Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series Week One Wrap-up,
Kentucky Spring Horse Show, CSI-3*, May 10-14, 2006

Joe Fargis Edges Aaron Vale by 2/10ths of a Second to Win
$50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at Kentucky Spring Horse Show

Another cold, wet, and blustery day greeted show jumping fans on Sunday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. As nasty as the weather was for the start of the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, just before the jump-off the clouds broke. By the time Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis and Edgar 12 had raced home to the narrowest of wins in the Sunday finale, the sun was shining on the Johnson Arena.

Richard Jeffery of Great Britain designed the test for the $50,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, CSI 3*. Twenty-six starters took the field in the 1 p.m. main event, scored under FEI Art. 238.2.2. Time First Jump-Off. Of the twenty-six that started, six mastered the first round track and booked a ticket for the timed jump-off. Eight competitors had a single rail or a foot in the water for four faults and four riders picked up eight faults. Eight duos had eleven or more.

Defending champion Aaron Vale and Artur 28, owned by Millstream, Inc., immediately served notice that they would be a factor once again this year. Vale was first in the ring and produced the first of the six clear rides. Three horses later, Pablo Barrios and Sun God, owned by Ron Krise, added their name to the tiebreaker list. Following Barrios, six horses later, Angela Moore and Stealaway Farm’s Claus went clear, and two after Moore, Georgina Bloomberg and Gotham Enterprizes’ Cim Christo joined the jump-off party. Eight horses later, Canadian Kelley Small and Cimmaron Farms’ Calibur qualified, and the jump-off field was set one horse later when Joe Fargis and Edgar 12, owned by Mary B. Schwab, became the sixth to master the course.

Jeffery’s original course of fourteen numbered obstacles with seventeen jumping efforts was reduced to seven jumps for the timed jump-off.

Vale, the first clean in the first round, was first to return with Artur 28 in the jump-off. Vale picked a fast gallop from start to finish and cruised home in a hasty time of 38.35 seconds.

An exciting challenge by Pablo Barrios and Sun God fell just short of Vale’s target time. They tripped the timers in 38.64 seconds, .29 seconds off the lead time. Knockdowns for Angela Moore and Georgina Bloomberg bumped them out of contention. Kelley Small, while clean with Calibur, was well off of Vale’s top pace in 40.66 seconds. That left the veteran Joe Fargis with his seasoned partner Edgar 12 standing between Vale and back to back Commonwealth Grand Prix victories.

Fargis never took back on his rapid race around the short course, hitting the intermediate time right on pace with Vale and Artur 28. The cheering crowd was on their feet as Fargis raced for the finish, clocking in at 38.17 seconds, just under 2/10ths of a second faster than Vale.

“You know, a lot of people plot and plan, but I couldn’t really plot and plan for two tenths of a second. I just went as fast as I could go,” said a smiling Fargis following his Sunday win. “There wasn’t any strategy, other than kicking. There wasn’t any inside turn to make. You just had to gallop, and the fastest one won.”

“I left the door open just a little bit,” said a disappointed Vale following his second place finish. “I didn’t do a real good job getting my horse’s eye on the second fence in the jump-off, and he kind of faded away from the distance. He got real long, so he really had to stretch for the back bar of that oxer, and it really took two or three strides for him to get his feet back underneath him.” Vale took full responsibility for today’s second place finish. “It was completely a rider error. You know, when you’re going at this level against riders as good as Joe Fargis, there’s no room for the slightest mistake. Most people wouldn’t even notice what happened there, but I knew I did something wrong, and in the end, that’s just the opening that a rider like Joe needs to beat you,” he admitted. “One small little hiccup, invisible to most people, cost me just enough time to lose the class. But, my horse jumped super and hopefully will again next week.”

Fargis watched Vale’s jump-off ride. “I wanted to watch him go because he’s very, very fast and a very good rider. So I watched him, and then I went and got ready for my ride.”

Fargis had nothing but kind words for his long-time equine partner Edgar. “He is a wonderful old buddy. He’s reliable, and he’s been great to me. I just have so much fun with him every time I go in the ring, and today was another great day. Even if there’s not another grand prix in his future, he’s seventeen and he’s already done his job. Every day is a bonus with Edgar,” he said.

Jumper Highlights- Wednesday through Saturday

Competitors at the 2006 Kentucky Spring Horse Show were greeted with a steady rain and a threat of late day severe weather as a slow moving storm front moved through the Lexington area on Wednesday. But the downpour did nothing to slow down Aaron Vale as he grabbed two of the day’s featured jumper events. Vale galloped to victory in the 1.40m Jumpers at the Johnson Arena, outlasting forty-two other competitors for the victory. In the 1.30m Jumpers at the Walnut Ring, Vale was even more impressive as he grabbed the top five prizes in a class of fifty-six starters.

This week’s courses are being designed by Great Britain’s Richard Jeffery. The scoring for the class was Table II, Sec 1, Time First Round. Forty-three starters went to the post in the 10 a.m. opener at the Johnson Arena.

Vale edged Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden by less than 3/10ths of a second for today’s win. Vale, aboard his long time partner Artur 28, owned by Millstream, Inc., cruised home in 70.129 seconds. Madden on Conquest II, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton, fell just short of Vale’s target in 70.389 seconds.

“I really was in there just to relax him and get him trained up for the big classes,” said Vale following today’s win. “I went early, before the bad weather. It was kind of a galloping course, and he’s got a fast gallop. I wasn’t trying too hard, but I think the weather deteriorated after I went, and that helped my ride hold up through all those other horses.”

The 1.30m Jumpers, held in the Walnut ring under a Table II, Section 2(b) format, had a pool of 56 riders compete over the course designed by Jose “Pepe” Gamarra of Venezuela. Aaron Vale had an extraordinary sweep in the class and occupied the top five slots in the final class rankings.

Vale piloted Rio 2, owned by Millstream Inc., to a first place finish with a speedy jump off time of 28.098 seconds, edging La Gato into second place. La Gato and Mobile U, Vale’s mount that captured third, are also owned by Millstream Inc. The fourth place award went to Mexico 47, owned by Paxton Mendelssohn of Aiken, South Carolina, and fifth was pinned on the bridle of Millsteam Inc.’s Leone.

In the 1.45m Jumpers, the second event at the Johnson Arena, the weather took its toll as many of the starters elected to call it a day early. Scoring was under Table II, Sec. 2b, Time First Jump-Off. Because of the deteriorating conditions, the class was reduced to seven starters.

Great American, owned by All Seasons and Ri-Arm Farm, produced the only clear round for today’s win with Mark Leone aboard,

“The conditions were a little rough for opening day,” laughed a water logged Leone after picking up the top prize. “The really wet weather, and more importantly, the water jump was in today’s class. My horse is a little spooky and a little young and I’ve been working on that. So, I had to show today just to set him up for the Thursday and Sunday Grand Prix events. So, today was an important class for me.”

Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY splashed her way to the top in the 1.35m Jumpers, the first class of Thursday morning held in the Walnut Arena. Despite the gray clouds and showers, Bloomberg’s mount Lancelot, owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, jumped flawlessly over the course held under a Table II , Section 2(b) format. After a clear first round, the duo completed the jump off without fault and blazed through the timers in 32.951 seconds, an impressive seven seconds faster than the second place finisher. Nicole Simpson and her mount Intrepid D’Elle, owned by SCNC Investments, took home second place honors with a time of 39.570 seconds.

“Lancelot had a lot of time off since the winter, and this is his first show back,” commented Bloomberg about her win. “We just started jumping him last week, so it was nice for him to come back and do so well today. The course was great because there were options and an open water. I’m going to keep him in the meter 1.35 for the week because he’s going great, and he’s just getting back into the show ring.” She added, “We just want to give him a little time in the ring because we’re taking him to Europe next week. He has a big tour coming up, so it’s better to have one solid show at a smaller level.”

The heavy rains and blustery conditions that continued in Lexington on Thursday forced the postponement of the inaugural event in the $170,000 Hagyard Challenge Series. The $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, originally scheduled for noon, will be contested in the Johnson Arena at 9 a.m. on Friday morning.

The spring storm has dumped over three inches of rain on the Kentucky Horse Park in the past 24 hours, and mixed with today’s wind and cold weather, made for miserable conditions. “I just wanted to do what was best for the competitors,” said Show Manager Hugh Kincannon. “The footing in the Johnson Arena was sloppy, but it really holds up well under these conditions, and the class could have gone this afternoon without a problem. But it was just such an ugly day, and with time available on tomorrow’s schedule, I thought it would be best to postpone until the morning.”

In other jumper action on Thursday, Aaron Vale continued to pour it on, finishing first and second in the 1.35m Jumpers at the Walnut Ring. This follows a first through fifth place finish yesterday. Vale rode Serval, owned by the Serval Group, to the win, cruising home clean in the jump-off with a winning time of 27.540 seconds. Vale, riding Leone, owned by Millstream, Inc., was two seconds off of that pace for second. Leone’s finish time was 29.573 seconds. Lorrie Canady finished third with Galway Farm’s Audi’s Classic Pleasure. Canady was clear in 31.790 seconds. Twenty-three starters went to the post and nine advanced to the tiebreaker with clean rounds. Six competitors went on to be double clear.

In the 1.30m Jumpers, also scored under Table II, Sec 2 (b), forty-five horse and rider combinations lined up for the start. Twenty-one went clean and advanced to the speed phase, with Mary Lisa Leffler emerging victorious. Leffler piloted Rolling Acres’ Kartousch to the win, crossing the finish line in 29.549 seconds. She was 1.4 seconds faster than second place finisher, Debbie Stephens and Chappie, owned by the Centennial Farms. Stephens tripped the timers in 30.970 seconds. Ariana Wallace and Clitschko finished third in 31.731 seconds.

In the only Johnson Arena action on Thursday, Todd Minikus piloted Tracy Topping’s Elton to the win in the 1.40m Jumpers. It was Minikus’ first time on the horse, and he commented about how much he enjoys the challenge of an unfamiliar mount. “Well, it’s not my first day at the rodeo going in on horses I’ve never ridden before,” he laughed. “I kind of enjoy that. Not that it’s not enough of a challenge riding horses you know, but to ride horses that you don’t know adds a little extra something to your day.”

It was a change of wardrobe for the competitors on Friday morning as they gratefully stashed their rain gear and donned their winter parkas for the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, the inaugural event of the $170,000 Hagyard Challenge Series. The class, rescheduled from Thursday afternoon, kicked off the morning activities at the Johnson Arena at 9 a.m.

Of the thirty-five horse and rider combinations that started, twelve produced clear round efforts over the first course. Another eight competitors came home with four faults, four had eight faults and two had twelve. Ten had more than twelve faults or were eliminated.

In the timed tiebreaker, Eliza Shuford and Larentino, owned by the Larentino Group, and Aaron Vale on Millstream, Inc.’s Artur 28 each had four faults, with Vale taking the early lead with a faster time of 35.42 seconds. Following Vale, Angela Moore and Claus, owned by the Stealaway Farms, had two down for eight faults in 37.43 seconds.

Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden returned fourth on Play On, owned by Allan Shore, Jr. Madden registered the first clear round of the speed phase, flashing across the finish line in 37.49 seconds.

Although four of the final five riders went clear over the short course, none were able to catch Madden’s time. Mark Leone and Great American, owned by All Seasons and Ri-Arm Farm, clocked in at 40.16 seconds. Peter Pletcher piloting Gray Wolf Farm’s Plesant broke the beams in 39.03 seconds, and Jimmy Torano on Ormsby Hill owned by Torano and Sir Ruly, Inc., slipped under the wire in 38.01 seconds.

Two rounds of four faults followed the three clear rides, one for Cara Raether and U Blesco, tripping the timers in 42.07 seconds, and the second for Salamander Farm’s Kadena R and Paige Johnson, who finished in 40.02 seconds.

Georgina Bloomberg and Nadia, owned by Gotham Enterprizes was the last to go in the tiebreaker and came closest to catching Madden. Bloomberg raced home in 37.86 seconds, but fell 3/10ths of a second short of the target.
“I went fourth, and everybody before me had faults,” detailed a smiling Madden following the victory gallop. “So I decided to do all of the numbers I had planned earlier and make some neat turns, but I wasn’t going to run like crazy. He’s naturally pretty fast so it worked out perfectly.”

For second place finisher Bloomberg, today’s jump-off was a big step forward with her long time partner Nadia. “She had a bad end to the Florida circuit. She had a couple of mishaps,” she revealed. “Now we’re just making our way back into the big classes with her again, so we’re just at the end of a rebuilding phase. So, I didn’t want to go as fast as I would have gone had she been on the top of her game. But today was a great confidence building ride, and I couldn’t be happier with her progress,” Bloomberg said.

The next event in the Hagyard Challenge Series is next Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic, and the series continues throughout the summer at the Horse Park. The final event, the $50,000 CSI-W Lexington at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show on September 22, 2006, is a U.S. East Coast League World Cup Qualifier.

Aaron Vale, one of the most successful show jumping riders in United States history, continues to pour in Lexington this week. His latest triumph, his seventh win of the week, came on Saturday morning in the demanding $15,000 Bluegrass Derby.

Scoring for the $15,000 Bluegrass Derby on Saturday was USEF Table III, Faults Converted Into Seconds, with four seconds added for each knockdown. Twenty-nine hopefuls went to the post for the 10am start.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton’s Conquest II, a past winner of this event with Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden at the controls, grabbed the early lead today. Riding out of the fifth slot in the starting order, the duo stayed at the top of the charts through a majority of the class. Madden toured the course in 89.737 seconds, with no penalty seconds added on.

Three challengers, Todd Minikus on Elton, owned by Tracy Topping, Timbuktu, owned by Emily Zand and ridden by Peter Leone, and Serval Group’s Serval, piloted by Aaron Vale, all saw their potentially winning times increased by four seconds for a single knockdown.

Madden was finally unseated when Aaron Vale, riding out of the twenty-seventh spot in the twenty-nine horse field, tripped the timers in an amazing 86.278 seconds, a shocking 3.4 seconds faster than Madden. Vale’s win came aboard Mobile U, owned by the Sagamore Farms.

Vale had a chance to watch Madden go and had time to figure out his personal game plan for victory. “She put in a real good, fast round. She was quite quick everywhere,” he said. “I’m not sure where I made up the time exactly, maybe just a little bit everywhere on the course.” Then he added, “I think my route up to and then down the bank was a lot quicker than most riders.”

“This is one of those classes you look forward to every year. You read the Kentucky Spring Horse Show prize list, you see the Derby, and you start thinking if you might have a horse or two that might have a good chance in the class,” said Vale. “It’s a classic, old-time class. Richard [Jeffery] sets the same track every year, and it’s really a lot of fun. Actually, the rain we’ve had this week and the muddy, sloppy conditions almost add a little nostalgia to it,” he smiled. “It was a lot of fun galloping around out there.”

Hunter Highlights- Thursday through Sunday

The First Year Green Working Hunter division began the week with a total of 33 entries. After winning both over fences classes on Wednesday, Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, Texas, returned to the arena with his mount Castle, a seven year old owned by Mary J. Stone of Austin, Texas. Castle’s wins from Wednesday carried over into Thursday’s point tally, rewarding the duo with the high score division championship.

The reserve championship in the First Year Green Hunters was awarded to Cosmo and Ken Smith of Ashland Farm. Smith resides in Wellington, Florida, and piloted Cosmo for Susan Stanley of Delray Beach, FL. The horse and rider combination won a first and second over fences on Thursday.

In the Green Conformation Hunter division, Louise Serio, the 2005 Monarch International Show Circuit Magazine World Championship Professional Hunter Rider, rode for top honors on Bridget Hallman’s stallion Theory. Serio of Kennett Square, PA, earned a first and second over fences on Wednesday and captured first and second over fences on Thursday, as well as a third place under saddle. The pair’s excellent performance sealed the Green Conformation Hunter division championship.

“Theory was fantastic,” exclaimed Serio. “He’s a young horse; he just turned five years old, and he’s a stallion. We got him in Florida, and he’s been a little bit green. Here he just rose to the occasion and was fantastic both days. I thought the footing held up great, and I was really happy with all of my rounds.”

Wellington, Florida resident Tim Goguen was awarded the reserve championship aboard Janet Read’s Boulveard Deir. Goguen won the under saddle and an over fences on Thursday and picked up fourth and fifth placings in Wednesday’s classes.

For the Second Year Green Working Hunters, Peter Pletcher took home another division tricolor aboard Mac Arthur Park, owned by Lynn Walsh. Improving upon Wednesday’s second and third ribbons, they jumped their way up the rankings to second and first on Thursday. The reserve champion went to Chris Payne of Cincinnati, OH, aboard Call It Art. Call It Art is owned by Taylor Baird.

In the Regular Conformation Hunters, Tommy Serio had a clean sweep, winning every class with Popeye K. Popeye K, owned by Elizabeth Spencer, had an unbeatable performance and took home the overall championship.

Reserve Champion of the Regular Conformation Hunters went to Corvet Z, a horse owned by Kathy and Gerry Newman of Allwyn Court Farm. Corvet Z, who normally shows in the Junior Hunters with their fifteen year old daughter Katherine, was piloted by Todd Minikus to gain experience for the horse over larger jumps.

Todd Minikus remarked about the horse, “He’s a very, very good jumper, and a fantastic horse in the making. I’ve been working with Katherine since Palm Beach, and I’ve watched him have a lot of success in the Junior Hunters. To my surprise, Gerry and Kathy [Newman] asked me if I would show him here in the Regular Working Conformation, and I thought it was a great idea. I think he has the ability and the scope of being more than a Junior Hunter, and we were very pleased with how he went this week.”

In the Regular Working Hunters, another five for five victory occurred with Terry Brown on the unbeatable horse Sequel. Sequel, owned by Showcase Ltd., hails from Canton, GA. Brown triumphed in all five classes, securing her win of the championship award. The reserve championship went to Tommy Serio and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Game On.

The Adult Amateur 50 and Older Hunters concluded on Friday at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show inside the Indoor Arena. After competing in the Murphy Ring on Thursday, competitors were excited and nervous to ride inside, and the under saddle class was held before the over fences classes to ease their nerves.

Carol Cone and Glory Road of Weton, MA, remained consistently strong after first and second placings over fences on Thursday. The pair earned first place in the under saddle and another first place over fences, sealing the overall division championship for Cone.

The reserve champion of the Adult Amateur 50 and Older division was awarded to Peggy O’Meara of Kent, WA, and Final Entry. Final Entry, owned by Woodland Way, took home two first places over fences and a third place under saddle.

The weather improved for the start of the weekend for the first spring show at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The junior hunters, split into four divisions based on the horse’s height and the rider’s age, finished their competition on Saturday.

In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, the championship went to a young horse named Trust Me. The six year old Dutch Warmblood was imported last year by owner and rider Shannon Kelly of Woodridge, IL, and trainer Tina Judge, and this was his first show of the year. They started out on a good note, placing first and second over fences and second under saddle on Friday. Saturday afternoon brought another third and fourth place over fences for the pair. Reserve champion in the division was Inner Circle, ridden by Sarah Tredennick for Lochmoor Stables and Woodrun Farm.

Ashley Hotz of Shamong, NJ, captured the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship on her own horse, Regalia. Despite a tender age of seven, the half-Thoroughbred, half-Trakehner gelding was very consistent this week. Regalia finished with two firsts and two seconds over fences. Another blue ribbon in the under saddle class sealed the tricolor. The reserve championship went to A Thousand Words and Denise Wilson.

“He’s a really good mover, so that definitely helps with the championship or reserve,” Hotz acknowledged. “He takes you a little bit [to the jumps], which I like. He’s usually really good about adjusting to new places and isn’t spooky. He’s fun to ride, and he’s definitely a character. Tons of personality!”

Young Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, OH, continued her winning ways in the younger junior hunter divisions. In the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division, she took home the tricolor on her own horse, The Frog Prince. Waxman returned to the winner’s circle once again in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters on Whitney Roper’s Saloon, who she piloted for a Winter Equestrian Festival circuit championship this winter.

In the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, Samantha Hallman of Wellington, Florida, and her mount Lucky, who certainly lives up to his name, excelled this week for impressive top honors. On Friday, the duo won both over fences classes held in the Indoor Arena, and the luck continued in the Murphy Arena on Saturday. Winning a first and second over courses, which were designed by Archer “Skip” Bailey, the pair locked in the division championship.

“I’ve had Lucky, who is a Danish Warmblood, since 2002,” reported Hallman about her horse. “It’s good to have him back here because we weren’t sure if he was feeling a little too ‘mature’ to show. But, he’s great, and he was good all around. His little sister, my young horse C. C. Bloom, won the other over fences, so it was a great week.”

Reserve champion in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters was awarded to Hudson and Maureen Haffer of Mentor, OH. Hudson, who is owned by Linda Udelson of Russell, OH, took home two third places, a seventh, and two second place ribbons. Haffer trains with Louise Serio from Kennett Square, PA.

In the Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunter division, Francis Briggs and Skyy, owned by Salamander Farm of The Plains, VA, topped the charts with three blue ribbon wins. With their triple victory, a third, and a fifth under saddle, the horse and rider combination ended their show week with the division championship. Briggs is from Nashville, Tennessee, and rides with Tom Wright.

Stephanie Ingram, who is also a student of Tom Wright and from Nashville, TN, won the reserve champion in the Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunters with her horse Pilgrim. Ingram and Pilgrim were third and fourth on Friday and first and seventh on Saturday.

The pony hunters wrapped up competition today in two different arenas and in three main divisions. The ponies are split by height into Small, Medium, and Large divisions. The Large Pony Hunters were dominated by the number one pony in the country, Cherrybrook’s Blue Suede Shoes, and rider Paulena Johnson of Bristol, VA.

The Johnson Family recently purchased the successful dapple grey pony from Alexandra Thornton and Dunwalke LLC after the Winter Equestrian Festival for their youngest member, Lexi. Since Lexi does not show at the Large Pony Hunter height of three feet yet, big sister Paulena took the reins for their first show together. The Johnsons train with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farm in Wellington, FL.
The tall 13 year old quickly adjusted to riding a pony. She and “Elvis” were sixth in their first class together. “Yesterday was

my first course on him,” Johnson recalled. “I was thinking that I was on a pony, and I was going a little too fast and ate up the lines.” Johnson then fine-tuned her ride and returned to win the following over fences class. In Sunday’s classes, Elvis and Johnson were first and second over fences and fourth under saddle. Reserve champion in the Large Pony Hunters was Woodland’s Misty Rain and owner and rider Sarah Sturges.

The Medium Pony Working Hunters concluded in the Murphy Arena, and Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, OH, continued her winning streak with a catch ride on Frostin. Frostin is owned by Far Niente Equine of Wellington, Florida, and Waxman piloted the pony for the Bellissimo family. The duo topped the charts with a first and a second over fences and added to their tally of points from Saturday’s high placings.

The division championship was placed on Frostin’s bridle after her successful performance, and the reserve championship was placed in Waxman’s hand for her show on Cloudy Bay. Cloudy Bay is owned by Stone Ridge of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Waxman, who frequents the winner’s circle often, trains with Ken and Emily Smith. The pony earned a first, second, two thirds, and a sixth in the division.

“Jennifer did a great job today,” commented Emily Smith. “The ponies both jumped beautifully. The Bellissimos couldn’t make it this week, so she rode for them just for the weekend. She did a very nice job, and they really jumped well. We’re from Florida. This is freezing cold weather for them, and they were really well behaved. I was proud of them.”

In the Small Pony Working Hunter division, Far From Home and Megan Davis from Lutherville, Maryland, earned the division tricolor. Reserve Champion went to Shine with Lulu Farish in the irons for Lanes End Pony Stable of Versailles, KY. Far From Home won two classes and a fourth, and Shine stayed consistent for four second place finishes.

The Amateur-Owner Hunters also finished up their classes on Sunday. In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 division, the championship went to Dream Date and Rachel Geiger of Malvern, PA. Geiger rides with Louise Serio of Kennett Square, PA. Reserve champion was Reagan, ridden and owned by Tracy Scheriff.

Geiger has had a long and successful career with Dream Date, a ten year old Oldenburg gelding that she bought as a four year old. They started in the Children’s Hunters, “because he was really, really green,” but then advanced to the Junior Hunters and Amateur-Owner division.

As Dream Date (or “Bubbles,” as he is called in the barn) matured, he and Geiger developed a strong bond. Geiger described, “He’s honest and tries really hard. Whenever it’s a big class and he knows the pressure is on, he steps up. He’s pretty good at it!” Dream Date proved that this week in Kentucky, as he jumped to first, second, third, and sixth place ribbons and was third in the under saddle.

Cayman and Jamie Martin of Providence Hill Farm won both over fences classes on Saturday and were sixth in the under saddle for the tricolor in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters. The pair has not shown in two months, but they are used to entering the winner’s circle. They have collected tricolor ribbons at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Devon horse Show. Martin is competing in Kentucky along with her daughter Tinsley, who won the 11 & Under Equitation over fences and the Show Circuit National Children’s Medal this week.

Martin held on for the championship over Rio Renoir and Brad Wolf, although they did not place in the last two over fences classes. “He was tired today, but I think it’s because we haven’t been to a horse show in two months. He just didn’t jump as brilliantly today as he did yesterday,” she elaborated. “He didn’t really do anything wrong. That’s a tough division. You’re either on the money or not.”

Martin trains with Otis Brown Jr., who calls Cayman “the perfect amateur horse.” Martin detailed, “He’s easy to prepare for the ring, and he lives at home with us. He’s very calm, even on the coldest days. I can hack him around the whole farm. He’s a real gentleman all of the time and tries really hard to never misbehave.”

Sunday’s classes wrapped up competition for the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, but riders will stay in Lexington to compete next week at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show on May 17-21, 2006.

THE KENTUCKY SPRING HORSE SHOWS: http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/

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