Lexington, KY - May 15, 2008 - The Kentucky Spring Classic, currently underway at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, held the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* this afternoon in the Indoor Arena. Originally scheduled for the spacious Sheila C. Johnson Arena, rainy conditions prompted management to relocate the class. Margie Engle and Hidden Creek's Pamina L overcame the chilly weather and venue change and carried out another picture-perfect ride for the grand prix win. Last week, at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Engle and her mare led the victory gallop after their incredible ride in the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI*.
Thirty-six competitors went to post for today's class, and nine horse and rider combinations jumped the first round without penalty. The course, designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, had a time allowed of 85 seconds. Two riders finished the first round with only time faults. Danielle Torano of Fort Lauderdale, FL, received one time fault with Sir Ruly Inc.'s Vancouver D' Auvery. Alison Robitaille, who resides in Upperville, VA, accrued two time faults aboard Via Volo, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone.
In the jump-off, Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui were the first of nine to return to the arena. They executed an extraordinary round, tightly rolling back from the first vertical to the second. The pair galloped up to the oxers and took an inside cut to the second to last fence. When they soared through the air over the final oxer and tripped the timers, their fast time of 36.75 seconds set an exciting pace for the rest of the riders. Up Chiqui is owned by Boone, Dobbs, and McNery of Carmel, IN.
Engle of Wellington, FL, and Pamina L were next in line, and they too made an unbelievably tight turn after the first element. Although they swung a bit wider back to fence 11, a natural oxer, they cut in to the vertical at fence 12 and then accelerated to the final obstacle. Their time of 35.32 seconds edged Farrington into second place. Pamina L is owned by Hidden Creek Farm of Oak Creek, WI.
Christine McCrea of East Windsor, CT, piloted Vegas in the jump-off, but they lowered the height of the first fence, a green and yellow vertical. They rode conservatively throughout the rest of the course and had an unfortunate refusal at fence 12. They came home with eight jumping and 22 time faults. Robitaille qualified her mount Intrepide Du Valon for the tie breaker, and they pulled a rail at fence 11. Their time of 37.87 seconds would hold up for sixth place.
Shane Sweetnam and Little Emir, owned by Spy Coast Farm of E Setauket, NY, captured four faults when they caught the rail at 8b. They crossed the finish line in 39.39 seconds. Michael Morrissey was the next rider in the line up, and he rode one of two mounts that he qualified for the jump-off. Aboard Scaraberas, Morrissey rode cautiously and finished with a clear round in 47.06 seconds. Scaraberas is owned by Eugene Mische of Bradenton, FL.
Todd Minikus and Sleepy P Ranch's Presidente came home with eight faults after they pulled the first rail and then caught four faults at fence 11. Minikus, who resides in Loxahatchee, FL, finished his round in 37.88 seconds. Ireland's Kevin Babington took a shot with Souvenir, owned by Barbara Wall Roux, and they successfully completed the course without fault in 39.10 seconds. Their clear, fast round put them in third place. Crelido and Morrissey were the final pair to take on the short course, and they met the first fence with a strong gallop. Crelido made excellent turns and was right on the winning pace. However, when the rail at fence 12 hit the ground, its descent revealed that Engle would add another grand prix win to her expansive history.
"Today was great," Engle grinned. "Pamina's getting really consistent, and she feels like she's learning her job. I'm thrilled to have a new horse that's competitive." Engle teamed with her winning mount earlier this year, and they won their first grand prix in April at the Tampa Equestrian Festival.
"It was a nice course. More went clean than I expected," she noted. "I thought that the middle line would ride a little more difficult. The triple bar to the oxer walked, for me, a little bit long - especially out of the turn. It did cause a few problems, but not as many as I thought. I don't think there were any big traps. It was a very jumpable course. There were some technical questions, and Guilherme had a few longer gallops to single jumps."
"I was early in the jump-off, which was the opposite of last week," she continued. "I got to watch Kent [Farrington], and Up Chiqui is one of the fastest horses we have in our country. That one is always hard to catch. I know Pamina has quick foot speed, so I figured I would have to turn a little bit sharper and hope she left them up, and she did." Engle added, "She was super. She turned really well, which was what she had problems with earlier in the season. Each time she goes in, she rides a little better and turns a little nicer."
Engle has competed at the Kentucky Horse Shows for years. She plans to return later this summer and will also show this fall at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show. "I love coming here. They really try to make things work for the exhibitors. When things go wrong that are unforeseen and beyond their control, they really try to accommodate the competitors. They're always working on the footing, and they do nice things like pizza parties and barbeques. I think that's very special. It's also nice to have a place where, if the weather changes, we have the option to go in the indoor ring. It's a fantastic facility. I love to ride up and down the hills in the cross country fields. It's great for the horses and is a nice change." Engle will show Hidden Creek's Pamina L on Sunday in the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*.
The Kentucky Spring Classic will continue through Sunday, May 18, and tomorrow's highlight will be the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic. Today's grand prix was the second of seven events in the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series features $215,000 in prize money, and Engle is now in the running for earning the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus. The bonus will be awarded to the series' top competitor after the $50,000 World Cup qualifying grand prix, scheduled for the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show on Friday, September 26.
For more information the Kentucky Spring Classic or the Hagyard Challenge Series, please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
Results of Class 231- $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic
T/A: 85.00 T/A: 52.00
1 1205 H C'S PAMINA L MARGIE ENGLE USA 0.00 81.34 0.00 35.32
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
2 93 UP CHIQUI KENT FARRINGTON USA 0.00 81.77 0.00 36.75
ALEX BOONEWM DOBBSJAMES
3 545 SOUVENIR KEVIN BABINGTON IRE 0.00 83.22 0.00 39.10
BARBARA WALL ROUX
4 1223 SCARABERAS MICHAEL MORRISSEY USA 0.00 82.22 0.00 47.06
5 1224 CRELIDO MICHAEL MORRISSEY USA 0.00 79.52 4.00 35.33
6 334 INTREPIDE DU VALON ALISON ROBITAILLE USA 0.00 80.66 4.00 37.87
M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE
7 955 LITTLE EMIR SHANE SWEETNAM IRE 0.00 84.23 4.00 39.39
SPY COAST FARM
8 300 PRESIDENTE TODD MINIKUS USA 0.00 82.36 8.00 37.88
SLEEPY P RANCH
9 616 VEGAS CHRISTINE MCCREA USA 0.00 83.62 30.00 73.30
E624 TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SH
10 1170 VANCOUVER D' AUVREY DANIELLE TORANO USA 1.00 85.10
SIR RULY INC
11 339 VIA VOLO ALISON ROBITAILLE USA 2.00 89.25
M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE
12 552 SINATRA PABLO BARRIOS VEN 4.00 81.78
Photo: Hidden Creek's Pamina L and Margie Engle, winners of the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3*. Photo (C) 2008 Diana DeRosa. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/margie-engle-pamina-lexington-hagyard-05-08.html">Margie Engle Does It Again! Hidden Creek's Pamina L Triumphs in $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com