Lexington KY – July 30, 2012 - The Rolex Stadium was alive with excitement as 34 entrants competed in the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. It turned into a nail-biter as five competitors progressed into the jump-off with a clear first round effort. Trailblazer Pablo Barrios aboard Zara Leandra was the first to post a double-clear effort tonight, and it seemed as though no one would be able to best the talented team. It wasn’t until Aaron Vale and Tibor took their turn at the short course that the anticipation became contagious, with the crowd holding their breath as they watched his tight turns and speedy delivery. His time of 41.889 seconds took the duo to the top of tonight’s leader board and the winning title.
It was Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra, owned by the ZL Group of Wellington, FL, who cleared the course in a time of 85.263 seconds and moved into the pinnacle of the standings. When Andres Rodriguez gathered his reins and moved Arao Enterprises’ Caballito, of Wellington, FL, forward through the course, it became clear that a jump-off was in the works. The pair easily cleared each obstacle, and seemingly unnerved prepared for the jump-off ahead. Aaron Vale had guided two other mounts over the first course; however, unlucky rails left him with Tibor as his final chance. He was the last of the competitors to move into the jump-off for his clear effort aboard Tibor, owned by Bonnie Smith of Charlotte, NC.
Barrios laid down the first attempt at the jump-off course, swiftly guiding Zara Leandra over the defying course. He took tight turns throughout the round, especially cutting time from the oxer-vertical combination to the single vertical. His double-clear effort and time of 43.309 seconds left the pair with a target on their backs as the other four competitors vied for the top slot. The other four competitors tried to match his efforts, but four-fault scores kept Barrios in the top spot.
Then, everything changed.
In a flash, Vale erupted from the in gate with Tibor racing toward the first vertical. It was apparent that they were going to go for a blazing speed to knock Barrios from the lead. Vale’s tidy turn from the vertical in the rollback to the oxer sliced precious time, as he raced forward into the more grueling part of the short track. After completing the oxer-vertical combination, he made a quick turn to the single vertical, clearing it with ease, and picking up momentum as he galloped over the final obstacles. As he landed from the final fence, the crowd erupted in applause. He secured the lead as the final rider, anchoring the victory in 41.889 seconds, a 1.42 second differential.
“My plan was to try to win obviously,” Vale smiled. “He’s a very experienced horse, he’s very careful and quick. You have to be a little careful on the turn backs with him, but at least he’s very fast galloping, so that helps a bit. I had to give a little extra room back to the oxer number two, but I watched Pablo go, and he had a real efficient ride. After I watched Andres and saw that he had a pole down, I had a real gage of time. I figured that my horse had a faster gallop so the foot speed would make the difference.”
“It’s always fun winning but it’s especially fun when you’re the last one in and you get the job done. There is a little more energy when it happens that way,” Vale concluded.
Jumper Highlights: Thursday-Sunday
Thunderstorms plagued the Kentucky Horse Park as riders gathered beneath the lights of the Rolex Stadium to compete in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show on Thursday night. Paige Johnson proved to be the best of the best, controlling the jump-off with one of only seven double-clear efforts aboard Chiron S to lead the victory gallop. Shane Sweetnam and Danielle Goldstein also tackled the short course, but their times could not catch Johnson’s speed, each placed second and third, respectively.
To say that time was the name of the game on Thursday, would be an understatement. Paige Johnson was only the second rider to successfully post a clear round during the first course, and managed to post the single fastest time of 29.663 seconds during the short track, taking the lead with a differential of 1.22 seconds-a time that proved untouchable. Johnson rode veteran mount Chiron S, owned by Salamander Farm of The Plains, VA, with a firm plan in mind, taking the win.
Shane Sweetnam threw caution to the wind as he guided not one, but three mounts over the jump-off track, making remarkable times as he battled against Johnson’s time for the blue. It was Sweetnam’s final effort that had the crowd on edge. He seemingly blasted out of the in gate aboard Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve, owned by Spy Coast Farm, launching over the obstacles with ease. As he landed from the final oxer, there was nothing but silence and then an eruption of applause. He left all rails in their cups, but his speedy time of 30.645 seconds was one second shy of the prize.
Friday marked the third day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, and it seemed as though the competition was only beginning to escalate as the amateur and junior jumper riders showcased their skills in the Rolex Stadium. Topping the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Paige Johnson piloted La Martinee to a double-clear victory, and also claimed third with her second mount Monopoly. Chelsea Moss slid into second aboard Dolce D’Ive Z, also completing a fault-free short course. In the High Junior Jumpers, Chloe Reid claimed the blue ribbon with her quick and clear round aboard Damascus, while Emanuel Andrade placed second with Costa, and Kelsey Van Ackeren rode to the third place ribbon with Vernon G.
Eventual winner, Chloe Reid of Washington, D.C., was the pathfinder during the High Junior Jumpers aboard Damascus. They were able to produce the first fault-free short course, and post a second clear effort in the jump-off in 37.445 seconds. Each consecutive rider attempted to move into the jump-off; however, only Emanuel Andrade and Costa were able to clear the first-round course without incurring time faults. During the short track, Andrade navigated Costa with ease, but the pair proved that the track was definitely easier said than done. They took the second place behind Reid, stopping the clock in 38.677 seconds, but collecting 12 faults. Kelsey Van Ackeren of Austin, TX, aboard Vernon G posted the third clear round of the afternoon, but a time fault kept the pair out of the jump-off. Their time of 80.124 earned them the third place finish.
Earlier in the day, the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers took their turn over Azevedo’s course. Paige Johnson was the first to enter the ring and take her try at the course. She rode the nine-year-old Monopoly, owned by Salamander Farm of The Plains, VA, to a clear first round just under the time allowed, and took an immediate lead as she tripped the timers in 37.467 seconds during the jump-off, but an unfortunate rail left them with a four-fault total. Seven rounds later, Johnson entered the ring aboard a different mount, La Martinee, also owned by Salamander Farm. Focusing on the path she laid down with Monopoly, Johnson put forth a double-clear effort in 38.322 seconds, rising in the ranks to the top of the leader board.
Chelsea Moss and Dolce D’Ive Z, owned by Stormfront Stables LLC of Medford, NJ, were the only other pair to go double-clear on Friday’s track in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Over the short track they clocked in at 40.713 seconds, good enough for the second place prize, edging Johnson and Monopoly into the third place position.
The final day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show was afoot with the top amateur-owner and junior riders in the country gathering to compete at the Rolex Stadium. It was a day of domination and diligence as all of the week’s hard work culminated to the final challenging course of the jumper classics. Emanuel Andrade earned the top score in the Low Junior Jumper Classic aboard Casanova Junior, while Chloe Field guided Tiranda to the top of the standings in the Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Paige Johnson wrapped up her week with the three of her horses nabbing the top earnings in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. It was Meg O’Mara who stood out above the rest in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior Jumper Classic with Sinatra IV, riding to one of only two double-clear victories in a speedy time of 42.663 seconds to lead the victory gallop.
It was a thrilling jump-off as Meg O’Mara and Elizabeth Patz went head-to-head for the victory. O’Mara watched Alexander’s attempt at the short course, understanding the turns and the places to slice the seconds. After seeing her earn an unfortunate four-fault total for the rail at the large grey oxer in the double combination, O’Mara saw what she needed to do to take the victory. Using her horse’s natural pace, she completed the jump-off course in 42.663 seconds with all rails in place.
Patz and Chantal were next, entering the ring behind O’Mara. The pair rode the course with ease, focusing on placing at the top, but riding accurately more so than focusing on the need for speed. They laid down a beautiful double-clear effort, but their time of 48.013 seconds eventually earned them the red ribbon award. The third place honors were awarded to Kelsey Van Ackeren and Vernon G for their four-fault effort in the fastest time of 42.706 seconds.
26-year-old Paige Johnson dominated the SJHF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. She qualified all three of her mounts for the jump-off. As the pathfinder, Johnson laid down a clean first round aboard Monopoly, and later guided La Martinee and Kadena R to clear efforts, too. She entered into the jump-off with Monopoly dashing out of the in gate, and completing the course in 42.008 seconds. Nobody could match Johnson’s pace as she sliced turns and cleared the obstacles with ease. In fact, she was the only rider out of the five qualifying entrants to provide a double-clear effort. She rode La Martinee to the second place finish, as well as securing fourth with veteran mount Kadena R. Lisa Kent and Easy Money took the third place finish.
Hunters Highlights: Tuesday-Sunday
The Kentucky Horse Park was filled with anticipation as the top Junior riders in the nation gathered for the first day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show to vie for the championship honors in the 2012 USEF East Coast Junior Hunter Finals. With four divisions of competition, the lead was held by the Victoria Colvin and Inclusive, who posted the high score during the classic round in the Large 15 and Under Junior Hunter division, as well as the under saddle.
The morning kicked-off with the Small 15 and Under Junior Hunters completing the classic course in the Walnut Ring. Vivian Yowan and Whatever, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, took the top honors of the division receiving a 263-point total. Second place was awarded to Kate Ross aboard Friday Night, owned by Kar, LLC. The pair earned a total of 253 points. It was Kelly Arani and Bolero, who took home the third place award with an overall score of 230.
Next on the schedule was the Small 16-17 Junior Hunter Division where Samantha Batt took control of the first course, guiding her mount Mirasol to the first place finish. Hasbrouck Donovan and Confidential, owned by Donald Stewart, slid into the second place position for the division, earning an overall score of 256. Third went to Shawn Casady and Glass Castle, owned by Elm Rock LLC. In the Large 15 and Under Junior Hunters, it was déjà vu for Victoria Colvin, who took the first place finish two years ago in the 2010 USEF Junior Hunter Finals aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Way Cool. Tuesday, she did it again, but this time exhibiting Parker’s bay gelding Inclusive. She took a dominating lead as the third rider in the order of go, wearing a target on her back as others attempted to best her 265 total. Second in the Large 15 and Under Junior Hunters was Spencer Smith and Spotlight, owned by Weslands Farm. They took the red ribbon with a score of 248.50. Katherine Strauss and Extraordinary were third with scores of 85, 80 and 20 from the panel of judges for an overall score of 247 points.
In the Large 16-17 Junior Hunters, it was Meg O’Mara and Walk the Line who held their breath as others tried to top her score of 262. With their high score for their division, they proved untouchable, taking home the blue. Second place honors were awarded to Alexandra Crown and Garfield. They earned straight 85s, totaling 255 points. Lexi Selldorff and Soulja Boy, owned by Stone Horse Farm, nabbed the third place honors with the excellent score of 248.
Ovation and Victoria Colvin garnered the top prize in the Small 15 and Under Junior Hunter Under Saddle, earning a cumulative score of 261. Kelcie Brophy and Holiday took their first blue ribbon of the day in the Small 16-17 Junior Hunter Under Saddle. Maggie Ridenour and Savvy were awarded the top call in the Large 15 and Under Junior Hunter Under Saddle for their excellent effort. Paige Wilson and Best Foot Forward were awarded the top honor in the Large 16-17 Junior Hunter Under Saddle.
The sweat beaded off the competitors’ brow Wednesday at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was the final day of the USEF East Coast Junior Hunter Finals, and the final determinant would be the handy round. Wednesday’s second round course determined both Champion and Reserve Champion for each division, as well as overall High Point Mare, Reserve Grand Champion and Grand Champion. It was Victoria Colvin and Inclusive who took the prestigious Grand Championship, adding their names to the perpetual trophy.
The Small 15 and Under Junior Hunters were first in the order of go, and it was 14-year-old Victoria Colvin aboard Ovation, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who posted a clear comeback from Tuesday’s Classic Round to receive scores 92, 90 and 88 for a total of 270 points and the blue ribbon in the Handy Round. The duo posted the high score of the competition, and climbed back into the top rankings. It was Vivian Yowan and Whatever who earned the championship for their consistent efforts. They earned a handy score of 258 points, and an overall total of 643 points. Kate Ross and Friday Night were awarded the Reserve Championship with their score of 630 points. Brett Burlington guided Quigley to the third place finish in the division with the final average of 554.50.
Next to go was the Small 16-17 Junior Hunters where Shawn Casady, aboard Elm Rock LLC’s Glass Castle, took advantage of Tuesday’s combined scores, and secured the Division Championship with confidence. They successfully caught the attention of the judges with a strong hand gallop and smooth course, riding to the Handy Round score of 262 points. Hasbrouck Donovan and Confidential made a run for it with good scores of 86, 83 and 85 across the board, totaling 254 points. In the end, they proved good enough for the Reserve Championship. Rounding out the top three for the division was Anna Cardelfe and Nadia with 606.5 points.
The Large 15 and Under Junior Hunters were one of the more wide-open divisions of the finals. Fourteen-year-old Victoria Colvin and 15-year-old Lillie Keenan went head-to-head to battle to the top of the leader board. Wednesday proved vital for both girls when determining the rankings. It was Colvin aboard Inclusive, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who took the first place award for the handy with scores a total of 268 points. Colvin and Inclusive were awarded the Division’s Championship. Although Keenan posted the high scores of 88, 88 and 91 aboard C Coast Z, she fell just shy of the title and picked up the Reserve with a score of 630.5 points. Spencer Smith and Spotlight, owned by Weslands Farm, earned the third spot with 611.50 points.
Finishing out the competition was the Large 16-17 Junior Hunters where Meg O’Mara and Walk the Line picked up the Championship. Although the pair sat second in the rankings after Tuesday’s under saddle, they took a leap of faith Wednesday and went full out in the handy, earning a score of 261 points and an overall total of 639.50. Lexi Selldorff and Soulja Boy garnered the Reserve Championship with a score of 633. Alexandra Crown and Garfield took home the third place award in the division with a total of 622.50 points.
2012 Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Champion, Inclusive, was named overall Grand Champion with rider Victoria Colvin. Coming in for Reserve Grand Championship was 2012 Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under Reserve Champion Vivian Yowan and Whatever. Shawn Casady rode Glass Castle to the center of the Walnut Ring to claim the High Point Mare award.
As the sun began to set on the Kentucky Horse Park, the final work-off of the USHJA Hunterdon Cup Equitation Classic got underway. It came down to Meredith Darst, Lillie Keenan, Hasbrouck Donovan and Genevieve Zock as they completed the final event of the long-awaited 2012 USHJA East Coast Junior Hunter Finals. Genevieve Zock rose in the ranks, placing consistently high scores, and completing a picture-perfect final test. She took the championship prize with Confession, leading the victory gallop in the Rolex Stadium.
In the classic hunter round Meredith Darst aboard Copyright, owned by Lochmoor Stables, scored a modest 82.75 but it was the handy round that she proved her worth with a score of 89 to join the top four ranks in the final test. Darst mounted Hasbrouck Donovan’s horse Drake, showing her equitation credibility in the final round of the competition with a score of 83 for a total of 254.75, and the fourth place ribbon overall.
Lillie Keenan came out of the in gate with a bang, commanding the crowd’s attention as she guided Monterrey, owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, through the handy course, clearing all competitors’ first-round scores with the elite score of 91. With a target on her back, Keenan entered into the final test in the first place position with sights on the championship title only one wild card course away. Aboard Meredith Darst’s Copyright, Keenan delivered an elegant ride to receive a score of 83, which proved good enough for the third place overall score of 261.50.
Genevieve Zock had an admirable score of 90 during the first round with Confession, and together they earned an 88 during the handy round to enter into the test in the second place position. For the final feat Zock switched steeds with Keenan’s Monterrey, riding to victory with a score of 90 and a grand total of 268.00 points, winning Champion of the Hunterdon Cup.
Hasbrouck Donovan riding Drake, owned by Donald Stewart, took a first round score of 86.50 and a second round score of 87, treading on the heels of the top contenders going into the final test. During the work-off she rode Darst’s Copyright and once again laid down a good trip for a score of 88.50 and a total of 262, three points shy of owning the title, and placing second overall.
The quiet morning greeted professional riders at the Stonelea Arena for the second day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, where spectators gathered to watch as top hunter riders competed for the championship prizes. Kimberley Prince navigated Ace of Spades to the Performance 3’6″ Hunter Championship with three blues. Christopher Payne led the way with Dominus in the Performance 3’3″ Hunters, dominating with a clean sweep of the division. Payne also took a second championship tricolor aboard Lugano in the Regular Conformation Hunters, as well as the Combined Hunter Championship with Holden.
Christopher Payne and Dominus, owned by Maria Takacs of Rumson, NJ, were named the victors at the end of the day in the Performance 3’3″ Hunters. They caught the attention of their competitors, yesterday, when they were awarded two first place ribbons in the over fences. Their success continued into the afternoon where they swept the second day of the division, and earning the championship. Rebecca Conway and In To the Blue, owned by Moonlite Beach LLC of Encinitas, CA, took the reserve championship.
Earlier in the day, Payne also earned the Performance 3’6″ Hunters championship aboard Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO. They were awarded with the first and fourth place awards over fences, and the first place finish for their efforts in the under saddle. Katherine Newman rode Lovely Charity, owned by Freedom Group of Middleburg, VA, came in narrowly behind the team to take the reserve championship.
Payne’s winning streak continued as Holden was presented with the Combined Hunters Championship in the first division of the day. Payne exhibited Holden, owned by Susan Moriconi, to excellent ribbons on both days of competition. Holly Orlando and Cornerstone, owned by Westerly Farm of Unionville, PA, took the reserve championship for their efforts over the two days.
Kimberly Prince showed Ace of Spades, owned by Emily Moran of McClean, VA, to the Performance 3’6″ Hunter Championship. Terry Brown directed Nice, owned by Lori Christman of Atlanta, GA, to the third place honors in all classes Thursday, to score the reserve championship.
It was a moist morning as the Stonlea Arena awoke from a stormy night to the Amateur-Owner competitors ready to show off their horses in the over fences on Friday. The first division for the day was the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, where Caruso and Kelli Sherrill took the blue ribbon in the first class and a red ribbon in the second, earning the lead in the first rankings. In the Amateur-Owner 3’3 Hunters, the charming Dominus and owner Maria Takacs walked away with first and second place finishes from the Amateur-Owner 3’3 Hunters division, while Tuckahoe and owner rider Camille McNeill will be the pair to beat, earning first and third place in the Amateur-Owner 50 and Older Hunters division, as they head into tomorrow’s championship.
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, Caruso ridden by Kelli Sherrill shined as they rode their way to a first place position in the first round. Natalie Allen-Barinnsky and Val D’isere, cleared fences in fine form earning the duo a second place ribbon for the class. The second round blue ribbon of the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters was pinned on the bridle of Ace of Spades, owner and rider Emily Morin. The two earned the first place, narrowly surpassing first round’s blue ribbon winner Sherrill and Caruso who are the leaders going into tomorrow’s second class.
It was in the Amateur-Owner 50 and Older Hunter division that Joan Ehrhart rode Goodnight to a first class victory. Lescobar and Victoria Marraccini placed second in the division, delivering a smooth round. Camille McNeill rode her steed, Tuckahoe, to a third place finish. The second round brought on new results where McNeill and Tuckahoe advanced in the ranks placing first among fellow riders. Hunt Tosh aboard Southern Comfort rode a clean hunt round claiming a second place ribbon. Putting down a stellar performance and completing with a third place finish, Valentino and rider Susan Stanley.
Spectators gathered on shaded picnic benches as they looked onward to the NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic in the Murphy Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday, the third day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. They watched as the top amateur riders went against one another, showcasing their mount’s talents as they vied for the top honors. It was Julie Holzberger and Revealed who took on the Classic with a vengeance, winning the prestigious title with an overwhelming 10-point difference. Their high scoring second round set a bar no other participant could reach.
With a combined score of 165 points, Holzberger guided by trainers Christopher Payne and David Belford, accomplished their goal of earning the class’ blue ribbon prize. Although Boggus and Cassino Z had the high first round score, they eventually took the second place ribbon with their overall score of 155 points. Michelle Power and Change Order were awarded the third place award for their total of 148 points.
Prior to the Classic, the Amateur-Owner 50 and Older Hunter division saw competitors return for day two of competition in a new ring. Camille McNeill entered the ring with Tuckahoe, bringing the same edge that shaped their scores in the Stonelea Arena, yesterday. The pair caught the eyes of the judges, riding to the first place finish. The second round saw a different talent take the top score. Written In the Stars, ridden by Kathy Dixon of Galena, Ohio, stole the final course of the division, but it was McNeill and Tuckahoe who took the championship for the division with an additional third and fourth place ribbon. Southern Comfort and Mary Canner were awarded the reserve championship.
Earlier in the morning, amidst the pristine jumps in the Stonelea Arena, the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters named their champions. Dominus, guided by Maria Takacs of Rumson, NJ, won the first place prize in the handy, as well as an additional second place ribbon in the over fences. They also were awarded the second place for their efforts in the under saddle. It was Dominus who posed for the presentation photo as the division’s champion.
Elizabeth Degolian and Quite Simply were awarded the reserve championship honors for their efforts. With the second place in the first round of the over fences, and a fourth place ribbon in the under saddle, the duo took the reserve championship with pride. Sarah Ingram and Four Iron also rode to good ribbons, but they fell just shy of the championship awards. The finals yielded Kelli Scherill of Alpharetta, GA and Caruso to take home the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship, while Emily Morin of Mcclean, VA, and Ace of Spades took reserve championship honors.
The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby received the top hunters from around the country to ride a course that was certain to keep horse and rider on the edge of their skills. Set in the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, the event saw 24 riders compete for the top prize. It was Shawn Casady and Without Question who rode to the top of the leader board, solidifying an overall victory with the high score of 181 points. Louise Serio and Corvine were awarded the red ribbon for posting an impressive performance, a scored total of 177 points, while Steve Heinecke excelled to the third place finish, with a score of 176 points aboard So Lucky.
Louise Serio posted an early lead during the first round, entering the ring as the eighth rider to attempt the course. Her first round score of 91 definitely caught the judges’ eyes as she put down a careful and consistent round aboard Corvine. The rider left nothing to chance as she demonstrated her hunt sense, earning the top score of 91. She secured the final slot in the handy round to take her try at the short course. Her handy round earned the duo the overall score of 177 points, securing the second place position.
It was upon returning for the handy round that Shawn Casady rode his mount, Without Question, owned by Ponies and Palms Show Stables of Boca Raton, FL, and leased by Marigot Bay Farm of Dover, MA, in such a commanding fashion that he gained the second round high score. The pair opted to take all four high options, worth a point each, which were added to his base score of 88. The overall score put the horse and rider at the top of the rankings with a total of 181 points, and the lead of the evening’s victory gallop.
Steve Heinecke returned for the handy hunter course with a first-round score of 88 points. He once again navigated So Lucky, owned by Jane Fisher of Baton Rouge, LA, to the score of 84 with the additional four bonus points to earn another 88. His overall score of 176 proved good enough for the third place ribbon.
The exciting hunter/jumper action will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday with the Kentucky Summer Classic. The week’s highlight events include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix. It will also feature the fourth leg of the $5,000 Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby. The 2012 USEF Pony Finals will get underway August 7-12, followed by the Bluegrass Festival Classic and the KHJA Horse Show.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.