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Photo: Kent Farrington, winner of last year’s Hagyard Challenge Series’ $30,000 Leading Rider Bonus. Photo © 2007 Jennifer Wood. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

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Photographs may be used free of charge only in relation to the PMG press releases they pertain to.

Hagyard Challenge Series’ Leading Rider Bonus Adds Distinction to Kentucky Horse Shows

Written by: Jenny Ross Koning
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2008-04-08

Lexington, KY – April 8, 2008 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington during the weeks of May 7-11 and May 14-18, is thrilled to feature two $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* classes. These grand prix events are part of the Hagyard Challenge Series, a series of seven major show jumping competitions held throughout the summer at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, the Hagyard Challenge Series offers $215,000 in prize money, and these first two classes count toward the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus. The rider bonus, which increased from last year’s purse of $30,000, will be presented to the rider accumulating the most prize money in the seven classes that make up the Hagyard Challenge Series. The final grand prix in the series, the $50,000 World Cup qualifying grand prix, is scheduled for the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show on Friday, September 26. The $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be presented at the conclusion of this grand prix.

Last year Kent Farrington earned the bonus after winning the grand prix at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show. Farrington earned top awards in the Hagyard Challenge Series earlier in the year and surpassed grand prix rider Debbie Stephens in the rankings by winning the final grand prix. Stephens had been ranked first in the standings throughout the year.

“I think the Leading Rider Bonus really gives meaning to Hagyard Challenge Series classes,” commented Bobby Murphy, assistant manager of the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows and Kentucky Horse Shows LLC. “It’s exciting because the results of every class influence the final outcome, and the series really connects all of the classes together. Exhibitors and spectators are able to follow the standings, and the year-end rider bonus adds something extra to every class.”

He added, “I think the series has strengthened relationships between the sponsors and riders. When you think about it, it’s hard to market a rider in 90 seconds, and that’s the amount of time they get in the ring. We need to market riders in different ways and promote the sport with an approach that will reach the general public. I think the series gets the riders’ names out there.”

In addition to the involvement of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, the $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus is made possible with the support of the following sponsors: Griffin Gate Marriot Resort & Spa; Turf Town Properties, Inc.; Hagyard Pharmacy; Kathleen Sullivan, CIMA®; Fifth Third Bank; Dean, Dorton & Ford; Butler Animal Health Supply; Fort Dodge Animal Health; and Porsche of Lexington.

Dr. Andy Clark of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute previously commented, “I think our Leading Rider Bonus is bringing some riders back more often, so we’re really excited about it. We feel that in order to change the profile of the Thursday grand prix, we need to keep score with money. We felt that a prize that was that significant would put legitimacy on the challenge series. Plus, a leading rider award like that is rare.”

The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows will host the two $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix CSI 3* events, as well as the 2008 Legacy Cup, the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix CSI 3*, and the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*, which is a member event of the AGA Grand Prix Series.

The beautiful Kentucky Horse Park provides equestrians with ample stabling, numerous show rings and spacious riding areas. It is the future site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games and home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

“The Hagyard Challenge Series has added a lot to the Kentucky Horse Shows,” concluded Murphy. “The sponsors really enjoy the classes, and we’re thrilled they are returning this year. It’s also nice to have the World Cup Qualifier as the final event of the series,” he said. “I can still remember Kent’s round, and his very last jump on course - it looked like he left out three strides! Everyone gasped with excitement in the indoor ring, and he ended up winning the prix and the rider bonus. It really made for a great ending in the series.”

For more information on the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please go to


Kentucky Spring Horse Show – May 7-11, 2008
Kentucky Spring Classic – May 14-18, 2008

Two of the nation’s premier equestrian competitions, featuring four CSI 3* rated grand prix competitions, one of which is AGA sanctioned. A World Championship Hunter Rider recognized hunter competition. The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows are the host event for the 2008 Legacy Cup. Both shows are qualifying events for the Washington International Championships and the North American League finals.

Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, site of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Home to the United States Equestrian Federation.

A World Championship Hunter Rider Event
The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix, CSI 3*
The $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, CSI 3*

The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix, CSI 3*
The $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, CSI 3*
A Member Event of the AGA Grand Prix Series

8am – 5pm daily

Admission is free to the public. The Kentucky Horse Park charges a $3.00 daily fee for parking.

VIP Seating:
Tables of six are available each week in the ringside spectator pavilion for both shows at a price of $1,000 per week. This will entitle table holders and their guests to a table in the Mesker Pavilion, which provides daily continental breakfasts and complimentary lunches. Additionally, table holders receive a VIP parking pass, exclusive seating, and access to wireless internet service. Tables may be reserved by contacting Cindy Bozan at

Horse Show Exhibitors may purchase a weekly parking pass at the main Horse Park entrance for $5.00.

The Kentucky Horse Park is located 8 miles northeast of Lexington, Kentucky at Exit 120 on Interstate 75.

Before Show - Telephone: (859) 233-0492, Email:
During Show - Telephone: (859) 254-3343, Fax: (859) 231-6097
Stabling - Email Tom Blankenship at
Prize List Advertising - Email Cindy Bozan at
Vendors - Email Cindy Bozan at
VIP Tables - Email Cindy Bozan at


Ring Dimensions/Specs:
All outdoor competition arenas and schooling areas consist of a limesand base and mortar sand cushion. The Indoor Arena consists of sand and loam. The dimensions of the competition areas are as follows:

Stonelea: 135’ x 285’, Claiborne: 140’ x 270’
Murphy: 140’ x 290’, Indoor: 145’ x 285’
Walnut: 300’ x 370’, Johnson: 300’ x 400’

Vendors offering equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry and home furnishings are located adjacent to the Stonelea Ring.

HOLIDAY INN NORTH-859 - 233-0512 - Approximately 4 miles
FOUR POINTS SHERATON – 859-259-1311 – Approximately 4 miles
LA QUINTA – 859-231-7551 – Approximately 4 miles
KNIGHTS INN – 859-231-0255 – Approximately 4 miles
EMBASSY SUITES – 859-455-5000 – Approximately 4 miles
MARRIOT GRIFFIN GATE – 859-231-5100 – Approximately 4 miles
RESIDENCE INN – 859-231-6191 – Approximately 5 miles
COURTYARD BY MARRIOT – 859-253-4646 – Approximately 5 miles
RAMADA INN – 859-299-1261 – Approximately 6 miles
RED ROOF INN – 859-293-2626 – Approximately 6 miles
HAMPTON INN – 502-867-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
SUPER EIGHT – 502-863-4888 – Approximately 6 miles
MICROTEL INN & SUITES - 502-868-8000 - Approximately 6 miles

Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC
P. O. Box 11428
Lexington, KY 40575-1428
859-233-0492 (phone)
859-233-0495 (fax)

Media Contact:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
13833 Wellington Trace
Unit E-4 #221
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)

Photo: Kent Farrington, winner of last year’s Hagyard Challenge Series’ $30,000 Leading Rider Bonus. Photo © 2007 Jennifer Wood. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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