Lexington, Kentucky – August 4, 2022 – As the sun set upon the Kentucky Horse Park Thursday night, thirty-eight of the top horse-and-rider combinations eagerly took to the Rolex Stadium to try their hand at the $25,000 Kentucky Summer Classic Grand Prix. The class was set to a 2(a), two-round jump-off format in which Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) used every bit of the expansive ring to challenge the competitors’ stamina and skill. As the first of two big-money classes to be held during the Kentucky Summer Classic, the athlete duos battled it out to try and take over the top spot. No stranger to this stage, Jimmy Torano (USA) and Kochio Z put together the best performance amongst the group, propelling them to the top of the leaderboard in this class for the second time in two weeks. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Oakingham Lira placed second, followed by Shawn Casady (USA) in third place aboard RMF Chacco Top.
All 38 entries navigated Bernardo Cabral’s (POR) first-round technical track that featured several challenging obstacles set to test the athletes’ jumping technique. Nine of the 38 were able to master the first round track and successfully ride to a clear first round, securing their spot in the jump off. The jump off was set to a shortened track and put the athletes on a test against the clock.
Jimmy Torano (USA) and his 8-year-old Zangersheide gelding, Kochio Z, used their prior experience at this level to their advantage and posted a flawless, fault free first round with the fastest time amongst the pack at 66.203 seconds. With momentum on their side, the duo came back for the jump off and didn’t let up. Torano presented confidence both in the tack and over the obstacles, setting Kochio Z up perfectly throughout the shortened track. Kochio Z was in perfect sync with Torano and crossed the wire with all rails intact for a jump-off time of 38.766 seconds. In their short career together, the pair has laid down several impressive finishes including the $20,000 Welcome Stake and $2,500 1.30m Southern Arches, proving to be a mainstay on the leaderboard together.
Alison Robitaille (USA) and Alison Firestone LLC’s, Oakingham Lira, laid down a solid first round ride of their own, crossing the wire just a second behind Torano and Kochio Z. Robitaille had another mount that rode earlier in the class, and she was able to learn from that ride and apply it to her round with Oakingham Lira. The 9-year-old Anglo European mare impressed the crowd with her athletic effort around the track. Returning for the jump-off, the pair looked to take over the top spot. However, they came up just short of the time to beat and settled into second with a time of 40.165 seconds.
Shawn Casady (USA) and Ashland Farms’ RMF Chacco Top came onto the scene in Kentucky ready to put together a winning effort. Just as Robitaille, RMF Chacco Top was Casady’s second mount of the class, proving to be beneficial in their finish. With a plan set in mind, Casady 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 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion mauvered both the first round and jump off track gracefully, but ultimately came up short of the time to beat in the jump off, taking home third with a time of 41.129.
The main event of the week will take place Saturday, at 7:00pm, with the $50,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix.
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 | 66.203 / 0 | 38.766
2. Alison Robitaille (USA) & Oakingham Lira / Alison Firestone LLC / 0 | 67.326 / 0 | 40.165
3. Shawn Casady (USA) & RMF Chacco Top / Ashland Farms / 0 | 67.508 / 0 | 41.129
4. Alison Robitaille (USA) & Diane De Sirvy / Alison Firestone LLC / 0 | 71.059 / 0 | 44.091
5. Chris Ewanouski (USA) & Echo VH Gerendal Z / Sky Group / 0 | 68.192 / 0 | 46.004
6. Skyler Fields (USA) & Cornetta / Skyler Fields / Skyler Fields / 0 | 70.966 / 0 | 48.161
7. Shawn Casady (USA) & The Points Guy / Rabbit Root Stables, LLC / 0 | 68.663 / 4 | 41.718
8. Kelly Arani (USA) & Impossible Dream / Marigot Bay Farm, LLC / 0 | 69.038 / 4 | 41.991
9. Christina Kelly & (USA) & Dynamis KC / Christina Kelly / 0 | 70.379 / 4 | 45.537
10. Celso Ariani (BRA) & Ukulman de La Nutria / Ricardo Romero / 1 | 72.798
11. Angela Swanson (USA) & Belle Z / AE Swanson Farms LLC / 2 / 73.103
12. Jimmy Torano (USA) & Chewbacca / Jimmy Torano / 4 / 67.958
Source: Press Release by Sydney Jones / Phelps Media Group for Kentucky Horse Shows
Photos: © Shawn McMillen Photography