Lexington, KY - May 12, 2008 - Powerful winds and rain on the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show instigated a change of plans for the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*. Originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena, early announcements informed exhibitors that the prix would be held in the Indoor Arena at 2:30 p.m. This alteration did not daunt Hidden Creek's Pamina L, who Margie Engle maneuvered flawlessly for an expeditious grand prix win.
Out of thirty-four starters, 13 horses completed Richard Jeffery's track without fault. The course had a comfortable time allowed of 93 seconds, and it included numerous bending and direct lines and stride options. Difficult lines included a natural vertical bending to a triple combination and a three stride followed by a bending line to a liverpool oxer.
Schuyler Riley was the first to qualify for the jump-off aboard Lapacco, owned by South Beach Stables in Wellington, FL. She rode beautifully over the short course and finished with a speedy time of 32.15 seconds. Michael Morrissey rode Scaraberas, his first of two mounts in the tie breaker, and slowed his pace after he lowered the height of one fence. After knocking a second rail, Scaraberas, owned by Eugene Mische of Bradenton, FL, crossed the finish line with eight faults in 36.46 seconds. Robin Sweely of Madison, VA, revisited the arena with Acorn Hill Farm's Qarco V'T Merlenest, and they too had an unfortunate rail. Their time of 34.62 seconds would result in ninth place.
Pablo Barrios of Wellington, FL, rode very quickly but accrued eight faults in the jump-off with his mount Sinatra. Their prompt time of 31.38 seconds would have taken over the lead. New York, New York's Georgina Bloomberg and her mount District followed Barrios and matched his score with eight faults. Her time of 35.70 seconds would finish up in 11th place. District is owned by Gotham Enterprizes.
Shane Sweetnam and Little Emir, owned by Spy Coast Farm of E Setauket, NY, seized the top spot after they sped around the course with very tight turns. A slight rub at the last fence caused the crowd to gasp, but the rail remained in its cups as Sweetnam clocked in at 31.51 seconds. Mario Deslauriers stole the lead soon after with his mount Paradigm. They bettered Sweetnam's score with a time of 30.19 seconds, taking over the top position. Deslauriers resides in New York, New York.
Morrissey had a stellar trip with his second mount, Crelido. With a rapid pace and extremely snug turns, the duo galloped home in 30.44 seconds, which would hold up for third place. Alison Robitaille took a shot aboard Intrepide Du Valon and came close to Deslauriers' time, but their time of 30.74 was not quite close enough. Her horse is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Firestone of Upperville, VA. Sweetnam had another chance to capture the top spot with Spy Coast Farm's Memphis; however, they lowered the height of fence 6, a natural vertical, and finished with a time of 34.35 seconds.
Vegas and Christine McCrea had an unlucky ride in the jump-off, receiving four faults for a knockdown and another four for a run-out at the last element. Their score and time of 45.09 seconds would place them in 13th. Vegas is owned by Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT. Ramiro Quintana and Cataro Ask, owned by the Cataro Group, added to the excitement with their clear round and their swift time of 33.20 seconds. Quintana hails from Wellington, FL.
The final horse to jump-off was Hidden Creek's Pamina L, and Margie Engle trotted into the ring with confidence. Despite Engle's small stature and Pamina's large size, the two fit together perfectly for Jeffery's challenging course.
Engle revved the mare's engine as they broke the start timers with strong momentum. The audience held its collective breath as Pamina sailed over the first few obstacles. After the mare rubbed the natural vertical at fence 6, the enthusiastic crowd exhaled and began cheering as Engle and her horse darted forward and sped with remarkable alacrity. As they rounded the last turn and cleared the plank jump, spectators exploded with cheers of encouragement as she skyrocketed over the very last oxer. The scoreboard flashed 30.03 seconds and revealed that the last ride of the night would take the victory. Engle and Pamina L stole the win with their precise ride and courageous speed.
"I'm feeling pretty good," smiled Engle after her win. "It's nice to have one that's competitive again. I got her toward the end of March right before Tampa. She came from Germany. She had two babies and was a brood mare, and she's only been in the sport for a year and maybe a few months. A girl up in northern Germany was showing her in some 1.10m and 1.20m classes. When she came here, she had never shown indoors before, and she won her first grand prix indoors in Tampa," she said proudly. "Then she was second in both grand prix classes the following week, and she only missed first place in both by fractions of a second."
"She still needs to learn to turn a little bit," Engle revealed. "She's naturally a quicker mare, and she's very careful. She has her own style that's kind of funny, and that's probably why she didn't get sold over in Europe. She doesn't go in a conventional manner; she likes to go her own way with her head up." She continued, "I love her. She's a tryer, and she's turned out to be even better than I thought. I knew she was careful, but I was concerned about her awkward style. She's gotten a lot more comfortable, and she's started to really follow through better. She just feels game."
She described Jeffery's course as "nice" and said the track included some technical questions and a few options. "It wasn't overly big. But, for going straight in a new ring, I thought it was a very nice course. The jump-off got quite fast, which I figured it would with 13 horses," she noted. "I knew there were a lot of fast ones in there. I knew I was going to have to take a bit of a shot and it was kind of nice to be able to go last. She went first the other day, so going last worked well. I knew what I had to do." Engle will continue to show Hidden Creek's Pamina L for the rest of the summer.
Earlier in the day, the High Amateur-Owner and Junior Jumper Classics were held in the Walnut Arena. They competed over courses designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Sixteen exhibitors participated in the High Amateur-Owner Classic, and only five jumped the first round penalty-free. Paige Johnson of The Plains,VA, earned the blue with Chiron S, owned by Salamander Farm, after she broke the beam in 30.238 seconds. Jessica Leto piloted her horse Kruimel to second place honors with their clear time of 32.253 second. Leto resides in Foxpoint, WI. Third place went to Piola and Whitney Weeks of Southport, CT. They too executed a double clear performance, and they came home in 35.536 seconds.
Tracey Weinberg of Lovettsville, VA, and Larone lowered the height of one fence in the jump-off and stopped the clock in 35.536 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. Mexico City's Pablo Velazquez accrued eight faults in the jump-off aboard his mount Manila VDL. They had a time of 39.244 seconds.
In the High Junior Jumper Classic, Daniel Bluman captured first place with Aldebaron II, owned by Pelle Wedenmark of Wellington, FL. Bluman was last in the order to return to the jump off, and his fast time of 30.265 seconds sealed the win. Christina Kelly and Carracci Z finished in second place with a clear round and quick time of 31.454 seconds. Kelly's mount is owned by Barbara Kelly of Nicholasville, KY.
Jumper Highlights: Wednesday through Sunday
On Wednesday the Sheila C. Johnson Arena hosted the 1.40m and 1.45m Open Jumper classes. Jimmy Torano and his horse Ormsby Hill captured the victory in the 1.45m class, and Sarah Segal piloted True Love for the blue ribbon in the 1.40m speed.
In the 1.45m, 14 entries went to post, and the course was scored under a Table II.2(b) format. With a snug time allowed of 84 seconds, only five of the 14 jumped the first round without jumping or time penalties. Jimmy Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Ormsby Hill were the final pair to qualify for the short course, and they blasted through the timers. Torano's roll back and quick ride up and over the bank helped him edge Shane Sweetnam and Triviant into second place. Triviant is owned by the Curtis-Lourie Group of Palm Beach, FL. Torano guided Ormsby Hill to the lead in 33.892 seconds.
"Ormsby Hill felt great out on course," smiled Torano. "I was basically experimenting with a new bit today, and it seemed like it worked," he laughed. "I thought Richard built a nice track today. It wasn't overly big. It was a nice 1.45m class. I didn't know how many were clear or anything," he revealed. "So I figured once I made the jump-off, I would take a little shot and maybe start the week off with a little prize money to take care of the week."
"My horse was fine jumping up the bank in the jump-off," added Torano. "My horse isn't spooky, so he didn't mind it. Once I jumped on, I could cut right across the bank...He felt really good, and he jumped great. We finished up first in the class, so it was nice to start out with a win."
In the 1.40m class, 58 horse and rider combinations entered the class, and Sarah Segal of New York, NY, piloted True Love for the winning round. The course was scored under a Table II.Sec.1. (Time First Round) format with a time allowed of 79 seconds.
Throughout the class, Todd Minikus and Ultimo Van Fer Monde maintained the lead with their fast time of 63.754 seconds. With only four competitors left to go in the class, Sarah Segal and her horse True Love tightened their turns and accelerated at all the right times, leaving the rails up and soaring home in 62.823 seconds. Her time was untouched by the remaining competitors, and she finished the first class of the show with first place.
"It was a speed class, and my horse is really fast, just naturally," beamed Segal after her win. "It was a great class for him because he could be quicker across the ground and easily jump around. He likes this height too," she noted. "It's pretty easy for him to jump, and he feels really confident. I'm really happy with today. He was wonderful. I think he was better than I was," she laughed.
On Thursday, May 8, the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* took center stage at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, and Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, rode brilliantly for the win. Torano mastered the course with her mare Marlo and defeated 33 other horse and rider combinations.
Torano and Marlo were the last to compete in the jump-off out of six qualifying entries, and their timing on course was impeccable. With tight turns and a solid pace, Marlo's large stride covered the ground quickly and she skyrocketed over the fences. Her scope and speed complemented Torano's talent and determination, and together Torano and Marlo perfected Jeffery's jump-off for the victory.
"This was my first class on her here," beamed Torano after her win. "Marlo just flew back from the World Cup Finals in Sweden; I took her as a second horse. She's gotten really consistent for me and feels really good. I started riding her in Florida. She was bought for me two years ago, but I had a hard time riding her because she was so big," she explained. "So [my husband] Jimmy took her over, and he rode her for about two years, I would say, and then I started."
Torano discussed Jeffery's course and how it rode for Marlo. "She's got a really big stride, and there were a lot of places where you had to just keep cantering. There were a couple tight lines, but she came back pretty well in both of them. It felt really nice and easy, and she jumped everything easily. It just felt really good."
On Friday, May 9, the highlight in the Johnson Arena was the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper Table III, Faults Converted, class. Aaron Vale piloted Danacar to first place after he perfected Richard Jeffery's course. Vale, who resides in Ocala, FL, showed Danacar for Joe Fargis and Hidden Trail Farm of The Plains, VA.
Vale and Danacar executed an amazing ride, with tight turns, a fast gallop, and a well-planned route. The pair, who went third in the order, captured the lead early and held onto it for the overall win. Margie Engle, who went first aboard Hidden Creek's Calippo, had a fast round with her horse, and she came home in 70.498 seconds. Vale's time of 69.989 seconds edged Engle into second place, and she remained in that position throughout the class, receiving the red ribbon. Engle resides in Wellington, FL, and rode Calippo for Hidden Creek Farm of Oak Creek, WI.
"Danacar is a new mount for me," explained Vale. "I just started riding him on Tuesday; He's a very nice horse. He won the 1.35m class the first day. Then today it was our first time in the Johnson ring, and he won the speed. The class was a nice introduction to tomorrow's speed derby," he said. "We caught a couple of banks and had the liverpool in there, so it was definitely a course that got us ready for the derby. He handled all of the natural stuff quite well, and we're ready for tomorrow."
Vale discussed the course and its challenges. "The course was good," he stated. "We had an unusual route up the tall bank today, which kind of seemed to throw some of the horses. A lot of the horses really paused before they went up the grass hill because it looked a little different to them. Danacar hesitated like some of the others, but he went right up and jumped the vertical on top of the bank quite well."
Earlier that morning, the 1.45m Table II.2(b) Open Jumper class was held in the. Johnson Arena. Jimmy Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, triumphed for the win with his mount Caldam'Or, owned by SCNC Investments.
Twenty-one riders competed in the 1.45m class, and only five riders jumped the first round without fault. Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, PA, and Esquilino Bay finished in second place, and Christine McCrea guided Twisther to third with the only other double clear round. Twisther is owned by Windsor Show Stables of East Windsor, CT. Leo Paoli of Caracas, Venezuela, and Remonta Escaupil took fourth after they lowered the height of one fence, and Ramiro Quintana pinned fifth with Cataro Ask, owned by the Cataro Group of Wellington, FL.
On Saturday, May 10, show jumpers walked the course for the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The derby 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. Thirty-six 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."
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.
Hunter Highlights: Thursday through Sunday
On Thursday, May 8, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show offered varying weather to the competing hunters on days one and two. The first day of competition brought sunny skies, and classes were held in the Stonelea Arena. The second day was cold and rainy, so the professional hunter divisions were moved to the Indoor Arena.
Jennifer Alfano and Bright Star 158's Rock Star brought the pressure in the Regular Working Hunters after winning both over fences on day one. They continued their winning streak on Thursday, capturing both wins over fences once again to take home the championship. Tracy Sheriff's Federal Hill took reserve in the Regular Working Hunters with Haven Schatt, of Ramsey, NJ, in the irons.
"Rocky is always good; I can always count on him. I ride him everyday, and he still amazes me," smiled Alfano. Even with the change in venue, she was confident her horse would do well. "That's one thing with him I never have to worry about," she explained. "I can pull him out of the stall and take him in any ring, anywhere."
Rock Star's owner, Jennifer Burger of Bright Star 158, of Buffalo, NY, was thrilled with their incredible performance. "I'm excited every time he goes in the ring and every time he wins a class. It never fades or is less of a feeling. It's just magnificent," she laughed. "I always dreamed of having a special horse, and I'm enjoying every minute of it because I think it's happening right now."
With 32 entries, the First Year Green Hunters provided plenty of competition. Tim Goguen came out on top with 5-year-old Breathtaking, owned by Paula Polk Lillard, of Lake Forest, IL. Penny Lombardo and Bring It On, owned by Ellen St. John of Delray Beach, FL, followed them with the reserve championship. Although the change of venue was more trying on the First Years, they competed with confidence.
The Green Conformation Hunter Championship went to Tasty and Terry Brown of Canton, GA, while Jennifer Alfano and Helen Lenahan's Sting were reserve. Alfano resides in Buffalo, NY. Haven Schatt, on Tracy Sheriff's Lavari, followed in the Second Year Green Hunters to earn the championship ribbon. The reserve tricolor went to Jennifer Alfano and SBS Farm's Jersey Boy.
On Saturday, the sun shined down on the Kentucky Horse Park during the fourth day of competition. Two previous days of rained forced the 15 and Under Junior Hunter divisions and the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters out of the Stonelea Arena and into the Indoor Arena on Friday. However, on Saturday the juniors competed outside over an exciting course of natural obstacles in the Stonelea Arena.
Jennifer Waxman brought home not one, not two, but three tricolor ribbons on Saturday. Starting in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters with Golden Point Farm's Cento, Waxman executed stunning rounds, earning herself three blue ribbons and the championship. Waxman resides in Chagrin Falls, OH. Vanessa Mavec of Pepper Pike, OH, rode her horse Pacemaker to the reserve championship.
Cento's impressive trips came after a long break. "He's had a month off since Florida so we're just getting back into the hang of it," explained Waxman. "I actually haven't ridden him for a month. I just got on him yesterday and showed."
Waxman is excited to have the opportunity to ride Cento. "Jan and Bruce Agerty own him. Jan cannot ride anymore, so she's letting me ride him until he gets sold. It's so fun and I'm very thankful to have the ride," she beamed. "They come and watch every show, and they're really supportive."
After the large division was complete, Waxman rode her mount Red Panda to the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter Championship and earned the reserve championship award aboard Zoom.
Champion Red Panda reacquainted with the junior divisions this week. "He hasn't done the juniors in awhile, so he's still getting used to the handys," said Waxman. "I just started riding him at the end of WEF, and we really started to click. He's so awesome to ride."
Waxman's other horse Zoom is new to the junior divisions, but proved he is up to the task. "Zoom is getting so handy and I'm so excited. We tried some extra tight turns that I didn't do with any of my other horses today, and he was perfect so I'm very happy," she smiled. Zoom's handy hunter course earned a score of 89, the highest of the day.
Gracious as always, Waxman thanked Tom Wright and John Ingram for letting her ride Panda and said she owes much of her success to her trainers, Ken and Emily Smith.
Earlier in the day Katie Dinan of New York, NY, piloted Angelo to the Small Junior Hunter 15 and Under Championship. Caitlin Ziegler garnered the reserve championship ribbon on Artisan Farms' Winter Place. Ziegler resides in Mequon, WI. In the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, Ziegler won another tricolor ribbon on her horse Africa, but this time it was the championship. The reserve championship prize went to The Real McCoy and Mackenzie Baird of Cincinnati, OH.
On Sunday, rain was the name of the game for hunters at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The morning began with thunderstorms and wind, forcing classes to break for a short period in the Stonelea Arena. The Amateur-Owner divisions fought through the adverse conditions, producing excellent trips.
Chris Brown of Oakland, NJ, almost decided not to compete Carpaccio, but he was certainly glad he did when he won the Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunter Championship. Caroline Clark Morrison of Iron Station, NC, and Milan earned the reserve championship ribbon.
"It was down pouring at 9 a.m., but the beauty of this horse show is the footing, and it always seems to maintain itself," explained Brown. "I went in the ring and the jumps were beautiful. They stayed all in stride and my horse loved the mud; he just jumped higher and it was his day."
Brown smiled, "Yesterday's trips were actually quite nice. The weather was beautiful. We had a sunny day, the trips rode off a nice gallop, and everything came up easy. Of course, they always set beautiful jumps here, solid and high, which is perfect for my horse."
On both days, the courses were different than the average hunter course. "They had bending lines, and it was a little challenging with the three Aiken choices," described Brown. "The rain was an additional challenge with the mud. Just keeping your horse straight and direct and knowing what he had to jump was the key to this course today."
Clara Lindner of Wellington, FL, and All Season Farm's Hush also found success over the exciting courses. The pair triumphed in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division to earn the championship award. Reserve championship honors went to Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Caranco.
Tricolors were also awarded today in the pony divisions. The championship ribbon in the Small Pony Working Hunters went to Lulu Farish and Far From Home, owned by Megan Davis of Lutherville, MD, while Martha Ingram and Dawn's Early Light, owned by Phoebe Robinson of Bronxville, NY, won the reserve. In the Medium Pony Hunters, the championship prize went to Happy Feet, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, and Emma Roberts. Meredith Darst followed with the reserve championship on Megan Davis' All About Me. Last to go were the Large Pony Hunters. Putting in textbook perfect trips, Bethany Bolen of The Woodlands, TX, and Debonair seized the championship tricolor. The reserve championship was awarded to Emma Roberts with Halcyon Guinevere, owned by Mary Mielenz of Collierville, TN.
For more information on the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and the Kentucky Spring Classic, please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/kentucky-spring-horse-may-05-08.html">Kentucky Spring Horse Shows Series Week 1 Wrap-Up, May 7-11, 2008, Kentucky Spring Horse Show</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com