Lexington, KY -Derek Braun has a mission for the Split Rock Jumping Tour - to create an "unparalleled show jumping experience". The herculean effort it takes to prepare for an FEI competition at this level takes hours of strategic thinking to cover each detail and then months of planning, building, arranging and promoting. The competitors attending the inaugural event on the Split Rock Jumping Tour recognize and commend these efforts.
Amateur rider Tara Corr's Catolina MB won one of the first awards presented, the Equis Best Presented Horse at the FEI Inspection.;She went on to win Friday's Brook Ledge High Amateur-Owner Class on her young horse Boy Blue. Corr said, "It's really been a great experience. When we got here and unloaded, everyone was so accommodating. It was a big van - they pulled everything off, set it all up in the stalls. The competition, the grounds are incredible. I think the footing is great, all my horses have jumped really well on it. The spectators, the presentations, everything is really nice."
Junior rider Charlise Casas hails from Chicago and trains with Brian Walker of Woodside Farm. This week she is catch riding a few different mounts, and has managed to outride the competition two days in a row. On Friday she was the fastest in the speed class on Alaika and on Saturday she topped the jump-off with Lisanto 2."This show is really special - they really try to accommodate all the riders to the best of their ability. They really take it seriously, how we as riders are athletes, just like anywhere else in the world, so that's really cool. The venue and the show is beautiful - it's really nice to be able to come here and relax," commented the young rider.
New Zealand Olympian Sharn Wordley and his wife Ashley were happy to support Braun's efforts. Both took home blue ribbons on Saturday: Ashley won the Brook Ledge High Amateur-Owner Class on Chicago V.H. Moleneind, and Sharn was fastest in the $35,000 Amalaya Investments CSI3* Speed Cup on the stallion Popstar Lozonais.Sharn Wordley summed it up when he noted that this effort has legs."Split Rock Jumping Tour is fantastic, it's giving a European feel to American show jumping. Here you've got good food, parties, you've got atmosphere, you've got a sense of the organizer really caring about the environment and the atmosphere that we jump in, so it's a novelty for us. I think it's going to be very well-supported over the next few years, and I think Derek's really onto a winner."
In addition to watching horses and riders compete in a world-class show jumping event, spectators can enjoy a variety of boutique shops and food vendors, a Children & Family Festival, a Beer and Wine Garden with live music, as well as free raffles and cash giveaways.
The Split Rock Jumping Tour has partnered with the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation in which a portion of proceeds from all sales of Split Rock Jumping Tour Hospitality packages will go directly to the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation to support their programs. Split Rock will also provide staff and patients of the Center with free tickets to attend both horse shows. For more information please visit https://ukmarkey.org.