Lexington, KY – May 22, 2012 – It was a very exciting Saturday night for Ireland’s Richie Moloney as he captured his first international grand prix victory, riding Slieveanorra during the $75,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix at the Kentucky Spring Classic. The talented duo have been runner up on numerous occasions, even placing third during Thursday’s $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, but tonight the luck was on their side. Six horses advanced to the jump-off, but only three were double clear, with Moloney landing at the top of the leader board, while Margie Engle took second aboard Royce, and Egypt’s Nayel Nassar rode Raging Bull Vangelis S to third.
Nayel Nassar set the time to beat with Raging Bull Vangelis S after completing the first fault free round over the shortened track. In an effort to leave the fences in place, Nassar kept a conservative pace and stopped the clock at 46.56 seconds, which held up for third place.
Moloney was not going to leave anything to chance with Slieveanorra tonight, after finishing just short of the winning time with a double clear effort on Thursday with the Equinimity LLC mount. The pair held a strong gallop throughout the track, and they easily made their way through the rollbacks before flying at the final oxer. Moloney and Slieveanorra slipped through the timers in 43.99 seconds, which would prove to be unbeatable and earn them the hard fought victory.
“Slieveanorra is just naturally very quick,” stated Moloney. “Around the turns he’s always going, in the jump-off you don’t have to think about going faster, he’s always going to be quick enough. He’s a little bit nervous, so you just have to take your time around him. He can jump bigger classes, so we’ll have to see how the next few months go.”
Margie Engle and her new eight-year-old mount Royce, owned by Elm Rock Partners LLC of Wellington, FL, stopped the timers a second shy of Maloney at 44.94 seconds, earning the red ribbon.
Three other horse and rider combinations competed over Saturday’s jump-off track, but they each had a pair of rails to add eight faults their total. Katie Prudent and V, owned by Mike Smith of Winchester, VA, placed fourth with the fastest eight fault round, while Derek Braun and Lacarolus, owned by MRN Family Group of Wellington, FL. placed fifth and Blythe Marano and Riverview Farm’s Urban rounded out the top six.
Jumper Highlights: Wednesday-Sunday
Sunny skies greeted the exhibitors as they kicked-off the Kentucky Spring Classic in the Rolex Stadium of the Kentucky Horse Park. Once again it was Reed Kessler at the top of the leader board as she piloted Ligist to the only double clear effort in Wednesday’s 1.45m Open Jumper class to earn the blue ribbon prize. Earlier in the day, Andre Rodriguez and Remonta Eden sped to victory in the 1.40m Open Jumpers, just topping Kessler and Onisha, who placed second during the speed class.
Reed Kessler, of Lexington, KY, and Ligist were third on the posted order, and made the first round look easy as they made their way over each obstacle. Advancing to the short course, Kessler picked up a quick gallop, and despite a hard rub at the first part of the double combination, they left each rail intact and dashed across the finish line in 32.588 seconds.
Wilton Porter and Paloubet, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, were next in the ring, and they also managed to leave each fence up and qualify for the jump-off. The last obstacle of the short track hit the ground, adding four faults to their score. The pair was faster, clocking in at 32.309 seconds, but their effort was only good enough for second place. The third place award went to Meagan Nusz and Dynamo, owned by Amalaya Investments of The Woodlands, TX, who were fault-free over the first round, but just a tick over the time allowed for one time fault.
Earlier in the day, Venezuela’s Andres Rodriguez was victorious in the 1.40m Open Jumper speed class. The talented rider piloted Remonta Eden, owned by Sandra Van Dyke of Lake Worth, FL, to a very quick and clear round breaking the beam at 65.548 seconds. He edged out Kessler and Onisha by almost a full second, and they earned the red ribbon for their clear time of 66.32 seconds. Rounding out the top three was Ilan Bluman and Quatro, owned by Daniel Bluman of Weston, FL, who stopped the clock at 69.898 seconds with all the rails in place.
It was another speedy night at the Kentucky Horse Park, as six double-clear finishers raced for the top prize in the $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Spring Classic on Thursday. Proving that they are quickly reaching top form once again, veteran duo Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7 galloped over the short track in 38.54 seconds with all the fences in place to earn the lion’s share of the prize. Reed Kessler, often nicknamed Speedy Reedy, lived up to her name with Cylana to place second, while Ireland’s Richie Moloney took home third aboard Slieveanorra.
Jonathan McCrea and Colorado, owned by Candy Tribble of East Windsor, CT, set the pace after completing the first double-clear effort in 44.83 seconds. Their time was very conservative as they focused on leaving all the fences up early in the jump-off, and they eventually placed sixth. Reed Kessler of Lexington, KY, was next with Mika, and they increased the target time to 40.87 seconds with a clear effort that earned the fifth place prize. The fourth place honors went to young Wilton Porter, who completed a double-clear round in 40. 46 seconds with Paloubet, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX.
Richie Moloney and Slieveanorra, owned by Equinimity, LLC, of Stony Brook, NY, were one of the fastest pairs early on, after clocking in at 40.39 seconds, but their lead was short lived when Ashlee Bond entered the Rolex Stadium with Cadett 7, owned by the Little Valley Farms of Hidden Hills, CA. They picked up a quick gallop to the first oxer and only increased, making sharp rollbacks and using Cadett 7’s long stride to gallop easily across the ring. The pair left each rail intact and blazed across the finish line in 38.54 seconds, going straight to the top of the standings.
Reed Kessler and Cylana, currently atop the U.S. Show Jumping Long List, made Bond hold her breath as they took a similar track to try and capture the blue. The duo was very quick and easily cleared the obstacles in their path, but they broke the beam at 38.99 seconds, just short of Bond to take home second. Bond led the victory gallop and Moloney eventually finished in third.
Friday, the amateur and junior jumper riders had the opportunity to showcase their skills in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium during the Kentucky Spring Classic. Topping the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Paige Johnson piloted Monopoly to a double-clear victory, and also claimed third with her second mount Amagedon 3. Meagan Nusz slid into third aboard Banana D’Ive Z, also completing a fault-free short course. In the High Junior Jumpers, Abigail McArdle claimed the blue ribbon with her quick and clear round aboard Cosma 20, while Emanuel Andrade placed second and third with Costa and Tiny Tim, respectively.
Alexandra Duval of Huntington, NY, was the pathfinder during the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers aboard Tornado. They were able to produce a fault-free short course, but their time of 35.803 would only be good enough for fourth. Meagan Nusz followed right after Duval riding Banana D’Ive Z, owned by TNT Equine Partners of The Woodlands, TX, and with a clear plan she was able to jump to the top of the standings with a clear time of 34.780.
Six rounds later, Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA, and Monopoly entered the ring, and Nusz saw her lead slip away. Using her mount’s excellent gallop and careful jumping technique, Johnson was able to leave all the fences in place and blaze through the finish line in 34.516 seconds, earning the blue ribbon and forcing Nusz to settle for second. Johnson was also the last compete during today’s class, this time about Amagedon 3, but with the lead well in hand, she focused on a clear effort that earned a time of 35.767 seconds and went into third place.
Earlier in the day, the High Junior Jumpers took their turn over Petersen’s course. This time it was Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade who led the way, jumping two clear rounds with Tiny Tim, owned by Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC. Over the short track they clocked in at 34.577 seconds, which held up for the third place honors. With his second mount Costa, also owned by Hollow Creek Farm, Andrade was also the second qualifier for the short course. The talented young rider managed to best his own time, breaking the beam at 34.530 seconds, garnering the second place prize.
Abigail McArdle of St. Charles, IL, proved to be the best of the day with Cosma 20, carrying their success over from last Sunday’s victory in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic. The pair showcased their quick and clear way of going as they tackled the jump-off track with a big gallop, and never touched a rail. Tripping the timers at 31.273, almost three seconds faster than Andrade, to earn the winning title. The last rider to challenge McArdle’s lead was Shawn Casady with Viona, owned by Raylyn Farms of Frederick, MD, but their conservative effort ended up in fourth with a time of 34.814 seconds.
Kent Farrington concluded the Kentucky Spring Classic on a great note, claiming first and second during Sunday morning’s $20,000 Bluegrass Classic aboard Venus and Voyeur, respectively. With a baker’s dozen in the jump-off, Farrington completed the fastest two double-clear efforts with the talented mounts. Young rider Michael Murphy earned the third place award with his fault-free short course, following right on Farrington’s heels with Audi’s Allouette Van Het Lambroeck.
Kent Farrington was the pathfinder during the first round with Voyeur, owned by Amalaya Investments of The Woodlands, TX, and as the first to return for the jump-off he set a pace that only he could catch. The pair left each rail in place and crossed the finish line in 40.042 seconds. Michael Murphy of Wellington, FL, was next in the ring with Audi’s Allouette Van Het Lambroeck, and they made an excellent effort to catch Farrington, knowing a number of fast riders would be following. They tripped the timers in 40.100 seconds, less than a 1/10th of a second behind Farrington, and eventually finished in third with no faults to their name.
The only other horse and rider combination to complete a double-clear effort was Alison Robitaille with Cover Girl, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram Firestone of Upperville, VA, who were also very quick across the ground but just short of the leaders in 40.573 seconds, which resulted in the fourth place honors.
Farrington completed the last clear short course riding his second mount Venus, owned by Raylyn Farm of Frederick, MD, and he was just barely able to best his first time breaking the beam in 40.030 seconds, just 1/100th of a second ahead of Voyeur. His wonderful effort over the track with Venus jumped to the top of the leader board, and they took home the winning title.
Later in the day, the $10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic was held in the Rolex Stadium. Continuing her winning ways, last week’s champion and classic winner Abigail McArdle of St. Charles, IL, piloted Cosma 20 to the lone clear effort, earning another victory, the championship honors, and the $1,000 SSG Riding Gloves Bonus as part of the ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion.
Hunter Highlights: Wednesday-Sunday
Wednesday marked the first day of the Kentucky Spring Classic as horse and rider combinations gathered at the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The professional divisions started out the morning, seeing some of the nation’s most talented riders vie for the top honors in their respective divisions. Riders who rode to the blue today included Victoria Colvin, Scott Stewart, Havens Schatt and Hunt Tosh. The competition was fierce, but it was Tosh who came out on top in three of his divisions, including with the famous Lone Star, who made a clean sweep during his comeback in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division.
Although it was the Performance 3’6” Hunters who rounded out the day, the hunter excitement was nowhere near at an end. Tosh navigated Lone Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, to a clean sweep of the division. It has been well over a year since Lone Star last showed; however, it appeared as though the horse did not miss a beat as he posted the division’s top scores of 88 in both rounds over fences. Havens Schatt guided Just Fred, owned by R. Bruce Duchossois of Aiken, SC, to scores of 87 and 85, taking the second place honors.
The morning saw rider, Victoria Colvin, and professional rider and trainer, Scott Stewart, battle to the top of the leader board in the Second Year Green Working Hunters. Stewart rode Dedication, owned by Fashion Farm of Philadelphia, PA, to the first and second place honors over fences as well as the second place in the under saddle. His scores of 89 and 90 were impressive, but it was Colvin and Inclusive, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, who posted the day’s high score of 92 points.
During the Regular Conformation Hunters, Hunt Tosh rode Cold Harbor, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to the first and second place over fences, and the first place finish in the under saddle. Sambalino with Ken Berkley in the irons took the second and first place honors over fences in addition to the second place in the under saddle. Although Berkley and Sambalino, owned by Becky Gochman of New York, NY, earned scores of 85 and 84 for their rounds, Tosh and Cold Harbor moved ahead in the standings due to Cold Harbor’s pristine conformation.
Tosh returned to the ring with Dr. Betsee Parker’s Rosalynn for the High Performance Working Hunters. They laid down an excellent two rounds, earning an 82 and 88 for their efforts, eventually good enough for the second and first place in the over fences. They also took the first place finish in the under saddle. Havens Schatt also made her mark during her rounds today with Valencia, owned by CH Farm LLC of Delano, MN. She earned scores of 85 and 84 in the over fences, taking the first and second place finish over fences, and the second place in the under saddle.
The day was filled with intense competition as top riders vied for the championship awards in their divisions on Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic. Louise Serio led the way with Casino, dominating the First Year Greens, while Scott Stewart earned the championships in his respective divisions aboard Beholden and Dedication. Hunt Tosh guided Cold Harbor to the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship, and Rosalynn to the High Performance Hunters highest honors. The distinguished Lone Star returned to the ring for the second day of competition, earning a second day of straight 88s with Tosh in the irons, eventually taking the Performance 3’6” Hunters Championship.
Hunt Tosh and Lone Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, were victors at the end of the day in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, as the veteran pair began their return to the show rung. The duo earned both blue ribbons in yesterday, and picked up the second place ribbon during their first round over fences today and the third place in the under saddle. Hayley Barnhill and Lennon, owned by Reid Patton of Nashville, TN, took the reserve award.
Earlier in the day, Tosh also earned the High Performance Hunters championship aboard Rosalynn, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. They were awarded with the second and first place awards over fences. Havens Schatt aboard Valencia, owned by CH Farm LLC of Delano, MN, came in right behind the team with her top scores from yesterday’s rounds and her addition third and second place honors in today’s division.
The winning streak continued for Parker’s mounts as Cold Harbor was presented with the Regular Conformation Hunters Championship. Tosh exhibited Cold Harbor to a clean sweep of the division’s over fences today. In addition to his first and second place ribbons yesterday, and their first place win in the under saddle, the pair emerged the victor. Ken Berkley and Sambalino, owned by Becky Gochman of New York, NY, took the reserve championship for their efforts over the two days.
Scott Stewart showed Dedication, owned by Fashion Farm of Philadelphia, PA, to the Second Year Green Working Hunter division championship. Fourteen-year-old Victoria Colvin navigated Inclusive, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, to the second place honors in both classes to score the reserve championship. Stewart also rode Beholden, owned by Fashion Farm, to the championship in the Green Conformation Hunters. Chris Payne and Lugano, owned by Susan Moriconi of Sanbury, OH, swept the over fences portion this morning, making a comeback to rise to the reserve championship.
Earlier in the morning, Louise Serio guided Casino, owned by Bridget Hallman and Merrylegs South of Oyster Bay, NY, in the First Year Green Working Hunters to the championship tricolor. The horse and rider combination bested a field of 16 competitors. Overall they earned two first place ribbons, the third and fourth place awards, and top honors in the under saddle. Jennifer Hannan and As Always, owned by Jennifer Smith of Wellington, FL, were awarded the reserve championship.
The Murphy Ring was alive with hunter action throughout the third day of the Kentucky Spring Classic, with horse and rider combinations vying for the top ribbons in the Adult Amateur Hunter divisions. Kiersten Litzinger navigated Baroness Blixen to the top of the leader board, posting the high score of the day and taking the opening day lead in the Adult Amateur 36-49 Hunters. Sarah Sturges aboard Second Shot swept the over fences in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, while later in the day, junior rider Victoria Colvin and VIP Z won the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal.
Out of a field of 15 competitors, Kiersten Litzinger and Baroness Blixen posted an imposing lead. Although Missy Luczak-Smith and Surf’s Up took the first place during the first round over fences, Litzinger guided Baroness Blixen to the first place ribbon during their second round over fences. The pair rose to the top, and posting a score of 90, which was the highest scoring trip of the day. They also earned the blue ribbon for their efforts in the under saddle.
Danielle Baran and Don’t Blink rode to the second place honors during the first round over fences, and Constellation ridden by Bridget Hallman also rode to a red ribbon finish for their second trip.
Following shortly after, the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters got underway, with Sarah Sturges riding to two blue place finishes over fences with Second Shot. They also took the second place finish in the under saddle. Other riders who did well were Chandler Sowden with Eternity, Maureen Blackstone aboard Middleton, and Entourage with Arly Golembek in the irons.
The afternoon concluded with the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal, where Victoria Colvin emerged victorious with VIP Z. Four riders were called back to complete the test, where they were asked to canter the first obstacle of the course, and then transition to the trot for the second fence. Upon landing, the riders completed a halt and then picked up the counter canter to two final oxers and exited the ring.
Colvin and VIP Z used the halt and counter canter to their advantage and took home the top honors. Spencer Smith and Icarus were awarded the second place prize, with Alyssa Mansfield exhibiting her equitation aboard Calice De Fuyssieu Z and earning the third place. Kate Morrison and Victor V.D. earned the fourth place ribbon.
The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby saw nothing short of fierce competition this evening in the Stonelea Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park onSaturday evening. It was Lourdes de Guardiola and Autumn Rhythm who rode to the top of the leader board with two fantastic rounds, catching the judges’ eyes and being dually rewarded for their tremendous efforts. Ashley Hotz and Summer Catch eventually were presented with the red ribbon for their efforts and an overall score of 178 points, while Louise Serio took the third place prize aboard Corvine.
Guardiola posted an early lead during the first round, entering the ring as the eighth rider to attempt the course. Her first round score of 90 definitely caught the onlookers’ attention as she produced a careful and consistent round aboard Autumn Rhythm.
Upon returning for the handy round, Guardiola used her mount’s consistent canter to her advantage. The pair once again opted to take all four options, which were added to her base score of 89. Her overall score put the horse and rider at the top of the rankings with a total of 179 points, and they led the evening’s victory gallop. It was Ashley Hotz of Wellington, FL, aboard her mount Summer Catch, who posted the high score of the event. Although her score from the first round was an 84, placing her sixth in the return, the rider left nothing to chance as she demonstrated handiness and earned the top score of 94. She secured the second place position with an overall score of 178 points.
Louise Serio returned for the second round course with a first-round score of 89 points. She once again navigated the five-year-old Corvine, owned by Timothy Wicks of Unionville, PA, to the impressive score of 88. She steered the gelding over all of the possible options in both the first round and the handy. Her overall score of 177 proved only good enough for the third place award. Serio still leads the Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Series, where she will compete against other professional riders for the $10,000 Leading Rider Bonus.
Junior rider Maryann Osborne of Mentor, OH, guided Mine to the fourth place award with a two-round score of 171 points, and was followed closely by Maria Rasmussen aboard Laredo, owned by Redfield Farm of Ocala, FL, who posted a score of 169 points. It was Shawn Casady who picked up the sixth place award riding Without Question, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables of Boca Raton, FL, to the overall score of 157 points.
Sunday marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Spring Classic, and there were nothing but blue skies to greet the Junior Hunter divisions as the morning got underway. Horse and rider combinations gathered to compete for the championship honors, as they went neck and neck for the remaining ribbons. Victoria Colvin and Ovation garnered the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter Championship, the first division of the day.
The Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters saw intense competition first thing in the morning, with junior riders returning for the second day of competition. Although numerous riders put in consistent rounds over fences, it was Victoria Colvin and Ovation, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, who swept the day’s over fences and took the top award in the under saddle. Her scores of 87 and 90 in the over fences added to her high score in yesterday’s rounds, eventually earning the pair the championship honors. Vivian Yowan rode Whatever, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC of Darien, CT, to the reserve championship.
Shortly after, the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters took their turn in the Stonelea Arena. It felt like déjà vu with Colvin and Yowan once again battling one another for the top positions with their mounts. Although Yowan posted the high scores of 84 and 85 for her effort in the over fences with Parker, owned by Saddle Ridge LLC, Colvin rose to the top of today’s scores with the high point rounds of 87 and 88 aboard Way Cool, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker. It came down to a difference of two points, but Yowan’s pair of 90s from yesterday put the pair in the lead and they took the championship tricolor, with Colvin being presented with the reserve championship.
Shawn Casady and Savant were awarded the championship ribbon in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Allen and Maddox earned the reserve championship honors.
The day concluded with the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters where Maryann Osborne of Mentor, OH, navigated Mine to the championship. Osborne took an early lead in today’s rounds, earning the first round score of 85 and the handy round score of 82 as the first team to complete the round for the division. Their lead did not falter. Shawn Casady and Chromeo, owned by Peakewood Pharm, Inc. of Sanford, FL, were awarded the reserve championship.