Lexington KY – August 19, 2012– Friday night was filled with anticipation as two of the Hagyard Lexington Challenge Series Leading Riders went head-to-head in a battle to the top. Kaitlin Campbell and Shane Sweetnam rode to the leading finishes in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, slots that would determine their ranks in the series. It was Campbell who continued to hold the lead in the Standings after her second place finish, with Sweetnam closing in on her. Sweetnam’s first place finish with Amaretto D’Arco, knocked Olympian Reed Kessler from the second place position. Campbell still holds the top spot in the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
Consisting of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.
On Thursday, August 2, 2012, Campbell piloted Rocky W to the first place finish in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, and also picked up the second place award with her other mount Grand Pleasure. The young rider jumped to the top of the Leading Rider Standings, holding a prominent lead with a total of 420 points. After Friday night’s second place finish aboard Rocky W, Campbell now holds the lead with 590 points.
“Rocky W had all the weight on him since I didn’t show my second mount, Grand Pleasure,” Campbell explained. “Having the lead in the Hagyard Challenge Series, I have just been going for every win that I can in these classes. He was great throughout the course, and showing under the lights really brightened him up.”
Sweetnam holds the second place position, having added an additional 270 points to his total for his win in Friday’s night class. He is only 30 points shy of the lead, with a cumulative 560 points. Kessler has fallen into the third place position, her Kentucky Spring Series rankings holding resilient for three of the Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix events. Beezie Madden and Ashlee Bond are currently tied for the third place spot in the rankings, each with 290 points. Madden won the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Simon during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show, while Bond and Cadett 7 led the way during the Kentucky Spring Classic’s $32,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. Paige Johnson won the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic with Chiron S during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, still holding the sixth place position with 250 points.
Friday night was one of three remaining Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix events, which are held during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The Series concludes with the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner for the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series will also feature a high point Thoroughbred Award. Following the final event, a $10,000 prize will be presented to the high point Thoroughbred participating in the Series.
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well being of the horse for more than 130 years.
The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 Digital Radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens Open MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full surgical services, 24-hour ambulance and emergency services, and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine for more than 133 years and is currently composed of over 60 experienced veterinarians, with 12 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology.
Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include: presenting sponsor Pfizer Animal Health, Audi of Lexington, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, Hagyard Flex-tra HA, Johnson Horse Transport, J.P. Morgan, Hallway Feeds, MWI Veterinary Supply, Powell-Walton-Milward, Kirk Horse Insurance, LLC, and Stoll Keenon Ogden