Lexington, Kentucky – July 29, 2021 – On Thursday evening, the nation’s top athletes gathered at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium in hopes of securing the win in the $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix during the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Saving the best for last, Brazil’s Celso Ariani (BRA) and Ukulman de La Nutria topped an eight-horse jump-off by almost three seconds as the final pair in the ring. Daisy Farish (USA) and RMF Retro placed second, while Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Dandy rounded out the top three.
Twenty-six athletes vied for the winning honors over Anderson Lima’s (BRA) technical track that featured a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination, an oxer-vertical combination, and a liverpool oxer, testing riders until the final oxer headed towards the gate. Eight athletes advanced to the jump-off, which featured three new fences and multiple turns before horse and rider combinations raced home over a delicate vertical.
Sweden’s Mattias Ekeroth (SWE) was the first to clear the tiebreaking track with Haydee M, but they had a conservative pace with a time of 42.782 seconds that would only be good enough for sixth. Chris Ewanouski (USA) and Condor du Valdecie followed with a double clear effort as well, but would also be well behind the leaders with a time of 41.855 for fifth place.
Ariani (BRA) returned with his first mount of the evening, La Jolie Van`T Eigenlo, a slightly younger horse at just 10 years old, and he was focused on leaving all the rails intact, opting for the longer route in a time of 41.041 seconds which would be good enough for fourth. Campbell (USA) and Dandy, the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by HD Horses, stepped up the speed a bit when they entered the arena, clearing the track in 40.569 seconds which would hold up for third place.
Daisy Farish (USA) knew the door was open and wanted to top the leaderboard with RMF Retro, so she laid on the gas to the first fence, and the careful 12-year-old Anglo European gelding owned by Rushy Marsh Farm, easily cleared the fences, breaking the beam at 39.154 seconds with only one combination left to go.
Having already completed the track once, Ariani (BRA) knew he could make up time with Ukulman de La Nutria, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Ricardo Romero. Leaving strides out and making sharp turns without wasting any time in the air the duo blazed across the finish line in a blistering 36.989 seconds, easily beating Farish to lead the night’s lap of honor.
The Rolex Stadium will resume show jumping competition at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning with the High Junior/Amateur Jumpers. Show jumping will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park throughout Sunday, August 1, with the $50,000 Rood and Riddle Grand Prix on Saturday serving as the week’s feature event.
Winner’s Circle – Celso Ariani (BRA)
On La Jolie Van’t Eigenlo and Ukulman de La Nutria:
“The first horse is a new one I’ve had for about a year and a half so I never run fast like that but it was enough for fourth place I think. I’m super happy with her. Her name is Jolie. And the second horse is super experienced, fast and careful. He already gave me a few victories so I’m very happy.”
On the course:
“The course was good. I think the course designer wants to see a little bit of the level of the group and I think he’s going to make it a little bit more difficult on Saturday. I just tried to make [my jump-off] as fast as I could. It was good enough so I’m very happy.”
On showing at the Kentucky Horse Park:
“It’s beautiful. Last year during the season I was very successful. I also got the bonus at the final. I love to be here. It’s a great atmosphere, great ring and a good place to be. I’ll be here for all four weeks and then I’ll go back to Florida.”
Final Results – $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic
1) Celso Ariani (BRA) & Ukulman de La Nutria – 0 / 0 – 36.989
2) Daisy Farish (USA) & RMF Retro – 0 / 0 – 39.154
3) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Dandy – 0 / 0 – 40.569
4) Celso Ariani (BRA) & La Jolie Van`T Eigenlo – 0 / 0 – 41.041
5) Chris Ewanouski (USA) & Condor Du Valdecie – 0 / 0 – 41.855
6) Mattias Ekeroth (SWE) & Haydee M – 0 / 0 – 42.782
7) Nora Gray (CAN) & Love – 0 / 4 – 38.300
8) Kaitlin Campbell (USA) & Doraindo – 0 / 8 – 40.100
9) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Siegfried 68 – 4 / 74.470
10) Chris Ewanouski (USA) & Vagabon De La Vallee – 4 / 74.843
11) Kelly Ariani (USA) & Valmont De Vizy – 4 / 75.765
12) Alexis Sokolov (USA) & Fasole Du Seigneur – 4 / 76.96
Source: Press Release by Rebecca Walton / Phelps Media for Kentucky Horse Show
Photos: © Phelps Sports / Olivia Airhart