Lexington, Kentucky, USA – July 29, 2022 – Twenty contenders took to the Rolex Stadium Thursday night to vie for the lion’s share of the prize in the $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix. The first of two big-money classes to be held during the Kentucky Summer Classic, the horse-and-rider duos battled it out during a heated jump-off. The pathfinder during the tiebreaker was Jimmy Torano (USA), who ran away with the victory aboard Kochio Z. Anna Beth Athey (USA) and Caraghs Quality Lady placed second, followed by Lacey Gilbertson (USA) in third place aboard Byzance Mail.
The twenty athletes navigated Manuel Esparza’s 14-effort first-round technical track that featured a triple bar-oxer, multiple rollbacks and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination. Out of the 20 contenders, only seven horse-and-rider combos advanced to the jump-off.
Jimmy Torano (USA) and his 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Kochio Z, were in it to win, posting a fault free first round. The duo came back for the second phase in full force as they picked up an immediate gallop making every inside turn available to them. Kochio Z was in perfect sync with Torano, carrying him across the difficult track effortlessly with a jump-off time of 40.144 seconds. Together they have achieved many great accomplishments including wins such as the $20,000 Welcome Stake and $2,500 1.30m Southern Arches. Adding yet another success to their impressive record, they proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.
Anna Beth Athey (USA) and her own, Caraghs Quality Lady, went sixth in the order to be the second pair to jump without penalty in the first round. The 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare, impressed the crowd with her athletic effort around the track. Returning for the jump-off, they pioneered the tracking, laying down a conservative effort to ensure a fault free ride. However, their time did not stay at the top of the leaderboard for long as Torano quickly jumped ahead, leaving Athey with a second place finish with a time of 41.876 seconds.
Trying to overtake Torano’s impressive time, Lacey Gilbertson (USA) used her impressive skills around the course in order to attempt to unseat the lead. With a plan set in mind, Gilbertson opted to take all of the inside tracks and shave seconds off of the clock by opening up a gallop on the long approaches. The 11-year-old Selle Francais mare, Byzance Mail, powerfully covered the ground with her naturally large step but ultimately was unable to best Torano and Kochio Z’s time, securing them the third place finish with a clear 42.305 seconds.
Final Results – $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Kochio Z / Jimmy Torano / 0 | 74.999 / 0 | 40.144
2. Anna Beth Athey (USA) & Caraghs Quality Lady / Anna Beth Athey / 0 | 78.852 / 0 | 41.876
3. Lacey Gilbertson (USA) & Byzance Mail / Seabrook LLC / 0 | 79.346 / 0 | 42.305
4. Nicole Loochtan Goblin (USA) & Nicole Loochtan / 0 | 76.363 / 4 | 47.609
5. Sayre Happy (USA) & Navarro DL / Nicolette Hirt / 0 | 78.212 / 8 | 46.101
6. Jill Gaffney (USA) & FF Blade Runner / Freestyling Farms LLC / 0 | 79.156 / 8 | 48.358
7. Chris Pratt (CAN) & Mardinie / Sweet Oak Farm / 4 | 77.802
8. Michael Desiderio (USA) & Le Muguet / / Blue Rhode Inc. / 4 | 78.306
9. Francisco Goyoaga Mollet (ESP) & Icarus / Strasburg Morin Inc. / 4 | 78.648
10. Michelle Braun (USA) & Quinn / Split Rock Farm, LLC / 4 | 79.800
11. FJack Hardin Towell (USA) & Florida N / Jack Hardin Towell / 4 | 81.064
12. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Chewbacca / Jimmy Torano / 8 | 74.619
Source: Press Release by Sydney Jones / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Shawn McMillen Photography