Lexington, Kentucky, USA – Aug. 16, 2019 – Jumper competition took center stage Friday evening at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, where 32 exhibitors challenged the course in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix in an attempt to lead the victory gallop. As the fifth jewel of seven in the Hagyard Challenge Series, the evening class offered competitors a chance to earn a share of the day’s prize money as well as accrue points toward the season-ending $50,000 Leading Rider Award. Adding another victory to his ever-growing collection, Brian Moggre (USA) jockeyed MTM Los Angeles to the swiftest double-clear performance of the night to capture the greatest share of the prize money and extend his domination of the 2019 Hagyard Challenge Series.
Designed by Ken Krome, the 16-effort course challenged horse-and-rider pairs to complete the pattern within the 90-second time-allowed, which only proved problematic for one duo. Second in the original start list, Jill Gaffney (USA) and Freestyling Farms LLC’s Carlton Cafe served as the pathfinders with the first fault-free trip of the evening, but they were soon joined by a strong group of 12 more contenders to bring the total number of jump-off returners to 13. Throughout the remainder of the first phase, Liza Finsness (USA), Shannon Clifford (CHI), Jimmy Torano (USA), Brian Moggre (USA), Sophie Gochman (USA), Hardin Towell (USA), Juan Pablo Gaspar (MEX), Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA), Sharn Wordley (NZL), David O’Brien (IRL), Andrew Welles (USA) and Kristen Berian (USA) each turned in clear round aboard their respective mounts.
It took until the fourth contenders back into the ring to see a clear effort over the short course, with Torano and Claire Doty’s Breemeersen jumping to the early lead in a time of 42.681 seconds.
Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles
Torano’s celebration would not last long, though, as Moggre immediately followed and piloted 7-year-old MTM Los Angeles, owned by Major Wager LLC, to an efficient ride by slicing across the course to trip the timers in 40.367 seconds, taking over the top spot. Four more combinations followed the leaders with penalty-free rounds in the jump-off, but none were fast enough to catch the frontrunners. Both Towell and Shahinian-Simpson edged ahead of Moggre and MTM Los Angeles on the clock, but downed rails to keep them out of contention for the victory, solidifying Moggre and MTM Los Angeles as the night’s big winners.
David O’Brien (IRL) & La Belle SCF
Breaking the beam in 41.502 seconds, David O’Brien (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s La Belle SCF clinched the reserve position, and Gaspar and River Dance Semilly, owned by Felipe Gaspar Echegaray, captured the third place spot with the next-fastest fault-free ride in 41.602 seconds to round out the podium.
Juan Pablo Gaspar (MEX) & River Dance Semilly
Prior to Friday’s grand prix, Moggre already held a commanding lead in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings with 500 points to his name. Over the course of the first four eligible events, the young rider won one of them, topping the $36,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3* aboard MTM Vivre Le Reve, in addition to solid placings in the other classes. Taking into account Friday’s grand prix results, Moggre further extended his lead with only two Hagyard grand prix classes left to contest.
Jumper competition at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show will continue through Sunday, with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix sponsored by Audi of Lexington bringing elite show jumping competitors to the Rolex Stadium once again for their shot at the top prize.
Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles
Brian Moggre – $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix Champion
On his reaction to winning with MTM Los Angeles:
“It feels awesome. It’s a really good feeling that all of my horses – not only one, but all of them – are really on their game and doing so well. That horse I’ve had for just a little over a year and it is seven years old this year. He is very young, so this is probably one of his biggest achievements to date. It was really cool for him to perform so well under the lights and be in a big open ring with such an environment. He really showed how mature he was and that he is ready to be a proper show horse.”
On the success of all of his horses:
“I am very spoiled with the horses that I have, that’s for sure. They are all so opposite from each other. The three of them are so different and that always keeps it interesting for me and keeps me on my toes. I love them dearly. They are all spectacular horses. They are all in a pretty similar program and they really thrive off of it. They also love Kentucky. We love it here.”
On the courses:
“I thought the course was nice. I thought my first horse, Los Angeles, he jumped very well. [MTM Flutterby] was jumping very well too, she just got a little spooky but it happens and you can’t let it kill you. The jump-off I thought was spectacular for that horse because everything was on an open stride and no related distances so I could land from the jumps and just gallop. If there is anything that horse excels at, it is leaving out the strides that most horses can’t. I used that to my advantage tonight.”
Results – $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles / Brian Moggre / Major Wager LLC / 0 | 79.926 / 0 | 40.367
2. David O’Brien (IRL) & La Belle SCF – 0 | 84.017 / 0 | 41.502
3. Juan Pablo Gaspar (MEX) & River Dance Semilly – 0 | 84.220 / 0 | 41.602
4. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Breemeersen – 0 | 84.782 / 0 | 42.681
5. Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Condor C – 0 | 80.961 / 0 | 44.314
6. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) & Akuna Mattata – 0 | 77.514 / 4 | 39.292
7. Jill Gaffney (USA) & Carlton Cafe – 0 | 85.544 / 4 | 39.832
8. Andrew Welles (USA) & Serpico – 0 | 84.767 / 4 | 41.425
9. Liza Finsness (USA) & Shiver – 0 | 82.081 / 4 | 41.644
10. Kristen Berian (USA) & Fantast Van Het Vinckenhof – 0 | 84.109 / 4 | 47.078
11. Shannon (USA) & Riesling de Milvrault – 0 | 84.205 4 / 4 | 48.557
12. Jack Hardin Towell (USA) & Carlo – 0 | 83.495 / 8 | 39.971
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.
Source: Press release by Elaine Wessel / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Callie Clement