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ATTACHED PHOTOS

Juan Pablo Gaspar and Puetras So What

Hayley Gassel and Quite Dark 2

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Juan Pablo Gaspar and Puetras So What Prove Perfect in SJHOF Junior Jumper Classic at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
Release Date: 2014-07-27

Lexington, KY – July 27, 2014 – The South American contingent has had a strong showing during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, and today was no exception. Mexico’s Juan Pablo Gaspar proved that speed is the name of the game when he took home top honors in the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Gaspar and his new mount Puetras So What were faultless over the jump-off track with a two second lead to take home the victory.

Steve Stephens designed the tracks for today’s events in the Rolex Stadium, and although 24 riders competed in the Junior Jumper Classic, only three horses were able to advance to the jump-off. Kira Kerkorian was the first to return for the tiebreaker aboard Cassi. They had galloped easily over all of the obstacles, setting the pace at a clear 44.488 seconds. Gaspar was next, and with only one horse left he decided to give it his all. The risk paid off as Puetras So What left each rail intact and dashed through the timers in 42.662 seconds to take over the lead. Kerkorian qualified a second mount, Faustino, for the jump-off, but a refusal at the third fence relegated them to third place, sealing Gaspar’s victory.

“It was very difficult but a good course,” admitted Gaspar. “I have a really good horse, and I love him. He did his job, and I did my job so it worked out. For the jump-off I saw Kira, and she was really fast, so I talked with my trainer. He said to go for it. I went for it, and luckily it went in my favor.”

Gaspar continued, “I have only had Puetras So What for four months. We have a good connection though so I am really happy with him. On the first day he can be a little spooky, so you have to really stay with him, but by the end of the week he really levels out and stays really soft if you stay soft.”

The 16-year-old rider trains in Mexico most of the year, but he came to the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2014 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. I think there are more riders at the amateur level in Mexico and fewer grand prix events, but it’s good to ride in Mexico because I feel really prepared to come here,” he said. “I like everything at the Kentucky Horse Park. The weather is a little unpredictable, but they have good footing and the Rolex Stadium is fantastic.”

The weather certainly played its part today, as strong thunderstorms rolled through during the day, delaying most of the classes. Although Hayley Gassel was planning a trip to Dollywood with her friends tomorrow, she decided to stay an extra night to be sure she could compete in the $5,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. The decision paid off, and as the pathfinder aboard Quite Dark 2 in the jump-off they set a pace that would not be beat.

Sixteen riders waited for the skies to clear for the Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, and five made it to the tiebreaker to make a final bid for the top spot. Gassel was the first to go, and with a clear trip in 40.951 seconds she set a pace she knew the other riders would need to chase. Three of the competitors had four faults trying to catch the time and not coming close, with Kate Morrison as the fastest challenge on Windoctro in 41.404 seconds. Friday’s winners, Anna Cardelfe and Dollar Van’t Eigenlo DH, are still a new pair, and focused on leaving the jumps up, but their time of 42.995 seconds would only be good enough for second place.

“For jump-offs, I try to go clean, but I always try to go fast enough to intimidate the riders and put a little pressure on them. I think it worked today,” smiled Gassel after her victory. “He’s jumped clean every single day this weekend. He goes fast so easily that it’s easy to let him role and keep going.”

Gassel won the same event in 2013 with Quite Dark 2 and has been focused on developing a strong partnership with the mount. “Being with him the past year we have grown so much, we have gotten so much more used to each other,” she said. “He’s getting easier to ride, and I am just letting him go. He listens to me a lot better, and he’s great. He wins a lot of classes, and he’s just an awesome horse.”

Gassel added, “He needs a lot of leg and a lot of hand. He can get really heavy, especially when he gets tired. He can be really hot, so you just need to be patient and let him do his thing.”

The Kentucky Summer Series is consistently on Gassel’s list for competitions each year. “I love the footing, the people, the courses,” she noted. “The competition is always tough.”

Today marks the conclusion of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, but the Kentucky Summer Classic will get underway on Tuesday. The highlight events in the Rolex Stadium will include the fifth $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix, sponsored by GGT Footing.

For more information on the Kentucky Summer Series please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

RESULTS:
$7,500 SJHOF Junior Jumper Classic
1    1780    PUETRAS SO WHAT     JUAN PABLO GASPAR     0    72.881    0    42.662    
2    1893    CASSI     KIRA KERKORIAN     0    72.978    0    44.488    
3    1896    FAUSTINO     KIRA KERKORIAN     0    70.891    8    16    24    63.346    
4    1894    CASSIOPEIA     KIRA KERKORIAN    1    73.137                       
5    276    BALLOON     EUGENIO GARZA    1    73.576                       
6    1895    ELEGANCE VAN'T PARADIJS     SOPHIE SIMPSON    4    66.357                       
7    1221    ZENITH DANCE     MEREDITH DARST    4    67.565                       
8    1898    HC WOOPY 14     SOPHIE SIMPSON    4    69.700

$5,000 SJHOF Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
1    912    QUITE DARK 2     HALEY GASSEL     0    71.349    0    40.951    
2    1771    DOLLAR VAN T EIGENLO DH     ANNA CARDELFE     0    70.315    0    42.995    
3    530    WINDOCTRO     KATE MORRISON     0    70.861    4    41.404    
4    278    OPERETTE ST. LOISE     CHELSEA MOSS     0    72.377    4    42.142    
5    1435    IRON     MICHAEL BURNETT     0    70.076    4    42.798    
6    911    WERNER 61     HALEY GASSEL    1    73.889                       
7    712    RECORD DE PLEVILLE     LACEY GILBERTSON     2    74.076                       
8    31    CASTALANO     KATHARIN GUALTIERI    4    69.801

 

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