Lexington, Kentucky – Aug. 18, 2019 – The final day of the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park concluded with the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. Despite high temperatures, 28 horse-and-rider pairs contested Ken Krome’s course attempting to walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money. At the end of a competitive jump-off, it was David O’Brien (IRL) and La Belle SCF who walked away with the day’s top honors, in addition to winning the Envisian Leading Rider of the Week award thanks to accumulating the most points in the jumper divisions throughout the week.
Krome’s 16-effort course, originally set with a time allowed of 84 seconds, saw a total of eight athletes advancing to the jump-off after completing the course with no jumping faults and under the newly-adjusted time allowed of 87 seconds. O’Brien, aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s 8-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, was the first clear round of the day during the first round of competition as third in the order-of-go. Eight more athletes would follow suit, including Samuel Parot Jr., Scott Keach (AUS), Jimmy Torano (USA), Brian Moggre (USA) aboard two mounts, and Hardin Towell (USA).
As the jump-off competition began, O’Brien was first to try his hand at the shortened track. Up against a clear time of 43.258 seconds, the rest of his competitors knew that they not only had to leave the fences up, but also produce a swifter time. Following the Irish native’s round, Parot, Keach, Torano, and Moggre would all produce clear rounds with no jumping faults, but fell just short of catching O’Brien’s tight time, solidifying O’Brien and La Belle SCF as the victors.
O’Brien and La Belle SCF have had a successful campaign together throughout the summer, showing at Tryon International Equestrian Center and the Kentucky Horse Park with consistent placings in the top ranks. Up next, the pair will aim to compete in the “The Betsy” Grand Prix at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September.
Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles
Finishing in second place was 18-year-old Brian Moggre (USA) aboard his second mount in the jump-off, MTM Los Angeles. As third to go in the jump-off order, the pair finished on a time of 44.479 seconds. Moggre and the 7-year-old gelding, owned by Major Wager LLC, have had immense success during the week at the Bluegrass Festival, winning the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic Grand Prix on Friday night. Moggre is also the current leader in the Hagyard Challenge Series standings with 750 points to his name based on his consistent placings throughout the summer series.
Jimmy Torano (USA) & Glasgow de Muze
Ultimately finishing in third place for the day was Jimmy Torano (USA) aboard Isalou Inc.’s Glasgow de Muze. Crossing the timers at 45.151 seconds, the pair narrowly missed Moggre’s second place time. Torano and the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood have been partnered together for just over a year and are regular faces in the Rolex Stadium, having won the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Grand Prix during the 2018 edition of the Bluegrass Festival.
Sunday afternoon’s competition concludes jumper action at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park, but the jumpers will return Aug. 21–25 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.
David O’Brien (IRL) & La Belle SCF
David O’Brien – $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix Winner
On La Belle SCF:
“She is Spy Coast bred. We’ve been hitting on the door a few times this summer so it’s really nice to get this result. She is super brave and has all the scope. It’s easy to ride a horse with that much quality, so she makes my job a lot easier. I showed her in Tryon this summer and she had a couple of FEI results, and she was fifth in a grand prix there. We were fourth here a few weeks ago and second in Friday’s class. The last few grand prix she’s jumped she has jumped double-clear. She’s pretty cool for an 8-year-old. With her, because she’s young, I try not to overdo it. She has a lot of blood so I take my time with her and let her settle in.”
On the jump-off:
“Once I got through the timers going to fence one I kept things tight and kept moving. I let her go so I think that’s where we made up some time.”
On Kentucky Horse Shows:
“We’re next door [at Spy Coast Farms]. It’s great to bring up horses here. La Belle has done all of the young horse finals here, she’s moved up the levels and this is home for her. It’s very easy for my horses. I hope to do keep showing her here, doing the Betsy Grand Prix during [the Kentucky National].”
Results – $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix
Place / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. David O’Brien (IRL) & La Belle SCF – 0 | 85.450 / 0 / 43.258
2. Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Los Angeles – 0 | 82.572 / 0 | 44.479
3. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Glasgow de Muze – 0 | 84.328 / 0 | 45.141
4. Scott Keach (AUS) & Born To Be Picobello Z – 0 | 86.089 / 0 | 45.610
5. Samuel Parot Jr. (CHI) & Harley David – 0 | 84.693 / 0 | 47.462
6. Hardin Towell (USA) & Carlo – 0 | 83.761 / 4 | 44.021
7. Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Vivre Le Reve / Brian Moggre / Major Wager LLC / 0 | 86.961 / 4 | 44.098
8. Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Any – 4 | 81.206
9. Liza Finsness (USA) & Shiver – 4 | 83.392
10. Juan Pablo Gaspar (MEX) & River Dance Semilly – 4 | 84.632
11. Kirsten Ostling (USA) & HH Zipper – 4 | 86.029
12. Emma Sargent (USA) & Beezie – 4 | 86.464
For more information on the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, please click here.
Source: Press release by Callie Clement / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Callie Clement