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The Kentucky Summer Horse Show drew to a close this weekend.
Aaron Vale rode Tibor to victory in the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix on Saturday. Vale was the final rider in the event, knocking Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra from atop the leader board.
“My plan was to try to win obviously,” Vale said. “He’s a very experienced horse, he’s very careful and quick. You have to be a little careful on the turn backs with him, but at least he’s very fast galloping, so that helps a bit. I figured that my horse had a faster gallop so the foot speed would make the difference.”
Julie Holzberger and Revealed were the victors in the NAL/WIHS Adult Hunter Classic on Saturday.
“Today was a beautiful day,” Holzberger said. “I feel blessed. It’s been a long week, and my horses are amazing—we click. I think the biggest thing is having great mentors; they give me positive encouragement. It is just natural with both of them, there is just a connection. I feel what they need and they feel what I need. Honestly, it is just like a direct connection. It is what makes it work. Chemistry is everything. The chemistry with both of my horses is spectacular.”
In the Amateur-Owner 50 and Older Hunter division, Camille McNeill and Tuckahoe claimed the title of champion, fending off Mary Canner and Southern Comfort. In the Amateur-Owner 3’3″ Hunters, Dominus, guided by Maria Takacs, claimed the division championship. Kelli Scherill, aboard Caruso, took home the Amateur-Owner Hunter Championship, while Emily Morin and Ace of Spades took reserve championship honors.
Meg O’Mara stood out above the rest on Sunday in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior Jumper Classic with Sinatra IV, riding to one of only two double-clear victories in a speedy time of 42.663 seconds to lead the victory gallop.
“Sinatra is a veteran and he knows exactly what he is doing,” O’Mara said. “I have had him for three years, so we know one another really well, and over that time we have really become the perfect match. I know what he needs, and he knows what I need. When I saw that turn from the vertical in the jump-off, I didn’t even have to think about it, I knew that he could handle it and that we could make up time there.”
With her win, O’Mara earned qualifying points for the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and picked up the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion—a $1,000 bonus check.
The SJHF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was dominated by 26-year-old Paige Johnson. She qualified all three of her mounts for the jump-off. Johnson laid down a clean first round aboard Monopoly, and later guided La Martinee and Kadena R to clear efforts, too. She entered into the jump-off with Monopoly dashing out of the in gate, and completing the course in 42.008 seconds. Nobody could match Johnson’s pace as she sliced turns and cleared the obstacles with ease. In fact, she was the only rider out of the five qualifying entrants to provide a double-clear effort.
“The course felt really long today, and that was a challenge within itself,” Johnson explained. “I think it rode great, it really made you think. But since it was so long, the horse and rider are tired by the end, so you really have to gage yourself and understand how to ride it-it’s a feat in itself. It was definitely a technical course, but it was great. It made everyone careful and we had to think about the technicalities.”
Emanuel Andrade and Casanova Junior captured victory in the Low Junior Jumper classic posting a double-clear effort in 40.676 seconds.
Also on Sunday, the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby was won by Shawn Casady and Without Question with a score of 181 points. Louise Serio and Corvine were awarded the red ribbon for posting a scored total of 177 points, while Steve Heinecke rode to the third place finish, with a score of 176 points aboard So Lucky.
Shawn Casady maintains the lead in the jaunt of the Hallway Feeds Leading Rider Series, where he competes against other junior, amateur and professional riders for their piece of the $15,000 Leading Rider Bonus. His win today increased his standing, placing him in first with 600 points, while following in pursuit is Louise Serio with her new rank of 550 in the series after today’s second place points.
“I have fun in these classes,” Casady explained. “Having a fit, strong mare is a bonus, especially thanks to Hallway Feeds and their Leading Rider Bonus. It makes the classes that much more fun. She’s sweet and every time she enters the class she gives 100 percent. I’ve been riding her since the Florida Circuit and she’s been a dream.”
Even after the Summer Horse Show’s conclusion, the exciting hunter/jumper action will continue at the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday with the Kentucky Summer Classic. The week’s highlight events include the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and the $40,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix. The 2012 USEF Pony Finals will get underway August 7-12, followed by the Bluegrass Festival Classic and the KHJA Horse Show.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Series, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
From Phelps Media Group