Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 16, 2018 – The second week of CSI 3* competition at the Kentucky Horse Park kicked off during the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed in the Rolex Stadium where 36 horse-and-rider combinations raced ahead of the rain, contesting Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 14-effort track. The speed class saw eleven clear rounds, but Andy Kocher (USA) was uncatchable as he raced to the victory aboard Christian Rogge of Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua with over two seconds separating him at the top.
Kocher intends to jump the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in Saturday’s$131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI3*, so his initial plan was to use Wednesday’s class as training, but with identical prize money to Thursday night’s $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* and a careful mare, Kocher decided to go for it and his last-minute decision paid off. He flew through the timers with a quick, clear round in 61.11 seconds to capture and maintain the lead.
Santiago Lambre (MEX) & Doloris
Mexico’s Santiago Lambre and his own 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Doloris, chased Kocher’s time, but fell short, finishing a clear round in 63.68 seconds to settle for second place.
Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) & Lincourt Gino
Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) and Lincourt Gino, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Monica Carrera, captured the third place prize with a clear time of 64.07 seconds.
Jumper action continues Thursday at the Kentucky Spring Classic with the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumper beginning at 8:00 a.m. in the Rolex Stadium, followed by the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix. Scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., the highlight event is the second of the seven-part Hagyard Challenge Series at the Kentucky Horse Park.
From the Winner’s Circle
Andy Kocher – $35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed CSI 3* winner
On his plan:
“My plan was ruined a little because my plane got delayed from all of this weather. I didn’t get to my hotel until around two in the morning and I had to get up around 6. Kahlua is the horse I am planning to jump in the grand prix on Saturday, so I was thinking we’d take it nice and easy – hope to have a nice round tomorrow night and have her really prepared for the grand prix – but then I thought it’s the same prize money for tomorrow night as today. I think a lot of people were training today in the speed class, so I thought I’ll just let [Kahlua] go around and if she has a pole down that would still be good training, but I’ll give it a go. She knows what she’s doing and then I was thinking to myself that I was going to go for it and then if she had one down I was going to slow up and try to work on rideability, but she just never touched any poles so I just kept going.”
On his course:
“The first line, I came at it and hit the timer running. I was flying, so I didn’t lose any time going to the first jump. I was really short back to fence three and that made the five[strides to fence 4] desperate. I asked her for more than you should ask of any horse at that oxer and she just flew. After she jumped that, I was thinking in my head if I just don’t make a stupid mistake here she’s definitely won it and I only had two singles and a combination left. I was like as long as I can not do something dumb here I got this. She jumped the last in and out perfectly too.”
“Kahlua is a cool horse because I’ve had her since June or July and I’ve been bringing her along. She has jumped some 5* grand prix classes now, she won a speed 1.45m at WEF and she was second in another one, so she’s really starting to come up. She kind of looks like a big, heavy, cold horse, but she’s not. She has lots of blood and she’s the kind of horse, the more you show her, the better she jumps. She wouldn’t be one that jumps better off rest, so I’ll jump her tomorrow and if everything goes the way it usually goes she would be my choice to jump Saturday night [in the grand prix]. Kahlua is just really coming into her own. I think people will see that horse winning a lot of classes this year and the cool part about her is that she can win a speed class and come right back the next day and jump clear in a jump-off class. She’s got a good brain like that, she’s super focused.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“I think any time you can win classes every place seems fun. I don’t think that anyone argues [the Kentucky Horse Park] is a beautiful facility. The footing is awesome and the jumps are nice. We always have nice course designers and and for me, I think it’s cool that you get to show in the Rolex Stadium. I also like that the FEI horses are stabled near the stadium. I didn’t come here at all last year except for the National [Horse Show] and they’ve made a few changes and improvements that I think are really nice. There’s a lot of pluses.”
$35,000 1.45m Welcome Speed CSI3*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Faults | Time
1. Andrew Kocher (USA) & Kahlua / 0 | 61.11
2. Santiago Lambre (MEX) & Doloris / 0 | 63.68
3. Alejandro Karolyi / VEN / Lincourt Gino / 0 | 64.07
4. Margie Engle (USA) & Indigo / 0 | 64.36
5. Andrew Kocher (USA) & Zantos II / 0 | 64.47
6. Luis Biraben (ARG) & Caillou / 0 | 64.62
7. Darragh Kerins (IRL) & Silteplait de Circee / 0 | 66.55
8. Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2 / 0 | 66.62
9. Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Balou du Reventon / 0 | 68.16
10. Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Barnetta / 0 | 68.52
11. Sloane Coles (USA) & MTF Saint Simeon / 0 | 69.91
12. Eugenio Garza (MEX) & Pappa Ante Portas 2 / 1 | 81.53
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Media Group / Barre Dukes
Categories: CSI 3*