Lexington, KY - May 10, 2008 - Sunny skies welcomed show jumpers this morning as they walked the course for the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The derby, held in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena, challenged riders to gallop up and down the large grass bank. The small table bank was also incorporated into the course with in-and-out obstacles. Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, was the course designer, and 36 horse and rider combinations participated in the 1.40m Table III, Faults Converted, class.
The lead changed hands multiple times throughout the derby, and riders continued to increase their speed. Candice King and Rupert, owned by Skara Glen Stables of Pittsburgh, PA, were the first to execute a competitive clear ride when they crossed the finish line in 91.750 seconds. Aaron Vale soon upped the ante with his ride aboard Electric with a faster time of 91.041 seconds. Electric is owned by ABC 4 Horses of Oxford, MS. New York, New York's Georgina Bloomberg surpassed Vale when she piloted Gotham Enterprizes' Star Apple to a clean round in 90.616 seconds. Two rounds later Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL, bettered Bloomberg's score when he broke the 90 second barrier in 88.281 seconds.
Todd Minikus and Romy, owned by the Diamond Group, then superseded Barrios when they soared around the course, moving quickly down the bank and clocking in at 87.033 seconds. Minikus resides in Loxahatchee, FL. Ali Wolff and Hertel Landman, owned by Blacklick Bend Farm of New Albany, OH, galloped in and performed an incredibly polished ride. They meticulously sharpened their turns and met every fence with absolute accuracy, stopping the clock in 85.064 seconds and topping the leader board.
Despite the efforts of Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm's Victor III, whose fast time of 85.440 seconds secured the second place position, and Candice King, who guided Skara Glen's Rebozo home in 88.045 seconds, Wolff's refined ride locked in the win for the 18-year-old high school student. Hertel Landman led the victory gallop for top honors, and one of the derby's youngest competitors proved to be the very best.
"Hertel Landman is 15 years old, so he's had some experience," explained Wolff after her impressive win. "I've had him for about four or five years. He does the High Amateurs with me, and he's just great. You kind of have to go in and plan on winning with him because he's so careful, and I know he'll do the job. He's a natural."
She described Jeffery's course as "nice and flowing" and added, "The way to win it was to be smooth and quick. Everything worked out to my advantage. He has a right drift, and a lot of the turns were to the right. Also he's good with naturals, so he did them like a pro. We've had some practice over bank jumps, so I now know he's comfortable with them as long as we keep our pace. He was perfect today."
Wolff, who will attend the University of Tampa in the fall, revealed that the Kentucky Spring Horse Show is an annual tradition for her. "It's great because I'm an Ohio resident, and it's only about a two hour drive. It's pretty much a home base show for me. I've shown here since I was about seven, and it's always fun and a great experience."
She will compete tomorrow in the High Amateur-Owner Classic with her horses, Residenz and Oberon, and she will also ride in the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3* with her mount Lanoo. Wolff trains with Michelle Grubb of Wellington, FL.
"I have to say it was a picture-perfect round," smiled Grubb. "She and that horse are like magic. She got to watch some go today, and she knew exactly what her plan was - and she rode exactly what she wanted to ride. It just kept coming up the way she wanted it, and I just thought it was spectacular."
After the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby, the Johnson Arena hosted the High Junior and Amateur-Owner Table II.2(b) classes. Catherine Pasmore finished first and second in the junior jumper class with Haddon House Carlson and Rouge Orion. Both mounts are owned by Berkley Stables in Charlottesville, VA. In the High A-O class, Jessica Leto of Foxpoint, WI, earned the top award with her horse Kruimel.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will conclude tomorrow at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the Amateur-Owner and Junior Jumper Classics will be held prior to the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*. The Kentucky Spring Classic will be held next week at the park from May 14-18, and highlights will include the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix 3*, the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic, and the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*, which is a member event of the AGA Grand Prix Series.
For more information on the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the Kentucky Spring Classic, please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
Results of $15,000 Bluegrass Derby. Table IIIHorse Name NAT Jump
1 625 HERTEL LANDMAN ALI WOLFF 0.00 0.00 85.064 85.064
BLACKLICK BEND FARM
2 957 VICTOR III SHANE SWEETNAM 0.00 0.00 85.440 85.440
SPY COAST FARM
3 302 ROMY TODD MINIKUS 0.00 0.00 87.033 87.033
4 246 SKARA GLEN'S REBOZO CANDICE KING 0.00 0.00 88.075 88.075
SKARA GLEN STABLES
5 553 LA GRAN PABLO BARRIOS 0.00 0.00 88.281 88.281
6 1248 MASERATI CHRIS KAPPLER 0.00 0.00 89.213 89.213
7 1313 ARISTIDE SHANE SWEETNAM 8.00 0.00 81.922 89.922
8 1278 STAR APPLE GEORGINA BLOOMBERG 0.00 0.00 90.616 90.616
GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES LLC
9 465 ELECTRIC AARON VALE 0.00 0.00 91.041 91.041
ABC 4 HORSES
10 247 RUPERT CANDICE KING 0.00 0.00 91.750 91.750
SKARA GLEN STABLES
11 661 UNDINE SCHUYLER RILEY 4.00 0.00 87.913 91.913
TURTLE HALL FARM PARTNERS
12 1326 JULIA DU BRIO AMANDA KNOWLES 0.00 0.00 93.683 93.683
Photo: Ali Wolff and Hertel Landman, winners of the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo (C) 2008 Jenny Ross. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/ali-wolff-hertel-bluegrass-kentucky-horse-05-08.html">Ali Wolff and Hertel Landman Perfect $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at Kentucky Spring Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com