Friday, May. 31, 2024

High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers Victory Goes to Ericka Pritz and Ad Fundum at Kentucky Summer Classic

Beautiful skies greeted exhibitors during Friday's competition during the Kentucky Summer Classic held at the gorgeous Kentucky Horse Park, home of the FEI Altech World Equestrian Games. Following the Open Jumper divisions, 28 riders competed in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers over an extremely demanding course in the New Indoor Arena.



Beautiful skies greeted exhibitors during Friday’s competition during the Kentucky Summer Classic held at the gorgeous Kentucky Horse Park, home of the FEI Altech World Equestrian Games. Following the Open Jumper divisions, 28 riders competed in the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers over an extremely demanding course in the New Indoor Arena. It was amateur rider Ericka Pritz and her mount Ad Fundum who rose to the occasion for the win this afternoon with the only double-clear effort.  Junior rider Caitlin Ziegler and Raja took home the second place award, while Karen Polle and Valfee Des Hazealles earned the third place ribbon.

Today’s course, designed by David Ballard, featured a tricky bending line to begin that tested riders right off the bat.  Fifteen horse and rider combinations had rails at one of the first two fences.  As riders continued in the course, they were tested by a liverpool oxer followed by five tight strides to a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, which proved to be another problem area for riders.  The course also featured a skinny jump, two tight roll back turns and a two-stride to finish.

Caitlin Zieger and Raja That went fourteenth in today’s order and were first to make it around the first course with no faults.  After taking the inside turn to fence nine in the short course, Raja That’s hind legs landed on the back oxer rail at fence ten, giving them a four-fault total in the short course.  

Ericka Pritz had already been around the course once on her mare Landessa 4, when she entered the ring for the second time on Ad Fundum.  After a clear first round, Pritz knew that all she had to do was keep the rails in their cups to rise to the top of the leaderboard. The pair laid down a successful track with zero faults and took over the first place position. Seven more horses followed Pritz, but no one was able to master the first round course and advance to short course to challenge Pritz’s lead

Karen Polle and Valfee Des Hazalles left all of the rails up, but would not go on to compete in the jump off after earning two time penalties for the third place honors.  Ericka Pritz and her mare, Landessa 4, finished fourth today as the fastest of the four fault rounds with a time of 66.510.  Alex Parrish and Frisco finished fifth with a time of 68.680 and four faults after a take down a rail at fence seven.  

“Today was a hard; it was a really technical hard course,” laughed Pritz after her big win.   “I was really good on my first horse and I had four faults on her, so I knew I wanted to go in and stick with the same plan on Ad Fundum.  With my mare I really just have to keep going but with him I just have to maintain, it was really about letting him just go in and do his thing.”

Pritz continued, “The course walked hard.  The first line right off the bat was a bending five and a half to a four and a half.  That was tough and a big question.  It’s a hard ring to ride in with it being so new and I was lucky enough to have been in the ring last night with him.  The liverpool oxer out of the next corner to the triple combination presented more tough questions.  You couldn’t be iffy today up that first line at all.  He was just right there today and was great!”

Pritz was slower by a little more than a second in the jump-off from second place finisher Cailtin Ziegler, but her consistency paid off leaving all of the jumps intact.  “The jump-off was fun,” said Pritz.  “Sometimes having to just go clean is harder, but he was great and I’m just thrilled to win here!  I love this facility!”  


The Low Junior Jumpers were the last division of the day in the new Indoor Ring with fifty-two entries.  Nineteen of those 52 made it back for the jump-off immediately following their first rounds.  Lowering the fences made this course much more rideable as the Low Junior Jumpers followed the same course as the High Junior Amateur Owner Class.  

It was BMC Chifaira, owned by Old Barrington LLC, and Abigail McArdle who held the lead for 29 rounds to win tonight’s class with a clear ride in a time of 28.161 seconds during the jump-off.  Following closely on McArdle’s heals was Carinthie Z and Catherine Tyree with a time of 28.337 seconds.  Shawn Casady and Elizabeth Boyd’s First Lady were not far off either posting a time of 28.507 which was good enough for the third place ribbon.

Open Jumpers

Earlier in the day the Open Jumpers has the opportunity to avoid the heat in the new air-conditioned Indoor Ring. Top ribbons were awarded to Aaron Vale and Ubico-H in the 1.40m Open Jumper class for their amazing jump-off effort, while Henri Kovacs and Junior made a similar effort in the 1.35m Open Jumpers to take home the top prize.

The 1.40m and 1.35m Open Jumper classes each featured a course of ten jumps involving a rollback to a triple oxer, a double combination, a skinny vertical, an oxer with a liverpool, a triple combination towards the in gate. Those who went clear in the first round rode an immediate Jump off round which included a tight roll back from the triple oxer to a vertical,  and a gallop to the final oxer before crossing the wire.

There were 18 competitors in the 1.40m Open class. Norman Dello Joio and Uptimes, owned by Victoria Huertematte, were up first, setting the bar with a clear first round and a faultless jump off round in a time of 31.832 seconds, which would win the fourth place prize overall. Michael Morrissey was able to move to the top of the leaderboard with his horse Crelido, jumping clear during the short course and crossing the wire in a speedy 29.432 seconds and eventually earning the second place prize.

Dello Joio came right back on his second mount Notre Star De La Nutria, owned by La Nutria, for another clear jump off round but just missed passing Morrissey, finishing with a time of 30.069 seconds which held up for the third place honors. Another clean jump off round was ridden by Jordan Siegel and CR Fantasia, owned by Greg Billings, but lacked the necessary speed and inside turns to claim the lead and stopped the clock in 34.605 seconds to earn fifth place. The final rider of the class was

Aaron Vale aboard Royal Farm’s Ubico-H rode a very quick first round leaving every rail in it its cups. The pair then went on to ride a very accurate short course, making every inside and cut off turn possible, to trip the wire in a blazing 28.690 seconds, which went straight to the top and won the class.

“He was a little spooky the first day and this morning he seemed more confident, everything just came up right,” smiled Vale. “We were hopeful to win the class, he has been a real competitive horse lately. He jumped clean last week and maintained his speed and carefulness for today’s class.”


Vale continued, “We plan get some more experience with him and try some more Grand Prix classes this year. He seems a little green indoors apposed to outside where you can gallop to each fence more.”

The 1.35m Open Jumpers class immediately followed and setting the pace for 16 riders was the first on course, Henri Kovacs and nine-year-old mount Junior, owned by Plain Bay Farm. Kovacs guided Junior over a very quick and error free jump-off round, opting to take inside routes and tighter turns, to break the beam at 28.334 seconds.

Margi Engle and Hidden Creek’s Lonesome Boy, owned by Hidden Creek Farm, Inc were up next to challenge Kovacs’ track. Engle guided her horse through a clean jump-off round but was unable to surpass his quick time, coming in at 31.628 seconds for the fourth place award overall.

Katherine Newman and Dozent, owned by Mimi Abel-Smith, also braved the short course, but just were not quick enough to claim the top spot with a time of 30.187 seconds for the third place ribbon. It came down to Richard Reinhart and Niki Martin’s horse, Hobby De La Cense. Choosing the inside route and tightening every turn just was still not enough for Reinhart as he tripped the wire in 28.741 seconds, just a fraction behind Kovacs to earn the second place title.

 “This morning he had a couple rails in the 1.40m, so I tried him in the 1.35m to make him confident again,” explained Kovacs. “His jump-off was very good with the tight turns. Junior is a young horse; he is not very experienced, he is nine, but a very inexperienced nine. We are going back to Virginia and I’ll ride him in the Grand Prix, and maybe some speed classes.

Kovacs has a habit to compete well at the Kentucky Horse Shows. “I always ride well here,” he laughed. “Every ring is very good to ride on, and there’s a lot of room to ride around. I really enjoy it.”

The Kentucky Summer Classic runs through Sunday, August 8, 2010 at the picturesque Kentucky Horse Park. This week’s highlight will be tomorrow’s $50,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix. The exciting class will get underway at 6p.m. in the Indoor Ring with the top riders vying for the first place prize.  

For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit




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