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Kentucky Spring Horse Show Week 1 Wrap-Up, May 9-13, 2007

Lexington, KY - May 14, 2007 - At Sunday's $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, CSI 3*, Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, and her mount Casadora took home the blue ribbon over a field of three in the jump-off. In his best grand prix finish, Derek Braun and Jestar du Lozon were double clear to finish second, while Niall Grimes and Mr. President were third.

Today's course featured 14 numbered obstacles in the Sheila C. Johnson Grand Prix Arena and was designed by Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. Only three out of 36 competitors in the class were able to clear the course and come home within the 100 second time allowed. Two other riders, Ali Wolff on Lanoo and Kent Farrington with Up Chiqui, were clear but had one time fault. There were ten rounds that each had one rail for four faults.

Niall Grimes of Ireland, riding out of the third spot in the order, was the first to go clear on Mr. President, a big grey gelding owned by the Shannon Group. Grimes returned first for the jump-off. He started out with a good pace and galloped across the first three jumps. As he made the rollback to the Hagyard oxer, he made a miscalculation in the approach. Mr. President took off too early to the jump, launching Grimes out of the tack. Both fell to the ground, but the horse and rider were able to stand up again. Mr. President had a slight limp, so precautionary measures were taken. The HEART ambulance transported the horse out of the arena.

After a shaky start, the jump-off continued with Braun. He and Jestar du Lozon, a ten-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Papillon Rouge, carried a forward pace through the jump-off. They smoothly cleared all of the jumps and crossed the timers with a clear round in 46.92 seconds.

Hough and Casadora, the most experienced pair in the jump-off, were the final combination in the tie breaker. Hough and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Indoctro galloped quickly on the long line from fence one to two. They made the turn to the final line in the jump-off neatly and came home with no faults in 45.50 seconds for the win.

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday through Saturday

The opening day of the 2007 Kentucky Spring Horse Show brought sunny skies and beautiful weather. Entries for the jumper divisions have increased from last year, and the top competition in the country is here to vie for prizes at the scenic Kentucky Horse Park, site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

In the 1.40m Jumper class, Pablo Barrios of Venezuela and Tibor raced through the speed class for victory. Libby McKinney of Connecticut and Gun du Desfi were the winners of the 1.45m Jumper Time First Jump-off class.

Tibor, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Darco, is owned by Anna Lisa Smith. Barrios has had the ride on the handy bay horse since November and had top finishes at the National Horse Show and the Winter Equestrian Festival. "He's good for a speed class, very fast and careful," Barrios said. "He's very hot and very careful at this height. At this level, it's very hard to have a rail down. He tries hard every single jump. I'm going to see if he can jump a bit more."

McKinney made the most of her time in the ring this afternoon as she pushed Gun du Desfi around the course. The 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding reacted accordingly and moved into the lead with a time of 44.094 seconds, which held up through the remainder of the class.

McKinney has ridden Gun du Desfi for three years and said he is "super reliable" as her first grand prix horse. This was McKinney's first time showing in Kentucky. "We did this class for a warm-up. He was super today. Normally we don't jump on Wednesdays, and he jumped this past Sunday," she remarked, "but he came out really fresh and the course was great. The footing feels amazing. It was a nice track. I think a lot of people saved their really good horses for tomorrow, but it's still a good class."

The first event of the Hagyard Challenge Series was held Thursday afternoon in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena at the 2007 Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix, CSI 3*, was the first big event of the spring schedule in Kentucky, and Canadian Ainsley Vince on Cantero Z sped to victory. Katie Prudent and Sassicaia were second, while Molly Ashe with Cocu was third.

The grand prix is the first of seven events in the Hagyard Challenge Series, a summer-long series of major jumper competitions. The Hagyard Challenge Series features $170,000 in prize money and continues next Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show. In addition to incredible money in the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, there will be a Leading Rider Award for $30,000. The Leading Rider Award is sponsored by Turftown Properties, Dean, Dorton & Ford, Fifth Third Bank, Fort Dodge, Hagyard Pharmacy and Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa.

This was Cantero Z's first grand prix win, and Vince was very happy with his quick ascent this year. "He's a new horse for me, and he's new to doing to this. He's owned by Iron Horse Farm, who has been a wonderful supporter of mine. Karina Aziz rides with me. I haven't had that many classes with him. We're trying to work out the bugs and figure out the best program to get him to the ring. He seems like a horse with a lot of promise," she explained.

The amateur-owner jumper riders opened up the competition on Friday afternoon in the Johnson Arena at the 2007 Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Thirty-nine riders went to post in a Time First Jump-off format, and Tracey Weinberg on Larone raced to the win over Paige Johnson and La Martinee.

Weinberg has owned the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion by Concorde for two years. Larone was the Six-Year-Old World Champion, and Weinberg said she "was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time when [his previous owner] wanted to sell him."

"He's just been the most amazing horse I've ever had," she said with a smile. "He wins time after time. He knows his job. I show him very selectively. I usually only do one or two classes at a horse show, and he doesn't do more than nine horse shows a year. I can't say enough about the horse; he's all heart. He's small and you think he can't do the big jumps, but he just tries his heart out every single time."

Weinberg also gave credit for her success to trainer Joe Fargis and Larone's groom of two years, Juan Carlos Guidano.

In an exciting class of 39 competitors, the final ride proved to be the best when Victoria and Sarah Segal galloped through the timers to win the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Segal took the blue ribbon from Irishman Shane Sweetnam on Victor III. Robert Kraut and Nemo finished in third place.

The $15,000 Bluegrass Derby was a unique event held in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena. The course, designed by Richard Jeffery of Great Britain, featured two open water jumps, a liverpool, a small bank and a large hill that riders had to gallop up and down to fences. The class was a Table III format with faults converted into seconds and added to the time. The jumps were set at 1.40m and there were 17 numbered obstacles on course. Only three of the riders in the top ten were clear, and the top two finishers had four faults.

Sweetnam looked to be the winner of the class until the final competitor entered the ring. Sarah Segal and Victoria, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Abigail Wexner, picked up a quick gallop and kept their pace throughout the course. They faltered only at the open water at jump number four, but their lightning quick time of 93.276 seconds gave them the win. Their final time with faults added was 97.276 seconds.

"I thought I had it!" Sweetnam said with a shake of his head. "After watching the first few go, it looked like if you went careful and clear, you'd probably get nothing. But, if you went quick and maybe had one down and got away with everything else, you'd be okay. It would have been nice if I was clear. I just went as fast as I could go."

This was Segal's first win in a derby class. Segal has ridden Victoria regularly, but this was only their second show together. "She was so much fun. She was so easy, and she's really, really fast and careful," Segal noted. "I was lucky that I got to go at the end. I knew that the (winning) time had a fence down, so my plan was to go fast, but I knew that it was in reach."

Hunter Highlights: Thursday through Sunday

Rated hunters are showcased in the Stonelea Arena, and Thursday morning kicked off with the First Year Green Working Hunters. Nicole Simpson and Hush added to their wins from Wednesday and took top honors in Thursday's under saddle class for the championship award. Hush is owned by All Seasons Farm LLC, which is based in Wellington, FL. The reserve championship went to Raindance and Abigail Blankenship. Raindance is owned by Treesdale Farms in Carmel, IN.

The Green Conformation division, which was combined with the Regular Conformation, found Tommy Serio and Popeye K in the winner's circle once again. The winning team earned double blues ribbons on Wednesday, and they captured the blue in the first over fences class and pinned second under saddle. Serio and his stallion have amassed countless championships together during their partnership, and this week's performance revealed that the pair still has what it takes to lead the way. Popeye K is owned by Elizabeth Spencer of Keswick, VA.

The reserve championship for the Green/Regular Conformation Hunters was presented to Carpaccio and Avery Dimmig of Rougemont, NC. Dimmig piloted the horse for Chris Brown, who resides in Oakland, NJ.

Havens Schatt and Federal Hill, who earned two blues on Wednesday, won high placings Thursday as well and sealed the Second Year Green Hunter division championship. Federal Hill is owned by Tracey Sheriff of Ramsey, NJ. The reserve championship was awarded to Rainmaker and Caroline Weeden. Weeden piloted her mount for owner Jamee Field.

The Regular Working Hunters wrapped up the professional hunter divisions for the day, and Jennifer Alfano added a tricolor to the SBS Farms curtain. Alfano guided Once And Again to first, second, and fourth place ribbons, which added to their win from Wednesday for the championship. Once and Again is owned by Meredith Lipke Bartolone of Buffalo, NY.

Alister Gatherum finished with the reserve championship for his rides aboard In The Black, a gorgeous mover owned by All Seasons Farm, LLC. After they won third place on Wednesday, the pair came back to win two firsts and a third on Thursday afternoon.

The junior and adult amateur hunter divisions concluded for championship awards on Saturday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington, KY. The morning started off in the Stonelea Arena with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division, and Alexandra Thornton and Tobasco, owned by Dunwalke LLC, continued their winning ways for the championship award.

On Friday the pair took home two seconds and a sixth, and on Saturday they stepped up their game for two blue ribbon finishes. Thornton resides in Bedminster, NJ, at her family farm Dunwalke. The reserve championship for the division was presented to Unique, owned by Krestwood LLC and ridden by Kaitlin Campbell of Upper Black Eddy, NJ.

Jennifer Waxman rode Whitney Roper's horses, Saloon and Sister Parish, to the championship and reserve championship in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter division. Saloon won first and second on Saturday, which added to their first, second, and third place ribbons from Friday for the championship. Sister Parish, who also received first, second, and third in the previous classes, came away with third and fourth in Saturday's competition.

Katherine Newman had an impressive afternoon after she piloted Clementine Goutal's Due North to the championship in the Large Junior 16 & 17 Hunters and then added two more tricolors to her collection in the Small Junior 16 & 17 Hunters. The reserve championship for the Large Junior 16 & 17 Hunters went to Odette and Alexandra Biederman.

In the older small juniors, Newman guided Shiraz to the championship after winning a first and two seconds Friday and first and second on Saturday. She catch-rode Shiraz for owner Katherine Llop. Day Dream sealed the reserve championship with the young rider. Day Dream is owned by Newman's family farm Allwyn Court, which is based in Wellington, FL.

Championships were also awarded to the Adult Amateur Hunters. Francis Briggs walked away with the championship and reserve in the Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunter division. Briggs of Nashville, TN, rode Skyy to the championship and Red Carpet to reserve. In the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter division, the top tricolor went to Wiseman and Julie Fontaine of Wellington, FL. The reserve championship was pinned on the bridle of Espresso, owned and ridden by Alexa Weisman of Sherborn, MA.

In the Amateur-Owner 35 and Older Hunter division, Just Jack and Caroline Moran were awarded the championship for their efforts. The duo finished with a first, second and fourth on Sunday and a first and third on Saturday. Moran, who resides in Wellington, FL, has shown the horse for about two years. The reserve championship for the Amateur-Owner 35 and Older Hunter division was presented to Acappella and Mary Jane King of Town & Country, MO.

The Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters competed in the Stonelea Arena, and Clara Lindner came away with the top tricolor. Lindner rode Hush for the win in the first over fences class, finished third in the second round and then took the blue in the under saddle. Hush is owned by All Seasons Farm LLC of Wellington, FL. The reserve championship went to Grandeur and Dawn Fogel of Louisville, KY.

Small Pony Hunters finished up in the Claiborne Arena on Sunday afternoon. Dawn's Early Light and Martha Ingram rode for first and second on Saturday and took home a third and two fourths Sunday to receive the championship ribbon. Dawn's Early Light is owned by Phoebe Robinson. Ballou and Victoria Colvin finished with the reserve championship. Ballou was first and fourth in previous classes and picked up second, third and fifth on Sunday.

In the Medium Pony Hunters, First Blue and Meredith Darst were the champions, and Lulu Farish earned reserve aboard Touch of Silver. Katie Dinan and her fancy palomino pony Keep Dreamin' won the division championship for the Large Pony Hunters. Keep Dreamin' was first and sixth on Saturday, and the pair came back for two blues ribbons over fences on Sunday and also pinned third in the under saddle. The reserve championship was awarded to Bridgewater and Elizabeth Boone.

Although the Kentucky Spring Horse Show has concluded, equestrians in the bluegrass region have more to look forward to next week when the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show starts on Wednesday, May 16 and runs through Sunday, May 20.

 

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