Lexington, KY – August 3, 2012 – The morning riding conditions were pleasant for both rider and horse as the weather stayed bright but over-casted at the Stonelea Arena for the fourth day of the Kentucky Summer Classic. It was a championship day as participants prepare to take on the last three classes of their respective divisions to earn top ribbons and ultimately the championship tricolor. Taking home the top hunter ribbons included Katherine Strauss and Rapunzel in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunters, Megan Davis shining on Modern in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, Shawn Casady aboard Savant winning the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters, and Meredith Darst aboard Uns Noetzel in the Small 15 and Under Junior Hunters, on the hunt course in today’s events.
The arena was busy with jumps that challenged skilled riders to put anticipatory thinking on the forefront of their attack strategy. Designed by Danny Moore, the track line lay over freshly groomed footing manicured with elegant shrubbery and foliage, enhancing the natural obstacles. The course included standalone verticals, steady lines and a tight vertical-oxer combination, set on the inside. Riders also had to complete a right turn to a trot-jump to show off their handiness in the second class of the division.
All juniors were admirably fierce, bringing highly competitive scores within half points of one another. Vivian Yowan, the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter vanguard aboard Friday Night, owned by Karr LLC of New York, NY, took second place to the underdog-emerged-victor, Meredith Darst riding Uns Noetzel, owned by Lochmoor Stables of Lebanon, OH. Darst’s back-to-back blues in the over fences and handy classes, took precedence in the rankings, earning her the championship ribbon after Yowan did the same yesterday, barely missing the marks today. Yowan and Friday Night took reserve.
As the afternoon set in, so did light rain, adding another element to battle in the feat of achieving the perfect ride and ultimately, the perfect score. Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, also rivaled the same steep competition, beating out Parker and Vivian Yowan in the Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter division. Strauss came off yesterday’s exhibit with first and second place wins, concluding with similar results that equaled division dominance and the title of champion. Yowan again took reserve in the division.
“She was super,” Strauss exclaimed after being awarded. “We just got her last week so it was really exciting having such a successful start. I showed her last weekend. She has such a huge stride. I was adjusting to it and this week I think I’ve got it. I knew if we had clean rounds we had a shot at champion, so I’m really proud of her.”
It was an exciting display of showmanship that erupted from the Small Juniors 16 -17 Hunter division as Megan Davis of Cockeysville, MD, and mount Modern, shot to the top of the leaderboard with an outstanding two-day combined score. It was Anna Cardelfe and Nadia of Spring Lake, NJ, who went head-to-head with the duo, vying for the tricolor ribbon. Rising up victorious, Davis and Modern’s persistent efforts were rewarded upon the wrap-up of the under saddle class, being pinned with the championship award.
“I just tried to keep up with my ribbons yesterday,” Davis said. “My horse has gotten so much more consistent, and I’m really proud of him. I got him at the end of the Florida circuit, end of April, so I’ve been getting to know him. He is a first year horse and he has already grown up so much, it’s been a lot of fun watching him become more consistent.”
“I really liked the course. The handy was challenging enough to give me something to focus a little harder on. We both keep getting better and better. It was a fun challenge and I’m really proud of him for stepping up to the plate,” Davis excitedly explained about her steed, Modern.
Other division’s top scores include Shawn Casady and Savant, owned by First Partners LP, Valpairso, IN, nabbing a championship ribbon in the Large Junior 16 and 17 Hunters, narrowly fronting Kelcie Brophy and Due West, owned by Poppish Farms LLC of Palm Beach, FL. Casady’s mount took top call in yesterday’s over fences, and show peak athleticism clearing each jump in classic hunter form.
“Savant rode really well,” Casady described. “We had an awesome first round, and took a solid first place in the handy. He placed with a first and second yesterday. He has been consistent, which made for spectacular rounds. Every round he is right there. He’s a good horse.”
The Kentucky Summer Horse Show will continue tomorrow with the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby in the Stonelea Arena. Professional, Junior and Amateur riders will have the opportunity to compete for the top honors, as well as points for the $10,000 Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Award.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Megan Davis and Modern rode to the top of the Large 16-17 Junior Hunter standings, taking home the championship award at the Kentucky Summer Classic.