Kentucky Summer Classic Wrap Up: July 29-August 2, 2009

Lexington, KY – August 3, 2009 –

The Kentucky Summer Classic was held at the Kentucky Horse Park from July 26-August 2, 2009. The competition was managed by Kentucky Horse Shows LLC, and jumper highlights included the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Kentucky Classic Grand Prix sponsored by Air 51 and Audi of Lexington.

Jumper Highlights Wednesday Through Sunday

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Summer Classic launched into action at the Kentucky Horse Park. The 1.45m and 1.40m Open Jumper classes started off the morning in the Sheila C. Johnson Ring at the New Outdoor Stadium. Aaron Vale and Chellapo Z scored top honors in the 1.45m class after they jumped penalty free in 33.532 seconds. Chellapo Z is owned by Mimi Abel-Smith of Middleburg, VA.

In the 1.40m Open Jumpers, Angel Karolyi and Galant earned the blue ribbon over the Table II, Sec 1, Time First Round course. They won the same class last week on opening day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Galant is owned by McLain Ward of Brewster, NY.

On Thursday, July 30, Margie Engle added another victory to her extensive list of grand prix wins at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Engle and her mount Hidden Creek’s Campella were a force to be reckoned with in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, surpassing 42 other entries for the win. Engle and Campella were one of nine horse and rider combinations to qualify for the jump-off. The course was designed by Michel Vaillancourt and scored under a Table II.2(A) format.

Chris Kappler and VDL Oranta were the first pair to take on the short course. They lowered the height of the vertical at fence 12 and came home with four faults in 41.193 seconds. Mike McCormick and MTM Remington had an unlucky rail at the first oxer, crossing the finish line in 41.686 seconds. Remington is owned by MTM Farm in Flower Mound, TX. Margie Engle and Tosca 290 had a beautiful ride, leaving all of the fences intact for the first double clear finish of the night. Tosca, owned by Hidden Creek Farm of Oak Creek, WI, galloped home in 41.682 seconds. Engle resides in Wellington, FL.

Ricardo Villa and his horse VDL Bubalu never touched a rail; however, they were penalized with one time fault for exceeding the 44 second time allowed. They stopped the clock in 44.223 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. Tracey Fenney of Flower Mound, TX, and MTM Centano had a fast time of 38.929 seconds, but unfortunately they received four faults for pulling a rail at fence 11A.

Nick Dello Joio of Wellington, FL, and Wembley Farm’s Draco revisited the arena next. The pair tightened up the turns and moved quickly across the ground, coming home with a fast clear round in 39.999 seconds. Dello Joio and Draco skyrocketed to the top of the leader board, momentarily ranking in first place. Their lead quickly changed hands as Engle piloted her second mount, Hidden Creek’s Campella, to a speedy, fault free finish. Campella soared home in 38.782 seconds, edging Dello Joio’s Draco into second place. Hidden Creek’s Campella is also owned by Hidden Creek Farm.

Daniel Bluman of Weston, FL, accrued eight faults aboard Fatalis Fatum with a fast time of 38.991 seconds, and Robin Sweely captured four faults in 43.872 seconds on Acorn Hill Farm’s Corolato. Acorn Hill Farm is located in Madison, VA.

Engle’s incredible ride aboard Hidden Creek’s Campella secured her the victory, and her second grand prix mount had a solid third place finish. “I thought the course was nice,” revealed Engle after her victory gallop. “It’s funny, the gray mare (Campella) hasn’t done many jump-offs. She was doing 1.30m and Young Horse classes. I just started doing the grand prix classes with her in Saugerties in June. I’m really happy with her. She’s a big horse. She’s over 17 hands, but she’s rides very nice and is really scopey.”

Engle continued, “She turns really well, so she was very quick from one to two in the jump-off. I really took a shot across to the oxer and left long because I know she’s plenty scopey. Then she turned really well after that. A lot of horses would have gotten strong, but she was very good there. She was quick for me everywhere and then, to the last jump, I took a real shot. She galloped to the vertical and then spun right around and really came up to the last jump nicely too. It’s probably the fastest I’ve gone with her so far. She actually felt better to me in the jump-off than in the first round.”

On Friday, July 31, the Open Jumpers took center stage at the show. The 1.35m and 1.30m Open Jumper classes were down to the wire. Joe Fargis put in a foot perfect round to win the 1.35m class aboard Diams III. The pair made easy work of Michel Vaillancourt’s course to finish the jump-off with a time of 33.848 seconds. Diams III is owned by Mary B. Schwab and O.E.J.I. Farm LLC of Middleburg, VA.

In the 1.30m Open Jumpers, only five of the 24 riders made it on to the jump-off. Taking home the blue ribbon was Debbie Stephens piloting All Star. Stephens and All Star’s time of 36.053 seconds secured the top placing. All Star is owned by Centennial Farm of Palmetto, FL. Stephens was thrilled with her win and said, “Today was a fairy tale. This was only his second class back. Honestly, this horse has the most amazing heart, courage and fight. He wants to be a show horse.”

She revealed that, earlier in the year, All Star was hospitalized from a career-threatening reaction to a vaccine. He spent four months in the hospital recovering and has only been back under tack for six weeks. “Today brings tears to my eyes because he shouldn’t even be jumping, let alone winning.” All Star has been a perennial contender for the Hagyard Challenge Series and is a multiple grand prix winner here at the Horse Park.

On Saturday, August 1, Pablo Barrios of Caracas, Venezuela, captured his third grand prix victory in two weeks at the Kentucky Summer Classic. He and his mount La Gran were unstoppable, taking first place honors in the $40,000 Kentucky Classic Grand Prix sponsored by Air 51 and Audi of Lexington. Last week Barrios and La Gran were victorious in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix.

The class was held in the Sheila C. Johnson Ring in the New Outdoor Stadium, and the course was designed by Michel Vaillancourt. Out of 43 starting entries, only seven horse and rider combinations qualified for the jump-off. The class was scored under a Table II.2(A) format.

In the jump-off, Sarah Segal and her horse Holiday returned for the short course and accrued twelve faults in 41.989 seconds. Segal resides in New York, NY. Francis Tress Roig and his mount Lady In Blue produced a solid ride, but they pulled the very last rail, clocking in with a time of 41.064 seconds. Roig lives in Humacao, Puerto Rico.

Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s United rode quickly and carefully and executed the first double clear round of the night, setting the pace in 40.721 seconds. RCG Farm is based in Newton, CT.

Rodrigo Lambre and Chepepe La Escondi unfortunately lowered the height of the first fence, but their fast time of 38.676 seconds would hold up for fifth place. Lambre is from San Pedro, NL, Mexico. Aaron Vale competed next aboard Tarco, owned by Joan Kalman of Bedford, NY. Vale had an incredible ride, galloping between fences and cutting all the necessary corners. Soaring home in 38.216 seconds, the crowd exploded into applause as Vale bettered Farrington’s score and took over the lead. His clean and expeditious ride seemed unbeatable.

Pablo Barrios and La Gran trotted in the ring next, and they immediately picked up a gallop and promptly negotiated the first fence. With incredible foot speed, La Gran tightened the turn to the second obstacle and moved across the ground with a rapid pace. Their momentum carried them through the double combination and helped La Gran meet the last three obstacles without any hesitation. Barrios and his mount skyrocketed to the top of the leader board with an extraordinary time of 38.072 seconds. La Gran is owned by Barrios and Andres Olivares of Wellington, FL.

Tracey Fenney and MTM Centano were the last pair to take on the short course. MTM Centano, owned by MTM Farm in Flower Mound, TX, had the fastest time of the night in 37.550 seconds; however, they received four faults when Fenney angled the vertical at fence eight and pulled the top rail. Her score revealed that Barrios was the winner yet again.

After his win, Barrios discussed his strategy going into the jump-off. “I didn’t see Kent [Farrington] go, but I know my horse can be faster than his because his horse takes more time in the air,” he revealed. “I heard that the rider after him beat his time, but had the first jump down. So, I knew that the time was beatable. I had the luck to see Aaron [Vale] go. Probably, if Aaron went after me, he would have beaten my time. That’s part of the game,” he explained. “But I got a lucky spot in the jump-off again, like the other day. My horse feels amazing. He’s a very good horse, and I’m very pleased to have him.”

Barrios was confident that La Gran had the speed to be a leading contender. “I knew I could have the time. I was pretty sure, for the track that I had and as fast as he is,” he said. “He doesn’t waste too much time in the air. He’s so quick. He turned fast. He’s an amazing horse. Finally I have an amazing horse, and I am winning!” he laughed. “I’ve been waiting too many years for that to happen, and I am very happy to have it now. Also, I am very thankful to my country for the help and support that I receive from El Ministerio Del Deportes.”

He described his first round with La Gran as “one of the best rounds I’ve ever had with that horse.” Barrios added, “He let me put him in every single spot that I wanted to put him. At every single distance, he jumped so relaxed. From fence one to the last, he felt amazing.”

Barrios will take next week off from showing. He will then compete for another two weeks at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. In September, he will participate in the ‘Masters’ Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

On Sunday, the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Classic was the main show jumping event on the final day of the Kentucky Summer Classic. The class was held in the Sheila C. Johnson Ring at the New Outdoor Stadium, and Paige Johnson earned first place aboard Salamander Farm’s Amagedon 3. Michel Vaillancourt designed the course for the class, which was scored under a Table II.2(A) format.

Only seven horse and rider combinations jumped the first round without penalty. Johnson, who was the first rider to return for the jump-off, piloted Amagedon to a stellar fault-free finish over the short course, setting the pace with a fast time of 40.667 seconds. Whitney Weeks of Southport, CT, and her horse Subliem lowered the height of one fence and finished in 39.934 seconds, which would result in fourth place.

Luis Ferrando Larrazaba rode Maarten, owned by Newsprint Farm of Newhope, PA. He was the fastest four faulter, and his time of 38.655 seconds would finish in second place, edging Francesea Bolfo of New York, NY, into third. Bolfo also received four faults during her ride on Venus TR, clocking in at 39.236 seconds.

Gabriel Galan of Monterrey, Mexico, and his horse Aruba La Silla were next in the order. They had an eight fault finish and a time of 44.084 seconds. Johnson then competed again on her second qualified mount, La Martinee, but they accrued eight faults and retired from the course, assuring them a seventh place finish. Hilary McNerney and Liefhebbers Transavia, who were the last pair to revisit the ring, were penalized with eight faults for lowering two rails. Their time of 43.827 seconds would go into sixth place.

Johnson of The Plains, VA, and Amagedon 3 produced the only double clear ride in the class and came away with top honors.

“I was a little bit nervous because this was the biggest track that I’ve done with Amagedon,” commented Johnson after her win. “I thought the course was really hard and very technical. It was definitely the biggest and most technical track I’ve ever ridden with this particular horse, but he was really brave. He listened to everything I asked him to do, and I thought it was a really good, solid round. I thought I rode him really well and he responded, which is all you can ask for. You try your best and then, if they listen, the result is hopefully a clear round,” she related.

She went on to explain that Amagedon was double clear in all three of the classes he competed in this week, and that a lot of work has gone into his success. “He’s eleven, and I got him when he was six years old. He’s always been very green to ride. Kent Farrington would ride him for me sometimes during circuit in the 1.40m Open Jumpers to help get his confidence up,” she said. “He tends to over jump sometimes because he’s very, very careful. When he gets in a tricky position, he just gets higher. So between Kent and I, we’ve been really working on his confidence and trusting his capability and scope. I think today proved that, with teamwork, it’s turned out well. With me knowing him really well, and Kent riding him well for me and teaching him to be confident with himself and the rider, I think the program’s working,” she smiled.

Hunter Highlights Thursday Through Sunday

On Thursday, the professional hunter divisions came to a close at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The race for championships came down to the wire in all of the divisions. Havens Schatt had an exceptional day with two championships and one reserve championship title.

Starting early in the First Year Green Working Hunters, Schatt rode Absolut and bested the field of five for wins in the handy hunter and under saddle classes. These wins, combined with the pair’s win from Wednesday, earned them the championship in the division. The reserve championship went to Lauren Hulen Kissel, who rode Water Music for Janet Salem of Alpharetta, GA.

Schatt rode Donovan, also owned by Tracy Scheriff, to two wins in the Green Conformation Hunter division and built upon their win from the previous day. The combined victories earned them the division championship. Just Dessert, with Rick Fancher in the irons, took home the reserve championship for the Green Conformation Hunter division. Just Dessert is owned by Stephanie Wallace of Washington, DC.

The Second Year Green Working Hunter division closed with Tim Goguen and his mount Bolero taking home top honors. Goguen won the over fences class and the handy hunter class to easily clinch the win. The reserve championship went to Havens Schatt and Aiden, owned by John Yozell of Dedham, MA.

The professional hunter divisions drew to a close with the conclusion of the Regular Conformation Hunters and the Regular Working Hunters. Kelley Farmer guided Luigi to the title of champion in the Regular Conformation Hunters. Luigi is owned by Karen Rouff of Keswick, VA. Morgan Thomas piloted Timber Ridge to the reserve championship for the Regular Conformation Hunters and Regular Working Hunters. The championship in the Regular Working Hunter division was awarded to Katherine Newman and Daydream. Daydream is owned by Mimi Abel-Smith of Middleburg, VA.

On Friday, July 31, the younger junior hunters concluded in the Stonelea Ring. Shawn Casady came away with two tricolors after two successful days of Junior Hunter 15 & Under competition.

Casady piloted Wild Rose to the championship of the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division. The pair earned first and third place ribbons on Thursday and captured two first place ribbons on Friday. They also received third place under saddle. Wild Rose is owned by Callie Schott of Lexington, KY. “Wild Rose is a really nice horse,” noted Casady. “I showed her two days last week, and then this week. It’s a nice, easy horse.” The reserve championship of the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division went to Vulita H with Kelcie Brophy in the irons.

In the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, Casady won his second tricolor of the day with Odette, owned by Amanda Cohen. Odette took top honors in the handy hunter class and under saddle. In addition, she pinned second place over fences, as well as first and third in Thursday’s competition. The reserve championship of the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division was presented to Caroline Spogli and Cachet. Cachet is owned by Spogli and Cavallo Farms of San Diego, CA.

On Sunday, August 2, the Kentucky Summer Classic concluded with the awarding of the championships in the Amateur-Owner divisions. The divisions wrapped up with the final three classes: an over fences class, a handy hunter class and an under saddle class.

Competition for the Amateur-Owner Over 35 division championship was a close race. Both Shaw Johnson Price and Stacey Arani had won a total of two classes with their respective mounts, Costello and Bolero. Price took home two blue ribbons on Sunday in the over fences class and the under saddle. Arani won the handy hunter on Sunday and an over fences on Saturday. Aside from their wins, Price had one better placing than Arani, which made the difference. Price of Chestertown, MD, and her own Costello took home the championship, and Arani secured the reserve championship. Bolero is owned by Arani and Marigot Bay Farm of Dover, MA.

Price said of Costello, “He was really, really good. He was right on it today, and he jumped really high and slow. He was very rideable.”

She compared Sunday to the previous day and stated, “He was good yesterday. There were a couple things; he had a little swap and a rub. Yesterday the class was at the very end of the day, which made it hard. Today the class was at a better time of day for him.” Price continued, “I thought the course was hard, but good. It was long and there was a downhill oxer. But it rode very well.”

Tracy Scheriff piloted Donovan to the championship in the Amateur-Owner 3’3” division. Scheriff of Wellington, FL, sealed the championship title with two wins on Sunday and a win on Saturday. Taking home the reserve championship was Mary Jane King, who rode her own horse, Rigoletto. The pair traveled all the way from Town & Country, MO, to compete at the Kentucky Summer Classic.

The Amateur-Owner 18-35 division championship was won by Clara Lindner aboard In The Black. Lindner won the handy hunter and the under saddle on Sunday. In The Black is owned by Four Seasons Farm of Wellington, FL. These two wins, combined with her win from Saturday, gave her the advantage. Reserve championship went to Stephanie Riggio of New York, NY, and her own horse, Indian Summer.

For more information on the Kentucky Summer Classic, please go to



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