Barrios and La Gran Are Two for Two with Second Grand Prix Win
Lexington, KY – July 25, 2009 –
A starting lineup of 35 horse and rider combinations went to post tonight for the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Pablo Barrios of Caracas, Venezuela, carried out a flawless performance aboard La Gran and came away with his second grand prix victory of the week. Barrios also won Thursday evening’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix.
Tonight a tough track was built by course designer Olaf Peterson, Jr. The class, held in the Sheila C. Johnson Arena of the new Main Outdoor Stadium, was scored under a Table II.2 (A) format. Only five exhibitors jumped fault free over the first course and qualified for the jump-off. Michael Morrissey of Bradenton, FL, left all of the first round fences intact; however, he was penalized with one time fault for exceeding the 85 second time allowed. Morrissey rode Crelido for Eugene R. Mische.
The first of five to return for the jump-off was Tracey Fenney and her mount S & L Willie, owned by MTM Farm. As the pair negotiated the first fence of the tie breaker, S & L Willie put on the brakes, and an unfortunate dismount by Fenney solidified her fifth place finish. Fenney is from Flower Mound, TX.
Eliza Shuford of Hickory, NC, and her horse Little John were the next to revisit the ring. Picking up a smooth gallop, Little John jumped beautifully over the course and left all of the fences untouched. Their time of 55.544 seconds set the pace for the following three competitors.
Pablo Barrios rode his first of two mounts that were qualified for the short course. He and Sinatra had a bead on the lead until the oxer at fence one fell to the ground. They clocked in with four faults in 54.789 seconds and finished in fourth place.
Next in the order was Kent Farrington on RCG Farm’s Uceko. Speeding up the first line, Uceko proved to be a true contender. Galloping around the turns and soaring above the fences, Farrington and his mount flew home in 53.862 seconds, surpassing the leading time by 1.682 seconds and taking over first place
Barrios, who was the only rider to qualify two horses for the jump-off, was the final competitor of the night. Combing speed with impulsion, Barrios and La Gran covered the ground quickly, and the horse’s quick stride and stellar turns showed they were a force to be reckoned with. Making up time between fences and never touching a rail, La Gran soared home in 51.907 seconds, edging Farrington and Uceko into second place.
“Tonight was very good,” smiled Barrios after his win. “It was very nice to have two in the jump-off, especially with a very short list of horses going back. Both of my horses feel really, really good. La Gran is a speed horse; he is so fast. I think he can win any class, anywhere. He just needs to be a little lucky and have a good ride. I think he can even go faster than he went tonight,” he said.
Barrios described his winning ride and where he made up time to take over the lead. “I think my track was very close to [Kent’s] track. I think my horse is faster and his strides are quicker. He takes less time in the air. But I think I caught [Farrington] with the time while coming to the last fence. I really angled it and saw the distance from far away and just went for it, like I did the other day,” he grinned.
He mentioned that his other mount, Sinatra, is not as fast as La Gran. “I’m very happy with him. He’s more of a scopey horse,” he revealed. “For that reason, he’s the one I took to the Olympics. He can win a class that’s big, but he is better with bigger jumps and tighter turns. He doesn’t need a long approach to get to a big fence. Here, with the turns, everyone had to gallop and turn in the same places.”
Barrios discussed the course and how it rode for his horses. “I liked the first round a lot for La Gran. I think it was a very good course for him. The triple combination was off the left lead, and La Gran is better off the left. For Sinatra, I wasn’t concerned about anything. I was more concerned with the time allowed because he’s a slow horse. In the prix the other day, I think he was one of the few horses who got caught with the time; the time was very friendly and I still had one time fault. So I was very concerned tonight because I saw a few at the beginning with time faults.
Both Sinatra and La Gran are co-owned by Barrios and Andres Olivares of Wellington, FL. Barrios represents his home country of Venezuela, and he has already qualified both of his horses for next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The games will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The Kentucky Summer Horse Show will conclude tomorrow at the Kentucky Horse Park. Next week the Kentucky Summer Classic will be held at the park. Show jumping highlights include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix sponsored by Air 51 and Audi of Lexington.
1 28 LAGRAN PABLO
BARRIOS, 0, 51.907
For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Show or for a full set of horse show results, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
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