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Aaron Vale and Quidam's Good Luck

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Kentucky Spring Horse Show Wrap-Up: May 6 10, 2015

Written by: Kendall Bierer
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2015-05-11

Lexington, KY – May 11, 2015 – Capturing the first place finish was no easy feat during Saturday night’s $85,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Forty-four starters contended for the lion’s share of the earnings in the FEI CSI2* event, but when nine qualified for the jump-off, it came down to the wire. Besting the clock and the short course was Aaron Vale aboard Quidam’s Good Luck, tripping the timers in 37.800 seconds for the first place finish. Charlie Jayne and Valeska followed closely in second with a clear effort in 39.29 seconds, while Andrew Welles and Boo van het Kastanjehof earned the third place in 39.610 seconds.

Only four of the nine were able to ride both courses without fault. Jayne was second in the order to return, and set the pace at a speedy 39.29 seconds as he broke the beam with no faults.

Andrew Welles was hot on Jayne’s heels, riding Boo van het Kastanjehof to a fault-free round in 39.61 seconds. Just a nickel off Jayne’s pace, it seemed as though with only three left to go that victory was in sight, yet Aaron Vale and Quidam’s Good Luck were in it for the win, leaving no stone unturned.

Vale caught a good first fence, heading forward through the opening line where he stuck to the nine strides that Charlie did, finding a deep distance. After landing from the oxer, he did a very fast and long five strides to the vertical, clgaining enough momentum to be more than a second ahead of Jayne’s pace. He was able to clear the final efforts in 37.800 seconds, setting an untouchable time.

“We didn’t come to canter around and look pretty, we were in it to win,” Vale said. “I knew Charlie has a quick time tonight, and that he got everything the way he wanted for it to appear. The only thing: I got kind of tricked. I thought when I was walking the course that I could get eight strides from one to two when I watched Charlie go, but somebody dissuaded me from that decision. I had a lot of momentum after doing the long five, and he is a thoroughbred-like galloper with a lot of foot speed. I could have done eight, it would have been smoother, but the momentum I had out of the five carried me over the next jumps. I had to get going. The big share of the prize money goes for first, so usually I like to try for that portion if it is possible.”

Quidam’s Good Luck is a 9-year-old who still has a few green moments, but Vale said that when the jumps stay in their cups, he can usually win the class. With the added FEI CSI2* events, his knack for clearing rounds with speed is proving useful. Vale plans on staying through the Kentucky Spring Classic where he will compete with his string of mounts in the CSI3* events.

Juan Ortiz aboard D'Ulein van de Smeets and Jorge Matte with Perle du Marisas were the only others to jump double-clear, completing the night in the fourth and fifth place, respectively. Sixth place was awarded to Margie Engle and Royce, the fastest of the four-faulters.

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday

American Grand Prix rider Todd Minikus has been showing in Kentucky for over three decades, racking up wins throughout the years. On the opening day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, he proved that this year would be no different as he raced to the speedy $5,000 1.45m Open Jumper victory with new mount, Con Capilot.

The Rolex Stadium hosted nearly 250 rounds throughout the opening day of the spring series kick-off. Riders from around the world brought their top mounts to the Bluegrass State, vying for the opportunity to earn the important qualifying points for the Longines Rider Ranking List and the USEF/Rolex Show Jumping Ranking List with the highlight events of the week. Although Wednesday was a warm up for many of the riders, they did not show hesitation as they tackled Richard Jeffery’s first week of courses.

As the second to go in the order, Minikus knew he would have to set a pace that was hard to beat. He was able to cover the ground and traverse the track in 42.680 seconds with Con Capilot, nearly a half of a second ahead of Aaron Vale and Bonzini S.

Plum Creek Hollow Farm out of Larkspur, Colorado owns the 12-year-old stallion. Although he is a new mount for Minikus, the veteran rider is hoping to continue building his relationship with the Westphalian and showing him to the top of the leader board.

Minikus beat out Aaron Vale and Bonzini S who ranked just behind with a faultless effort in 43.253 seconds. Benjamin Meredith and Rivierra took the third place in 44.006 seconds.

During the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers, 70 horse and rider combinations competed for the top prize, but New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Popstar Lozonais showcased their speed to take the win. Nearing the end of the class, Wordley knew he would have to make a move, although he did not entirely release the clutch, Popstar Lozonais blazed the way, completing the speed track in 66.478 seconds, more than three seconds quicker than fellow contenders, even with an added stride to the water and last fence.

Roberto Teran and Farina strode in during the final moments of the class to sneak into the second place behind Wordley with a faultless time of 69.699 seconds. Ramiro Quintana finished third aboard Bialda.

Seventy-four horse and rider combinations faced off Thursday evening in the first $34,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI2* of the season, but it was Ramiro Quintana (ARG) who took the night’s victory with Whitney. The talented combination beat out a field of 24 during the nail-biting jump-off, tripping the timers in a speedy 41.27 seconds.

Quintana and Whitney, owned by St. Bride’s Farm of Upperville, VA, have proven their partnership over the last two years, claiming top honors at shows across the country. They are now amping up for the Pan American games in Toronto, Canada this summer. Their efforts kicked off the seven-part Hagyard Challenge Series featuring the $50,000 Leading Rider Award.

Richard Jeffery designed the long track, creating a course that would ask the right questions without over facing the horses. He utilized a water jump, liverpool oxer, three double combinations and long stretches of the Rolex Stadium to challenge the pairs.

Alise Oken and Kaid Du Ry, owned by High Hopes Farm LLC of Charlotte, NC, were the first to post a double clear effort over the shortened track. Their time of 46.56 seconds set the pace to beat; however, it would prove conservative with the South American riders hot on her heels. Three trips later, Daniel Zetterman (SWE) surpassed her time with Chellana B, owned by Gyllebo Farm of Wellington, FL, soaring over the final oxer in 43.34 seconds to take the lead.

Wilton Porter was in hot pursuit of Zetterman’s time, but he was a fraction off with Patriot, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, finishing in 44.680 seconds without fault. It was not until Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez and Fifty Fifty 111, owned by Arao Enterprises, took their turn at the track that defeat seemed a possibility. They put in a blazing time of 41.64 seconds, surpassing Zetterman by nearly two seconds.

Three-time Hagyard Challenge Series winner, Pablo Barrios attempted to catch Rodriguez’s time, and he did. An unfortunate rail in the double combination, as well as a final nick on the final fence would cost Barrios and Antares the victory, even with their faster time of 40.68 seconds.

Quintana and Kaitlin Campbell were the final two of the class, and as the penultimate rider, Quintana knew he had to leave no stone unturned. He kept a consistent pace from beginning to end; however, and early distance to the second to last fence would shave off the crucial four-tenths of a second that would knock Rodriguez out of the lead and have Quintana’s name take the top spot on the leader board.

For Lexington native Vivian Yowan, the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show is a familiar place. Friday, the young talent returned to the Rolex Stadium with veteran mount Vornado van den Hoendrik, capturing the $1,500 High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper as the only double-clear combination of the class.

Twenty-eight contenders took their try at Jeffery’s High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper course.  Only three would make it through to the jump-off, but as the trailblazer of the class, Yowan set the pace at 34.049 seconds with a faultless round, which would be good enough to take home the victory.

Where many of the riders saw the rails fall during the double and triple combinations, Yowan kept confidence in her 17-year-old mount, Vornado van den Hoendrik. During the jump-off, she caught the first jump and moved forward utilizing his large stride to cover the ground in seven strides instead of eight, which she had previously walked.

Noel Fauntleroy of Manakin Sabot, Virginia, and her mount Cabras rode to the second place finish with four faults in 36.210 seconds. Canada’s Veronica Bot and Calato’s Charles scooped up third place with their conservative effort of 38.950 seconds and four faults.

Earlier in the day, the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumper division took center stage in the Rolex Stadium. Thirty horse-and-rider combinations attempted the same course as the High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumpers, and only one pair would clear the opening track to score the victory—native Australian Scott Keach and Fedor.

Second place was awarded to Juan Andres Rodriguez and Bugatti for their careful first round effort. The pair only earned two time faults, but it was enough room for Keach to take the victory.

Keach has made Kentucky his summer home, returning for his third consecutive year. Now, with Tryon only five hours down the road, Lexington makes the perfect pit stop on his summer tour. The addition of the FEI competition to the spring shows has opened new doors for many of the riders, Keach admitted.

The $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix saw a start list of 33 horse and rider combinations gather at the Rolex Stadium for the pilot event on the final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. It was Luifer Larrazabal of Venezuela who dashed for the cash Sunday afternoon, winning the majority of the purse with recent mount, Atlodetto FZ.
The 22-year-old consistently showed throughout the Wellington and Ocala circuits, even riding for his country's team during the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* in at HITS Ocala. The young talent has been working to build a partnership with new mount, Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables LLC of Wellington, FL. The 8-year-old gelding showcased his impressive skills over Richard Jeffery's track, becoming the final of only six pairs to qualify for the speed round.
Wilton Porter was the first to return for the jump-off. Aboard Patriot, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, he navigated the course to finish with the first of four double clears in 35.168 seconds. He continued to lead the way with Sophie Simpson and Why Not falling just behind his time with a clear effort in 35.353 seconds, and Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H tripping the timers in 36.523 seconds.
Larrazabal was the last in the ring, and he knew that he had to take some risks on the track in order to catch Porter's pace. It was a little over one second that would separate the two in the end, and it was only one turn that made the difference.  
International Grand Prix rider Todd Minikus knows quality, and three years ago he recognized it in the 12-year-old mare, Quality Girl. Since their partnership began, they have risen to the top of the ranks, capturing the win during the Zoetis $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Saugerties, NY, and earning Horse of the Year last year.
The formidable rider took Quality Girl, owned by the Quality Group of Loxahatchee, FL, to the top of the leader board Sunday during the $25,000 Bluegrass Classic, besting a field of 37 contenders.

Only three would clear Jeffery's course and move into the jump-off, with Shane Sweetnam and Eregast Van't Kiezelhof, owned by Spy Coast Farm of E. Setauket, NY, finishing second with a time of 34.055 seconds, less than half of a second shy of Minikus' speedy 33.609 seconds. Third place was awarded to Roberto Teran and Farina, owned by Ark Partners LLC of Wellington, FL.
The $25,000 Bluegrass Classic helped Minikus earn valuable points for the USEF/Rolex Show Jumping Ranking List, where he currently sits in in the eighth position with horses Babalou 41 and Quality Girl listed in the ninth and 23rd positions, respectively.

$15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Huner Derby

In the world of hunter derbies, one name always stands out: Jersey Boy. Sunday, the 13-year-old chestnut gelding, better known as Lewis, delivered two textbook rounds with Jennifer Alfano during the WCHR Member Event, the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, earning a total of 401 points to capture first place overall.

Rider Jennifer Alfano was skeptical about the class, due to the fact that Jersey Boy was so well behaved in the schooling ring. “Lewis is a little temperamental at times; you never really know with him,” Alfano laughed.

From the moment the duo stepped in to the ring, however, it was obvious that Jersey Boy had decided he wanted to impress. Taking all the higher options, Alfano navigated Jersey Boy smoothly through Bobby Murphy’s course, earning a 94 and 96 for the classic round.

The pair especially excelled in the handy, pulling in scores of 92 and 94 from the judges. Adding on 4 points for taking the high options, and 9 and 8 handy points, respectively, Jersey Boy delivered the highest-scoring round of the day. “He definitely excels at the handy,” Alfano said. “That’s his thing.”

Alfano also impressed the judges on Miss Lucy, another mount she holds dear to her heart. Miss Lucy is back after almost two years, and has not slowed down a bit. Coming off of a derby win at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, the mare put in another outstanding performance today to secure second place overall with a score of 374.

Tammy Provost and Kallisto earned a total score of 366.5 to claim third place, with Alfano back atop Miramar earning a 365.5 for fourth place. Fifth place was awarded to Havens Schatt, who piloted Savannah to a score of 360 points. Sarah Young and Gabriella rounded out the top six with a score of 357.

Alfano’s four entries all placed in the top 12 and will return to the Kentucky Horse Park in August for the long-anticipated 2015 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.

Earlier on Sunday, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby was underway, with Sarah Sturges leading the event from start to finish aboard Jessica Blum’s Conan. A smooth opening round resulted in a score of 93, and the pair retuned to the handy, receiving a 92 and utilizing the high options for a four-point boost.

Kelli Cruciotti and Totem Pole gave Sturges a run for her money, coming in second by a 2.5-point differential. The judges awarded their efforts with scores of 92 and 90.5 for a 182.5 total.

Havens Schatt returned next riding Sans Souci for CH Farm LLC, having received a score of 90 in the first round. The pair earned a score of 91 in the handy. However, Cruciotti’s classic round score would give her a leg up for the second place honors, while Schatt would settle for third place.

Hunter and Equitation Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday

Scott Stewart is a regular in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and Wednesday the veteran hunter rider took home five blue ribbons on opening day to mark his domination of the professional divisions.

Stewart won early in the day with a victory in the First Year Green Hunters aboard David Gochman’s Catch Me. The stunning grey gelding showcased classic style over the Alan Lohman-designed courses.

The Green Conformation Hunter division was up next, and once again it was Stewart who took the blue ribbon. Stewart piloted Stephanie Danhakl’s First Light to the win in both of the division’s over-fences classes, making it clear that their winning streak from the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue this summer. In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Stewart stepped into the irons aboard Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador to take home the top prize in the division.

As the day continued, a new name topped the leader board as Tim Goguen and Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, took charge in the Second Year Green Hunters with a score of 90, matching Stewart and Catch Me for the two highest-scoring rounds of the day. Goguen was thrilled with Ransom’s performance.

The day wrapped up with the High Performance Hunters, with Kelley Farmer capturing the first class with Dalliance, owned by Avatar Real Estate LLC. The winning ways of Stewart continued as he took home his fifth and final blue ribbon of the day during the second over-fences class with A Million Reasons, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.

After a stellar first day of almost continuous victories, Scott Stewart and his immaculate fleet of hunters showed up to Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show ready to sweep day two.

Stewart piloted David Gochman’s Catch Me to wins in both of Thursday’s over fences classes in the First Year Hunters. The flashy gelding also rose to victory in the under saddle class, and combined with day one’s victories, the pair collected a total of five blue ribbons to sweep the division and eventually capture the Grand Hunter Championship.

Stewart acquired Catch Me during week five at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, and the pair has experienced a lot of success in the First Year Hunters since then.

The Green Conformation Hunters presented another victory for Stewart in the first class on First Light, owned by Stephanie Danhakl of Pacific Palisades, California. The handy round, however, went to Kelley Farmer, who gave a smooth performance atop Larry Glefke’s horse, In Private.

Stewart and First Light took the championship ribbon in the Green Conformation Hunters, and Stewart earned reserve champion atop another mount, Wisdom, owned by Rivers Edge in Wellington, Florida.

The Regular Conformation Hunters kicked off next, with Stewart continuing to deliver beautiful rounds atop Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador. The duo swept all five classes in the division, earning the division championship for the week, as well as reserve grand championship.

As the Second Year Hunters began, Tim Goguen stepped into the irons on Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, and wowed in the under saddle class, combining a strong over fences effort with Wednesday’s blue ribbons to earn the division’s championship prize.

Kelli Cruciotti is a three-year veteran in the Platinum Performance USEF Talent Search, and Friday’s blue-ribbon performance further proved her excellence in the equitation ring. Cruciotti and her horse, Monterrey, were the first on course, and the pair stepped confidently into the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, ready to face designer Scott Starnes’ 15-effort course.

Key technical elements included three double combinations, a liverpool and, Starnes’ personal favorite: an 11-foot water jump. The 2* ranking allowed for a fence height of 1.15m.

Overcoming the potentially tricky elements, Cruciotti smoothly navigated Monterrey around the course, while remaining comfortably under the time allowed of 99 seconds.

While Cruciotti made it look easy, some of the other young riders struggled with the course’s more technical elements. Second-place finisher Virginia Ingram and her mount Comanche, owned by Hilary Sapanski, had an unlucky rail and two time faults that separated her from the top spot.

Lucas Porter and Punch, owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC out of Bartonville, Texas, had a clear round, but incurred eight time faults, which earned the duo third place.

The competitors’ equitation continued to shine on the flat, where riders were asked to show their horses at the working trot, sitting trot, extended trot, working canter, counter canter and extended canter.

In the end, it was Cruciotti’s well-executed over-fences round that vaulted her to the top of the leader board, ensuring the pair will continue to Finals.

Stephanie Danhakl, Becky Gochman and their talented horses are no strangers to success, and Saturday’s hunter classes at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show awarded the amateur riders plenty of chances to shine atop their entries.

The day began with the 3’6” Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, as Danhakl piloted her flashy chestnut Golden Rule to two third-place finishes. Despite only being the gelding’s third show this year, the pair from Pacific Palisades, California, earned two blue ribbons and a red ribbon on Friday, adding up to enough points for the division championship.

Kelly Bauernschmidt and her horse Legato placed first over fences and eighth in the handy, and combined with the previous day’s blue ribbon and fifth-place finish, the duo earned the division’s reserve championship.

The next division of the day was the 3’6” Amateur-Owner 35 and Over Hunters, in which Becky Gochman, of New York, New York, delivered smooth rides atop Last Call, her stunning seal bay gelding. The pair earned a blue ribbon, two second-place ribbons and a third-place ribbon over the course of two days, boosting them to the top of the pack to claim the division championship. Gochman proclaimed Last Call is a perfect delight, and the barn favorite always gets a ton of carrots.

The division’s reserve championship was awarded to Emily Morin and Ace of Spades, of McLean, Virginia. The pair combined a first-place finish with two fifths, a fourth and a third to earn the tricolor.

In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3 Hunters, Danhakl captured both the division’s championship and reserve championship aboard her horses Enough Said and First Light, respectively. Saturday’s final division, the Amateur-Owner 35 plus 3’3 Hunters, got underway with Becky Gochman back in the irons on Mythical. The duo captured the division’s championship, with the reserve championship going to Dawn Fogel atop Summer Catch, of Louisville, KY. Melissa Jacobs captured the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunter Champion and Reserve tricolors with Endeavor and Revealed, respectively.

The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show concluded with the Grand Championships, sponsored by Visse Wedell of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Emma Kurtz was awarded the Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Grand Championship for her efforts in the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division with Frederick, owned by David Gochman. The Junior/Amateur-Owner Hunter Reserve Grand Championship went to Vivian Yowan and Ransom, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC.
It was the Gochman sisters, Sophie and Mimi who snatched up the Pony Hunter Grand Championship and Pony Hunter Reserve Grand Championship, respectively. Sophie rode Bit of Love to the high point award during the Small Pony Hunters, while Mimi took the second tricolor for her efforts in the Large Pony Hunters.

To learn more about the Kentucky Spring Horse Show please visit


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