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Kentucky Spring Horse Show Wrap-Up, May 7-11, 2014

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2014-05-13

Lexington, KY – May 13, 2014 - Reigning USEF National Show Jumping Co-Champions Margie Engle and Indigo may not have been making headlines this winter, but on Sunday they proved they are still a force to be reckoned with when they outpaced a 16-horse jump-off to win the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. Although Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra consistently top the leader board at the Kentucky Horse Shows, their two second lead over the other competitors was not enough to take home the win when Engle and Indigo produced a faultless effort, just fractions of a second faster.

“Indigo really felt back to his old self today,” smiled Engle after the victory gallop. “In Florida this year, he was clean in one of the classes earlier in the year, but he bruised his foot a little bit. He was a little uncomfortable, so I didn’t get to do very much with him there. He just wasn’t on his game. We gave him some time off, and since then he’s felt right back to himself.”

When Pablo Barrios entered the arena with the ZL Group’s Zara Leandra, the crowd expected Thursday’s victor to be quick, and when he galloped through the timers 38.697 seconds, almost three seconds ahead of leader Paige Johnson, it looked like he was the clear winner.

Margie Engle can never be counted out though, and as the last to return she had luck on her side. Engle and Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek and Gladewinds, easily made it over the first obstacles. They picked up a quick gallop to the combination, taking a huge risk and Indigo gave it his all over the large fences. As they galloped towards the final line the time was tight, but they edged out Barrios by stopping the clock at 38.113 seconds with all the fences intact.

Although Engle did not get to watch Barrios’ round, Donald Cheska gave her the winning tip. “Donald Cheska was very nice and had watched some of the rounds,” she explained. “He told me to take my time at the brush vertical by the water because a lot of horses were getting confused there, and he said everyone was slowing down and to take a shot at the in-and-out, so I followed what he said. He gave me a really good hint and it worked out. I took a very big shot going into the in-and-out and Indigo helped me out a lot there.”

Earlier Sunday, the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner and Junior Jumper Classics sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch and Audi of Lexington were held in the Rolex Stadium. The Amateur-Owner competitors showed first, and while seven advanced to the jump-off, only Ali Wolff was able to clear the short course aboard Brianda for the winning honors. Christina Firestone and Arewen were the fastest four-faulters to take home the second place honors, while Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 picked up the third place prize.

The High Junior Jumper Classic was next where it was Eugenio Garza claiming the top honors with Huapango, as well as the division’s championship title. The duo was almost four seconds faster than second place finishers Emanuel Andrade and AD Vangelys in the jump-off, and as Garza crossed the finish line he yelled “Happy Mother’s Day” to his mother, who was watching from the stands. Kelli Cruciotti was very close to catching Andrade’s time with Chamonix H and earned the third place award.

The action at the Kentucky Horse Park will continue this week with the Kentucky Spring Classic, scheduled for May 14-18, 2014. Highlight events include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, and the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington on Saturday.

For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please visit

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Saturday

Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios has been making the trip to the Kentucky Horse Park each spring for many years, and 2014 is no exception for the talented rider who continued to dominate the leader board. Barrios kicked off the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows with wins in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, as well as the 1.45m Open Jumpers with Ambosell and Lascana, respectively.

Ambosell is very familiar with the Rolex Stadium, having earned top ribbons during both the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows and the Kentucky Summer Series in 2013. The 9-year-old gained experience at Spruce Meadows, the Winter Equestrian Festival and The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour over the last year, and was ready to showcase his skills in Wednesday’s 1.40m Open Jumper class.

Barrios quickly navigated the speed course designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, which featured two double combinations and an open water. Seven entries traversed the track without error, but as the last pair to enter the ring, Barrios and Ambosell galloped into the lead with a clear time of 69.543 seconds, two seconds ahead of leaders David Beisel and Ammeretto, owned by Equine Holdings LLC of Traverse City, MI. Fellow Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade and AD Vangelys, owned by Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC, scored the third place honors with a clear time of 72.975 seconds, and pathfinders Nick Novak of Poplar Gove, IL, and YB Blue took home the fourth place award with a clear round in 73.255 seconds.

It was the 9-year-old mare Lascana who took top billing over Antares Wednesday in the 1.45m Open Jumpers. Barrios and Lascana had the quickest clear round to beat Schuyler Riley and Andretti, owned by Southbeach Stables of Wellington, FL, who finished second, and third place competitor Aaron Vale with Pleasure De Riverland, owned by Taylor Sutton of Austin, TX.

It was déjà vu at the Kentucky Horse Park Thursday evening as Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios galloped through the timers with a win in the first  $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic of the season aboard Zara Leandra.  The talented combination won last year’ s kick-off to the series and eventually captured the $50,000 Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. Barrios and Zara Leandra have continued to improve their partnership over the last year, and it paid off when they crossed the jump-off finish line ahead of pathfinders Hector Florentino and Anemone’s Vicky. Florentino had to settle for second place, while Olympian Margie Engle and Indigo took home the third place award.

“Zara Leandra felt great,” smiled Barrios after leading the victory gallop. “She jumped really good here. She has one more year of experience, and she's even faster now. She's going for the next jump much better, and she's always jumped better in the jump-off. She likes it here, and that’s why she wins so many classes here.”

Fifty-four competitors turned out for Thursday night’s first leg of the Hagyard Challenge Series, but only nine managed to complete Richard Jeffery’s first round track without error and advance to the jump-off.

The Dominican Republic’s Hector Florentino was the first to return with Anemone’s Vicky, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farms, and they set the pace to beat as they left all the rails intact and crossed the finish line in 41.66 seconds. The next clear round came from Margie Engle and Indigo, but they were just shy of Florentino’s time and stopped the clock at 43.08 seconds.

The only combination able to beat the barrier created by Floretino was the veteran duo of Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra. Showcasing their winning ways, they made a sharp right turn to a skinny vertical that paid off big time as they blazed across the finish in 40.29 seconds to capture the victory for the second year in a row.

The only other riders to produce clear rounds after Barrios were Callan Solem aboard VDL Torlando for Torlando Group, and Great Britain’s Gemma Paternoster riding Osiris, but they were each over four seconds slower to finish fourth and fifth, respectively.

It can take time for new partnerships to come together in the sport of show jumping, but on Friday that happened for Olympian Margie Engle and her new mount Eckham Van Het Steentje. The pair captured their first victory together with a double clear effort in the 1.45 Open Jumpers at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Engle only began riding Eckham Van Het Steentje for owners Elm Rock LLC in December, but Friday they proved they have been developing a winning partnership.

Six riders advanced to the short course by completing Richard Jeffery’s first round track without fault, but only three managed to go faultless a second time. Pablo Barrios and Antares were the pathfinders, setting the time to beat at 33.201 seconds, which would eventually earn second place. Blythe Marano came very close to his time on Askarielle P, breaking the beam in 33.209 seconds for third place. Engle was one of the last to compete, and a sharp rollback early in the course had her finishing in a time of 32.963 seconds to capture the victory.

The next event in the Rolex Stadium Friday was the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, where Harrison Shure took home the winning honors with No Fear. Only two riders were able to produce double clear efforts, but Shure was a second faster than Alexa Lowe-Wiseman and Ami Du Houssoit, who scored the second place award. Whitney Lyon had the fastest four-fault jump-off with Bugs Bunny V Overis Z to take home the third place honors.

In the High Junior Jumpers, there were also only two clear rounds, but this time it was Chloe Reid with the fastest time, earning the winning honors aboard Victor E. Emanuel Andrade’s slower clear time with Tiny Tim was good enough for second, and Kelli Cruciotti’s quick four-fault effort aboard Chamonix H captured third place.

When speed is key to winning an event, it helps to be riding one of the fastest horses in the world. LaGran was the fastest horse at the 2010 World Equestrian Games with Pablo Barrios, and Saturday he was the fastest horse in the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic with Mark Bluman of Colombia. The pair outraced a starting field of 38 competitors during the speed event with a blazing clear round three seconds ahead of the closest finisher.

“LaGran is a very fast horse,” smiled Bluman after his victory. “He’s been fast all his life. He was the fastest horse in the WEG in 2010 with my mate Pablo. He’s just fast. I went for it the whole way around, and it worked out well.”

Twelve competitors bested Richard Jeffery’s track, but it was Bluman who was the quickest over the course, breaking the beam at 69.989 seconds under rainy skies. Emanuel Andrade tried to catch him aboard Hollow Creek Farm’s Fananka A, but their time of 72.704 seconds would only hold up for second. Pablo Barrios set the time to beat early in the class with Romeo, finishing in 73.979 seconds, which would eventually claim fourth, while Barrios’ second mount Crossfire 10 slipped into third with a time of 73.775 seconds.

Hunter Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday

Mindful is a brand new mount for Kelley Farmer, but the gelding looked right at home with Farmer in the irons during Wednesday’s opening classes of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The pair kicked off the two weeks of acclaimed hunter competition at the Kentucky Horse Park with wins in both the High Performance and Regular Conformation Hunters.

Farmer dominated the leader board in the Stonelea Ring throughout much of the day, earning wins not only on Mindful, but also aboard So to Speak, Scripted, Point Being and veteran champion Quotable.

Now owned by Kensel, LLC and Larry Glefke, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding was just purchased from Callie Schott with the intention of becoming a top hunter derby contender for Farmer. If Wednesday’s performances were any indication, Glefke and Farmer have picked a good one. Mindful claimed top spots in the High Performance and Regular Conformation Hunters and is positioned as a top contender for both of the division championships.

Farmer started her day’s winning streak with a first place finish in the First Year Green Hunters aboard So To Speak, another mount owned by Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC. In the Green Conformation Hunters, she rode to back-to-back blue ribbons aboard Scripted, and in the first class of the Regular Conformation Hunters, she found the top of the leader board with Quotable. Finishing just behind her winning mounts in the Regular Conformation Hunters and taking a blue ribbon in the High Performance Hunters was Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC’s So to Speak.

One of the few to break through Farmer’s streak of wins was Christopher Payne. Payne took top calls in the First Year Green Hunters aboard Maypine Farm’s Truman and in the Second Year Green Hunters aboard Channing, earning both a first and second place finish, positioning them at the top of the Second Year Green Hunter division going into Thursday.

Maypine Farm’s Truman has bundles of talent and, as of Thursday, a Kentucky Spring Horse Show championship tricolor to his name.  Thursday morning, Christopher Payne rode the 7-year-old gelding to the First Year Green Hunter championship title at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Truman and Payne came in to the day with a first and third place finish over fences under their belts, sitting neck-and-neck in the points race with Kelley Farmer and So To Speak, who had finished Wednesday with a first and second place ribbons.

Truman and Payne clinched the championship and relegated Farmer and So To Speak to the reserve championship by finishing second in the handy class and earning the win in the under saddle.

Farmer and Lane Change Farm have also brought a full, competitive contingent to the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, and they will be returning to their newly acquired home base in Lexington with a full string of tricolors.

After claiming the reserve championship in the First Year Green Hunters, Farmer earned the Green Conformation Hunter championship aboard Scripted, the Regular Conformation Hunter reserve championship aboard Quotable and the Regular Conformation Hunter championship on Mindful. Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC own all three horses, and Mindful is the most recent addition, having just joined the team less than two weeks ago.

 As a Lexington native, Vivian Yowan is no stranger to competing and winning at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Friday, she added to her list of victories in her own backyard with a win in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Class at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Yowan bested the field through an over fences and a flat phase to ride away with the win aboard Crackerjack, owned by Saddle Ridge, LLC. Finishing in second behind Yowan was Emma Kurtz aboard Scott Stewart’s  VIP Z. Lizzie Van Der Walde rounded out the top three riding Gregor, owned by Dasilva Investments.

When it comes to experience in the equitation ring, Rachel Boggus’ Papillon 136 is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Yowan’s Crackerjack. With Jessica Springsteen at the reins, the gelding won the 2008 ASPCA Maclay Finals, the 2009 Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal Final, the 2009 George Morris Excellence in Equitation class and countless other equitation classes leading up to the Finals.

At 17-years-old and with Boggus in the saddle, Papillon 136 has found a new division to excel in – the Adult Equitation. Boggus rode Papillon 136 to the win in Friday’s Ariat National Adult Medal.

When Larry Glefke and Kensel LLC purchased Mindful just a few weeks ago they did so with one intention – providing a top hunter derby contender for Kelley Farmer. Mindful proved  Saturday night that he definitely fits that bill, as he and Farmer earned the victory in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Six-year-old So To Speak also proved to be a strong contender, leading at the end of the first round with scores from the two judging panels of 84 and 90. Those scores coupled with the bonus points awarded for Farmer’s decision to take all four high option fences gave the pair a combined first round total of 182.

Mindful advanced to the second handy round just behind So To Speak with a combined score of 180. Rounding out the top three after the opening round over the Bobby Murphy designed course were Barnhill and Airport 48.

Entries returned in reverse order of their standings for the handy round, but, as Farmer was juggling three entries in the second round, she and Mindful moved up in the order and were the first of the top three to return.

From the opening vertical to the final high option fence, Farmer and Mindful laid down a seamless trip, and the judges agreed.  The two judging panels awarded them base scores of 89 and 88; with handy bonus and high option points added they would finish on a second round total of 199 and a 379 grand total, shooting them straight to the lead.

Barnhill and Airport 48 looked like they were going to give Farmer and Mindful a real run for their money, but judges scores of 88.5 and 80 left them short of the lead with a second round total of 189.5 and a final score of 363.5. While it would not give them the win, it would hold up for second place.

Before Barnhill and Airport 48 took officially claim the second place honor, Farmer had to turn in her final ride of the night aboard So To Speak. The second place award or even the victory seemed to be very much in reach for the pair, but an unfortunate lead swap before the final fence would relegate them to the third place position.

Saturday night kicked off with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, the first of seven events culminating with the $15,000 Leading Rider Bonuses. Christopher Payne earned the early lead in the year-end standings by leading the first event from start to finish aboard Susan Moriconi’s Chruchill. A smooth opening round resulted in a score of 89, and as the last to return for the handy round the pair expertly handled the inside turns and high options to earn a 94 for a 183 total.

Although Churchill is only 7 years old and eligible for the Pre-Green Hunter division, he has proven that he is ready for anything. “We decided do him in the First Years and see how it goes because he's so brave and has a great mind,” explained Payne. “He got some ribbons so we thought, let's see if maybe he's a derby horse because he's so brave and so easy. This is his first time doing anything like this at all. We just wanted to see how it would go.”

Hayley Barnhill was ranked fifth going into the handy round after earning a score of 84 aboard Walker, owned by Danielle Leach. They picked up a smooth canter and were able to execute an excellent trot fence, as well as taking the inside and high options. The judges awarded their efforts with a score of 87 for a 171 total.

Adrienne Iverson returned next riding Cenerife for Eight Oaks, having received a score of 85 in the first round. The pair also had an excellent round, galloping easily to the final oxer and jumping easily over the high options. The judges announced a score 86, creating a tie of 171 with Barnhill. In the end, Barnhill’s handy round score would earn her the second place honors, while Iverson settled for third place.

With two good scores already on the leader board, the pressure was on Payne to produce another flawless round with Churchill. The handy was a breeze for the brave horse though; who navigated the inside turns smoothly and accurately. The judges turned in score of 94, for a 183, total making Payne and Churchill the clear winners.

Claire Azar earned the highest score in the first round of Sunday’s NAL/WIHS Children’s Hunter Classic at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, and when she cleared the final fence of the second round she guaranteed her victory with the aptly named Guarantee.

Azar, an Indianapolis, IN resident finished the first round in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park with a score of 82, putting her a solid nine points ahead of Vyla Carter and her own Dallas, who would enter the second round in second place with a score of 73.

Carter and Dallas slightly bettered their first round ride over the second course, earning a score of 74 for a cumulative total score of 147, which would be enough to clinch the eventual second place honor.

Azar and Guarantee where the penultimate pair to return for the second round, and when their score was announced as a 78 for a 160 total it quickly became apparent that the victory was theirs.  

Prior to the start of the Children’s Hunter Classic, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show awarded its final hunter championship tricolors, one of which also went to Azar and Guarantee. The pair earned the Children’s 14 and Under Hunter division championship after claiming a blue ribbon over fences Sunday and top placings in all five of the division’s classes.

In the Children’s 15-17 Hunters, the championship went to another Kentucky Horse Shows regular, Jane Brooks aboard her own, Lifeline. The Cincinnati, OH native and her German Warmblood gelding dominated the division, sweeping all three of the wins in Sunday’s classes.s


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