Lexington, Kentucky, USA. – August 19, 2018 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park saw 32 athletes and their mounts vying for the top prize in the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. At the end of the competition, it was Kady Abrahamson (USA) and her mount, Charline 28, who finished strong with a clean and clear round to take home the blue ribbon. Additionally, Abrahamson walked away with the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.
Ken Krome’s 16-effort track proved tricky for the 32 horse-and-rider combinations, as only four produced a fault free round to advance to the jump-off. The time allowed for round one of competition was set to 84 seconds, however after some athletes struggled to make that time, it was adjusted to 88 seconds. The technical track not only caused time difficulties for many, athletes also struggled with the triple combination (vertical-oxer-vertical) in the final portion of the course, which resulted in many fallen rails.
Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Charline 28
Abrahamson and Charline 28, a 13-year-old Mecklenburg mare, were the third to go in the jump-off round. Although she was not able to watch the first two competitors, Daisy Farish and Liza Finsness, go in the jump-off, she knew that she had to push her mare for a quick round, with the first two rounds going clear and only differing by a tenth of a second. Ultimately, Abrahamson was able to put in the winning round with a time of 43.228 seconds thanks to her mare’s quick step and quick jump.
Charline 28 and Abrahamson have been paired together for three years, and although they had a rocky start, the two now have an exceptional relationship that has led them to success. Last week, they won their first grand prix together at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio.
Daisy Farish (USA) & Great White
Coming in second place was Daisy Farish and her own Great White. Farish and her 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding were second to go in the first round of competition. While the pair left all the jumps standing, they accrued three time faults. However, after the following athletes continued to acquire time faults, the decision was made to adjust the time allowed which put Farish and Great White through to the jump-off. First to go in the jump-off, Farish set the bar high for the three remaining competitors with her swift time of 45.001 seconds.
Liza Finsness (USA) & Shiver
Third place was captured by Liza Finsness (USA) and Shiver, who placed also third in Friday night’s the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix. The pair have had a successful summer on the show circuit, having just recently placed first in the $50,000 Meijer Grand Prix of Michigan in Traverse City.
Sunday afternoon’s competition concludes jumper action at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, but the jumpers will return Aug. 22–26 for the KHJA Horse Show. Riders will have another shot at the prize money in the $15,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake and $30,000 KHJA Grand Prix.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kady Abrahamson – $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix winner
On her relationship and plans with Charline 28:
“Charline has been amazing over the past few years. I got her from Sharn Wordley three years ago. When I first got her, it took me a year to like her. She is a chestnut mare and she is absolutely crazy.She has shivers behind in both back legs, which makes it hard for her. In the barn she can’t lay down, she can’t back up. It’s hard for her. As you can see in the jump-off, with the turns she sometimes has trouble keeping her ground just because it is a neurological thing that she was born with. It actually took me a really long time to to like her. She is very careful, but with that she is a worried horse. She is brave so she is always going to go, but it depends on how she goes. A year ago we clicked and ever since then we have been on fire. She is the queen of the barn for good reason.”
On her recent successes:
“I actually just got my first grand prix win ever on her last week at the World Equestrian Center in Ohio. That was a 1.40m $25,000 class, so this was my first serious grand prix win. We are gearing up for the $250,000 championship in Saugerties, New York in two weeks. I go back to college next week, so we are ending on a high note.”
On her plan for the jump-off:
“I had the luxury of going third, but I didn’t get to watch the first two go because I was switching horses. She doesn’t have a big step, but she has a quick jump and a quick step, so even if you have to add one stride here and there, you are still going to be ahead because she is just that naturally fast. I figured that there were only four in the jump-off, so I might as well go for it and not add any strides. The worst I could do was fourth, and that’s still a good payday.”
On competing at the Kentucky Horse Park:
“We bought a farm near here four years ago. I’ve been showing here since I was a kid with David Beisel. I rode with him for 10 years and I’ve been around these shows all my life. I never want to leave because it is so beautiful here and the shows are run so well. The horses love it here.”
Results – $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Country) / Horse / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Charline 28 – 0 / 0 / 43.228
2. Great White / Daisy Farish / Daisy Farish – 0 / 0 / 45.001
3. Liza Finsness (USA) & Shiver – 0 / 0 / 45.110
4. Carlos Milthaler (CHI) & Con Top – 0 / 4 / 46.289
5. Nicolas Imschenetzky (CHI) & Jeckle – 1 / 88.404
6. Juan Bolaños (ESA) & Magnolia Mystic Rose – 1 / 88.466
7. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Glasgow De Muze – 4 / 76.850
8. Daniel Geitner (USA) & Vesta De Lavardin – 4 / 83.339
9. Daniel Bedoya (BOL) & Quattro – 4 / 85.057
10. Anna Christina Gansauer (ECU) & Hot Shot Van De Hoendrikshoeve – 4 / 86.962
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.
Source: Press Release by Callie Clement for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Callie Clement / Elaine Wessel