Lexington, Kentucky – July 31, 2012 – Looking forward to a warm, dry day after the first week of unpredictable weather, the Stonelea Arena saw a lineup of divisions from the morning’s First Year Green Working Hunters to the Performance 3’6” Hunter divisions. The footing and course made for a congenial ride for all participants for the first day of the professional divisions. Onlookers ultimately beheld two strong contenders and their steeds overwhelming the competition with enough talent to sweep today’s divisions.
Christopher Payne delivered exceptional performances aboard his mounts today, picking up top honors in the First Year Green Working Hunters, Green Conformation Hunters and the Second Year Green Working Hunters. It was Hunt Tosh who stole the show with a clean sweep of two divisions on two very memorable mounts. Tosh guided Cold Harbor to a dominating performance in the Regular Conformation Division, as well as capturing two blues with veteran Lone Star in the Performance 3’6” Hunter division.
Tosh and Lone Star put forth a performance reminiscent of the Kentucky Spring Classic, where they had made a sweeping comeback. The pair once again returned to dominate. Lone Star, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker of Middleburg, VA, showed with a familiar finesse seen in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, and took the claim of the division’s top prizes. They earned both blue ribbons today, and go into tomorrow’s classes with an immense lead.
“Lone Star has been a wonderful horse for us,” Tosh shared. “He has won so much in his career, but was out with an injury. He has had a little over a year off so his first show was here in the spring and he was champion again in Upperville, Pennsylvania. This was his third show back, and he is doing great. He is such a good horse. There will be a soft spot in my heart for him forever. He’s so dependable.”
Also taking ribbons in the Performance 3’6” Hunters, Charmed ridden by Timothy Maddrix was awarded two second place ribbons for their commendable efforts in both rounds. Erin Quinn and Chit Chat showed sensible style, receiving a pair of yellows in bow classes of the division.
A display of Tosh’s brilliant horse sense could be seen as he guided a real beauty, Cold Harbor, a bay gelding, in a sweeping execution of the hunter course. The pair picked up both first place ribbons in the over fences of the Regular Conformation Hunter classes, surpassing Picasso and Shawn Casady, who took the red ribbon in the rankings. Robert Crandle rode Lovely Charity, owned by Katherine Newman of Middleburg, VA, to the third place finishes in both rounds.
Tosh also shared about Cold Harbor, “He’s been champion reserve every time he’s showed which is special. He’s grown so much compared to last year and he tries so hard when he jumps. He’s a beautiful horse, really steady and a blast to ride.”
Christopher Payne came ready to show today, starting with the Green Conformation Hunters. He exhibited Lugano over the courses delivering an exceptional performance. The duo accepted first place prizes for both classes, placing above his second mount Dashing in the first class, and narrowly above Lightning Z, another Tosh entry, in the second class. Payne also rode Dashing to brilliant ribbons in the First Year Green Working Hunters, earlier in the morning.
“Both of my horses are very young” Payne said of Lugano and Dashing. “They are five year olds and their first year of showing, so they didn’t get a year before this. Lugano, our conformation horse, goes in there like a little machine and he is waiting for you to tell him what to do. He wants to do it right that is a great quality to have in a horse.”
Payne and Holden took home a blue and red ribbon for the Second Year Green Working Hunters, placing under the outstanding Wish List, ridden by Cody Lewis-Shultz in the first round. How Now Z and Colleen Acosta earned top honors, as well. They nabbed the third place win for their efforts in the first round, and the second place in the consecutive over fences class.
“He rode beautifully; he loves to go in the ring and show,” Chris said with a smile. “I thought each round we were very consistent. He went in there, and sometimes he can be a little animated his first round, but he was very relaxed this week. He felt like he was very smooth these rounds.”
Tomorrow will conclude the professional hunter divisions in the Stonelea Arena. The Kentucky Summer Classic holds many exciting hunter features, including the upcoming $5,000 Hallway Feeds National Hunter Derby on Saturday, August 4, 2012. The Kentucky Summer Series will continue with the 2012 USEF Pony Finals, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show.
Photo Credit: Hunt Tosh and Lone Star sweep the first day of the Performance 3’6”Hunters at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Ashley N. Williams/PMG. This photograph may only be used in relation to this Phelps Media Group press release.