Kentucky Spring Horse Show Series Week Two Wrap-up,
Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show, CSI 3*, May 17-21, 2006

Smokin’ Joe Does it Again! Fargis Wins $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix at Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show

For the second Sunday in a row, Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Fargis and Edgar 12 raced to victory in grand prix competition at the Kentucky Horse Park. The duo’s win brought the two weeks of action at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows to a close in stunning fashion. Fargis topped a jump-off field of five for the win in the $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Lexington.

Today’s event was a member event of the American Grand Prix Association tour. Entering its twenty-eighth year, the AGA Grand Prix Series of Show Jumping is the world’s richest and longest running series of equestrian show jumping events. The AGA series offers over $3 million dollars in prize money on a tour that encompasses thirty events and twenty different equestrian markets across the United States.

Twenty-five starters lined up for the 2 p.m. main event, scored under FEI Art. 238.2.2. Time First Jump-Off. Olympic Course Designer Leopoldo Palacios of Caracas, Venezuela created the challenging track for today’s $50,000 class.

Joe Fargis and Edgar 12 win the $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show.
©2006 Anne Gittins Photography

Five horse and rider combinations were clear over the initial offering and qualified for the speed round. One rider completed the course without jumping penalties, but failed to cross the finish line in the allotted time and picked up a single time fault. Seven riders had a single rail or a foot in the water for four faults. Four had eight faults, four had twelve, and four had more than twelve.

Keri Potter Pessoa led off the five horse jump-off with her second clear round of the day on her mount Rockford I. Pessoa, while not extremely fast, put the pressure on with an efficient clear go. She posted the time to beat of 33.54 seconds.

Eliza Shuford and Larentino, owned by the Larentino Group, chased down Pessoa’s time but pulled a rail in the process. She moved into second place with a score of four and a time of 29.67 seconds.

Mark Leone and Great American owned by the All Seasons Farm and Ri-Arm Farms, caught Pessoa and moved to the top of the leader board with two remaining. Leone sliced 1.38 seconds off of Pessoa’s time, clocking in at 32.16 seconds.

Leone barely had time to catch his breath before he lost his lead to Joe Fargis and Edgar 12. For the second week in a row, Fargis was superb. While last week’s win was by only fractions of a second, today’s victory was a dominating performance. Fargis put the pedal to the metal, and never let up from start to finish. The Sunday afternoon throng went wild as Fargis raced home in 29.16 seconds, a full three seconds faster than Leone.

“I saw Mark go,” said a smiling Fargis following his victory lap. “Again, like last week, you try and do a little bit better than the other guy. And I had Jimmy [Torano] behind me. So really, I just galloped as fast as I could gallop and not be out of control. And again this week, the horse responded.” Fargis added, “He’s in very good humor these couple of weeks.”

“Joe’s extremely fast. I knew, with him and Jimmy [Torano] behind me, for sure they’d have the time,” said second place finisher Mark Leone. “I watched Keri [Pessoa], and I thought I could be a little faster than her and try and take the lead, and then see where it ended up. And, it paid off great. A second place for that horse, with Joe winning, is an excellent finish,” he said.

Jumper Highlights: Wednesday through Saturday

Overcast skies and cold temperatures greeted exhibitors at the Kentucky Spring Classic, the second week of equestrian competition at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. But unlike the very wet opening day during week one, the predicted rain had not arrived even after jumper action at the Johnson Arena was wrapped up on Wednesday. Conditions were ideal for both Linda Sheridan and Pablo Barrios as they notched the first two wins of the week in the big ring.

Olympic Course Designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela is designing the challenges this week at the Johnson Arena. The 10:00 a.m. opener was the 1.40m Jumpers, scored under Table II Sec. 1, Time First Round. Forty-two starters lined up for the speed class.

Last week’s winner, Aaron Vale and Artur 28, owned by Millstream, Inc., appeared to be headed for back to back wins when the duo raced through the timers in 67.311 seconds. Vale went early, and his lead held through almost half of the class. But near the halfway point, he was bumped to second place and then to an eventual third place finish at the end.

Riding out of the twentieth spot in the order, Linda Sheridan and her mount Invitational grabbed the top spot and never let go. She clocked in a second and a half ahead of Vale in 65.799 seconds.

Near the end of the class, Pablo Barrios relegated Vale to third place as he and his mount Nice to See You tripped the timers in 66.013 seconds.

“Today was our first win together,” said Sheridan following her dash to top honors. “I showed him this year in Florida in the 1.35m Jumpers and a couple of 1.40m Jumpers, and he got some nice ribbons, and last year he got a couple of mini-prix ribbons. The win is really exciting; I’m really thrilled. I love the horse, and he’s been great. I couldn’t be happier with the way he jumped today.” She then picked out the key to her Wednesday win. “I was pretty fast from two to three and then the roll back to the plank is where I really made up some time. I thought the course was good. It had a couple of roll back turns and a couple of good long gallops which was especially good for my horse.”

“He’s a ten year old, and I’ve had him for a couple of years. He’s by Olisco and out of a full sister to Gem Twist, so he certainly has some interesting breeding,” smiled Sheridan.

Curioso Z and Pablo Barrios take opening day feature at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show.
©2006 Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com

In the 1.45m feature, scoring was under USEF Table II, Sec. 2 (b), Time First Jump-Off, twenty-one starters went to the post in the second class. Only four of the starters advanced to the tiebreaker with clean rounds. Eight first round riders had four faults, five had eight, and three had more than eight faults.

Wilhelm Genn, just back from Germany where he celebrated his mother’s eighty-fifth birthday, was the early leader with a double clear ride and a jump-off time of 49.606 seconds on Happy Z. Following Genn, Mark Leone elected to retire with Pinkata De Longpre in the jump-off round.

Then it was Pablo Barrios’ time again. Finishing just off the pace in the first class, Barrios was not about to let that happen a second time. Aboard Ron Krise’s Curioso Z, Barrios flashed across the tiebreaker finish line 7/10ths of a second faster than Genn. Posting a time of 48.808 seconds, Barrios grabbed the lead, and then held his breath as Peter Leone mounted the final challenge of the day. On Lionshare Farm’s Icon, Leone could only muster a time of 50.584 seconds, a time that would relegate him to third place.

Barrios talked about his fairly new equine partner. “He’s eight years old. I just got him about seven months ago. Today was his first 1.45m class, so I was very happily surprised with the win,” he said. “He responded very well today. Last year at this time he was doing the 7-8 Year Old Jumpers.” Barrios went on to say, “I’m really kind of surprised my time held up through the class. I guess I was a little lucky. He’s not really a speed horse; he’s more scopey for the big jumps.”

Ottawa, Canada’s Kelley Small won her first career Grand Prix on Thursday afternoon as she toppled veterans Aaron Vale and Debbie Stephens for the win in the $30,000 Lexington Classic, the second leg of the $170,000 Hagyard Jumper Series. The afternoon Johnson Arena feature at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show was graced with gorgeous sunshine at the start, heavy rains, and near hurricane force winds during the latter part of the first round, and then bright sunshine again, all in the course of the two hour competition.

Thirty-eight starters went to the post for the 1p.m. event, scored under FEI Art. 238.2.2, Time First Jump-Off. Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios is this week’s Course Designer. Today’s track proved troublesome for a majority of the competitors, as only three managed first round clears. Two riders came home with no jumping faults, but they were unable to clock in quick enough to beat the snug time allowed and each picked up a single time fault. Seventeen horse and rider combinations had four faults, some with additional time penalties. Six riders had two knockdowns. Ten duos had twelve or more or were eliminated.

Canada’s Kelley Small, aboard Cimmaron Farms’ Calibur, was the first to master the first round course from the seventh spot in the start order. Sixteen horses later, Debbie Stephens and her new partner All Star, owned by Daran Cohen, added their name to the dance card. The jump-off roster was filled out when Aaron Vale and Artur 28 from Millstream, Inc. became the third to qualify, three horses after Stephens.

Vale’s first round was anything but a walk in the park. Shortly after the tone sounded to signal his start, the Kentucky skies turned from beautifully blue to ominously dark. As Vale reached the halfway point of the course, the quick hitting afternoon storm struck. Fierce winds ripped down a number of the jumps, including the jump that Vale was approaching. The judge’s tone signaled a time out and the fences were reset as the winds died down. As Vale started another approach, a second burst of wind wreaked havoc once again. The course was reset, and Vale finally finished with a fault free round. To register his clear go, Vale spent nearly 8 minutes in the ring

And just as quickly as the rain and wind appeared, the skies cleared and the sun was back for the timed tiebreaker.

Kelley Small and Calibur win the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday at the Kentucky Horse Park.
©2006 Anne Gittins Photography

In the speed round, Small returned first and came up big, producing her second clear round of the afternoon. Cruising home clear, she tripped the timers in 42.47 seconds.

As it would turn out, the clean round was all that Small needed for the win. Stephens and All Star had two rails down in the jump-off and crossed the finish line in 45.23 seconds. Vale, one of the nation’s winningest riders, appeared primed to notch career win number 134 on Thursday, but Artur 28 caught a rail coming home, finishing with four faults in a time of 42.29 seconds.

Instead of Vale adding to his long list of accomplishments, it was twenty-one year old Kelley Small of Canada posting her first ever major class victory.

“I’m so excited,” said a beaming Small following the victory gallop. “I have had Calibur for two years, and we’ve developed an unbelievable partnership. I’ve never won a grand prix ever, on any horse. So to win on Calibur, well, I’m just ecstatic. He tries so hard for me,” she said. “I was fourth here Sunday, and I picked up a third in a $75,000 Grand Prix in California this winter. So I can’t even say that I’ve come really close,” she admitted. “Top four finishes aren’t really close, so I’m just thrilled to finally get a win today.”

Vale, with a bead on the lead, had Small holding her breath. “I thought it was all over when Aaron was headed home. I knew he had my time. So I guess it was just my day!”

The next two events in the Hagyard Challenge Series are July 27 and August 3 at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show and the Kentucky Summer Classic Horse Show. 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.

On the first absolutely beautiful day of the two weeks of competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, the sun shone bright on the JET Show Stables in Friday morning action at the Johnson Arena. Nicole Simpson, who has been riding with the Jimmy and Danielle Torano for the past couple of weeks, blew away the field in the opening 1.45m Jumpers; and, following Simpson’s win, Jimmy Torano raced to victory in the 1.35m Jumpers.

Nicole Simpson rode Ralvesther for the win for SCNC Investments of Miami Beach, FL. Simpson completed the tiebreaker with a jump-off time of 34.816 seconds.

Simpson related with a smile, “The mare was fifth in the derby last week and was great this morning in the 1.45 class. It was a big course. Leopoldo definitely built on the big side, and she’s a fast mare, really careful, and a lot of fun to ride.” She continued, “When she gets in the ring, she’s a real winner. When you have a good mare there is nothing better; she goes in and knows her job and is just a blast to ride. Last week, when I did the derby on her, she jumped all of the natural jumps and to have one that does that is always a lot of fun.”

In the 1.35m class, the scoring was Table II, Sec. 2 (b), Time First Jump-Off. Thirty-two horse and rider combinations went to the post. Eight produced first round clears and, of those eight, six went on to be double clear.

In only their second 1.35m class together, Jimmy Torano and his mount Sir Neel emerged victorious, cruising home over the speed course in 38.620 seconds. Pablos Barrios and Nice to See You finished second, 4/10ths of a second off the pace, in 39.018 seconds. Debbie Stephens finished third with Chappie in 39.253 seconds.

“You had to go very, very fast in this class to win today,” said a smiling Torano following his blue ribbon ride. “The first round time allowed was extremely short, so you had to be on it right off the bat from the first round. In the jump-off, Debbie Stephens went in and was blazing fast, and it looked like it was over,” he said. “Then Pablo Barrios went and beat her. I took a second off of Pablo’s time so I know I was very fast today.”

The High Junior Jumpers were also scored under Table II, Sec 2 (b), Time First Jump-Off, with fourteen starters. Three were clear and two went on to be double clear.

Ali Wolf and Hertel Landman raced to the Junior victory after a speedy jump-off ride of 34.102 seconds. She topped Emily Braunstein by three seconds for the win. Braunstein, aboard Innovator, tripped the timers in 37.111 seconds. Pilot and Amelia McArdle were third.

“It was a nice course,” Wolf said. “My biggest problem usually is keeping under the first round time allowed, so today was a big challenge. But I found places to make up some time so it worked out well for me. In the jump-off, he was super, so I’m very happy.”

The same scoring applied for the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Twenty riders lined up for the final class of the day in the Johnson Arena. Five riders mastered the first round track, but only Tracy Weinberg was able to produce a second clear round. She grabbed the win with Larone and finished second with the fastest four fault jump-off ride on Linda Z. Cappy Petersen and Glenn CH were third.

“I had the fastest four fault jump-off ride already in the bank,” said Weinberg. “So with Larone, I wanted to come in and go clear for the win.”

“Larone is one of the most wonderful horses I’ve ever been blessed with,” she said with a smile. “I’ve had him just a year, and he’s the horse that really gives me confidence. He walks into the ring, and every single time he tries to win. He does everything I ask of him.”

For the second Saturday in a row, Aaron Vale and Mobile U turned on the afterburners and raced to an impressive victory. Last week, in their first big class together, Vale and Mobile U took the top prize in the $15,000 Bluegrass Speed Derby. Today, the duo topped a jump-off field of six to win the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic.

Aaron Vale and Mobile U win the $20,000 Bluegrass Classic
.©2006 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com

Thirty-six starters took the field for today’s class, scored under USEF Table II, Sec 2 (a), Time First Jump-Off.

Aaron Vale, with two of the six for the tiebreaker, returned first with Droxello, owned by Millstream, Inc. Vale rolled a rail for four faults and tripped the timers in 43.376 seconds to set the pace.

Following Vale, Mauro Atzeri and Gregory Gingery’s Cokio Vitz scored eight faults in 45.923 seconds. Scott Lenkhart followed Atzeri’s ride with Impulsive, owned by Bennett Sport Horse. Lenkart also clipped a single rail, but his four fault time of 51.696 seconds moved him into second place behind Vale.

Two clean rounds followed in rapid fire succession. Paige Johnson and Salamander Farm’s Kadena R were flawless, coming home under the wire in 43.761 seconds to move to the top of the charts with only two to go. Danielle Torano and her new mount, Vancouver D’Auvery, owned by Sir Ruly Inc., were also perfect over the jump-off course; however, the duo fell just short of Johnson’s mark and moved into second place in 43.935 seconds.

Aaron Vale then had his second chance at the top prize as he returned with Sagamore Farms’ Mobile U. For the second Saturday in a row, this new pairing left the rest of the field in a cloud of dust. Vale caught a break when a hard rub by Mobile U failed to bring down the A element of the double combination, and following that good fortune, Vale turned it up into overdrive for the race to the wire. He whipped across the finish line in 40.518 seconds, a full 3.2 seconds faster than Johnson.

“Boy what a nice horse!” Vale exclaimed following his second Saturday win in a row. “I only got her about a week and a half before Kentucky started. So I really only had two little schools at home before coming here. She’s amazing!”

Hunter Highlights: Thursday through Sunday

The rated hunters competed in the Stonelea Ring for five division championships on Thursday. One such impressive performance was that of Charleston Z and Cookie Beck, who rode for owner Caitlin Ziegler. Beck and the six year old Zangerscheide gelding jumped to an impressive three firsts, one second, and one sixth in the Green Conformation Hunters. Reserve champion in the division was Marshall, ridden by Louise Serio for Meralex Farm.

Beck found Charleston Z through Canadian grand prix rider Eric Lamaze a little over a year ago. “When we tried him, we saw him three days in a row, and he didn’t put a foot wrong. He had just come over from Europe and was just gelded,” Beck remembered. “We jumped him four foot, four foot six, and he didn’t do a thing wrong. I thought ‘How can we not buy him?’”

Not doing anything wrong seems to be the liver chestnut gelding’s forte. “He’s one of the most consistent horses I’ve had,” Beck said. “He’s the best all-around horse in the sense that an 11 year old owns him and shows him in the Children’s Hunters, and yet I can get on and jump him around a four foot course. He’s great either way. He’s really smart. He could go do jumpers if he wanted, and he can do the equitation because he’s really broke.”

Charleston Z’s consistency and willingness over fences is his greatest attribute. Beck mentioned, “He gives you a great, scopey feel over the jump. He always feels the same and would jump through fire if you asked him to.”

It was a sweep for Ken Smith today in the First Year Green Working Hunter division. He piloted Cosmo for Susan Stanley to the championship and Far Niente Equine LLC’s Whitecap to the reserve championship.

Cosmo picked up a first and two seconds in the division. Smith, who owns and trains out of Ashland Farms in Wellington, FL, with wife Emily, explained of Whitecap, “He was first and second yesterday over fences. He was a little green jumping today, but was second in the hack.”

In the Second Year Green Working Hunters, the championship went to MacArthur Park and Peter Pletcher of Magnolia, Texas. Pletcher rode for owner Lynn Walsh. MacArthur Park was first and second over fences on Wednesday and won another blue ribbon over fences on Thursday. His ribbon in the under saddle sealed the tricolor for them over Affadavit and Brian Shook, who rode for Danielle McCluskey Schink.

Popeye K and Tommy Serio, Regular Conformation Hunter champions at Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show.
Photo © 2006 Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com

Course designer Glenn Moody caught a few horses unaware with a stylish barrel and flower design at the end of the ring in Thursday’s hunter classes. Even with an uncharacteristic refusal in one over fences class, Elizabeth Spencer’s Popeye K and Tommy Serio were able to come home with the championship with five out of six wins in the Regular Conformation Hunters. The reserve champion was Corvet Z, who was ridden by Todd Minikus for Gerry and Kathy Newman of Allwyn Court.

Sequel and Terry Brown, who have entered the winner’s circle at some of the nation’s biggest shows, came away with the championship in the Regular Working Hunter division. Sequel won three over fences classes, was second in the remaining over fences, and earned second in the under saddle class. Reserve champion was Game On, ridden by Tommy Serio and owned by Cherry Knoll Farm.

Only one hunter division had a championship presentation on Friday at the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show, but Bruce Duchossois of Aiken, SC, made it worth his while. Duchossois and the aptly named chestnut gelding Regall had all five of their classes in one day, but it did not make a difference to the veteran horse and rider.

Due to inclement weather yesterday, the first two over fences classes for the Adult Amateur 50 & Over Hunters were held first thing this morning in the Claiborne Ring. Later in the afternoon, the more mature riders returned for two more jumping classes and an under saddle.

Duchossois and Regall started the day off on the right foot by taking the blue ribbon in both classes. Duchossois said he did not feel pressure after winning. “Oh no, not at all,” he acknowledged. “With him, I just let him do his thing and hope for the best. Regall was great. He’s a dream. It’s like not riding. The less you do, the better he likes it.” They came back and received first and third over fences and then were second under saddle for the championship.

They had tough competition with Glory Road and Carol Cone, who were fourth and fifth this morning, first again in an over fences class this afternoon, and third in the under saddle. Cone was champion last week, and she and Glory Road picked up the reserve championship this week.

In the Ariat Adult Medal class, Maria Nicholson and Agent 89 of Chicago, IL, showed versatility and impressed the judges. Agent 89 has not shown in a year and Nicholson has only shown once this year, but the 12 year old grey gelding and his rider were right on the money. The medal class called back the top four riders, and Nicholson came back last in the order. Riders were asked to test over a shortened course that included a rollback and a trot jump. Nicholson laid down a sound trip, was awarded with the blue ribbon, and was ecstatic with her win today. “I just get so excited when I’m at a horse show. It’s such a good break from working all the time,” she exclaimed.

It was a beautiful day for hunter competition, and things culminated in another tricolor for the striking bay gelding Westcliffe and Christy Russo in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division.

Westcliffe and Christy Russo, Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter champions. Photo
© 2006 Jennifer Wood/PhelpsSports.com

After a reserve championship in the division last week, Coral Gables, FL resident Russo stepped it up this week. Westcliffe jumped to two firsts and a second place over fences and had the win under saddle as well. Russo trains with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms in Wellington, FL.

After her two blues on Friday, Russo was determined to do well on Saturday. “I was a little bit nervous. After I do well on the first day, I feel like I have to do as well the second day. Otherwise I’m disappointing somebody. But today, I didn’t really worry about it,” she explained. “I waited around until I had to show, went in the ring, and hoped for the best, and that was what happened. My nerves were a lot better today!”

The reserve champion was Castleton, ridden by Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL, for Pamela Dudley of Upperville, VA. Newman added two thirds over fences to her first and sixth places from Friday. “He was very consistent today,” Newman remarked.

In the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters, a familiar face picked up the tricolor ribbon, but it was on a completely new horse. Thirteen year old Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls, OH, piloted Vanity for Becky Gochman of Houston, TX.

Vanity won an over fences class and the under saddle on Friday, and they were third over fences today for the championship. Reserve champions in the division were Gold Krone and Rachel Udelson of Kansas City, MO.

Pletcher knew right away who would be a fitting partner for Vanity. “I’m really good friends with Ken and Emily Smith, and I’ve watched Jennifer ride forever. She’s a fantastic rider. I thought it would be a great match for the horse because she’s so soft and she gets along with different types of horses so well,” he explained. “Jennifer did a great job.”

“Vanity is a beautiful jumper. She leaves a lot of space between herself and the jump. She’s a fantastic mover, and she has a wonderful way of going around the ring,” Pletcher said.

Some of the most well-attended divisions at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows are the Pony Hunter divisions. This week was no different, and the champions in the three divisions, which are divided by a pony’s height, were the best out of many entries.

Strike a Pose and Ande Farish, Small Pony Hunter champions at Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show.
Photo by Anne Gittins

The Small Pony Hunter champion was the veteran campaigner, Strike a Pose, with Ande Farish of Versailles, KY, in the irons. The win was sweet for Farish, who was happy to win in her home state. The 12 year old talent took over the ride this week for little sister Lulu Farish, who had other ponies in the division as well. Strike a Pose is owned by Whitney Roper of Rumson, NJ, and has numerous championships from around the country.

This week, Farish and the adorable white pony finished with two blues and a second over fences in the division. The reserve champion was Incrediblue, ridden by Meredith Darst and owned by Lochmoor Stables.

“I was really excited that I was champion!” Farish said afterwards. Farish appreciates the fact that Strike a Pose has so much experience in the show ring. “He has a really good rhythm. If you follow the rhythm, the jumps pretty much just come up. He has an automatic lead change, so you don’t really worry about that,” she commented. “He has a really fun jump. If it’s long or deep, he just jumps the same. He’s easy to follow.”

Farish trains with Ken and Emily Smith of Ashland Farms in Wellington, FL, as does the Medium Pony Hunter champion, Paige Bellissimo of Wellington. Bellissimo was victorious this weekend on Cloudy Bay, who is owned by Stone Ridge of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Reserve champion in the Medium Ponies was Catamaran, ridden by Christina Lin and owned by Centennial Farm and Marque Cincotta.

After the Laughter and Anna Pavlov were the Large Pony Hunter champions. After the Laughter is owned by Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, but Pavlov trains with Louise Serio. Stewart imported the fancy pony from Europe, where he was a champion cart pony. Pavlov got the ride on the handsome chestnut gelding at the beginning of the year. Their partnership led to two wins over fences on Saturday. They returned Sunday afternoon to pick up another first and second over fences.

“He likes to go slow, but he’s pretty consistent,” Pavlov described. “He’s big, so the jumps aren’t really anything for him. He’s good, and he doesn’t jump too high over them. Nothing really fazes him unless it’s outside the ring.” That was certainly the case this weekend, as the unfazed After the Laughter took the championship over Woodland’s Misty Rain and Sarah Sturges of Columbus, OH.

The Amateur-Owner Hunters also wrapped up competition today. In the young division, which is for riders from the ages of 18 to 35, the championship went to Grey Slipper and Bridget Hallman of Oyster Bay, NY. It was a nice win for Hallman, who got to spend some downtime on her farm in Wellington, FL, with her horses after the Winter Equestrian Festival and before they came to Kentucky.

“We hung out,” Hallman expressed. “The horses had some time off, and we got to trail ride. It’s the one time of the year where I actually get to be with my horses at home. It was really nice to spend time with them.” Hallman’s horses spend a majority of the year with trainer Louise Serio at her farm in Kennett Square, PA.

When Hallman came to Kentucky last week, she had not jumped since the last week of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. “Last week was good. My horses were great, but I was a little rusty,” she explained. “We pulled it together this week and got everything back on track,” she added with a smile. Grey Slipper was first and sixth over fences on Saturday. They returned with a vengeance on Sunday and won all three classes remaining in their division. The reserve championship went to Dream Date and Rachel Geiger of Malvern, PA.

The Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunters concluded as well, and Caroline Moran of Wellington, FL, took home the tricolor with Pavé. Pavé had a first and third over fences and won the under saddle. Primrose and Becky Gochman of Houston, TX, were the reserve champions in the division

Upcoming Kentucky horse shows at the Horse Park, flying the banner of the Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC management team, include: The Kentucky Summer Horse Show, beginning on July 26th – 30th, the Kentucky Summer Classic on August 2nd – 6th, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show on August 16th – 20th, The Kentucky Hunter and Jumper Association Horse Show on August 23rd – 27th, and the Kentucky National Indoor on September 20th – 24th, 2006. All shows have a big money Sunday Grand Prix, and each Thursday marks another leg of the all new $170,000 Hagyard Jumper Challenge Series. The Kentucky National Indoor also features an East Coast League World Cup Qualifier. The USEF National Pony Finals win be contested at the Kentucky Horse Park on August 9th through the 13th, 2006.

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

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