clever with his feet through the combination at 9abc.
12:47 p.m. Colleen has a scrappy ride through the first water. Leslie Law finishes in 11:48.
12:45 p.m. Colleen Loach is on course with Qorry Blue D’Argouges.
12:44 p.m. Ariel gets the flag at the first portion of the 10abc stuc under her right leg and they jump through with it under her knee, but they lose it on the out.
12:43 p.m. Law rides a bit of a funky line through the Head of the Lake, but Splash locks in and jumps out no problem. Ariel’s horse looks keen and she’s having to keep a lid on him at the combinations.
12:42 p.m. It’s a shame Erin had the 20 because she looks so strong everywehre else. This horse is a machine. They finish in 11:32. Voltaire De Tre made the Narrow Knolls at 15ab look like a gymnastic exercise.
12:40 p.m. Leamore Master Plan and Ariel Grald are out of the start box, and this horse looks keen!
12:39 p.m. Law and “Splash” have a nice ride through the second water. They look like they’ve hit their stride.
12:38 p.m. Erin Sylvester picks up 20 penalties when Paddy trips up the bank at the Head of the Lake.
12:36 p.m. Finishing on 11:08 means Tight Lines and Will Coleman are first inside the time, but we have to see what the flag decision is. Leslie Law is a bit sticky at the first water, but he kicks on and now his horse is jumping nicely.
12:35 p.m. Leslie Law is next out with Voltaire De Tre’.
12:33 p.m. Most riders are going the long route at the Normandy Bank which is a good as many of them are slipping on the way up. Coleman went long and looks good. Paddy The Caddy looks like he’s having a ball.
12:32 p.m. Paddy The Caddy is a good Irish Thoroughbred and it shows as he gallops and is already at the first combination. She had to slip her reins but all good. Tosi and Glenfy are at the finish in 12:05.
12:30 p.m. Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy are out.
12:29 p.m. Tight Lines has a really hairy moment at the first skinny at 11abc and they knock the flag. They’ll probably be awarded 15 points for that. Dom and Bolytair B are at the finish.
12:28 p.m. Tight Lines’ gallop looks so easy as he heads to the ditch and brush. They’re still clear.
12:26 p.m. Bolytair B trots into the Head of the Lake, but his horse is big and he jumps through no big deal. Tight Lines is good through the first water.
12:25 p.m. Tight Lines and Will Coleman are on course.
12:23 p.m. Marcelo is having a nice go with Glenfy and they’re clear at the 9th.
12:22 p.m. Piggy finishes in 11:36. She’s currently in the lead.
12:20 p.m. Brazilian pair Marcelo Tosi and Glenfy are on course.
Both Dom and Piggy are having a bit of trouble. They’re having to kick on!
12:19 p.m. Piggy has a scrappy ride at the Normandy Bank but she’s ahead of the minute markers! Dom Schramm broke the pin at 3.
12:18 p.m. French’s horse got caught up in the brush at the Head of the Lake, and she does a creative line to make sure she’s able to take the long route. Bolytair B and Dom Schramm had a refusal at fence 3.
12:16 p.m. Quarrycrest Echo slips hard following Pete’s Hollow and Piggy trots of a minute to make sure he’s ok before heading on. She also had to get her stirrups back. We’re hearing that Buck Davidson broke his collarbone, so will not finish the weekend. Lauren Kieffer is through the finish flags.
12:15 p.m. First-timers Dom Schramm and Bolytair B are out of the start box. This horse looks while.
12:14 p.m. Piggy’s horse looks going into the water at the Rolex Grand Slam and thinks a bit, but Piggy kicks on he keeps going on.
12:13 p.m. Lauren Kieffer is clear at the Head of the Lake. French is finding all of the open galloping fences right out of stride. Can she share her secrets with us?
12:11 p.m. Fench has to work a bit through the first combination, but her horse is game through the water and they look good as they gallop away.
12:10 p.m. Piggy French is out of the box with Quarrycrest Echo.
12:06 p.m. Kieffer and Paramount Importance made easy work through the first few fences. They’re showing us just how the combinations should be ridden. It almsot looks easy! But it’s definitely not.
12:05 p.m. Lauren Kieffer is out on her first mount Paramount Importance.
12:03 p.m. Caroline Martin is now showing as a withdrawal on the scores. We have a couple minutes before Lauren Kieffer is the next to head out.
12:00 p.m. Chris Talley has had some hairy moments with Unmarked Bills, but this horse just keeps galloping no matter where they end up. Chris should be thrilled to finish his first five-star. He throws his hand up in celebration as soon as he lands off the last. Joe Meyer is stillt he fastest of the day.
11:57 a.m. Lisa Marie finishes in 12:12. Buck Davidson has withdrawn ride 2, Jak My Style, but no word on if he’ll do Copper Beech. Talley’s drop into the Head of the Lake is hairy, but he kicks on and “Billy” keeps on the line and jumps out no big deal.
11:56 a.m. Honor Me looks still as eager as he did at the start as he jumps through the last few combinations. Chris Talley has a great relationship with Unmarked Bills and it shows. He’s tellign the gelding “I love you” through the combinations.
11:55 a.m. Caroline Martin has her second ride on course, Danger Mouse.
11:54 a.m. Talley goes the long route at 9abc, but it looks like that was the plan as it’s his horse’s first five-star and he wants to complete. Unmarked Bills is game through the Rolex Grand Slam water.
11:52 a.m. Unmakred Bills looks like he wants to be given the reins to do whatever he pleases, but Chris keeps him focused and is clear through the Park Question. Fergusson and Honor Me are clear at the Head of the Lake.
11:51 a.m. Unmarked Bills looks like he’s having a blast over the first few fences. Doughty-Hume changed her mind at the Moguels and it was a bit sticky, but they got it done. She looks thrilled as she finishes in 11:48.
11:50 a.m. Rookie pair Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills is on course.
11:49 a.m. Honor Me is so big that he looks like he’s loping around, but he’s covering so much ground and they’re clear at 9abc.
11:47 a.m. Moguel looks a lot bolder at the end course as she finishes in 12:14. Doughty-Hume looses impulsion dropping into the head of the Lake, so she goes the long route as she picks up the canter again, but it’ll cost her some time.
11:46 a.m. Moguel takes the long route at the Normandy Bank after Cecelia trips a bit at the bank, but they’re clear.
11:45 a.m. Honor Me and Lisa Marie Fergusson is next out of the start box.
11:43 a.m. Moguel and Cecelia are clear at the Head of the Lake, and Sir Oberon looks relaxed as they jump through the Rolex Grand Slam Challenge, 11abc.
11:41 a.m. Pfun looks a little tired as they finish in 11:58. Moguel is looking better as they head to the narrow knolls 15ab.
11:40 a.m. Ellen Doughty-Hume is out on course with Sir Oberon.
11:38 a.m. Faudree looks a little slow through the Head of the Lake but is clear. Moguel is now riding a bit more forward after her stop.
11:36 a.m. Daniela Moguel had a stop at the in of the first water, and Shannon just finished in 11:36.
11:35 a.m. Daniela Moguel is on course with Cecelia.
11:34 a.m. Shannon goes the long route at 20ABC, and her horse looks like he’s giving her a bit of trouble.
11:32 a.m. Shannon’s horse trips up the bank at the Head of the Lake, and she has to circle at the brush out. Faudree is clear through the Park Question.
11:31 a.m. Heard finished in 11:44.
11:30 a.m. Will Faudree and Pfun ae on course. Heard has a great relationship with her horse, and it shows. They’re clear as they head into the final part of the course.
11:29 a.m. Shannon’shorse looks like he’s having a blast out there, and she’s had to check him a couple times before the combinations, but he’s ready to go!
11:26 a.m. Meyer is through the finish flags in 11:27.
11:25 a.m. Australia’s Hazel Shannon is on course with WillingaPark Clifford.
11:24 a.m. Meyer goes the long route at 20abc, and they’re good. LLC Barnaby is clear at the second water.
11:22 a.m. Johnny Royale is landing quite far from the fences which makes the turns a bit harder for Meyer, but this horse is still full of run.
11:21 a.m. Vogg is home in 11:36.
11:20 a.m. Lillian Heard is heading out with LCC Barnaby. Vogg is now clear through the Mighty Moguels, 26ab.
11:17 a.m. This is Meyer’s first trip around Kentucky with Johnny Royale, but this horse looks great so far. Colero is slowing some, but he’s good at the Head of the Lake. A smack with the whip at the trakehner and off they go.
11:15 a.m. Coon had a runout at the second part of the Head of the Lake. She’s elected to retire. Joe Meyer has left the startbox with Johnny Royale.
11:11 a.m. Colero looks excited to be out, and if he keeps this pace up, he’ll have no trouble making time. He’s bold to the single tables which will save some time.
11:10 a.m. Felix Vogg and Colero are on course. Hallie needs to keep kicking; she keeps getting sticky at the base of the fences.
11:09 a.m. Hallie had to kick through the Mars Sustainability Bay, but they look good so far. They’re a little sticky at the Park Question, but Hallie catches her balance and stays on.
11:07 a.m. Hannah Sue finished in 11:42, so she’ll have quite a few time penalties.
11:05 a.m. Hallie Coon and Celien are on course.
11:04 a.m. Hannah Sue takes the long route at the Normandy bank, and they’re still clear. They’re clear at the Frog Pond, but will probably have some time penalties.
11:00 a.m. Gumbiner is in at 11:43 and looks thrilled with Larry’s performance. Burnett has a couple tricky fences at 15ab when William trips, but they are good.
10:59 a.m. Polaris is all business and made it through 20ABC. Burnett is clear through 13ABC.
10:58 a.m. We have our first finisher! Allie Sacksen is at the finish. Hannah Sue looks like she’s got her hands full with Harbour Pilot. He looks happy to be out.
10:56 a.m. Mara DePuy has withdrawn Congo Brazzaville C.
10:55 a.m. Hannah Sue Burnett has left the start box with Harbour Pilot. Sacksen looks great through the Head of the Lake and takes the long route at the Normandy Bank, 20ABC, and it works out well for her.
10:53 a.m. Gumbiner nearly had a run in with a dog, but “Larry” never lost focus.
10:51 a.m. Gumbiner is good through the first water combination.
10:50 a.m. Sara Gumbiner and Polaris are on course.
10:49 a.m. Nio is adding in some lines but jumping great.
10:46 a.m. Davidson is now up and taking a ride off the course. Sacksen is good through the first combination.
10:45 a.m. Allie Sacksen is on course with Sparrow’s Nio.
10:44 a.m. Davidson fell at the second element of the Normandy Bank, just like Martin.
10:43 a.m. Halliday-Sharp fell at fence 3, and Davidson had a runout at the Head of the Lake.
10:41 a.m. Davidson is clearly through the Hollow, and Halliday-Sharp’s horse looks good through the first few fences.
10:40 a.m. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z are on course.
10:39 a.m. Martin fell at the corner at the Normandy Bank. She’s up and walked off course.
10:36 a.m. Davidson has to kick through the first combination, but Park Tradergets it done. Martin looks like she’s having a great trip. She’s done a couple long routes, but her horse is game.
10:35 a.m. Buck Davidson and Park Trader are on course.
10: 33 a.m. Caroline is good through the first few combinations on course. “James” is making his first five-star look easy.
10:30 a.m. And we’ve started! Caroline Martin is starting us off with Islandwood Captain Jack.
10:00 a.m. We’re half an hour away from the start of cross-country, and it’s a beautiful day in Kentucky. Caroline Martin and Islandwood Captain Jack will be the first pair on course at 10:30 a.m. Horses will head out in five-minute intervals. A course map can be found here.
We’re on site at the Kentucky Horse Park to bring you all the info and photos you need to know from the biggest event of the year. Check back all weekend at coth.com and be sure to pick up the May 20 print edition of the Chronicle for much more.