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Photo Caption: Pablo Barrios and La Gran take top honors in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Photo © 2009 Kenneth Kraus/ Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.

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Pablo Barrios and La Gran Claim Victory in $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Written by: Jenny Ross Koning
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2009-07-23

Lexington, KY – July 23, 2009 – Tonight Pablo Barrios and his mount La Gran executed an incredible performance in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Barrios bested a field of 40 horse and rider combinations for the win. The $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic was held in the Walnut Ring this evening at 6:00 p.m., and the class, which was the third grand prix in the 2009 Hagyard Challenge Series, was scored under a Table II.2A format.

The Hagyard Challenge Series is a summer-long string of grand prix competitions held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The leading rider of the entire Hagyard Challenge Series will win a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus at the conclusion of the final grand prix, held in September at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show. Two classes were held at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and the next class will be held next week at the Kentucky Summer Classic.

Tonight 12 horse and rider combinations qualified for the grand prix’s tie breaker. Michael Morrissey and Eugene Mische’s horse Scaraberas were the first to return for the jump-off, and they came home fault free in 40.141 seconds. Morrissey resides in Bradenton, FL. Nick Dello Joio revisited the ring next aboard Draco, owned by Wembley Farms. They lowered the height of the oxer at fence 15 and also had the last jump down, tallying eight faults overall in 38.008 seconds.

Aaron Vale and Tarco were the next to challenge the short course. Tarco, who is owned by Joan Kalman of Bedford Hills, NY, also had the oxer down at fence 15, and their fast time of 36.934 seconds momentarily ranked them in second place. The next clear round was produced by Sayre Happy and Corint Z, owned by Ricardo Gonzalez. They rode cautiously, stopping the clock in 41.443 seconds. Francis Tress Roig followed in Happy’s footsteps, adding his name to the list of clear rounds with his mount Lady In Blue. His faster time of 40.397 seconds unofficially took over the second spot on the leader board.

Angel Karolyi started off well with James T. Kirk, but Karolyi was unfortunately jumped loose over the oxer at fence 15; he retired because of an equipment malfunction. James T. Kirk is owned by Abigail Walker of Montepelier Station, VA.

Eliza Shuford and Little John were the next pair to take on the jump-off track, and their round was both polished and fast. They clocked in at 38.271 seconds, taking over the top spot. Shuford resides in Hickory, NC. The lead quickly changed hands, however, as Pablo Barrios and his horse La Gran tightened the turns and galloped home for an incredible finish in 33.895 seconds, more than five seconds faster than the leading time. La Gran is co-owned by Barrios and Andres Olivares of Wellington, FL.

Sayre Happy and her second mount Tarzan La Cantera, owned by Daniel Rihan of Mexico City, were also clear, but their safe time of 40.090 seconds was not quite fast enough. Morrissey also rode a second horse in the jump-off. Aboard Crelido, Morrissey bettered Barrios’ time with a prompt 33.076 seconds, but they lowered the height of the vertical at fence 10A and were penalized with four faults.

Mike McCormick and MTM Remington, owned by MTM Farm, rode beautifully as well, jumping without penalty. Their time of 36.057 seconds took over the second place position. McCormick lives in Flower Mound, TX. Kent Farrington was the final competitor of the evening. He took a shot aboard RCG Farm’s Uceko and galloped home, but their speed unfortunately caused the final fence to fall. Their time of 33.670 seconds went into ninth place.

After his victory gallop, Pablo Barrios discussed tonight’s class. “The course was pretty tough. I wasn’t expecting that many clear rounds when I walked,” he revealed. “I had one down with the first [horse] that I rode, and I had one time fault. It was one of my very good horses too. So I think, at the end, we all kind of learned how to ride the course. I think that’s where the clear rounds came from.”

He added, “I had a good spot in the order for the jump-off. I think it was a very nice jump-off for him. I couldn’t do six (strides) in the second line. I added one stride, and I think it almost cost me the class because someone was a fraction faster than me. They unfortunately had a rail. Well, it was unfortunate for them,” he laughed, “and I won the class.”

“I’ve won a lot of classes with La Gran,” said Barrios. “I went to Spruce Meadows for four weeks, and he learned a lot there…he felt like a different horse today. He is covering the spreads better and jumping with more scope than before. So I am very pleased with that,” he noted. “I think he grew up in Calgary. It's a huge ring there with huge fences. He felt really good today, so I’m very happy.”

Barrios has already qualified La Gran and his other mount Sinatra for next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. “Both are good horses,” said Barrios. “I took Sinatra to the Olympics. He always jumps really good here in Kentucky, so I think that’s a good thing for the games. I do almost all of the horse shows here with him, and it’s like my home.”

Barrios shows consistently at the Kentucky Horse Park and commends the facility. "I think the horses love it, even when it’s hot out. It’s green and the facility is amazing. Now, with the new footing, you can’t ask for more.”

In years past, Barrios was unable to consistently compete in the Hagyard Challenge Series because he attended the 2008 Olympic Games and 2007 Pan-American Games.
“This year we don’t have anything, so I am going to stay here and see if I can win the money,” he smiled. “I got good ribbons at the spring shows, so this is going to help a little bit.”

The next $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic will be held on Thursday, July 30, at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The Kentucky Summer Horse Show will continue this week and conclude on Sunday, July 26, 2009.


1 28 LAGRAN PABLO BARRIOS 0 - 0/33.895
3 331 LITTLE JOHN ELIZA SHUFORD 0 - 0/38.271
7 1091 CORINT 2 SAYRE HAPPY 0 - 0/41.443
9 920 UCEKO KENT FARRINGTON 0 - 4/33.670
10 539 TARCO AARON VALE 0 - 4/36.934
11 635 DRACO NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO 0 - 8/38.008

For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Show or for a full set of horse show results, please go to


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