Lexington, KY – July 24, 2013 – Beautiful, sunny skies, inviting hunter courses and top levels of competition greeted riders at the Kentucky Horse Park for the first day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The Green Hunters kicked off the competition in the Stonelea Ring, where Colleen Acosta and Kelley Farmer each earned blue ribbons, while Molley Sewell dominated the Green Conformation Hunters. Shawn Casady and Ascot wrapped up the day with wins in the High Performance Hunters, while Kelly Mullen and Donato scored top calls in the Performance 3’6″ Hunter division.
Kelley Farmer took home the first blue ribbon of the day in the Green Hunters riding Skorekeeper, owned by Larry Glefke and the Quail Run Partnership of Keswick, VA. The victory in the second round went to Colleen Acosta, riding with Limbo, owned by Sophia DePumpo of South Lake, TX.
“Skorekeeper has been fantastic,” Farmer shared. “Every time that he goes, he just gets better and better. He’s becoming more and more made and more straightforward all the time.”
The seven-year-old Skorekeeper made his First Year Green Hunter debut with Farmer earlier this year, and he has since racked up multiple impressive derby finishes including a recent win in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. The Kentucky Summer Horse Show presented the perfect opportunity and venue to get another show under the horse’s belt before gearing up for USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, which will also be held at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, August 13-18, 2013.
Also performing well in the derby ring is rider Shawn Casady, who is currently atop the 2013 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Leading Rider standings. The Hallway Feeds Series consists of seven national hunter derby events held during the 2013 Kentucky Horse Shows, two of which were completed during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows. Casady will return to attempt to hold on to his title this coming Sunday, July 28, but for today he was topping the leaderboard in the High Performance Hunters. Casady swept all three of today’s High Performance Hunter classes with Ascot, owned by the HJ Group LLC of Sewickley, PA.
Casady first got the ride on Ascot during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and the pair has only continued to perform better and better since then, winning both the two over fences classes today and the under saddle.
“We’ve definitely gotten closer and are learning each other more and more each week that we’ve been working together,” Casady commented. “He’s a fun horse.”
Molly Sewell and Satisfaction, owned by Peakewood Pharm, Inc. of Sanford, FL, also delivered an impressive clean sweep as well this morning. The pair won two blues over fences, as well as during the under saddle, in the Green Conformation Hunter division.
In the Performance 3’6″ Hunters, Donato, owned by Katie Ramsey and ridden by Kelly Mullen, leads the way heading into the second day of competition. Mullen and Donato finished first and third over fences before picking up an additional blue ribbon in the under saddle.
“He goes in there, and he tries hard every single time,” Mullen said of Donato. “Outside the ring maybe it can be different, but I always know that when I walk in the ring I have a show horse underneath me. He’s very business-like in the ring.”
Mullen continued, “The first jump today had a roll-top on both sides, so he looked at it and just gave an amazing jump. The course had enough for them look at so they all jumped really, really well today.”
Donato will return tomorrow with Mullen in the Performance 3’6″ Hunters and later this week with owner Ramsey, of Mt. Juliet, TN, in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Hunter competition continues tomorrow in the Stonelea Ring with the conclusion of the Green Hunters, the Green Conformation Hunters, the High Performance Hunters, the 3’6″ Performance Hunters and the 3’3″ Performance Hunters.
To learn more about the Kentucky Summer Horse Show visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.