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Bluegrass Festival Horse Show Wrap Up: August 12-17, 2014

Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: Kentucky Horse Shows LLC http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com
Release Date: 2014-08-18

Lexington, KY – August 18, 2014 - He may be the smallest horse in the class, but do not let his size fool you. The just barely 16 hand stallion Ammeretto is a fierce competitor with rider David Beisel, and he makes up for what he lacks in height and galloping speed with nimble turns. It was just such a turn that clinched the top spot in Sunday’s $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi. Beisel was able to beat out second place finisher Michael Dorman by taking a very tight inside turn in the jump-off that Dorman chose to forgo.  

“He’s a very nimble horse, and he’s a very little guy,” Beisel said of Ammeretto.  “I think I was a little fortunate, two weeks in a row in Michigan I couldn’t beat Michael [Dorman], he chased me down both times, and both courses were very long galloping courses.”

Not to be out done a third time in a row, Beisel let the twisting jump off track work for him. “I was thinking maybe I could use the turns to my advantage, because he turns very well,” Beisel continued. “I know when we turned after fence five [in the jump off] I stayed a good five feet inside of Michael’s hoofprints back to the in and out, so I knew I was on the pace there, and then I just did the inside turn and it worked out.”

Michael Dorman, Lorcan Gallagher and Jackson Brittan aslo posted double clear scores in the prix, though no one was able to catch Beisels wicked fast time. Dorman went first in the jump off and chose not to do the inside turn available, leaving the door open for Beisel to take over the lead. Brittan and Gallagher were left to chase Beisel's time and track, and neither could catch him.

Beisel’s victory in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix marked the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on Sunday. For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Highlights

 After an injury months ago that sidelined the 11-year-old Warmblood gelding Inclusive, rider Tori Colvin has the successful mount back in winning shape. She showed him off Friday during the Classic Round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby, gaining a score of 95 from one judge panel, and two other scores in the 90s, as the two-day competition got underway at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. Jimmy Torano, on his seventh mount of the day produced results with Mindful procuring second place. Last year’s winner, Brunello, claimed third place with rider Liza Boyd just recently returned to riding after maternity leave.

Despite an injury earlier in the season, Colvin said she was not worried about how Inclusive, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, would perform. “We showed him at Devon and at Junior Hunter Finals, but we wanted to keep him ready for this, and we thought he’d be perfect to go right into Derby Finals,” she explained.

Colvin thought the course was open and beautiful and not too spooky for a first round. Her favorite jump, a high-option oxer with wagon wheels, proved challenging to many other pairs, but Colvin knew Inclusive would love it because the jump was somewhat ramped, a specialty of Inclusive.

Jimmy Torano, who grabbed second place on Mindful, a Hanoverian gelding owned by Glefke & Kensel, took over all seven of Kelly Farmer’s mounts when she broke her collarbone several weeks ago. Torano’s other mounts had some bad luck, but everything came together on his last ride of the round and the third to last entry in the class.

As last year’s Derby Finals winner Brunello, the 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding, went into the ring, anticipation was high. Not only was the mount carrying hopes for a repeat winner, but his rider and partial owner Liza Boyd was only just returning to riding after being on maternity leave.  Despite the challenges, Boyd and Brunello displayed their athleticism and claimed third place, positioning themselves well for the rest of the Final.

For Saturday’s Handy Round, the luck was on Boyd’s side. “I feel like it’s a bit of a dream, like pinch me. I’m still a little bit in shock.” That is what the winner of the 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals had to say after her finish, and it is no wonder Liza Boyd thought winning derby finals twice in a row aboard Brunello was a long shot. She gave birth to her second child just two and a half months prior to the competition, giving her­ a very tight timeline to prepare herself and her horse Brunello, who is co-owned by Janet Peterson.  

“I definitely had a plan, a little bit of a psychotic plan,” Boyd said with a laugh. “June 12,­ I rode for the first time, and I had the baby May 30. I really wanted that horse to jump for two months before the class so I started maybe a little early.

My mom caught me and was not too excited, but I felt fine,” Boyd continued. “I really didn’t want anyone else to jump him. I wanted him to have a good solid two months of jumping fitness.”

Once her crazy plan was underway, Boyd said her expectations of herself and Brunello at Derby Finals changed the more she worked with the horse.

 “Honestly, I thought in the beginning after I just started back riding I really just want to be top ten. That’s my goal. I just had a baby. Then a week after that I was like definitely top three,” Boyd said at the press conference, eliciting a good laugh from second place finisher Jennifer Alfano. “I’ve got to do top three. I’m feeling a little bit better, top three we’re going to up this goal a little. Then a little bit more recently I said, ‘I’d really like to win.’”

Boyd certainly reached her goals set throughout the summer, and the competitor finishing second could not be happier for her. Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy performed brilliantly in the show ring to capture the reserve title, jumping up the ranks from seventh place, though Alfano assured that their warm up was anything but pretty.

“He didn’t school well, which is usually a good sign for him,” Alfano said of the notoriously quirky Jersey Boy. “Usually the worse school you have the better he is in the ring, which is a little hard mentally in the schooling area.” Sure enough, Jersey Boy was on his game the moment he stepped into the Rolex Stadium.

“He was perfect. As soon as I picked up the canter and locked on the first jump I knew I was really home free,” Alfano said. “He just he gave it his all. He just he felt phenomenal. I was thrilled with him, and I was thrilled that Liza won. When she went and she was on top I thought: ‘It would be so great if we were first and second,’ and we were.”

Tori Colvin earned the top honors during Friday's Classic Round aboard Dr. Betsee Parker's Inclusive, but a small error in the handy round was costly and they finished with a total score of 574 to take home the third place award. There was a tie for the fourth place honors between Hope Glynn riding Woodstock, and Morgan Ward riding Comissario. Sandy Ferrell and Mayfair rounded out the top six.   

Ward put in a high handy round score that, when combined with her classic round score, put her in the overall lead after 10 horses had gone, it also made her the Champion Junior Owner. Glynn’s handy round on Woodstock scored below Ward’s but when the overall scores were tallied Glynn and Ward were tied.

USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship Highlights

The second annual 2014 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship kicked off with an opening round Tuesday at the Kentucky Horse Park. While there were many new riders and horses competing in the round, it was the championship’s 2013 winner, Hunt Tosh, who took top honors in the opening class, showing the field of 130 how it is done aboard the Douglas Wheeler entry Gotham.

The 6-year-old Holsteiner gelding is a new mount for Tosh, but the two have clearly already found their rhythm; the pair recently captured the tricolor in the 3’3” Pre-Green Incentive class at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show (N.C.) before coming to Kentucky.

Tosh, who last year won the inaugural Pre-Green Incentive class in a tie with two of his mounts, Crisp and Casanova, has already placed himself in a good spot for the second round. He is a big fan of the Pre-Green Incentive program, and predicts this year it will be an even bigger hit than last year.

He hoped to continue his success Thursday, planning to do the exact same thing in the ring to keep the tough competition at bay, applauding Scott Stewart, who led before Gotham went in, for putting in a great ride.

Tosh may have taken top honors in Tuesday’s opening round, but right on his heels was a whole herd of mounts piloted by Scott Stewart. Stewart placed four of the seven horses he rode in the class in the top twelve, picking up second, third, fourth and seventh place.

Stewart’s top placed horse in the class, Celebration, shares more than a barn with one of the other top hunter’s in Stewart’s care. “My second place horse is actually by Dedication, that’s his baby,” Stewart explained.

Dedication was another young horse Stewart brought up the ranks through the green divisions. Celebration looks just like his sire (who has since been gelded), but is still working on logging as much ring time.  

Stewarts third placed horse Remarkable is really just that; the 7-year-old gelding has a very unique marking on his left front leg and chest. When paired with his picturesque form over fences, the horse made for quite an eye-catching sight.  

The second of three rounds of the 2014 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship saw two horses in the top spot in a tie for first. Kyle Owens and John Barker shared a blue ribbon aboard their mounts Messick and Carlotta, respectively.

Wednesday’s class was a first for amateur rider Kyle Owens in more ways than one. “I had never even gotten a 91 before,” Owens exclaimed of his score from one of the three judging panels. “That was my first 91. I’ve never even gotten a 90, so it felt awesome. I was so excited.”

Joining Owens in the tie for first was John Barker aboard Ashley Hodges’ entry Carlotta, a mare Barker said is lacking in something most good horses have – something that he is not complaining about.

“Honestly, she’s pretty perfect,” Barker said of Carlotta’s personality. “Even at home, it’s pretty unusual to have a horse that really seems to be this good and is easy at home. She’s not spooky; she’s not marish. She’s easy to be around, and that’s kind of unusual. A lot of good horses have quirks you have to deal with, and she really doesn’t.”

Through three rounds of the 2014 USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Championship, the horse at the top of the pack changed, but the rider stayed the same. Winning the first round and coming back on top in the final was Scott Stewart, capturing the championship with the most eye-catching of his seven mounts, Remarkable.

“I love young horses and bringing them along,” Stewart said. “So I think this program is great because it really showcases them. All year long at other shows we go to, they’re sort of in another ring, and no one gets to watch them. I think it’s great for the sport and for people who want to buy young horses to keep them interested.”

Stewart did not have much time to get acquainted with the uniquely colored gelding—he broke his collarbone in early July while competing at Horse Shows By The Bay in Traverse City, MI.

Luckily Stewart recovered just in time to come to Lexington, his first show since the injury, and the trip was well worth the effort. His ride on Remarkable alone got him a check for $22,364.78 and a one-year lease on a two horse trailer, courtesy of Sundowner Trailers.

Taking the reserve champion title was Laura Wasserman’s entry, Boss, ridden by John French. According to French, the gelding started out his show career as a dressage horse in Europe before he was imported by Tammy Provost and found his place in the hunter ring.

French had complete faith in the young horse to handle the potentially spooky environment around the Stonelea Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park where spectators both on foot and in golf carts surrounded the arena for all thirty trips of Thursday’s final round.

“He’s definitely not spooky,” French said. “He didn’t really need to go in and walk around and see anything [during the course familiarization]. Maybe I walked them in the ring and walked them once around the outside to see all the banners, but I wasn’t worried that he’d look at anything.”

French and Stewart are in agreement on the success of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive program, and French in particular appreciates the way the program has adapted in just two years. Even if you’re not coming for the money, it’s worth it,” French said of the championship experience. “I think they’ve done a great job.”

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday – Saturday

Showing the competition just how it was done, Emanuel Andrade was the pilot on all three of the top horses in the 1.30m Open Jumpers Wednesday at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. His quick trips in the speed class were three of only four scores to break the 50-second mark. Ramiro Quintana claimed the fourth spot in the 1.30m, but he came back in the 7-and 8-Year Old Jumpers to beat out Andrade for first and second place.

Andrade began his string of dominating performances with the nimble Hanoverian gelding Carboni 3, whose score would hold as Andrade’s and the class’s fastest time.

Andrade was also pleased with the performances of his second place mount Black Pearl and the third place Holsteiner mare Costa.

The 7- and 8- Year Old Jumpers took to the arena next in the Rolex Stadium. Young horses maneuvered the course with speed and exactness in hopes of competing in the immediate jump-off round and ultimately gaining the top spot.  

Again Andrade showed off his impressive string of horses, but he was bested in the class by Quintana’s mounts Tua Efele, a Selle Francais mare, and Bialda, a Dutch Warmblood mare. St. Bride’s Farm in Upperville, VA owns both of the impressive mares. Andrade closed up the top three in the class with his mount C Jack Sparrow.

Before he flies off to France to represent New Zealand in the World Equestrian Games, Sharn Wordley is aiming to take top prizes at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. Thursday he beat out all contenders in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers with Ashland Stables’ speedy stallion Popstar Lozonais. Shane Sweetnam was close on his heels with Rose Hill Farm’s Fineman in second place and Spy Coast Farm’s Solerina in third.

Wordley made his only ride of the class count when he produced a fault free run to try his hand at the immediate jump-off round. His tight turns and speed to the fences put Popstar Lozonais as the horse to beat.

Following in his wake was Shane Sweetnam with the second, third and fifth place finishers. Fineman, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, jumped to second place with a solid ride, taking the tight inside turn to the last fence of the jump-off with ease.

Over in the Walnut Ring, the 1.35m Open Jumper class was contested by Emanuel Andrade’s mount Costa, who was the third place finisher in Wednesday’s 1.30m Open Jumpers Class and returned to take the blue. David Beisel and his mount Call Me Hannes took second while Alex Granato on Gangsta took third.

Who ever said lightning never strikes the same place twice has not met Pablo Barrios. On Friday, the Venezuelan rider once again piloted Antares to the top of the pack in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic presented by Zoetis, mimicking his effort two weeks prior in the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix.

The win comes just in time for Barrios to add to his stockpile of points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus before he jets off to Normandy for the World Equestrian Games. The $50,000 bonus is given to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the Hagyard Challenge Series, a summer-long set of seven show jumping events at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Friday night’s prix marked the fifth class in the series.

Barrios has more than twice the number of points as the next closest rider, and he has earned them on a number of different horses, Antares being his most recent victor. The 9-year-old bay gelding is getting ready to compete in the WEG with Barrios, and looks to be in fine form.

Thirteen horses jumped clean over the Allen Rheinheimer designed course, and Antares went early in the jump off with plenty of speed horses behind him, including second place finisher Ramiro Quintana on Caramello Z. Barrios shaved seconds off his time by taking an inside turn coming out of a one stride combination to a vertical before galloping for the finish over the Hagyard fence.

“He’s so clever,” Barrios said of Antares. “I mean when I turned to that vertical after the in and out, I found the vertical at the last minute after the inside turn, and he just pats the ground and jumps beautiful.

In sharp contrast to Barrios’ big horse was second place finisher Ramiro Quintana’s mount Caramello Z. The short and spicy 9-year-old mare missed the winning time in the jump off by fractions of a second to seal Barrios’ victory.

Apple earned her namesake treat Saturday morning with a win in the Rolex Stadium for the High Junior/Amateur Jumpers. While none of the 9 horse and rider pairs were able to jump the challenging course clear, Sarah Bagworth aboard her horse Apple, had the fastest four-fault round to take first place.

The Belgian Warmblood mare traveled around the course with speed and efficiency, knocking only one rail, a result good enough to claim the blue ribbon. Bagworth, of King City, Ontario, credits Apple with the win.

“She’s a super cool horse, very fast and careful and very brave,” said Bagworth. “I can go into the ring and not really have to think about anything because she always tries 110 percent. I just have to try my best to match her.”

Close behind Bagworth, also with one rail down, was Spencer Brittan on Clapton, a Warmblood gelding owned by Sweet Oak Farm. Brittan competed last night in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and went up against some big names to claim third place. His run this morning grabbed him a second place finish.  Bagworth and Brittan both had one rail down. Louise Graves on Zavira grabbed third with one rail down and two time faults.

Competition at the Kentucky Horse Park will continue this week with the KHJA Horse Show. For more information please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.

 

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