Lexington, KY – May 14, 2012 – Rain plagued the Kentucky Horse Park throughout the day on Sunday at the Kentucky Spring Classic, but it did not stop the country’s top competitors as they entered the Rolex Stadium for the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. As the second U.S. Show Jumping Team Observation Event during the show, the grand prix event featured a challenging scope test, which only three Olympic hopefuls were able to master. Mario Deslauriers piloted Urico to the fastest clear jump-off to claim the victory, while 17-year-old Reed Kessler placed second aboard Mika with the other fault free round. Beezie Madden also advanced to the short course with both Simon and Cortes ‘C’, but placed third and fourth, respectively, after earning four faults with each.
Madden and Cortes ‘C’, owned by Abigail Wexner of New Albany, OH, were the first pair to show over the shortened course. They added four faults to their score sheet after making a sharp turn to a tall, skinny vertical. After crossing the finish line in 35.76 seconds, they eventually earned the fourth place award. Madden and her second mount, Simon, the victor from Friday’s $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, improved on the time with a 35.10 second finish, but a rail down in the double combination left them in the third place position.
New Lexington, KY, resident 17-year-old phenom Reed Kessler took her turn over the jump-off track with Mika, and with nerves of steel, Kessler once again showed the way and jumped to the top of the leader board with a clear round. They dashed through the finish line in 35.40 seconds, which would be good enough for second place.
Mario Deslauriers knew he need a quick round with Urico, owned by Jane Clark of New York, NY, and he also needed to be clear to take the victory. The seasoned pair proved to be up to the challenge though, and they broke the beam at 35.15 seconds, just edging Kessler out of the lead to earn the Sunday victory.
“I think Urico is a horse with a lot of character and a lot of motor,” said Deslauriers after his win. “He hadn’t jumped since the last trial in Wellington. It has been a while, so he was a little rusty Friday. Today, we even jumped this morning to get him to pay more attention to me. Mind and body and attention were much better. He is a horse that can take a lot of jumping-go three or four times a week no problem. Today we were better prepared and I think it showed.”
Next week, the competition will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park during the Kentucky Spring Classic, scheduled for May 16-20, 2012. Some of the highlights will induce Thursday night’s $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, Saturday’s $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington and Sunday’s $20,000 Bluegrass Classic.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Saturday
Speed was the name of the game during the first day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, and the Dominican Republic’s Hector Florentino had it with Ultimo. The pair dominated the $35,000 Welcome Cup, clocking in at a speedy 67.530 seconds, which earned the blue ribbon prize during the speed event. Ashlee Bond stepped up to place second with her veteran mount Cadett 7, while the lead-off rider Kent Farrington, placed third with Voyeur.
Kent Farrington was the first to tackle the course aboard Voyeur, owned by Amalaya Investments, and they did not hold back. They jumped each fence easily, leaving each rail intact with a speedy time of 69.640 to set the pace for the rest of the class.
Ashlee Bond was the first to challenge Farrington’s time, riding her expert mount Cadett 7, owned by Little Valley Farms of Hidden Hills, CA. Although the talented gelding is coming back from an injury, he proved that he is still a top challenger by leaving each fence in place and breaking the beam at 68.94 seconds, which would be good enough for second.
Hector Florentino and Ultimo were the best of the day, speeding through the course in a quick time of 67.530 seconds. The pair left out a stride to the triple combination, the open water, and the final oxer, to make up the time and jump to the top of the leaderboard.
It was a great day on Thursday for the team from Plain Bay Farm as student Reed Kessler won the 1.40m Open Jumper class, and trainer Katie Prudent placed second, as well as claiming her own victory in the 1.35m Open Jumpers. In the 1.40m Power and Speed event at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, Kessler piloted her talented mount Onisha to the blue ribbon prize with quick speed. Prudent placed second with V, who was also very fast during the speed phase. Earlier in the day, Prudent won the 1.35m Open Jumpers with a double-clear effort aboard V, which was just as speedy and good enough for the blue.
Although Kessler was not aboard one of her Long Listed mounts (Cylana and Mika), the victory in Thursday’s 1.40m Power and Speed class with Onisha proved that the talented young rider is still in top form. The pair jumped easily over the power track, which included a double combination, a triple combination, and a liverpool oxer. They quickly changed gears for the speed round and galloped handily over the obstacles, crossing the finish line in a blazing 32.525 seconds, which jumped to the top of the leaderboard and eventually heard the winning title.
The apple does not fall far from the tree, and picking up the second place award in the 1.40m Open Jumpers was Kessler’s trainer, Katie Prudent. She rode V, owned by Mike Smith of Winchester, VA, to a very quick time of 33.199 seconds. Nineteen of the entries were clear in both the power and speed phases of the class, so riders really had to race to be in the money.
Just prior to that class, Prudent defended her victory in Wednesday’s 1.35m Open Jumper class with V, winning the class with a double-clear effort. They topped Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez and Elatrice, owned by Arao Enterprises, by almost a full second in the jump-off, clocking in at 34.313 with all the rails intact.
Friday night marked the first of two Observation Events during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, where the victory went to long listed rider Beezie Madden aboard Simon during the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Only two horse and rider combinations were able to complete the course without jumping or time faults, but after a long winter, second place finisher Margie Engle withdrew from the jump-off with Indigo to save him for another day. Six entries left all the fences intact during Friday’s class, but were just over the time allowed to add a time fault to their score. The fastest of the group was Charlie Jayne with Chill R Z, who took home the third place honors.
The first to complete the opening round without any faults at all was Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, riding Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek, and Gladewinds. The veteran pair barely made it, crossing the finish line in 87.99 seconds, with a time allowed of 88 seconds. The only other duo that would match the effort was Beezie Madden with Simon, owned by Abigail Wexner of New Albany, OH. When it was the for the tie-breaker though, Engle chose to save Indigo’s jumping efforts for another day, withdrawing and making Madden the automatic winner of the night’s class.
On Saturday, Wilton Porter galloped to victory aboard his talented gelding Patriot in the High Junior Jumpers at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Completing an excellent double clear effort, he managed to edge out Emanuel Andrade and La Fe Forli by just two-tenths of a second to take home top honors. Later in the day, Andrade earned his own blue ribbon, showing Mikos to the top of the leader board in the Low Junior Jumpers. The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers were also held in the Rolex Stadium, where Meagan Nusz and Vesuvius claimed the top prize with a fault-free jump-off effort.
Andrade was the first to produce a double clear round during the High Junior Jumpers with La Fe Forli, setting the pace at a very quick 32.759 seconds. Porter and Patriot proved to be the only other fault-free combination over the short course, clocking in at 32.759 to take over the lead and earn the class win for the second day in a row. Abigail McArdle managed to produce the fastest jump-off track, breaking the beam at 29.968 seconds, but four faults with Cosma 20 earned the third place honors. Porter also managed to pick up the fourth place prize with his second mount Punch, and his brother Lucas Porter was fifth with Psychee D’Amour as the only other duos to show over the shortened track.
In the next division, Andrade proved that he would not be denied the winning honors again, jumping to the top of the leader board with Mikos. Six horse and rider combinations produced double clear rounds, but Andrade was blazing, clocking in at 26.851 seconds. Ali Boone placed second with Wait And See after they stopped the clock at 27.915 seconds, and third place went to Taylor Schmidt and Zana Wofsi, who tripped the timers at 28.001 seconds with all the rails intact.
The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers also competed in the Rolex Stadium on Saturday, and once again only two riders had clear efforts over the shortened course. Meagan Nusz was the first to do so with Vesuvius, setting a time that could not be beaten at 31.559 seconds, and eventually earning the winning title. Paige Johnson was the only other competitor to tackle the jump-off without fault, riding Amagedon 3 to a time of 31.949 seconds for second place. Steven Bluman had the only four-fault round, placing third with Fatalis Fatum after tripping the timers at a conservative 37.620 seconds.
Hunter Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday
Riders gathered at the Stonelea Ring to face the hunter course as the first day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show got underway. They were greeted with a brisk morning air, and a cloud filled sky, as the divisions commenced with top riders from across the nation competing for the winning honors in their respective divisions. Opening day marked the beginning of the First Year Green Working Hunter, Second Year Green Working Hunter, Green Conformation, Regular Conformation and High Performance Hunter classes. Leading the way in the Green Conformation Hunters was Hunt Tosh aboard Say Again, while Havens Schatt exhibited both Macallan and Valencia to top honors in the Second Year Green Working Hunters. It was Jennifer Alfano, however, who stole the show in the Regular Conformation Hunters with Lions Paw, as well as the High Performance Hunters with the revered Jersey Boy, sweeping both divisions.
Alfano piloted the nine-year-old thoroughbred, Lion’s Paw, owned by Danny Robertshaw of Camden, SC, to two blue ribbons in the Regular Conformation Hunters. Later in the day, Alfano also rode Jersey Boy to the top of the pinning in the High Performance Hunters, sweeping the division with two smooth and consistent courses.
Havens Schatt showed the nine-year-old gelding Macallan, owned by Tracy Scheriff-Muser of Wellington, FL, to a first place ribbon in the Second Year Green Working Hunters, as well as the fourth place ribbon. She also had success on her second mount of the day, Valencia, owned by CH Farm, LLC of Delano, MN, earning the first place ribbon and the third place ribbon.
Tammy Provost also rode Libretto, owned by Alliy Moyer of Carmel, IN, to top honors in the division, earning the second place ribbon in the first over fences class. Holden, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO, and ridden by Christopher Payne, took the third and second place ribbons for their efforts in the over fences.
Earlier in the morning, the Green Conformation Hunter division saw stiff competition as rider vied for the winning prize. Provost rode Paul Stuart, owned by Wendy Hofmeister of Willowbrook, IL, to the blue ribbon in the first round over fences. Although Schatt put forth another strong effort in the division aboard Shoreline, owned by Carolyn Gouse of Wellington, FL, earning the second and fourth place ribbons, it was Hunt Tosh and Say Again, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler of Keswick, VA, who caught the judges’ eyes during the second round.
Out of a field of 22 in the First Year Green Working Hunters, Louie Serio proceeded to amaze with two talented mounts, Casino and Aate’. Serio earned the second place ribbon for her efforts over the first course with Casino, owned by Bridget Hallman and Merrylegs South of Oyster Bay, NY, falling just behind Jeff Gogul aboard Rose Bud. In the second round, Serio left nothing to chance. She showed Casino to the blue ribbon prize, and also saw great success aboard Aate’, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC of Snyder, NY, earning the third and fourth place ribbons with him, too.
Thursday marked the conclusion of the professional hunter divisions for the second day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Tammy Provost and Chris Payne proved successful in the Green Conformation Hunters and Second Year Green Working Hunters, respectively. Jennifer Alfano rode to the top of the leader board with Lions Paw in the Regular Conformation Hunter division, as well as showing Jersey Boy to the championship tricolor in the High Performance Hunters. Rider Louise Serio dominated the First Year Green Working Hunters, earning the championship prize aboard Aate’ and also taking home the reserve championship with Casino.
Serio, was filled with determination as she guided Aate’, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC of Snyder, NY, to two blue ribbon finishes early this morning. The crisp weather had the horses feeling fresh; however, Aate’ rose to the occasion, executing two beautiful rounds over fences. The awards did not stop there for Serio. After putting in two strong rounds Wednesday with Casino, owned by Bridget Hallman and Merrylegs South of Oyster Bay, NY, the duo was awarded with the First Year Green Working Hunter Reserve Championship.
Although Havens Schatt and Valencia, owned by CH Farm, LLC of Delano, MN, seemed to lead the way after Wednesday’s rounds in the Second Year Green Working Hunters, it was Chris Payne and Holden, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO, who put forth their best effort, eventually earning the championship. Together, they took two blues in the over fences, and were also awarded the third place award for their efforts in the under saddle.
Tammy Provost and Libretto, owned by Alliy Moyer of Carmel, IN, rose in the ranks this morning, too. They earned the second and third place ribbons in the over fences, and their beautiful flat eventually was awarded with the first place prize. With their combined ribbons from Wednesday’s classes, they were rightfully awarded the reserve championship.
Earlier in the morning, Provost also garnered the championship aboard Paul Stuart, owned by Wendy Hofmeister of Willowbrook, IL, in the Green Conformation Hunters. On Wednesday, the pair wowed the judges during the first round of the over fences, and their success continued on Thursday as they snatched two first place ribbons in the over fences and the first in the under saddle, too. Hunt Tosh and Say Again, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wheeler of Keswick, VA, took home the reserve championship for their second place in the handy round, fourth in the over fences and second in the under saddle.
Jennifer Alfano rounded out the day with two championship wins in her divisions. Danny Robertshaw’s Lions Paw made a clean sweep of the over fences for the second day in a row. They laid down an excellent handy round, using scope and consistency to their benefit. The pair was presented with the championship award, just ahead of Chris Payne and Righteous, owned by Susan Moriconi of St. Louis, MO.
Alfano also piloted Jersey Boy to a second day of blue ribbons in the High Performance Hunters. Overall, Alfano earned four first place ribbons for their excellent trips, as well as the second place ribbon in the under saddle. Shawn Cassidy was awarded the reserve championship for his top ribbons aboard Conquest Z, owned by Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc. of Wellington, FL.
Competition was fierce Friday afternoon as the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal commenced in the Stonelea Arena. At the end of the day, it was Leylan Gleeson and Playboy who caught the attention of the judges as they captured the winning prize for their excellent equitation in the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal. The day saw outstanding hunter rounds as the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions got underway at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Riders Tracy Scherrif-Muser and John Ingram proved triumphant in their respective divisions, showing their mounts to the top honors.
Four riders were called back into the ring for the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal test-Spencer Smith, Shawn Casady, Vivian Yowan and Leylan Gleeson. It was Gleeson and her mount, Playboy, owned by Stepping Stone Farm of Moreland Hills, OH, who came out on top with the first place ribbon. The duo exhibited a beautiful test, and opted to take a wider turn to the sixth fence upon completing their half-turn. The fluidity of the course demonstrated what the judges were looking for. Shawn Cassady atop Nixon, owned by Pine Hollow Sales LLC of Lakeland, FL, was awarded the second place prize. Naf-Naf, owned by Gabrielle Bausano, Inc. of New York, NY, with Vivian Yowan in the irons took home the third place ribbon, as well as the first place ribbon from the WIHS Hunter Phase. She was followed closely by Spencer Smith aboard Icarus, owned by Ashland Farm of Wellington, FL, who was awarded the fourth place honors.
Earlier in the day, the Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunter division saw great competition as riders navigated the courses. It was John Ingram aboard Superman who rose to the top of the ranks, earning the first and second place ribbons over fences, as well as the first place prize in the under saddle. Deborah Perkins and Lafayette went neck to neck with the pair, also earning the second place and first place prizes in the over fences and the sixth place ribbon in the under saddle.
It was Tracy Scheriff-Muser who earned the blue ribbon during the over fences in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division. Her horse Absolut, a ten-year-old grey gelding, rose to the top of the leader board during the second round over fences.
Saturday night was filled with anticipation and excitement as the nation’s top hunter riders gathered beneath the lights of the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The evening began with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby where renowned hunter rider Louise Serio took the championship prize aboard Corvine. The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby turned into a nail-biter as 14-year-old Victoria Colvin went neck and neck against Jennifer Alfano, with the junior rider eventually emerging victorious.
At the end of the night, Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy were awarded the handy score of 100.5, a half-point over perfect. In addition to their first round score of 87, they had a total score of 187.5. It seemed as though the competition was going to end there; however, 14-year-old Colvin stepped forward aboard Inclusive, and made sure to leave nothing to chance.
As the judges released their scores, and the numbers were tabulated, it became apparent that the overall scores were going to be close as Colvin also earned a score of 100.5. Due to their first-round score of 93.5, Colvin overtook Alfano and Jersey Boy’s score and garnered the championship award with a total score of 194.
Earlier in the evening, Louise Serio was awarded the top call for her exceptional efforts in the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby. This was the first of six National Hunter Derbies sponsored by Hallway Feeds, with a leading rider bonus for professional riders and junior/amateur riders alike. A field of 30 riders participated in the series debut, but only one of them would come out the champion, and it was Serio and Corvine.
The pair took the lead early in the class with the highest first round score of 90. Serio guided the gelding over all of the possible options in both the first round and the handy. Their second round score of 88 made them a shoe in to win with the cumulative score of 178 points.
Shawn Casady picked up the second place award with Marigot Bay Farm LLC’s Stars Go Blue. He has worked ridden the horse on and off over the past year, competing when the Arani’s are unable. The course provided Casady with the perfect opportunity to showcase their relationship. The pair earned a first round score of 82, and upon concluding the handy course; they were awarded a 91 for their handiness and choice to take all four of the offered options. Their overall score of 173 put them only five points behind Serio.
The NAL/WIHS Children’s Classic welcomed the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Although the riders were greeted with sheets of rain throughout the duration of the morning and afternoon, this did not lessen the competition as horse and rider combinations vied for the top honors in their respective divisions . It was Cassidy Zimmerman who not only picked up the reserve championship honors in the Children’s 15-17 Hunters, but also triumphed in the NAL/WIHS Children’s Classic with Portafina, riding to the overall total of 159 points.
The early afternoon promised talent for the last class of the day, the NAL/WIHS Children’s Classic, with several high scores and promising hunter rounds. The champion of the Children’s 14 and Under Hunter division, Avery Hinson of Plain City, OH, and Galiano, posted the high score of the division with their second round score of an 81 to carry over into the Classic as their first round total. The duo picked up the first and third place ribbons over fences Sunday, and combined with their honors from Saturday, they picked up the division’s championship honors. Jane Brooks of Cincinnati, OH, and Lifeline, rode to the reserve championship title with their consistent second place ribbons throughout the over fences and under saddle.
In the Children’s 15-17 Hunter, Aleece Jarman and Vancouver, owned by Page Soper, made a clean sweep of the division earning all blues over fences, as well as the first place honors in the under saddle.
Cassidy Zimmerman showed the five-year-old Portafina, out of Carmel, IN, to the reserve championship honors just behind Jarman. She piloted the mare to two second place ribbons in the over fences, and returned for the NAL/WIHS Children’s Classic to place a second solid round with a score of 76 points.
Natalie Thornell scooped up the second and third place honors for the Classic. She earned an overall score of 156 points with Calentino, owned by Loveland Equine Investments of Loveland, OH, which proved good enough for the red ribbon.
Jumping For Joy, Thornell’s second mount owned by Loveland Equine Investments of Loveland, OH, was presented with the third place award for her first round score of 78 points and second round score of 77 points to earn a total score of 155 points.