Lexington, KY - David Blake piloted the up-and-coming young horse Park Lane to a win in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers to kick off the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show's jumper divisions. Earlier in the day, Christi Israel rode Bull Run's Zino Platinum to first place in the 1.35m Open Jumpers.
The $5,000 1.40m Open Jumpers was run as a speed class over the course designed by Allen Rheinheimer. Six of the 24 entrants jumped fault-free rounds within the allowed time of 83 seconds. Blake and Park Lane proved to be the quickest of the six, completing the course in 70.092 seconds. Daniel Damen and Harry the Heartbreaker, owned by Seth Vallhonrat, took second with a time of 70.515 seconds.
Park Lane, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Pine Hollow Farm in Parkland, FL, showed he will be one to watch as he moves up the ranks. Blake trains out of Pine Hollow, which is owned and operated by Howard and Gwen Dvorkin. His goal for the horse's first outing this week was to find ways to cut time without rushing or pushing the horse too hard.
"I didn't want to go mad with him," Blake said. "I just tried to be reasonably quick everywhere and it worked out well. It was the first day of the show, so it was hard to go in on a greener horse in a speed class and go quick, but he coped very well. He did everything I wanted him to do and every distance I wanted him to do. I was very happy."
Blake looks forward to seeing Park Lane tackle higher levels of competition. "After this, I hope to step him into some welcome grand prixs and 1.45m classes," he said. "Hopefully by WEF we'll be into some of the smaller 1.50m and keep going with him."
"I think he's definitely one for the future," Blake added. "I know he's a winner. He's a very exciting horse for Pine Hollow."
In the 1.35m Open Jumpers, 23 combinations came out to compete, with 10 of those qualifying for the jump-off. Christi Israel and Bull Run's Zino Platinum, her own 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, left out strides and took inside turns to complete the jump-off in 39.269 seconds. The final pair in the class, Mario Garcia and Mistletoe Farms LLC's Pacha de Nantuel, came the closest to their time, finishing in 40.403 seconds to take second place.
Israel, who is currently based out of Ocala, FL, purchased Bull Run's Zino Platinum last summer from Kristen VanderVeen. She credits her father, William Israel, with finding and purchasing the horse for her, as well as sponsoring her competitive pursuits.
"I tried him in Nashville and we clicked instantly," she said of Bull Run's Zino Platinum. "We took him to California with us and schooled him over there and jumped some big classes with him. He immediately became my number-one horse. Kristen did a great job with him, and my trainer Allen Nabors has helped me a lot with getting my horses really fit and ready for big shows like this."
Israel used the Open Jumpers as preparation for classes later in the week at the Bluegrass Festival. She plans to ride Bull Run's Zino Platinum in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Friday and, if all goes well, the $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix on Sunday.
"I went in today just to try to set him up for Friday's class," Israel said. "But he felt so great today warming up - he was really fresh and he was really taking me to the jumps. So in the jump-off, I decided I'd let him do what he wanted to do and go as fast as he wanted. From 1 to 2 I left out a stride. It was a 7 in the first round and I galloped up and did 6 and still got the inside turn. Then I left out a stride going to the combination and galloped over to the Sleepy P jump."
Friday's $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and Sunday's $40,000 Bluegrass Festival Grand Prix are the highlights of the jumper divisions offered this week at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show. On Thursday, the Rolex Stadium will feature the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper, 1.35m Open Jumper, and 7/8 Year Old Jumper classes.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
$5,000 Open Jumper 1.40m
1/1177/PARK LANE/DAVID BLAKE/0/0/0/70.092//
2/1489/HARRY THE HEARTBREAKER/DANIEL DAMEN/0/0/0/70.515//
3/645/LASKARA R/ALISON ROBITAILLE/0/0/0/71.205//
5/1265/QUIDAM'S HERO/DENISE WILSON/0/0/0/80.530//
7/1483/TAO TAO 3/HAYLEY WATERS/4/0/4/67.974//
8/930/TOP LINE'S EZ TOUCH/HALLE KUTSCHE/4/0/4/73.457//
9/407/FLORENCE A/PAULO SANTANA/4/0/4/75.251//
Open Jumper 1.35m
1/1534/BULL RUN'S ZINO PLATINUM/CHRISTI ISRAEL/0/0/0/0.000/0/0/0/39.269//
2/1312/PACHA DE NANTUEL/MARIO GARCIA/0/0/0/74.480/0/0/0/40.403//
3/1268/BAHRAIN 8/DENISE WILSON/0/0/0/76.384/0/0/0/40.573//
4/364/CASALL IV/ALI WOLFF/0/0/0/0.000/0/0/0/40.622//
5/1311/CORONA DU DOMAINE/MARIO GARCIA/0/0/0/0.000/0/0/0/41.538//
6/1533/CRACKY Z/CHRISTI ISRAEL/0/0/0/0.000/0/0/0/42.239//
7/49/UNE ETOILE DE L'ECLYPSE/MARSHALL FIELD/0/0/0/80.619/0/0/0/43.034//
9/1185/FREESTYLE DE MUZE/RICHIE MOLONEY/0/0/0/81.062/0/15/15/59.741//
10/888/IMPRIMIS/HAYLEY BARNHILL/0/0/0/79.016/ / /WITHDR/ //