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Press Release


Hayley Barnhill wins Junior Hunters at Kentucky Horse Park

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Strong Finishes for Hayley Barnhill with Breathtaking, Rio Renior, and Red Panda in the Junior Hunters at Kentucky Spring Classic

Written by: Lindsay McCall
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2010-05-23

Lexington, KY-May 23, 2010-Today was the closing day of the Kentucky Spring Classic at Kentucky Horse Park, host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Champions were crowned in the Junior Hunter divisions and awards were presented to each top horse and rider combination. Hayley Barnhill dominated the Junior Hunter division in the Stonelea Arena, winning championships in both the Large and Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division. Barnhill rode Breathtaking to the Large Junior 16-17 Hunter championship and Rio Renior to the reserve championship. In the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters she won the championship prize aboard Red Panda.

Barnhill has been very successful over this year winning multiple championships, riding many amazing horses, and performing consistently on each mount. In today’s Large Junior 16-17 Hunter division her results earned her and Breathtaking, owned by Paula Lilliard of Lake Forest, Illinois, the championship rosette. Barnhill earned two second places in two of the three over fences classes, and won both blue ribbons in the handy hunter class and the under saddle class. Barnhill’s second mount, Rio Renior, owned by Brad Wolf of Memphis, TN, only competed in yesterday’s Junior competition. However, their results garnered Barnhill and Rio Renior the reserve championship ribbon, as the duo won both over fences classes and a second in the under saddle class.

The eight-year-Oldenburg gelding, Breathtaking, is just starting his hunter career. Barnhill commented, “He went really well today. He is still green and we have been trying to get him to that point where he would do his best. He was really good today.”

“Breathtaking is a little lazier than the other horses,” noted Barnhill. “I need to kick him a little more, however he jumps really great and feels wonderful. I did not feel that there were any challenges on him today. During the handy hunters I knew I could take the inside turn because he is big and moves slow and smooth.”

In the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter division, Barnhill entered the ring once again, but this time on Red Panda, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC of Nashville, TN. The pair won three first place ribbons in every over fences class offered. They also received a second place in the handy hunter class and a second place in the under saddle class, winning the championship ribbon. Following for reserve champion was Oksana, owned by Meg Mitchell, with Christina Kelly in the irons. Kelly and Oksana received two second place ribbons in yesterday’s over fences classes and then earned a first place in the under saddle, a first place in the handy hunter class, and a third place in today’s over fences class.

Barnhill and Red Panda have only been paired together for two weeks starting at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. She has been riding Red Panda to prepare for the upcoming historical show Devon. “The course was nice today,” commented Barnhill. “There were some really pretty jumps and a great handy.”

Although Red Panda had not shown since Syracuse Barnhill felt like Red Panda was at the top of his game. “He is so much fun to ride and a great horse,” laughed Barnhill. “If he likes you he will do his job. I feel like he has not missed anything during his break after Syracuse. Panda is an awesome horse. He has the best feeling over the fences and truly jumps great.”

Continuing the award presentations and championship ribbons was another talented junior, Shawn Casady who was showing Starbound, owned by Caroline Nicewonder of Bristol, VA. The pair won a first and second place in yesterday’s over fences, a first place in today’s handy hunter class, and a third in today’ s over fences class. These winning results earned Casady and Starbound the championship accolade in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter division. Reserve champion in the same division was presented to Catherine Tyree aboard, First Partners, INC, Savant.

This was Casady’s first time on Starbound, but even thought the pair had not ridden together very long, their results tell a story of two strong athletes. Casady noted, “Everything went great this weekend with Starbound. I am so thankful to Starbound’s owners for having me come out to Kentucky this weekend and ride for them.”

Casady continued, “The courses went great today. I chose the inside turn in the handy course because it came up nicely. We did not go in the ring with too definite of a plan. I thought if it is going to work for us, it is going to work in the ring.”

The quiet Hanoverian/Thoroughbred gelding made each trip for Casady a breeze. “Starbound is really easy,” noted Casady. “He is very classical and he holds himself. Starbound is not like one of those horses you have to do a lot with. There is no kicking needed and he kind of carries himself and holds his own shape.”

In the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division, Tyree showed Concetto to top results. The duo won the championship award and prize because of their spectacular results. Three blue ribbons were garnered in both over fences classes and the handy hunter class. Then two second place ribbons were earned in the under saddle class and today’s over fences class. Tyree could not have been happier with her mount Concetto and their performance together. The reserve championship ribbon in this division was pinned on the bridle of Scout, owned by Mattie Worsham, with Shawn Casady at the reins.

The last time Concetto and Tyree had shown was at Winter Equestrian Festival where the pair had spectacular results in the junior hunter division. Tyree commented, “I was really proud of the way Concetto went because he has not shown since Florida. He has been hanging out at home getting turned out every day and was just enjoying life. Today was a really good test before Devon in the handy hunter class because we had many inside turns and some spookier jumps. Turns are Concetto’s forte and the turns in that class felt like they were right there. I also thought the lines were open like they are at Devon, and he just felt amazing.”

The Kentucky Spring Classic as come to a close, but the hunter competition will be back for the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows starting at the end of July. The Kentucky Summer Horse Shows of Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, ramps up on July 28, 2010 and runs through August 1, 2010. Not long after, the Kentucky Summer Classic is scheduled for August 4-August 8, 2010. Then to continue the excitement, The Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will occur from August 18-22, 2010.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, please visit

Photo Credit: Hayley Barnhill and Breathtaking win Champion Large Junior 16-17 Hunter at 2010 Kentucky Spring ClassicPhoto By: Lindsay McCall/PMG. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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