Lexington, KY - August 7, 2011 - Junior rider Christina Kelly has had a stellar two weeks at the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, taking home major victories aboard her talented mounts Camirage and Creata Van Ten Biesen. Today, Kelly piloted Camirage to the fastest double-clear effort during the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior Jumper Classic, sponsored by Sleep P Ranch. The duo took home the winning honors, while Chloe Reid and King of Hearts placed second over Katherine Strauss and Chellando Z, who took home the third place award. Later in the day, Caroline Lynn and Kalvinretto won the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Audi of Lexington, with the class's only double clear round.
Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed today's track for the High Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumpers in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The first round featured an open water with pole, a wall fence, a vertical oxer double combination, and a triple bar-vertical-vertical triple combination. During the High Junior Jumpers, eight riders were able to master the opening track and advance to the jump-off, but only three managed to complete a second fault-free round. The jump-off had three new fences and riders had to jump through the double combination once again.
Elizabeth Patz of Windermere, FL, and Cordino placed eighth after a refusal during the short course, and Abigail McArdle of Barrington, IL, had the slowest eight-fault effort aboard Bravoman for seventh. Shawn Casady aboard Rainmaker, owned by Gerald Pack of Columbia, NC, and Lucille Oken of Charlotte, NC, with Quintos 2 each had a pair of rails to place fifth and sixth, respectively. The only four fault short course went to Shawn Casady riding El Capricho Bonjour for Stonehenge of Ocean, NJ, and they picked up the fourth place award.
Katherine Strauss of Southampton, NY, and Chellando Z were the fourth pair to return to the ring and they posted the first fault-free jump-off. The duo was slightly conservative as they tried to leave all the rails intact, breaking the beam at 40.479 seconds for the third place honors. Chloe Reid of Washington, D.C., and King of Hearts also managed to clear all of the obstacles, stopping the clock at 39.441 for an excellent effort that garnered the second place prize.
Once again, the winning honors were presented to Christina Kelly of Nicholasville, KY. She was aboard her talented mount Camirage, who is currently leading the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior standings. They had a hard rub coming out of the double combination, but the rail stayed in place. The mare easily opened her stride to each fence and left their competition in the dust, tripping the timers at 36.542 seconds, three seconds ahead of Reid.
"During the jump-off, I just wanted to be smooth everywhere," commented Kelly. "I watched a couple go while I was warming up and it looked like they were going really fast. Camirage has a very big stride when I let her open up, so I planned to be really smooth down the first two lines and just keep rolling. Coming back on the double she slipped a little bit and I thought that might scare her, but she just jumped high and jumped well across the oxer, although we had a little bit of a lucky rub. She's super at galloping jumps, so she was great for the last two as well."
Kelly has had great success with both of her horses, which she has owned for a number of years. "I think the bond really helps," she said. "I've had them for so long and I have a really great relationship with both of them. They've turned out to be better than I thought they were going to be."
Next year, Kelly will be traveling to Austria for the European Young Riders Championships where she will be representing Ireland. This year though, her main goal is to do well during the $50,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic held during the Alltech National Horse Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. "It's going to be indoors," noted Kelly. "Camirage can be a little bit sensitive indoors, she jumps really high and she might have more of the little back bar rubs, but I am hoping she will be ok this year. She's come along nicely considering she used to do that a lot. She would go in a new ring and have three back bars down because she was so spooky. Now, we really have a great relationship and she really trusts me. "
The High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was next and this time only three horses were able to best the opening track and advance to the short course. Sarah Sturges of Sunbury, OH, aboard Kick Az and Paris Sellon of Los Angeles, CA, riding Orlando LA each incurred four faults as they tried to race around the course, placing second and third respectively. The winning honors went to Caroline Lynn and Kalvinretto, owned by the C & M Partnership of Paradise Valley, AZ, who chose to be more conservative but left each rail in its cups, producing the lone double clear effort.
"I just got this horse three weeks ago from an Irish rider, Dermott Lennon," explained Lynn. "Lake Placid was our first show together and then we came here and moved up to the 1.40m. This week I was really just trying to go clean and have consistent rounds. Now, I'll take him back to California and start doing some grand prix classes. I was just trying to go for the double clear and I ended up getting lucky because the other riders had rails in the jump-off. Kalvinretto is really careful and really game at the jumps, so he just needs you to keep him straight and guide him."
Earlier in the day, the Amateur Owner riders competed in the Low Jumper Classic, where Kenzie Donovan of River Hills, WI, and Volarnah claimed the blue ribbon prize for a quick and clean short course in 38.049 seconds. Juan Andres Larrazabal of Wellington, FL, was quick on Donovan's heels with Remonta Jedive, but they stopped the clock at 39.109 seconds for second. The third place ribbon went to Saree Kayne of Santa Monica, CA, and Saphir, who left each fence standing in 40.875 seconds. Mahala Rummell of Jacksonville, FL, riding Celano and Olivia Herbert aboard Breeze, owned by Mimi Herbert of Houston, TX, had the slowest double clear rounds to place fourth and fifth, respectively.
"My horse is fast to start with, so that's always lucky," said Donovan. "In the jump-off, I just wanted to be efficient and tidy in my turns. The jumps came up nicely, and I was able to keep going across the ground. Volarnah is feisty, she likes to go fast, and so it's nice in the jump-off to let her go at her own pace.
Donovan added, "The Kentucky Horse Park is obviously a great facility and it's like our second home. We are in Florida and then we come here. It's a great facility for the horses and the riders, so we enjoy showing here as often as possible."
The first class of the day was the Low Junior Jumper Classic and the jump-off was very competitive as 13 horse and rider combinations attempted the track. Katherine Strauss eventually took home the winning title after a double clear effort aboard Fardela. Chloe Reid claimed another second place ribbon, this time aboard Quebon. The third place honors went to Hayley Banas for her ride on United.
Today marked the conclusion of the Kentucky Summer Classic at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park. On Tuesday, the 2011 USEF Pony Finals will get underway as the nation's top competitors vie for the championship honors. The hunter/jumper action will get back underway the following week with the Bluegrass Festival Classic, which will be followed by the KHJA Horse Show.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Christina Kelly and Camirage won the High Junior Jumper Classic at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.