Lexington, Kentucky, USA – May 12, 2019 – The Kentucky Spring Horse Show closed out its action last Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park. The first major class of the day was the $15,000 Grand Prix CSI U-25 in the Rolex Stadium, giving up-and-coming athletes the opportunity to try their hand at the 1.40m and 1.50m height.
Twenty-five athletes entered the class hoping to walk away with the winning title, but it was Abigail McArdle (USA) and her longtime partner Cade who took the top prize. The 16 effort track proved tricky for some competitors with both time and jumping faults playing a role in the day’s challenges. Only three competitors returned for the jump-off, Delaney Flynn (USA), Tanimara Macari (MEX), and Abigail McArdle (USA).
Delaney Flynn (USA) & Milan IV
First to go in the jump-off was Flynn and Grace Jacobsen’s Milan IV. The jump-off course, consisting of eight efforts, allowed horse-and-riders the opportunity to gallop in a variety of locations while utilizing delicate verticals. Flynn and her 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding sped around the course with the fastest time of the day at 38.696 seconds, but fell victim to eight jumping faults. Next to enter the ring was Macari and Feminka, her own 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Verdi x Numero Uno). The pair also suffered eight jumping faults, leaving McArdle in a position to take the win by tackling the course with four faults or less.
McArdle, entering the ring with 18-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Heartbreaker x Darco), appeared to have the win within reach, until she reached the second to last fence where her horse had an uncharacteristic stop. After resetting the fence, the pair still had a chance to win if they could finish the final two fences within the time allowed of 50 seconds. Crossing the timers at 49.317 second with four jumping faults, McArdle sealed her first place finish as the last competitor to go.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Show series will continue with the Kentucky Spring Classic, held May 15–19, and will also feature a FEI CSI 3* rating. The $35,000 Welcome Speed will be held on Wednesday, followed by the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Thursday, as riders try to accumulate valuable points for the Hagyard Leading Rider Bonus. On Saturday, May 18, riders will compete under the lights in the Rolex Stadium during the $134,000 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 $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix to be held on Sunday, May 19, in the Rolex Stadium.
Abigail McArdle – $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix Winner
“He is 18 and really just my good old boy. He really went in today wanting to win it. These are great divisions to have, especially for an older horse like him that doesn’t need to be doing FEI.”
On the jump-off:
“I just needed to jump clean today and we actually had a stop-crash through the second to last fence. It counted as a refusal so I was worried about making the time allowed now. I planned a direct, very forward leave out from that oxer to the final fence. I was watching the clock and thought that I could probably finish without a time fault. It was a tough jump-off with the first two vertical’s on turns. The courses have been really great all week.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“We’ve been coming to Kentucky for years and years. For me, they are the best shows to be at in the spring because there is such great competition. The venue is unbelievable, one of the best in the world.”
Results $15,000 Under 25 Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Abigail McArdle (USA) & Cade – 0 | 75.906 / 4 | 49.317
2. Delaney Flynn (USA) & Milan IV – 0 | 75.868 / 8 | 38.696
3. Tanimara Macari (FRA) & Feminka – 0 | 76.014 / 8 | 40.249
4. Flore Giraud (FRA) & Voyou Du Bobois – 1 | 79.204
5. Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles – 1 | 79.241
6. Hunter Holloway (USA) & Silver Creek’s Validation – 1 | 79.255
7. Sophie Gochman (USA) & Carola BH – 4 | 73.519
8. Eugenio Garza (MEX) & Caracas – 4 | 74.873
9. Kady Abrahamson (USA) & Boudika Ideal Home – 4 | 78.236
10. Anna Beth Athey (USA) & Nat King Cole – 6 | 80.444
11. Eugenio Garza (MEX) & Contago – 7 | 81.920
12. Alma Bjorklund (SWE) & Loro Piana Ballyleck Royale – 8 | 78.282
Source: Press release by Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Callie Clement
Categories: CSI U-25