Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 2, 2019 – The final class on Friday in the Rolex Stadium during the Kentucky Summer Classic, the High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers, saw a field of nine horse-and-rider combinations vye for the blue ribbon. As the only double-clear performance over Bobby Murphy’s 1.35-40m course, Ellie Ferrigno topped the leaderboard on Discovery-O, breaking through the timers in 42.904 seconds. Mallory Vale on Elusive and Lindsey Strafuss on Calmaro 12 finished in second and third place, respectively.
While the 14-effort course went smoothly for five of the athletes, the in-and-out combination proved troublesome for a handful of the competitors in both the first round and jump-off.The third pair in the order of go, Vale on Thanks Like A Horse’s Elusive, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, advanced to the immediate jump-off, but brought down a rail to finish on 4 faults in 45.335 seconds. Elusive has been a long-time partner with Vale as she’s developed the chestnut gelding up through the 6-year-old divisions with her husband and fellow-rider, Aaron.
Strafuss was the next rider to qualify for the jump-off after her clear first round aboard Calmaro 12, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by Castle Point Farm LLC. Unfortunately for Strafuss, the second effort in the in-and-out combination came down, leaving her with 4 jumping faults and 1 time fault when she galloped through the timers in 48.383 seconds.
When Ferrigno rode into the ring, the door was wide open for the opportunity of the first double-clear to go into the lead aboard Discovery-O, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she is leasing from Christina Serio. The pair confidently navigated the first round clear and crossed the finish line in the jump-off in 42.904 seconds with all rails still in their cups to win the class.
The 17-year-old from Newtown, Connecticut, currently trains with Val Renihan and her mother, Abbi Ferrigno, while preparing for her senior year of high school. Ferrigno has had a successful youth career, collecting many wins from the pony division up to representing the U.S. in the FEI Children’s Nations Cup CSIOCH. Most recently Ferrigno claimed the Overall Grand Championship in the 3’6” section at the 2019 USEF Junior Hunter National Championships – East Coast. She only recently started competing her jumper-mount Discovery-O at the end of June. The young rider has a bright future ahead of her as she committed to being a War Eagles athlete as a member of the Auburn University NCEA Team.
Show jumping competition will resume in the Rolex Stadium Saturday, Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. with the Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix will take place at 7 p.m. following the Leadline class.
Ellie Ferrigno – High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper winner
On her performance with Discovery-O:
“I was super happy with my ride today. I just recently started riding Discovery-O and I feel like today’s round was the first time I was able to go pretty fast while jumping clean. I’m totally ecstatic about it. I started showing him at the end of June. He’s really fun. I’ve never had a horse that has done it before — he knows exactly what he should be doing. He’s very smart and he jumps perfectly all the time, that’s what I love about him. I feel like he is so solid and I can count on him.”
On what’s next:
“For the rest of the year, we are trying to rack up money so we can qualify for indoors. I think he will be spectacular at indoors, that’s what we are hoping! Next year I’m hoping to do [North American Youth Championships] Young Riders division on him. Also, I verbally committed to Auburn University so when I graduate high school next year I’ll go there. I’m hoping to make a professional career out of it. There are times when my mom has her pony kids and I am able to help train a little and I love the idea of it. I love sharing the joy with your team when things go well.”
On the opportunity to ride:
“He is owned by Christina Serio and I want to thank her so much. She is an unbelievable person and she loves Discovery so much. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to compete with him. She has had him since he was 4-years-old and she has developed him fully. I have leased him through this year and into next year.”
On competing at the Kentucky Horse Shows:
“In past years we usually only come for Pony Finals and Derby Finals, but this year we decided to come for these two weeks. It’s been beautiful. The venue is great and the horses love it because there is so much space. I go riding out in the fields of the cross country course most days and I’m able to relax. I love it here.”
High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers
Place / Horse / Rider / Round 1 Faults / Time / Round 2 Faults / Time
1. Discovery-O / Ellie Ferrigno / 0 / 79.561 / 0 / 42.904
2. Elusive / Mallory Vale / 0 / 78.29 / 4 / 45.335
3. Calmara 12 / Lindsey Strafuss / 0 / 83.402 / 5 / 48.383
4. Di Vadine / Diego Loria / 0 / 75.185 / 14 / 53.941
5. Thalie D’Anjou / Ashley Vogel / 0 / 76.724 / 17 / 56.624
6. Dublin / Skyler Fields / 4 / 79.461
7. Lucky Luke / Sedona Chamblee / 4 / 82.474
8. Donna VI / Clotilde Lewis / 7 / 87
9. Vigo Du Levant / Jaelynn Downing / 8 / 81.341
Lexington, Ky. – Aug. 2, 2019 – Junior Hunters closed out the Stonelea Ring Friday at the Kentucky Summer Classic with the presentation of the Grand Junior Hunter Championship presented by Visse Wedell. The top honor was presented to the horse and rider combination that accumulated the most points over two days of competition in either the 3’3” or 3’6” sections of the Junior Hunter division. This week, it was Kat Fuqua and Cupido Z that reigned supreme.
Cupido Z, a 10 year-old chestnut Warmblood gelding, and Fuqua won both over fences of the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters during the first day of competition with scores of 85 and 81, respectively. The duo returned for Friday’s classes with confidence, earning an 86 in the first round, an 84 in the handy round and taking second place in the under saddle class to clinch the championship for their division.
A notable name in the pony hunter ring, Fuqua has recently moved up to the Junior Hunter and equitation divisions with the guidance of Jimmy Torano. Fuqua still competes in the Large Green Pony Hunter division as she learns the ropes in the 3’6” ring, although she has taken to the junior divisions quickly. She and Cupido Z were recently champion in the Junior 15 & Under Hunter division at the I Love New York Horse Show as well as earning top ribbons at the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship – East Coast at the Brandywine Valley Summer Series. The pair plan to continue on to the indoors circuit this fall with the goal of competing at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair in 2020.
Hunters will continue to show in the Stonelea ring Saturday at the Kentucky Summer Classic with the Amateur Owner Hunters taking center stage throughout the day and will conclude with the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby presented by World Equestrian Center/Kentucky Horse Shows.
On her horse:
“Cupid is my Large Junior Hunter. He is a really big horse so he has a huge stride. He was amazing both days – we won all four over fences, so I’m really happy to be named the Grand Junior Hunter champion!””
On what’s next:
“We plan on going to indoors and continuing in the Large Junior Hunters next year and going to the Devon Horse Show as well. I also show in the Small Junior Hunters and the Large Green [Pony Hunter] division.”
On competing at the Kentucky Summer Classic:
“I love it here! A lot of my friends are here so it’s a really fun show!”