Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 17, 2018 – Thursday evening at the Kentucky Horse Park once again welcomed the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3*, the second event in the seven-part series, sponsored by Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The audience of the Rolex Stadium watched 61 starters over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) 16-effort course as an impressive 16 horse-and-rider combinations delivered clear rounds, but once again Andy Kocher (USA) and Kahlua could not be caught and the pair captured their second consecutive win of the Kentucky Spring Classic.
Kocher and Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s Kahlua are on a roll after just claiming Wednesday’s highlight event, the $35,000 Welcome Speed CSI 3*. The dynamic duo was second to enter the ring in the jump-off and they put forth a speedy, clear round in 42.72 seconds that would be closely challenged by the 12 remaining entries, but could never be caught. With the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood in top form, Kocher now aims for Saturday’s $131,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix CSI 3*.
Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Balou du Reventon
Last week’s Hagyard Classic winner, Darragh Kenny (IRL), claimed the second place finish, this time with Ann Thompson’s Balou Du Reventon. Kenny and the 12-year-old Oldenburg stallion challenged Kocher’s quick time, but just fell short as they completed a clear round in 43.31 seconds.
Jessica Springsteen (USA) & Volage du Val Henry
Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Volage Du Val Henry, the 9-year-old Selle Français mare owned by BTR LLC, finished in a close third with a time of 43.61 seconds and a clear round.
The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven show-jumping events held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington throughout the 2018 show season with the following four shows to include the Kentucky Summer Horse Show, the Kentucky Summer Classic, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show and the KHJA Horse Show. The series will culminate during the Kentucky National Horse Show at the end of September, where the rider who accumulates the most points in the series will receive a $50,000 Leading Rider Award, presented upon completion of the seventh event, the $65,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.
Jumper competition will resume in the Rolex Stadium on Friday morning with the $5,000 Open Jumper 1.45m beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Andy Kocher (USA) & Kahlua during the awards ceremony
From the Winner’s Circle
Andy Kocher – $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3* Winner
On his plan:
“[Kahlua] jumped a really easy clear. I looked and saw that there was a lot in the jump off, so I knew I’d have to run and move. As I was going to the first jump, I was thinking I don’t want to use her too much because I want to jump her in the grand prix on Saturday. The only place I thought maybe I could have been a bit faster was the first jump if you caught that at a total dead run. I let her totally out there [to the last line]. Darragh [Kenny] was close – he almost had it. I was chopping for the seven [strides] to the last fence and the seven was a leave out. She’s just jumping really well. I’ll let her just keep rolling and try to win again. She’s on form so I guess I’ll keep going.”
“She’s a mare and she definitely has opinions and a lot of personality. For the first few months I had her, I didn’t even take her to a horse show. She was a little bit difficult in the mouth and cold off my leg – she just did everything her way and that was it. She wasn’t meeting in the middle, but it’s gotten so much better. I think her and I are finally on the same page – it’s taken a while. She’ll jump anything you aim her at and she’s careful and quick. I’m starting to think she’s a little bit of a freak of a horse – she won one [class] at WEF, she was second in one [class] at WEF, I jumped her a couple 5* grand prix classes and she only had one down – I never thought she could do that and now she’s proven herself. She might be a big time horse.”
On his plans:
“I’ll jump her Saturday. My plans keep changing with how good she keeps doing. I might start aiming her for some really big classes.”
On the Hagyard Classic series:
“I might have to come back for the Kentucky National [Horse Show]. The money offered [for the leading rider bonus] is great, so it would definitely be something I would come back for.”
$35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3*
Place / Rider (Country) & Horse – R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Andrew Kocher (USA) & Kahlua – 0 | 77.37 / 0 | 42.72
2. Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Balou Du Reventon – 0 | 75.65 / 0 | 43.31
3. Jessica Springsteen (USA) & Volage Du Val Henry – 0 | 79.48 / 0 | 43.61
4. Eve Jobs (USA) & Venue D’fees Des Hazalles – 0 | 77.64 / 0 | 45.54
5. Andrew Bourns (IRL) & Diego – 0 | 76.06 / 0 | 46.83
6. Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Bugatti – 0 | 76.95 / 0 | 49.32
7. Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) & Tosca De L’esques – 0 | 79.37 / 4 | 43.81
8. Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Important De Muze – 0 | 76.70 / 4 | 44.86
9. Gustavo Prato (ARG) & Carna Z – 0 | 77.60 / 4 | 46.46
10. Kevin Babington (IRL) & Shorapur – 0 | 79.47 / 4 | 47.21
11. Sloane Coles (USA) & MTF Saint Simeon – 0 | 79.98 / 4 | 47.28
12. Michael Morrissey (USA) & Chance STE Hermelle – 0 | 79.11 / 4 | 50.48
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Media Group / Barre Dukes