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Kentucky Spring Classic Wrap-Up: May 14 18, 2014

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC
Release Date: 2014-05-21

Lexington, KY – May 21, 2014 - For the second year in a row, Margie Engle and Royce galloped to victory in the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, at the Kentucky Spring Classic. This year was different though, as the talented duo had to best a 22-horse jump-off, showcasing not just power, but speed as well. Engle and Royce, owned by Elm Rock Partners LLC, made perfect turns and left each rail in place to finish ahead of eight other double clears and lead the victory gallop. Shane Sweetnam with Eregast van’t Kiezelhof and Pablo Barrios aboard Ambosell set the early pace, but had to settle for second and third, respectively.

The first to return for the jump-off were pathfinders Pablo Barrios of Venezuela and Ambosell. They set the target at 41.937 seconds, and while they were able to do it without fault, many that tried to catch them did not have the same luck. One of the only horse and rider combinations to do so was Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam riding Eregast van’t Kiezelhof for Spy Coast Farm. They were able to make the rollbacks nicely and gallop quickly to the final oxer to finish in 40.171 seconds.

When Margie Engle entered the Rolex Stadium with Royce she knew there were multiple riders left to show and that she would need to give it her all. They picked up a quick gallop to the first oxer and never looked back, slicing the next vertical as sharply as possible and then rolling back quickly to the double combination. Engle and Royce left out a stride to the final fence, and all of the risks paid off when they blazed through the timers in a clear 39.801 seconds.

“It’s never over until it’s over,” laughed Engle. “With that many in it, and with me going early in the pack, I knew there were fast ones behind me, but I feel like we’re really starting to form a partnership now. He’s not naturally a fast horse. He’s a slower, scopier type, but he covers a ton of ground. I knew that I could turn hard to the double because he has so much scope that he can jump through there easily. He sliced the vertical in the middle really nicely too. He hasn’t done many jump-offs like that, so I am really happy with him.”

Engle is part of the short list for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland was onsite to witness Engle’s victory. “Last summer I did the [Longines Global Champions Tour], and even showing two rounds was not really taxing on him,” said Engle. “That was the first time I had to show him a couple days in a row, and I think he’s got the ability to do that and not just do one class a week. At the World Equestrian Games it’s a lot of rounds. His natural scope and carefulness is amazing.”

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

Jumper Highlights: Thursday – Sunday

It has become a Thursday tradition to see Venezuela’s Pablo Barrios in the winner’s circle at the Kentucky Horse Shows, and this week was no exception. The speedy rider once again topped the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, this time aboard the Romeo Group’s Romeo, while the ZL Group’s Zara Leandra settled for third. Todd Minikus slipped into the second place position with a quick and clear jump-off riding the Quality Group’s Quality Girl.

Emanuel Andrade set the original time to beat during the jump-off with a clear round on Hollow Creek’s ZZ-Top VH Schaarbroek Z in 41.830 seconds, which held up for sixth place. Callan Solem bested him with Horseshoe Trail Farm’s VDL Wizard in 40.752 seconds; Andrade’s second mount Hardrock Z was even better in a clear 40.106 seconds to have them finishing fifth and fourth, respectively.

Pablo Barrios was the next rider to enter the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. His top mare Zara Leandra is no stranger to laying down a blazing pace. They were right on the money despite a wide turn after the combination, and they went straight to the top of the leader board in 39.389 seconds.

Todd Minikus did not let Barrios hold on to the lead for long though, making a smoother rollback after the combination with Quality Girl and dashing through the timers in 38.128 seconds to take over the top spot.

Barrios was the last to return, this time with the ride on Romeo, and with nothing to loose he put the pedal to the metal. The pair galloped full speed at each obstacle, and they were able to turn even tighter inside after the combination. The risk paid off when they left each rail intact and zipped through the time timers in 37.525 seconds. Romeo led the victory gallop, while Quality Girl and Zara Leandra took home second and third, respectively.

Rising talent took center stage Friday in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Spring Classic, with Emanuel Andrade and Carboni 3 taking home a victory in the High Junior Jumpers. Victoria Colvin took home the second place award with Chanel B2, but earlier in the day she bested some of the best professionals in the business during a 1.45m Open Jumpers aboard Ruby.

For the High Junior Jumper class, course designer Michel Vaillancourt tested riders with a course similar to Thursday night’s Hagyard Lexington Classic. Only seven riders advanced to the tiebreaker, and only three riders produced a second clear effort.

The first to do so were Colvin and Chanel B2, owned by Karen Long Dwight of New Vernon, NJ. The pair jumped all the fences with ease and set the time to beat at 32.415 seconds. Sophie Simpson of Royal Palm Beach, FL, tried to catch her aboard Why Not, but a slower time of 34.175 seconds would only be good enough for third place.

The only rider that was able to best Colvin was Andrade with Carboni 3, owned by Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC. The pair was quick and careful through the rollbacks and the double combination, taking over the lead with a time of 31.575 seconds. Andrade and Carboni 3 took home the blue ribbon, while Colvin settled for second.

Earlier in the day it was Colvin’s time to shine. Eight competitors had double clear efforts, creating a race for the win. Aaron Vale set the time to beat at a speedy 34.534 seconds aboard Spirit of Alena, owned by Campos and Miranda Investments of Ocala, FL. He would not hold on to the lead for long though. Colvin and Ruby, owned by Rose Hill Farm of Bridgehampton, NY, picked up a quick gallop to the first fence and never held back, crossing the finish line in 33.761 seconds, almost a full second ahead of Vale.

Towards the end of the class, Hayley Barnhill attempted to catch the leaders with Zephire, owned by Cara Cheska of Waukesha, WI, but the young rider fell just short of the top times with a clear round in 34.838 seconds. Barnhill took home the third place award, while Vale picked up second, and Colvin topped the leader board.

The High Amateur-Owner Jumpers wrapped up the day in the Rolex Stadium.  Hayley Gassel of Lenoir City, TN, had all the answers with Quite Dark 2, taking a three second lead during the eight-horse jump-off with a clear time of 33.146 seconds for the victory. Jennifer O’Neil of Quebec, Canada, scored the second and third place ribbons with Zoltaire and Unex Valente, respectively, posting double clear efforts with both mounts.

The Amateur-Owner and Junior riders took over the Rolex Stadium during the final day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, showcasing their speed and accuracy. Kalvin Dobbs mastered the short course during the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic sponsored by Audi of Lexington with Woodstock O. In the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior Jumper Classic, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, it was Alec Bozorgi and Navy Blue Tarroy’s double clear effort winning the blue ribbon prize.

In the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, nine of the 24 entries advanced to the tiebreaker, where five double clears set a blistering pace. Hayley Gassel set the target with Werner 61, posting a clear round in 44.739 seconds that held up for fifth place. Erin Haas also finished over the 40-second mark with As Di Chupito, which would only be good enough for fourth place.

Dobbs took over the lead with his first mount Tea Party early in the jump-off, breaking the beam in a clear 40.913 seconds, but he still had his faster mount yet to go. Hayley Gassel bested Dobbs’ time with her second mount Quite Dark 2 with a faultless round in 38.842 seconds, but she would not hold on to the top spot for long.

Dobbs knew Woodstock O would be faster than Tea Party, and he used the talented mounts speed and accuracy to his advantage. They sliced the turn to the final line and galloped through the timers in 38.592 seconds, three-tenths of a second faster to take home the victory and relegate Gassel to second place. However, Gassel’s top placings throughout the week earned her the division championship, while Dobbs took home the reserve championship.

The Junior Jumper Classic was next at the Kentucky Horse Park, and while seven showed over the short course only three were able to produce another clear round. The first came from Virginia Ingram and Urban, but they chose to be more conservative to leave the fences up and clocked in at 48.336 seconds, which would hold up for third place. When Alec Bozorgi and Navy Blue Tarroy stepped into the arena they pushed the clock while still leaving all the rails intact in 43.900 seconds. Victoria Colvin and Don Juan were the last to go, and they tried to take over the lead, but fell just shy as they crossed the finish line in 43.991 seconds, just 9/100ths of a second behind Bozorgi.

Hunter Highlights: Wednesday – Sunday

Wednesday marked the beginning of the Kentucky Spring Classic and an impressive start to the spring show season for Caroline Moran’s Bacardi. With Havens Schatt in the irons, the gray gelding earned consecutive scores of 92 for back-to-back wins in the Second Year Green Hunters at the Kentucky Horse Park.

While one would never guess it after watching his rounds, the Kentucky Spring Classic marked Bacardi’s first return to the show ring after more than a month off and an unusual winter in Florida.

With their two first place finishes, Schatt and Bacardi sit as the clear front runners heading in to day two of professional hunter competition in the Stonelea Ring. Christopher Payne and Channing and Jennifer Smith and As Always follow them closely, as both pairs turned in impressive performances over the Bobby Murphy designed courses to each earn a second place finish in Wednesday’s two over fences classes.

In the High Performance Hunter division, it is Scott Stewart and Everly and Kelley Farmer and Mindful who sit tied at the top heading in to Thursday. Both horses received identical scores of 93 and 90, with Stewart and Everly taking the 93 and the top call in the first class and Farmer and Mindful topping the field with the 93 in the second class.

Five championship tricolors were presented in the Stonelea Ring Thursday at the Kentucky Horse Park, and three of them went home with Scott Stewart and his string of talented mounts.

Not only did Stewart ride away with numerous championships from the Kentucky Spring Classic, he and Dr. Betsee Parker’s Lucador delivered a clean sweep of the Green Conformation Hunter division.

The 6-year-old Oldenburg gelding came in to the day with two wins over fences and a win in the Green Conformation Model. Thursday, he earned two scores of 89 over the Bobby Murphy designed courses to secure victories in both of the over fences classes as well as a win in the under saddle.

This week marked only Lucador’s sixth time competing over 3’6,” but he has already proven quite successful. He was named Green Conformation division champion each of the five times that he showed during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sweeping all of the classes in the division multiple times throughout the winter and ultimately earning him the Green Conformation Hunter circuit championship. Finishing in reserve position in the Green Conformation Hunters were Havens Schatt and High Time, owned by Deborah Perkins.

Stewart’s next championship of the day came aboard Stephanie Danhakl’s Golden Rule in the Second Year Green Hunters. He earned the top call in both of the over fences classes before being named champion. The reserve championship in the Second Year Green Hunters was presented to Jennifer Hannan aboard Jennifer Smith’s As Always.

Stewart’s final championship, earned in the High Performance Hunters, came down to the wire between he and Kelley Farmer with Everly and Mindful, respectively. Each mount earned two wins over fences, but Everly, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, clinched the top title with the win in the under saddle. Mindful, owned by Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC would finish just behind Everly for the reserve championship.

Farmer also made her own sweep of the day, winning both the championship and the reserve championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters. The championship went to Point Being, while reserve went to Quotable, both owned by Larry Glefke and Kensel, LLC.

Balancing school or a career with riding and showing is a feat familiar to many Amateur-Owner riders, and it is one that Bella Cramer is handling quite successfully. The High Point University upcoming sophomore and her own Emilio earned back-to-back blue ribbons in the Amateur-Owner 18-35 3’3” Hunters Friday at the Kentucky Spring Classic.

Scores of 88 and 89 earned Cramer and Emilio the dual victories over the day’s courses designed by Bobby Murphy in the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park. Their successful performances marked the pair’s first time back in the show ring together after several weeks away while Cramer, a Michigan native, was at school in North Carolina.

Also glad to be showing at the Kentucky Horse Park this week is one of the nation’s top Amateur-Owner Over 35 riders, Dawn Fogel. She dominated the Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3” Hunters this afternoon with her newly acquired mount Summer Catch. Fogel and Summer Catch earned scores of 88 and 92 to take both of the top calls over fences in their debut together at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Christopher Payne and Harlan were the first to go in Saturday’s $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, and they laid down a score of 92 to set a standard that would not be beat. Their score held up as the highest in the opening round of the derby at the Kentucky Spring Classic and put them on track to eventually clinch the victory.

The win Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park puts Payne two for two in the 2014 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series at the Kentucky Horse Shows. He won the kick-off class in the series last week aboard Churchill, and his win Saturday night with Harlan gives him a commanding lead in the series’ point standings. Cash prizes totaling $15,000 will be awarded to the Series' leading riders following the final event in the seven-part series.

In addition to returning in the lead with Harlan, Payne and Churchill sat tied for the second place spot with Megan Clark and Dreamwork on a score of 88. Close behind them were Vivian Yowan and Saddle Ridge LLC’s Gretzky with a score of 87. Rounding out the top five in another tie were Kelli Cruciotti riding Verbatim and Adrienne Iverson aboard Cenerife, each with a score of 86.5.

Iverson and Cenerife, owned by Eight Oaks, were the first of the top contenders to return, earning a second round score of 89 and putting them into an early lead with a combined score of 175.5.

That lead was soon overtaken by Payne and Churchill, owned by Susan Moriconi, as the pair jumped to the top of the leader board with a second round score of 89.5 for an overall 177.5.

As the remaining top combinations returned the lead changed hands two more times, going next to Cruciotti and her own Verbatim with a final total score of 178.5. Next in the ring, Yowan and Gretzky, did not overtake the lead, but they did move up the list, climbing from fourth to the eventual third place finish. Meanwhile, an unfortunate rail moved Clark and Dreamwork from the second place out of the top 10.

With Cruciotti in the lead, it came down to the last to return – Payne and Susan Moriconi’s Harlan. The pair cantered right from the gate to fence one, a vertical at the far end of the ring and continued to deliver a seamless trip from there, earning them a score of 88.5 and guaranteeing them the victory.

After a few months away from the show ring, Dr. Betsee Parker’s Inclusive is back and not missing a beat. The gelding returned to competition this week at the Kentucky Spring Classic and won both of the Large Junior 16 – 17 Hunter over fences classes this morning, clinching the division championship with Colvin in the irons.

“This was his first show back, and he’s been great,” Colvin said. “He’s just had some relaxing time, and now we’re bringing him back before [the Devon Horse Show].”

The Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park serves as the ideal, competitive stopping point before Devon, and based on their performance Sunday morning, which earned them scores of 89 and 90 over the Bobby Murphy designed courses, Colvin and Inclusive are more than ready for the Dixon Oval at Devon this coming week.

The championship with Inclusive was the first of multiple hunter tricolors for Colvin as she continued to dominate the Junior 16 – 17 Hunter divisions.  She also earned the reserve championship in the Large Junior 16 – 17 Hunters aboard parker’s Way Cool.  

Way Cool came in to the day as the frontrunner in the division with two wins under his belt from Saturday’s over fences rounds in the Claiborne Ring, but Inclusive edged out his barn mate in the Stonelea Ring for the championship title.

Also making the trip to the Devon Horse Show after an enjoyable and successful week at the Kentucky Spring Classic is fellow junior rider Emma Kurtz. While Colvin led the championship charge in the Junior 16 – 17 Hunters, Kurtz did the same in the Junior 15 & Under Hunters.

She kicked off the morning by sweeping the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters with two different horses: Rose Hill Farm’s Enjoy and Oscany, Inc.’s Clooney. The morning’s first blue ribbon over fences and blue ribbon under saddle were both awarded to Enjoy, while Clooney earned the day’s second top call over fences. At the end of the day, the two horses sat tied for the championship title with 34 points apiece. With more points earned over fences, the championship was awarded to Clooney while Enjoy took the reserve spot.

Kurtz also swept all three of the morning’s Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter classes and took home the tricolor with Rendezvous Farm’s Prologue. The reserve championship in the division was awarded to Sophie Simpson and Rose Hill Farm’s Statement.


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