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$15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Victories!

Lexington, KY - May 9, 2009 - Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, hosted its fourth day of competition for the 2009 Kentucky Spring Horse Show series today. Held at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, the show featured the exciting $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby this evening, which was won by Croquet, ridden by Caroline Weeden and owned by Karen Lackinger. ASG Software Solutions, the United States Hunter Jumper Association and Dietrich Equine Insurance, featuring Walsh Harness and Saddlery, Charles Owen, and Dover Saddlery, presented the event.

The evening got underway around 6 p.m. in the Walnut Ring where course designer Bobby Murphy set a difficult track. The class was held in a two-round format, with the original 26 entries competing over the first course, and then the top twelve from the first round returning to compete over the second round handy course. The track featured an assortment of natural obstacles, brush jumps, plank jumps, tall verticals and wide oxers. Riders also had larger jump options set up to 4' in height.

Only eight horse and rider combinations were able to make it through the first round without bringing a rail down on course and the majority of those rails came at the two vertical plank jumps. The second round course featured a difficult bank jump, which proved a challenge for many of the horses and riders. They had to gallop up a very steep bank, jump a vertical at the top of the hill, and then canter back down the incline.

Overall class winners Caroline Weeden and Croquet mastered both rounds over the challenging course. The pair was in second place coming into the final round and secured their place at the top after scoring in the 90s from both sets of judges for their handy round. Their first round score of 169, combined with a second round score of 194 gave the pair 363 points for the exciting victory.

Second place honors went to Louise Serio riding Concerto, owned by Linda Sogard. Serio and Concerto did well in both rounds of competition, scoring a 154 and a 181 for a two round total of 335.

This was the first hunter derby win for Caroline Weeden, of Lake Forest, IL, and 12-year-old Croquet. "My horse has been off, he hasn't been showing since September and this was his first time back, so I was very pleased with him," Weeden smiled. "He is just a great horse. I just got him last year and I have a great, supportive owner named Karen Lackinger who bought him specifically to do these classes, so I am really fortunate."

Weeden commented on the course that gave so many other horses and riders trouble, stating, "I thought the course was very challenging. There were a lot of rails tonight. There were a lot of straight up and down verticals, so your horse had to be very careful. He hasn't really been doing anything and I thought he would be a little bit impressed, so I was hoping that was going to help him jump clean. He is a very brave, aggressive horse, so this is a nice class for him."

Being from Illinois, Weeden shows in Kentucky a lot throughout the season, and loves the facilities. "We love it here," she smiled. "We think they do a great job with these horse shows. They have great course designers and now the footing is phenomenal, I am so excited. It is so nice to have the new footing in the Stonelea Ring and the double schooling rings up top. I think it is going to make a huge difference to these horses. On Wednesday it rained nonstop and we kept showing; it was great. It is really, really nice. I have the finals here in August and I am really looking forward to that with this horse, so it will be great."

Kentucky Horse Shows LLC will host the Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association Horse Show August 19-23, which will be featuring the ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals, presented by Dietrich Insurance and featuring Walsh Harness and Saddlery. The finals will be taking place Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22. The top 75 horses in the standings as of June 1, 2009 will qualify to compete for $100,000 in prize money.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show will conclude with its final day of competition tomorrow. Kentucky Horse Shows LLC will then host the Kentucky Spring Classic, the second week of competition for their spring series, which will run May 13-17.

For more information on Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

Photo Credit: Caroline Weeden and Croquet won the $15,000 ASG Software Solutions/USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo 2009 Lauren Fisher. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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