Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with a series of upper-level show jumping competitions capped by the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*, attracting some of the best horses and athletes from the United States and beyond. Earning the largest share of the day’s purse as well as the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance captured the victory in the evening’s feature event, while Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Picobello Choppin PC also solidified themselves as one of the day’s champions by outrunning the pack in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.
With the class serving as a prerequisite to qualify for Saturday’s $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, exhibitors in the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* were challenged to finish within the top 40 in order to earn a coveted slot in the show jumping grand finale of the week. Up against a sizable field of talented contenders and a challenging 15-effort track constructed by Ken Krome (USA), 13 pairs mastered the first course to gain eligibility into the jump-off, while four duos fell victim to a single time fault and a handful were knocked out of contention at the oxer-vertical in-and-out, the bogey fences of the evening.
Proving why he has previously held the title of best in the world based on the Longines Rankings, Farrington maneuvered 11-year-old Creedance, the horse he owns with R.C.G. Farm, to the first double-clean ride of the evening as third in the jump-off order-of-go, stopping the clock in 37.49 seconds to set the standard to beat for his peers that would follow. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Peter Lutz (USA), Conor Swail (IRL), Beezie Madden (USA) and Sharn Wordley (NZL) all followed suit with subsequent double-clear trips, but none were quick-footed enough to overthrow the class leaders.
A familiar face in the winner’s circle, Farrington is a multi-time Olympian for the United States and has been successful on the world stage with mounts such as Voyeur, Uceko and Gazelle, in addition to Creedance, for a number of years. Farrington wore the world’s No. 1 armband from May 2017 until April 2018, only being overthrown from the top spot after a leg injury prevented him from competing. Since returning to the show ring, he has quickly returned to his winning ways, nabbing victories in Valkenswaard, Germany; Valence, France; Calgary, Canada; and Tryon, USA, among others.
Ultimately, Lutz and Robin De Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, earned the reserve position with their double-clean time of 39.34 seconds, and Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel clinched third place overall in 39.65 seconds.
Prior to Thursday’s feature event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 31 horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. Operating under a faults-converted format, any downed rails added three penalties to the time to determine a final score for the round, meaning both speed and precision were imperative for a respectable tally. As one of the first to enter the ring, the ever-formidable Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva set the pace with their quick trip in 56.51 seconds. Hot off their win in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, Madden and Jiva looked to be the ones to beat as pair after pair failed to usurp them.
Nearing the end of the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Tarioso Manciais, owned by Grant Road Partners, finally edged out the frontrunners, tripping the timers just a hair faster in 56.34 seconds to jump to the top spot, but their lead wouldn’t hold. As the reigning American Gold Cup winner of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W with D’Arnita, Cawley’s reputation preceded her, and the veteran competitor did not disappoint. As one of the final five to take to the ring, Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC blazed around the Alltech Arena, carefully slicing across the track and leaving all of the rails up in a lightning fast final time of 54.20 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the previous class leaders, to clinch the blue ribbon ahead of reserve finishers Dinan and Tarioso Manciais as well as Madden and Jiva.
The Alltech Arena also played host to the $10,000 Junior Jumpers and $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers earlier in the day. In the junior contest, Isabella Bleu and her own Jahil led the way with a fault-free jump-off effort in 32.995 seconds to edge out the reserve finishers, Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Street Hassle BH, with their final time of 33.809 seconds. Not far off the pace, Paige Matthies and Barbara Smith’s Dirkie Z rounded out the top three with a clean jump-off ride in 35.023 seconds. Out of the field of amateur-owners, owner-rider Riley Newsome piloted Dakar VDL twice successfully, leaving all of the fences intact and breaking the beam in 39.783 seconds over the short course, just ahead of the time earned by the reserve champions, Addison Glerkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Erco Van T Roosakker, in 40.073 seconds. Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, finished in the third position, riding to a clean and clear jump-off time of 40.791 seconds.
The 2018 National Horse Show will return Friday with more show jumping action in the form of the $35,000 Salamander Hotels & Resorts Accumulator Class CSI4*. Juniors and amateurs will take center stage Saturday afternoon in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix, and the premier jumper class of the week, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, will take place Saturday evening. The daily live stream will resume Friday on EQSportsNet. Saturday night’s class will only be available to watch on FEI TV and FEI YouTube.
Due to technical issues, streaming on FEI TV and FEI YouTube was unavailable. We hope everyone enjoyed the live stream via Facebook and EQSportsNET. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused while you were trying to watch the first few rounds of our featured evening class.
Kent Farrington – $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* champion
On maintaining his lead in the jump-off:
“You’re never really sure when you have a big group of competitive riders, so it never feels fast enough. You just have to hope for the best and today we were lucky enough to get out of there with the win. I have a very fast horse and that makes a big difference. You can make a plan for him that you stick with, and it doesn’t really matter if there’s going to be five or 25, you can have confidence to stick to his round and it’s normally going to be pretty close.”
On riding the jump-off:
“I was always going to jump him, I found with experience with him that he’s actually better when I show him a little bit. If I hold out and I wait for a class, he’s typically not as good. If I compete a little bit, I’ve found that’s a better system for him to jump a big class.”
“He’s special. Special everything and he jumps special too, and that goes with the territory so I like him that way. In the warm-up, it’s almost easier if he is in a small space because there’s nowhere for him to go. He’s waiting for me to tell him what to do. That makes him very good inside because he’s naturally so fast. For me, he’s a modern show jumper. He’s fast and careful, and he can jump big. That’s everything I look for in a horse today.”
On coming back from his injury:
“I train pretty hard when I’m not on the horse. If I overdo it at the gym it will nag me a little bit the next day when I’m riding. I was really determined to come back in a hurry. I think it was twelve weeks from when I broke it to when I jumped the five star. For me it felt long, but they told me that’s pretty fast for that kind of injury. It was onto the next — got a little vacation and kept it moving. It’s part of the game. You do this or downhill skiing or anything else and you’re going to take some tumbles. If you ask any of these guys they can tell you a story where they’ve had a wreck here or there. You pick yourself back up and you keep going.”
On whether he hopes to participate at the 2019 World Cup Finals:
“I’m just going to play it by ear. It is still a long ways away. My older ones I think are kind of too old to do that and the younger ones, we will have to see if they are ready to do a whole final like that. I don’t know that I would ask Creedance to jump an entire final, maybe he could do a leg of it, but I think I would need another horse there to jump a leg of it, too, to really have a shot. Creedance is a fantastic horse and a great competitor but the World Cup Final is a lot of rounds and big jumping, and I don’t know that it would be fair to him to have him do that many big rounds. If he is really in unbelievable form then maybe I would consider it, but right now it is too early to say.”
Peter Lutz – $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* reserve champion
On the course:
“It was a really nice course, there were a few oxers that were set close to the turn so I think that was challenging. Toward the end of the course there was a line set a little bit forward close to the corner, so I think that caught a few people.”
On whether he hopes to participate at the 2019 World Cup Finals:
“Yes, I am hoping to go. We brought Robin [de Ponthual] to Gothenberg last time and did really well there, we finished in the top 20. I think he could be really good there. We have some points from Columbus (The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Columbus CSI3*-W) and hopefully we will get some more this week.”
On his growth and relationship with Robin du Ponthual:
“We had a great summer with Robin at Spruce Meadows, and he has really been great there the last two years. I think he is a pretty special horse because he is equally as good in a venue like that as he is indoors. I’ve gotten to know him; I’ve been riding him for a few years so I know him quite well. I enjoy bringing him indoors now. This is his first week inside and he felt great.”
Conor Swail – $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* third place
On the course:
“There were a few wide oxers there and a couple of different choices in the stride patterns also. I thought I did a good enough job tonight. It was a really nice course.”
On his future plans:
“We will jump on Saturday night, then I go to Toronto with the same two horses I have here. I will then be finished for the season over here. I’m going to go over to Europe where I have a couple of younger horses. I’m going to do some smaller shows up until Christmas, then we head to Florida again.”
On whether he hopes to participate at the 2019 World Cup Finals:
“Possibly. I have a few points already there. We will see how the next few weeks go. The venue is a little bit maybe not suitable as it is a bit small at World Cup Finals, so we will see.”
Molly Ashe Cawley – 35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumper Speed CSI4* champion
On Thursday’s class:
“When I walked the course, I thought it was a good course for [Picobello Choppin PC] because he’s really handy. I watched Beezie [Madden] go and I thought, ‘Oh, no chance.’ Time and time again I think I’ve been flying but then I end up seventh because he jumps so high. Everything just came up really well for him. I didn’t realize I was as quick as I was until I went through the timers. I was able to do the leave-out to the in-and-out and then the spin back to the next to last jump stopped you so the five was really going for him, which made it faster also. Beezie was clearly the one that was going to be hard to beat. She really took a good shot to the first in-and-out, which I knew I couldn’t do, and I didn’t do, so I didn’t know if I had her or not. It was my night I guess.”
On Picobello Choppin PC:
“We call him ‘Chops.’ He’s the best. Every day he goes out and does his best. I’ve had him since he was 7 [years old]. He’s a fighter and he loves to go fast. He’s 10 now so we know each other really, really well. He’s brave and he’s game and he’ll always fight for you. I love having him. He’s just a really fun horse.”
$135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Creedance / Kent Farrington / USA / Kent Farrington and R.C.G. Farm / 0 / 0 | 37.49
2. Robin De Ponthual / Peter Lutz / USA / Katherine Gallagher and M. Michael Meller / 0 / 0 | 39.34
3. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / Vanessa Mannix / 0 / 0 | 39.65
4. Cooper / Devin Ryan / USA / Devin Ryan / 0 / 0 | 40.04
5. Don’t Touch Du Bois / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / Sweet Oak Farm and Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 / 0 | 40.91
6. Chic Hin D Hyrencourt / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 0 | 42.10
7. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / NZL / Sky Group / 0 / 0 | 43.85
8. Chameur / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Purple Road, LLC / 0 / 0 | 44.47
9. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 / 4 | 37.59
10. MTM Vivre Le Reve / Brian Moggre / USA / Major Wager LLC / 0 / 4 | 39.26
11. Carlo / Hardin Towell / USA / Ann Thompson / 0 / 4 | 39.91
12. Galan S / Beat Mändli / SUI / Grant Road Partners LLC / 0 / 4 | 40.17
The amateur-owner hunter athletes took center stage Thursday morning as the 2018 National Horse Show continued to award championship titles.
The first championship ribbon of the day went to Lindsay Maxwell of Beverly Hills, California, and her own Belgravia in the Rencourt Foundation Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Clementina Brown. The pair won three of the four classes in the division and placed fourth in Wednesday’s first over fences round. Reserve champion was awarded to Callie Seaman and her own Endeavor.
After claiming the same division championship at the Capital Challenge Horse Show and Washington International Horse Show, Maxwell was thrilled to end the fall indoor season with one more tricolor at the National Horse Show. In addition, Maxwell’s 10-year-old Warmblood gelding’s impressive performances over the course of Wednesday and Thursday ultimately secured him the overall 2018 Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter title and the Susanne Stroh Perpetual Trophy.
Following Maxwell and Belgravia’s championship win, the Oare & Adikes-Hill Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3” Hunter division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare and Mrs. Patricia Adikes-Hill, championship was presented to Virginia Fout and her own Carma. The duo claimed the under saddle and stake classes to help them win top honors in the division, while the reserve championship was won by Lynn Seithel and her own Walk The Line, who won the handy round.
Following the completion of the amateur-owner hunter divisions on Thursday, junior hunter competition began with the Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter division, where Maggie Hill claimed the first over fences round with her own O’Ryan and Violet Lindemann Barnett rode to the top of the leaderboard in the handy round with Luscious, owned by Sloan Lindemann Barnett, to secure valuable points ahead of Friday’s stake and under saddle classes to determine the champion.
Junior hunter competition will continue Friday, when new division champions will be crowned, and the day will also highlight the highly anticipated $50,000 National Horse Show Hunter Classic in the Alltech Arena at 7 p.m. All of Wednesday’s professional hunter champions and reserve champions are qualified to compete in this inaugural event, where horse-and-athlete combinations will compete at the respective height of the section from which they qualified. The class, which counts towards Horse of the Year points, will consist of two rounds, with the top 12 horses returning for a second round from low to high score within their respective heights. The final average score from round one will be added to the final average score from round two to determine the overall total final score and winner.
Lindsay Maxwell – Owner of 2018 Grand Champion Amateur-Owner 3’3” Hunter, Belgravia
On winning the Rencourt Foundation Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Clementina Brown, championship:
“It’s fantastic; it feels wonderful! Belgravia – his barn name is Prince – is a spectacular horse. He’s really come through for me this indoors. I’m thrilled with how he performed and it’s an honor to win this here at the National Horse Show. The courses were beautiful. It’s really exciting, I’m really proud of him.”
On Belgravia’s performances:
“We did Capital Challenge, Washington and here and he was grand champion at all three! The pressure was really on here because I was really excited to even have the chance to compete. He was first and fourth over fences [on Wednesday] and won the hack so he felt good going into today, but the competition is tough here so I couldn’t let my guard down. I really had to perform. [Thursday’s course] wasn’t an ideal course for me because I’m more left-leaded and it was a more right-leaded course so I was a little nervous when I came in and saw it but this horse has such a great personality and he knows when it really counts. I can tell as soon as I get on him in the morning how it’s going to go and I knew we were good as soon as he walked in the ring. It was a great feeling. We’ve gotten to know each other really well over the past couple of years. This is my second indoors with him and we’re really in sync right now. It’s a great feeling.”
On Belgravia’s personality:
“He has a huge personality! His barn name is Prince because he is a prince! He’s spoiled rotten. He knows his humans. As soon as I walk in the barn, he starts nickering. He definitely knows his people. He’s a happy horse and fun to be around but he also has this funny little attitude that he’ll give me every now and again, at home especially. When he’s at shows, he’s serious and knows that it’s game time, especially at big events like this. He knows when he has to step up and perform and he never lets me down. I can’t say enough good things about this horse.”
On competing and winning at the National Horse Show:
“Winning here is an honor. This is an incredible show with the long and storied history and they do a beautiful job putting it on every year. It’s definitely one of my favorite shows that I go to all year. I really can’t thank the management, the jump crew and the team behind-the-scenes enough because the logistics here are pretty intense. They dress up the ring beautifully and the show is really well run. Jennifer Burger is president this year and she’s done an incredible job. The show has gone fantastic so far so it really means a lot [to win this]. The competition was stiff and the pressure was on so I couldn’t be happier.”
Violet Lindemann Barnett – Small Junior 15 and Under Hunter handy round winner
On her performances with Luscious:
“Luscious felt amazing! I’ve had him for two years and this year is our first indoor season together. He’s never been here before and he was just amazing. The handy really suits him because he turns really easily and the trot jumps are always really nice on him. It was super fun.”
On her first impression of the National Horse Show:
“It’s amazing! I love this horse show. It’s such a prestigious venue. To win during my first time competing here on my amazing horse is incredible. I’m so thankful.”
Rencourt Foundation Amateur-Owner 18–35 3’3” Hunter division, presented by Ms. Clementina Brown, division champion:
Belgravia, ridden and owned by Lindsay Maxwell
Reserve: Endeavor, ridden and owned by Callie Seaman
Oare & Adikes-Hill Amateur-Owner Over 35 3’3” Hunter division, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare and Mrs. Patricia Adikes-Hill, division champion:
Carma, ridden and owned by Virginia Fout
Reserve: Walk The Line, ridden and owned by Lynn Seithel