Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 13, 2018 – The final day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show highlighted national jumper competition in the Rolex Stadium with the $35,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix, presented by AUDI of Lexington, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek, to conclude the first week of competition in the spring series. Sunday’s featured victories were awarded to Kevin Babington (IRL) and Eugenio Garza (MEX) in their respective classes.
Prior to the Grand Prix, 25 riders challenged a very difficult 1.50m track in the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek. Many of the athletes found trouble at the final combination, consisting of a triple combination to a liverpool oxer, and only the final two riders of the class cleared all 17 efforts fault-free with room to spare under the altered 88 second time-allowed.
The head-to-head jump-off saw Sloan Hopson and her own Costa Rica VH Waterschoot Z put the pressure on as they flew to a clear second round in a time of 46.081 seconds. Eugenio Garza followed as the final rider in both the first and second rounds, knowing he had nothing to lose with longtime partner Bariano. Garza and the 17-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, owned by El Milagro, flew to the finish in 41.127 seconds to earn the victory. Garza concluded a successful first week at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, hot off his third place finish in Saturday night’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 3* with Armani SL Z. Hopson and her 10-year-old Zangersheide mare settled for the second place finish.
Lacey Gilbertson and Teddy Vlock ended the first round with just one time fault, but as the faster of the two, only 10 milliseconds over the time-allowed, Gilbertson earned the third place ribbon, finishing in 88.018 seconds with Seabrook LLC’s Cobolt. Vlock received the fourth place prize.
Eugenio Garza (MEX) & Bariano during the awards ceremony
Darragh Kenny also concluded a successful week, capturing the Leading Open Jumper Rider Award, sponsored by Envisian Products, with a total of 28 points based on wins in Thursday’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3* and Saturday’s $131,000 Hollow Creek Farm Grand Prix CSI 3*.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show series will continue with the Kentucky Spring Classic, held May 16-20, and will also feature a FEI CSI3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 19, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Once again all three FEI classes will count for the Longines Ranking List and the Thursday and Saturday classes will also count for the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List. In addition, the featured national classes will be the $35,000 Bluegrass Grand Prix, which counts towards the Rolex/USEF Show Jumping Ranking List, and the $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 20, in the Rolex Stadium.
Eugenio Garza – $20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix winner
On his plan:
“I think when we walked [the course] everyone knew it was tough – it was big. I think this is the biggest U25 courses we have jumped all year including Florida, but we got to go last. I got to see all of the lines, but it didn’t change the fact that it was a very hard course. We just executed what my trainers told me to do and the horse really tried – he’s an amazing horse. Again luckily we were to go [in the jump-off] so I saw what Sloan [Hopson] did and she really put the pressure on when she went clean and she was fast. She went very tight from to fence 3 to 4 so I knew I couldn’t just lope around and I had to go for it. [Bariano]’s a very fast horse and he really helped me out there. He really didn’t miss a step today, he was really good.”
“He really tried out there for me and I was really happy with him. He’s my long-time partner. He’s 17 [years old] this year and he’s jumping great. Every time he comes to Kentucky he seems to do well. He loves it here and we always say that this might be his last season, but he keeps on doing well. As long as he’s happy doing his job and as long as he continues to do it, I’ll be grateful to have him for as long as possible.”
On Kentucky Spring Horse Shows:
“Kentucky treats us well. I love being in Kentucky. The show is amazing. I think most importantly the horses absolutely love it here. Coming from Wellington [Florida] which is home base for us, but near the end of April it starts to get a bit humid and a bit hot, so coming here is like a breath of fresh air. They love it here. You have the cross-country field to go out in. It’s just a lovely show to be at and it really sets up the horses great for the summer.”
$20,000 Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Hollow Creek
Place / Rider / Horse / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Eugenio Garza (MEX) & Bariano / 0 | 84.533 / 0 | 41.127
2. Sloan Hopson (USA) & Costa Rica Vh Waterschoot Z / 0 | 86.752 / 0 | 46.081
3. Lacey Gilbertson (USA) & Cobolt / 1 | 88.018
4. Teddy Vlock (USA) & Gasper Van Den Doorn / 1 | 88.697
5. Kaely Tomeu (USA) & Elizabeth / 4 | 81.620
6. Stephen Foran (USA) & Cassius 74 / 4 | 83.238
7. Nicole Bellissimo (USA) & Jersey V.D. Hunters / 4 | 84.405
8. Emma Kurtz (USA) & Pippi / 4 | 84.481
9. Savannah Talcott (USA) & Espatako’s Electra R / 4 | 85.013
10. Anna Beth Athey (USA) & Cantero Da Lagoa / 4 | 85.059
11. Marion Head (USA) & Carjo Z / 5 | 88.842
12. Kerry Mc Cahill (USA) & Westbrook / 8 | 83.723
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Media Group
Categories: CSI U-25