Lexington, KY - July 27, 2011 - It was beautiful and sunny for the opening day of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows at the Kentucky Horse Park. Today, riders gathered at the Walnut Ring to compete for top prizes in the Open Jumper classes. Ashlee Bond and Chivas Z were the big winners, claiming the victory in the 1.40m Open Jumper class with the fastest clear effort. In the 1.35m Open Jumper class it was Kaely Tomeu and Bella Blue S that took home the blue ribbon, after they completed a quick and clean jump-off round.
Allen Rheinheimer was the course designer for today's events in the Walnut Ring, and he tested riders with a triple bar, a vertical-vertical double combination, and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. During the 1.40 Open Jumpers, only two riders were able to master the speed track without fault. Bond and Chivas Z, owned by Little Valley Farms of Hidden Hills, CA, were the first to do so, leaving each rail intact and opting for all the inside options to trip the timers at 62.226 seconds. The last horse and rider combination, Derek Petterson of Archer, FL, and Via Dolorosa, were also able to jump clean, but they crossed the finish line four seconds slower in 66.178 seconds to place second. The fastest of today's four-fault efforts was Samuel Parot and Clinton's Dream, owned by Artisan Farms of Mequin, WI, who broke the beam at 66.178 after lowering the height of a fence in the double combination.
"It's our first class since Europe, and I just wanted to go in and have a nice round," explained Bond. "He felt amazing and the footing is great, so I was really happy with it. I did all of the inside turns and I picked up a good rhythm to begin with, so I just tried to stick with that. I tried to keep it smooth, and if you can keep the same speed it works out better than if go really fast and try to add. It was a good day!"
Bond added, "For the first day, first class, it was a big enough. Allen gave you some really good options on turns, but you just had to execute them correctly. This week I will be showing in a lot of Young Jumper classes, and I will show Chivas Z in both grand prix classes. I love the venue; I think the people are great and I am very happy to be here."
Next in the Walnut Ring was the 1.35m Open Jumper class. Young rider Kaley Tomeu showed the away with Belle Bleu S, owned by Spy Coast Farm of East Setauket, NY. The competitive duo completed the first round without fault and advanced to the jump-off, where they once again left all the rails in place. They stopped the timers at 42.799 seconds, which would eventually earn the winning prize. Jill Knowles of Lake Forest, IL, and Condesa Z were also able to advance to the jump-off and leave the fences intact, but their time of 45.245 would prove too conservative with two time faults for the second place prize. Liam Dumont-Walker of Oakville, Ontario, and Lilius had the fastest four-fault round for the third place honors during the day's class.
"The first round felt good, we were just going in there to school because we are showing in the grand prix tomorrow," explained Tomeu. "She was really good. We are just working on staying controlled and making the turns smooth. She's naturally quick, so she ended up with the best time."
Tomeu began riding the talented mare at the beginning of the year and they have quickly made their way up through the ranks. The duo competed in their first grand prix class last week in Cleveland, Ohio, and is excited to show in their second grand prix event tomorrow. "She's very strong and she's always going to go," said Tomeu. "She's not the easiest horse but she's a lot of a fun to ride."
The first week of the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows will continue tomorrow with the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, where riders will compete for the valuable points towards the Leading Rider Bonus. The event will get underway at 7:00p.m. in the Rolex Stadium. Another highlight during the week will be the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix at 6:00p.m. on Sunday. Riders will continue to compete next week during the Kentucky Summer Classic, which will be followed by the USEF Pony Finals, the Bluegrass Festival Classic, and the KHJA Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/.
Photo Credit: Ashlee Bond and Chivas Z won the 1.40m Open Jumper class at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. Photo By: Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.