It was another day of chilly temperatures and rainy skies to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park. This afternoon, the Rolex Stadium hosted the 1.45m Open Jumper class and the 1.40m Open Jumper class. Quentin Judge took home top honors in the 1.45m Open Jumper class with HH Sandor after completing the fastest double clear effort. Earlier in the day, Kent Farrington continued his winning streak by scoring the 1.40m Open Jumper victory aboard Samar.
Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England designed both of today’s courses. The 1.45m Open Jumper classes featured 13 jumping efforts, which included an open water, a liverpool, and two double combinations. Seven horse and rider combinations advanced to the jump-off, where they had to show over a vertical-oxer double combination, as well as two new oxers.
Kent Farrington and Valhalla, owned by Haity McNerney, showed the way to start the class, completing a double clear effort as the first pair on course. They broke the beam at 37.791 seconds, which would eventually hold up for second.
Quentin Judge and HH Sandor, owned by Double H Farms, followed just one horse later and the pair jumped straight to the top of the leaderboard, after they left all the fences standing in 35.725 seconds. Their excellent effort would hold up through the rest of the class and score the winning prize.
“It was a really nice course, I think it was a good height for the first day,” commented Judge after his ride. “I was a little worried about the double verticals at the end of the course. I came in to it big, so I really had to wait, and my horse was good and careful there. The jump-off was really good. I found a big one into the double again, so I was lucky that the horse was so careful and left it up. Everything kind of came up out of stride and it was a good course for him.”
Judge has been competing with HH Sandor since the beginning of 2011. “HH Sandor is a little bit hard for me because he’s so small and so sensitive, I have to stay off of him as much as I can; the less I do the better he goes.” he admitted. The duo will continue showing the 1.45m Open Jumpers this week, and compete in the $20,000 Bluegrass classic on Sunday.
Victoria Colvin aboard Monsieur Du Reverdy, Ken Berkley showing Waminka, and Ian Millar with Dryden all completed fault free short courses as well to place third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. Adam Prudent and The Real Deal had a rail at the last fence to place sixth, and Aaron Vale finished seventh after an unfortunate refusal with Highlander.
Earlier in the day, Kent Farrington continued his excellent showing at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows by winning the 1.40m Open Jumper class with Samar, owned by RCG Farm. The duo were the fastest over the track by almost three seconds, leaving all the rails untouched in a time of 59.582 seconds.
“Samar is a speed specialist,” explained Farrington. “He’s incredibly brave, he has a huge stride, and he can turn very short to the fences. He’s a great horse; he wins probably half the classes he goes in. You can always count on him, just bring him to the show and put his tack on and go.”
Farrington added, “We made up time all around the course, because he can leave strides out where other horses can’t. He can do one less into combinations, and he easily leaves out strides in all the turns because he can turn incredibly sharply to all the fences. Throughout the course he probably had a faster foot speed.”
The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows have already been very successful for Farrington, who won the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix with Uceko and the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic with Calvin Vanhet Wuttensenfof last week. “The rings are great, I think the footing is better lots of times when it’s wet, this type of footing needs to be very wet,” he commented. “The footing is perfect, it’s just a matter of trying to stay warm. As long as you don’t mind the cold too much, I think the conditions for showing are great.”
Eleven of today’s entries were able to complete the speed class without fault. Hector Florentino followed in second aboard VDL Vinzell after stopping the clock at 62.866 seconds. The third place award went to Angel Karolyi and Galant for their time of 63.803, while Daniel Bluman and Fatalis Fatum crossed the finish in 64.226 seconds.
The Kentucky Spring Classic continues through Sunday, and tomorrow’s highlight event will be the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. One Saturday, riders will vie for the winning prize in the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, and on Sunday the show will conclude with the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com .
Quentin Judge and HH Sandor
Photo Credit: Quentin Judge and HH Sandor won the 1.45m Open Jumper class at the Kentucky Spring Classic. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG. Photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.