Kentucky Summer Horse Show Wrap-Up: July 22-26, 2009

Kentucky Summer Horse Show Wrap-Up: July 22-26, 2009

By Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Lexington, KY – July 27, 2009 – The Kentucky Summer Horse Show was held the week of July 22-26, 2009, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The competition was managed by Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, and jumper highlights included the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix.

Jumper Highlights Wednesday through Sunday

Wednesday was opening day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. It featured the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper Welcome Class in the newly built Sheila C. Johnson Ring at the New Outdoor Stadium. Angel Karolyi of Aiken, SC, had a strong performance with both of his horses and came away with first and second place.

After a damp day of rain showers, ten competitors participated in the main event. The newly resurfaced footing Stadium held up beautifully throughout the wet conditions, and the course, which was designed by Olaf Peterson Jr., was extremely inviting for the first day of this week’s competition.

Max Amaya and Wintina Deux , owned by New York City’s Senartmont Management, were the first to take on the course. They lowered the height of the oxer at 3b and finished in 61.450 seconds, well within the 79 second time allowed. Sharn Wordley piloted Zorro next in the order. They too accrued four faults; however their penalty occurred over a vertical at fence 10. They came home in 62.716 seconds. Zorro is owned by Filip Amram of Ocala, FL.

Aaron Vale and his mount Kryptonite were the first duo to come home clear. Stopping the clock in 72.023 seconds, Kryptonite, owned by ABC 4 Horses, took over the top spot. However, the lead quickly changed hands when Angel Karolyi executed a quick clear round aboard Galant, topping the leader board in 63.900 seconds.

Martine trotted in the ring next with Luis Larsava in the irons. They lowered the height of one fence, scoring four faults in 65.869 seconds. Juan Pablo Gnecco produced the next clear round aboard his own mount Ukoon. Their prompt time of 69.213 seconds would hold up for third place.

Antonio Martinez had an unfortunate 12 faults with his horse Aramis Van Het, and Sharn Wordley exceeded the time allowed with Swept Away Farm’s Andiamo Pyon, adding seven time faults to their score with a time of 85.056 seconds. Sayre Happy added another name to the clear list when she guided Tarzan La Cantera, owned by Daniel Rihan, to a faultless finish in 70.516 seconds.

Karolyi rode his second mount, James T. Kirk, for another brilliant round, tripping the timers without penalty in 69.055 seconds. James T. Kirk finished in second place behind his first mount Galant.

“We did good,” Karolyi smiled. “Galant is McLain Ward’s horse. He’s a super horse, and he’s 19 years old. He just knows his job. He is in perfect condition to keep on jumping, so we still have him in the ring and he enjoys his job.”

He continued, “The other one [James T. Kirk] is Abigail Walker’s horse. He’s a great horse that has come a long way since last year. This was a warm-up for him. That’s why I didn’t go quite as fast as Galant,” he explained. “Galant does smaller grand prixs at other places, but this is really his height where he’s really a winner.”

Karolyi explained that the weather was not a factor for him today. “You know what? I’m so happy,” he said. “Ok, the weather, yeah, it could be sunshine right now, but thank God for Kentucky. I’m so happy with it,” he expressed. “It’s been pouring rain all day, and the footing is just wonderful. You could go a million miles an hour and be alright. So it’s lovely to finally have a place in the United States with top, top footing and top everything. They are doing a wonderful job for next year for the World Equestrian Games.” Karolyi resides in Aiken, SC, and works for Andrea King.

Thursday night, Pablo Barrios and his mount La Gran executed an incredible performance in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix. Barrios bested a field of 40 horse and rider combinations for the win. The $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic was held in the Walnut Ring on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m., and the class, which was the third grand prix in the 2009 Hagyard Challenge Series, was scored under a Table II.2A format.

The Hagyard Challenge Series is a summer-long string of grand prix competitions held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The leading rider of the entire Hagyard Challenge Series will win a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus at the conclusion of the final grand prix, held in September at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show. Two classes were held at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and the next class will be held next week at the Kentucky Summer Classic.

Twelve horse and rider combinations qualified for the grand prix’s tie breaker. Michael Morrissey and Eugene Mische’s horse Scaraberas were the first to return for the jump-off, and they came home fault free in 40.141 seconds. Morrissey resides in Bradenton, FL. Nick Dello Joio revisited the ring next aboard Draco, owned by Wembley Farms. They lowered the height of the oxer at fence 15 and also had the last jump down, tallying eight faults overall in 38.008 seconds.

Aaron Vale and Tarco were the next to challenge the short course. Tarco, who is owned by Joan Kalman of Bedford Hills, NY, also had the oxer down at fence 15, and their fast time of 36.934 seconds momentarily ranked them in second place. The next clear round was produced by Sayre Happy and Corint Z, owned by Ricardo Gonzalez. They rode cautiously, stopping the clock in 41.443 seconds. Francis Tress Roig followed in Happy’s footsteps, adding his name to the list of clear rounds with his mount Lady In Blue. His faster time of 40.397 seconds unofficially took over the second spot on the leader board.

Angel Karolyi started off well with James T. Kirk, but Karolyi was unfortunately jumped loose over the oxer at fence 15; he retired because of an equipment malfunction. James T. Kirk is owned by Abigail Walker of Montepelier Station, VA.

Eliza Shuford and Little John were the next pair to take on the jump-off track, and their round was both polished and fast. They clocked in at 38.271 seconds, taking over the top spot. Shuford resides in Hickory, NC. The lead quickly changed hands, however, as Pablo Barrios and his horse La Gran tightened the turns and galloped home for an incredible finish in 33.895 seconds, more than five seconds faster than the leading time. La Gran is co-owned by Barrios and Andres Olivares of Wellington, FL.

Sayre Happy and her second mount Tarzan La Cantera, owned by Daniel Rihan of Mexico City, were also clear, but their safe time of 40.090 seconds was not quite fast enough. Morrissey also rode a second horse in the jump-off. Aboard Crelido, Morrissey bettered Barrios’ time with a prompt 33.076 seconds, but they lowered the height of the vertical at fence 10A and were penalized with four faults.

Mike McCormick and MTM Remington, owned by MTM Farm, rode beautifully as well, jumping without penalty. Their time of 36.057 seconds took over the second place position. McCormick lives in Flower Mound, TX. Kent Farrington was the final competitor of the evening. He took a shot aboard RCG Farm’s Uceko and galloped home, but their speed unfortunately caused the final fence to fall. Their time of 33.670 seconds went into ninth place.

After his victory gallop, Pablo Barrios discussed tonight’s class. “The course was pretty tough. I wasn’t expecting that many clear rounds when I walked,” he revealed. “I had one down with the first [horse] that I rode, and I had one time fault. It was one of my very good horses too. So I think, at the end, we all kind of learned how to ride the course. I think that’s where the clear rounds came from.”

He added, “I had a good spot in the order for the jump-off. I think it was a very nice jump-off for him. I couldn’t do six (strides) in the second line. I added one stride, and I think it almost cost me the class because someone was a fraction faster than me. They unfortunately had a rail. Well, it was unfortunate for them,” he laughed, “and I won the class.”

“I’ve won a lot of classes with La Gran,” said Barrios. “I went to Spruce Meadows for four weeks, and he learned a lot there…he felt like a different horse today. He is covering the spreads better and jumping with more scope than before. So I am very pleased with that,” he noted. “I think he grew up in Calgary. It’s a huge ring there with huge fences. He felt really good today, so I’m very happy.”

The Kentucky Summer Horse Show continued at the Kentucky Horse Park on Friday, and the 1.40m and 1.35m Open Jumpers were the most competitive jumper classes in the Walnut Ring.

Margie Engle piloted Hidden Creek’s Pamina L to first place in the 1.40m Open Jumper class, which was scored under a Table II.2(b) format. Engle came home in 39.637 seconds and held onto the lead throughout the class. Pamina L is owned by Hidden Creek Farm of Oak Creek, WI.

“Pamina is just starting back,” explained Engle. “I gave her a few months off. I did a lot with her last year, so I wanted to give her a little break. I just started her back at Cleveland in July, and she felt really good there. The 1.40m was first class she’s done here, and she felt great.”

The 1.35m Open Jumpers competed next in the Walnut Ring, and Aaron Vale proved to be the best with his mount Wilkie Van’t Merelsnest. Jumping without fault in the Table II.2(b) class, Vale produced a clear jump-off time of 41.151 seconds. Wilkie Van’t Merelsnest is co-owned by Vale and Saddle Enterprises of Ocala, FL. Kelsey Thatcher of Bluffdale, UT, stopped the clock in 43.081 seconds aboard Pony Lane Farm’s Milous De Fontaine, finishing in second place.

Vale commented after the class, “Wilkie Van’t Merelsnest is a 9-year-old mare. I think she’s going to make a really nice Amateur Jumper. She’s been really solid in the Level 6s and 7s. She’s a sales horse, and hopefully she’ll end up finding a home. She’s a really solid and trustworthy horse. Right now she’s comfortable at the 1.35m, 1.40m level.”

The Walnut Ring courses, designed by Alan Rheinheimer, have included a number of bending lines this week. “Everything is very related,” said Vale. “Alan has kept us busy out there. There’s not much of a breather between fences or between lines. If your horse is a little green, they are pretty hefty lines and pretty technical. A ‘chicken’ horse might not want to jump off of some of those approaches. The courses have kind of made it ride like an indoor ring. It’s ridden kind of tight.”

A starting lineup of 35 horse and rider combinations went to post Saturday for the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Pablo Barrios of Caracas, Venezuela, carried out a flawless performance aboard La Gran and came away with his second grand prix victory of the week.

A tough track was built by course designer Olaf Peterson, Jr. The class was scored under a Table II.2 (A) format. Only five exhibitors jumped fault free over the first course and qualified for the jump-off.

The first of five to return for the jump-off was Tracey Fenney and her mount S & L Willie, owned by MTM Farm. As the pair negotiated the first fence of the tie breaker, S & L Willie put on the brakes, and an unfortunate dismount by Fenney solidified her fifth place finish. Fenney is from Flower Mound, TX.

Eliza Shuford of Hickory, NC, and her horse Little John were the next to revisit the ring. Picking up a smooth gallop, Little John jumped beautifully over the course and left all of the fences untouched. Their time of 55.544 seconds set the pace for the following three competitors.

Pablo Barrios rode his first of two mounts that were qualified for the short course. He and Sinatra had a bead on the lead until the oxer at fence one fell to the ground. They clocked in with four faults in 54.789 seconds and finished in fourth place.

Next in the order was Kent Farrington on RCG Farm’s Uceko. Speeding up the first line, Uceko proved to be a true contender. Galloping around the turns and soaring above the fences, Farrington and his mount flew home in 53.862 seconds, surpassing the leading time by 1.682 seconds and taking over first place.

Barrios, who was the only rider to qualify two horses for the jump-off, was the final competitor of the night. Combing speed with impulsion, Barrios and La Gran covered the ground quickly, and the horse’s quick stride and stellar turns showed they were a force to be reckoned with. Making up time between fences and never touching a rail, La Gran soared home in 51.907 seconds, edging Farrington and Uceko into second place.

“Tonight was very good,” smiled Barrios after his win. “It was very nice to have two in the jump-off, especially with a very short list of horses going back. Both of my horses feel really, really good. La Gran is a speed horse; he is so fast. I think he can win any class, anywhere. He just needs to be a little lucky and have a good ride. I think he can even go faster than he went tonight,” he said.

Barrios described his winning ride and where he made up time to take over the lead. “I think my track was very close to [Kent’s] track. I think my horse is faster and his strides are quicker. He takes less time in the air. But I think I caught [Farrington] with the time while coming to the last fence. I really angled it and saw the distance from far away and just went for it, like I did the other day,” he grinned.

Barrios discussed the course and how it rode for his horses. “I liked the first round a lot for La Gran. I think it was a very good course for him. The triple combination was off the left lead, and La Gran is better off the left. For Sinatra, I wasn’t concerned about anything. I was more concerned with the time allowed because he’s a slow horse. In the prix the other day, I think he was one of the few horses who got caught with the time; the time was very friendly and I still had one time fault. So I was very concerned tonight because I saw a few at the beginning with time faults.”

Both Sinatra and La Gran are co-owned by Barrios and Andres Olivares of Wellington, FL. Barrios represents his home country of Venezuela, and he has already qualified both of his horses for next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The Kentucky Summer Horse Show drew to a close Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic took center stage in the Walnut Ring. Out of 36 horse and rider combinations, only three jumped fault free in the first round. The challenging course was designed by Alan Rheinheimer, and the class was scored under a Table II.2(A) format. Whitney Weeks and her mount Subliem were the epitome of perfection as they mastered the initial round and then jumped penalty free over the short course, coming home with the win.

Gabriel Galan of Monterrey, Mexico, was the first rider to qualify for the jump-off; he showed his horse Aruba La Silla. Over the short course, they lowered the height of one fence and crossed the finish line in 32.637 seconds. Weeks and her mount Subliem went next in the order, and they executed a prompt and polished ride, stopping the clock without fault in 33.962 seconds. The third and final rider in the jump-off was Claudia Billups, who rode Platinum, owned by ABC 4 Horses. Billups and her horse left all of the fences up, and but their time of 34.590 seconds was not fast enough to take over the lead. Billups finished in second, edging Galan into third and revealing that Weeks would lead today’s victory gallop. Weeks resides in Southport, CT.

After her win, Weeks discussed the first course and why some riders had difficulty. “It wasn’t too big, but it was very twisty,” she said. “There were a lot of serpentine turns, but it was a nice course. It was harder than I thought because there weren’t that many clear, but it was nice. I was concerned about the middle line, which was a six (strides) to a triple combination to a six, because she has a hard right drift,” she revealed. “From the triple to the orange oxer, I knew I was going to get there early because she kind of leans to the right, but she helped me out there.”

She commented on the jump-off and her winning strategy. “Going in, I was a little concerned about the second jump because there was a hard left turn after it, and she doesn’t turn to the left that well. But, she ended up doing it really nicely,” she stated. “I did eight strides instead of seven in the first line so that I could get deep and set up the turn. And then she came through the turn nicely. I was originally going to go around the vertical, but I ended up seeing [the inside turn] when I landed, so I just kind of went for it. She was really careful there and was really good for me.”

Hunter Competition Wednesday through Sunday

Wednesday in the Stonelea ring, Ken Smith and Triton bested the field of six to win the first over fences class of the First Year Green Working Hunters. Triton is owned by Don Stewart of Ocala, FL. Bob Crandall won the second over fences class in the First Year Green Working Hunters aboard Ascot, owned by Robin Hummel- Johnson of Sewickley, PA.

The big winner in the professional hunter divisions was Maggie Jayne, who won six classes with three different horses, all owned by Pony Lane Farms of Bluffdale, UT. Jayne and her mount Early Applause won both Green Conformation Hunter classes, and she captured two more blues in the Second Year Green Working Hunter classes aboard Gianni.

Jayne finished her morning by winning two Regular Conformation Hunter classes on Pony Lane Farm’s Francesca. In addition, Francesca won the Regular Conformation Model earlier in the day. Jayne reflected on her wins by saying, “I thought they were nice. All the horses went well, and we’re just happy to be here.”

Both Regular Working Hunter over fences classes were won by Clooney, ridden by Kelley Farmer. Clooney is owned by Top Line Sport Horse International of Cypress, TX.

In both classes of the First Year Green Working Hunters on Thursday, Kelley Farmer showed the field how to do it right aboard Clooney. The pair went on to be the First Year Green Working Hunter Grand Champion. Clooney is owned by Top Line Sport Horse International of Cypress, TX. Reserve Champion for the First Year Green Working Hunter division went to Bob Crandall and Ascot, who won the First Year Green Working Hunter under saddle class. Crandall rides Ascot for Robin Hummel-Johnson of Sewickley, PA.

Kelley Farmer and her new mount, Clooney, went on to dominate the Regular Working Hunter division earning their second Grand Championship title of the day. Farmer was very happy with Clooney and stated, “He’s a cool horse. He’s a new horse that we just got to sell. I actually just got him last Sunday, and he was champion in the First Years and the Four Foot.”

Maggie Jayne continued her winning streak from Wednesday with mounts owned by Pony Lane Farm. Jayne took home blues in all three Green Conformation Hunter classes with Early Applause, owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT. The duo was also Grand Champion of the Green Conformation Hunter division. The reserve championship went to Bob Crandall and Ascot.

Jayne and Gianni also continued their winning ways by sweeping the classes of the Second Year Green Working Hunter and picking up the Grand Champion title. Taking the Reserve Champion title was Nora Thomas and Rockford, owned by Norgan Inc. of Wellington, FL.

Pony Lane Farm’s Francesca, ridden by Jayne in the over fences class and shown by Kelley Farmer in the under saddle, secured the Grand Champion title in the Regular Conformation Hunter division. Katherine Newman and Daydream, owned by Mimi Abel-Smith of Middleburg, VA, earned the Regular Conformation Hunter Reserve Championship award.

Friday morning, Shawn Cassidy and Secret Weapon prevailed for both wins over fences in the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division. Megan Clark of Indianapolis, IN, who rode her own horse Right On, won the under saddle class of the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters.

Caroline Spogli and Cachet bested a field of 14 in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division. The pair won both over fences classes and the under saddle. Cachet is owned by Spogli and Cavallo Farms LLC of San Diego, CA. Spogli and Cachet also won the Open Working Hunter class that ran throughout the junior classes.

Kelsey Thatcher and her mount Gianni brought home blues in the first Large Junior 16-17 Hunter over fences class and the under saddle. Thatcher triumphed for the win with Francesca in the second Large Junior 16-17 Hunter over fences class. Both horses are owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT.

Stone Hill Farm’s Sublime, with Jessica Springsteen in the irons, won both Small Junior 16-17 Hunter over fences classes and the under saddle. Stone Hill Farm is located in Colts Neck, NJ.

Springsteen was pleased with Sublime and stated, “He felt really great. He hasn’t shown in a couple weeks, and he was perfect.” She enjoyed how the courses rode today. “It was nice showing hunters in such nice footing; we don’t get to do that very often,” she laughed. “And he did really well over all of the jumps. This was my first time showing here at the park and it’s beautiful. ”

On Saturday, the junior hunter divisions wrapped up at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Shawn Casady held on to his lead from Friday for the title of Grand Champion in the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division. Casady, aboard Secret Weapon, took second in the over fences class and third in the handy hunter to hold on for the tricolor win.

Winning the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter over fences class was Mary Margaret Kron on Lylac, owned by V. Mavec LLC of Pepper Pike, OH . In the handy hunter class, Casady took first place on his second mount, Wild Rose. Wild Rose is owned by Callie Schott of Lexington, KY.

In the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division, Caroline Spogli and Cachet captured the blue ribbon in the over fences class and the Grand Championship for the division. Cachet is owned by Spogli and Cavallo Farms LLC of San Diego, CA. Casady continued his winning ways in the handy hunter class and jogged for first place with Fitzroy Crossing, owned by Don Stewart.

Spogli was very happy with Cachet’s progress. She exclaimed, “I’m just so excited to have her. I just got her in April, and I just started showing her. This is only my second show with her.” The young rider has shown at the Kentucky Horse Park before and enjoys the venue. She stated, “I did the [Kentucky] spring horse show, and then I went to California and showed. Now I’m down here for a few weeks.”

Kelsey Thatcher received top honors in the Large Junior 16 & 17 Hunter division. She earned both championship ribbons with her horses, Gianni and Francesca. Both horses are owned by Pony Lane Farm of Bluffdale, UT. Thatcher and Gianni received the grand championship, and Francesca came away with the reserve championship. Thatcher and Francesca also won the handy hunter class.

Thatcher was happy overall with her mount Gianni. She noted, “He was definitely spookier today. The wind was out, and he didn’t like when the jumps started moving. In the first class, a bird flew out of the jump, and he just about had a heart attack. But, he held it together in the second round.”

The Small Junior 16 & 17 Hunter division championship went to Jessica Springsteen, who captured a win over fences on Sublime, owned by Stone Hill Farm of Colts Neck, NJ. Jennifer Waxman and Ruby, owned by Holly Labry of Memphis, TN, won the handy hunter class, which was good enough to earn them the reserve championship.

The Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions concluded Sunday at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The two Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions of 18-35 and Over 35 were combined in to one division. In addition, the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division, a new addition to the hunter lineup, was held in the Stonelea arena. Championships were awarded following the over fences class, the handy hunter class, and the under saddle.

Stephanie Riggio and her own mount Saline took home the blue ribbons in all three classes of the Amateur-Owner 18-35/Over 35 Hunters. The pair also won both over fences classes Saturday. Riggio resides in New York, NY.

“I’m very excited about Saline. This is the first time ever in the Amateurs that I’ve won all five classes. That was really exciting and I’m really thrilled with her. I’ve only had her since the end of Florida,” Riggio exclaimed. Riggio’s feat earned her and Saline the grand championship in the division. Riggio’s second horse in the division, Indian Summer, put in a good performance today and picked up the reserve championship.

In the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters, Riggio showed off her third horse, Breitling. The pair won all three of today’s classes and collected the division grand championship. Ellen St. John of Delray Beach, FL, rode her own horse, Bring It On, and received the reserve championship.

Riggio noted, “Breitling was a little fresh yesterday. With the rain in the morning, we couldn’t get any of the horses ridden before their classes. He was much better today, and he jumped beautifully. I’m very happy with him.”

Overall she stated, “The horses were excellent today. They were very, very good.” She enjoyed the courses today and remarked, “The fences were very full, which I like because it made the horses jump better.”

She added, “We like Kentucky, and we really like showing here. It’s a great place to come and it’s our third year here. I think Kentucky is going to become a permanent show on our schedule.”

Next week the Kentucky Horse Park will host the Kentucky Summer Classic, which is also managed by Kentucky Horse Shows LLC. For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.