Lexington, KY - Bright, blue skies and cooler breezes met competitors at the Kentucky Summer Classic, currently hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park. The anticipated feature event at 3:10 p.m. in the Claiborne Ring was the THIS Children's Medal class, a class which tested competitors with a challenging ride. Successful showmanship qualified the top four riders for the final test which directly followed the class.
The top four riders to qualify for the final test round were Sullivan Whitely and her mount Concord, Marguerite Heberle on Dare to Dream, Destry Spielberg riding Patriot, and Katherine Strauss atop Duncan. Katherine Strauss and Duncan were the top scoring horse and rider combinations in the initial round, earning a successful 83. The three remaining scored as follows: Spielberg and Patriot (81), Heberle and Dare to Dream (79), and Whitely and Concord (78).
All four riders entered the ring together to hear the test and could not receive additional coaching from their trainers. The test round challenged the top four riders to canter a single vertical and then make a rollback turn to a double combination. Then, riders had to trot a single vertical and halt before the judges. Riders completed the test with a return to the line at a sitting trot.
Sullivan Whitely and Concord were the first competitive pair to show over the test. Unfortunately, Whitely and Concord had a tight distance to the first fence and took the outside turn to the combination. She also cantered the fourth fence instead of trotting, causing her to receive the fourth place ribbon.
Marguerite Heberle and Dare to Dream were next in the test round and they had an unfortunate chip at the first fence. She chose the inside option to the combination and maintained a good trot at the fourth fence. Heberle lost points after the final fence because she halted three steps after turning away from the judges to earn the third place honors.
Third to test was Destry Spielberg and Patriot, who chose the outside option at the combination but finished smoothly with an excellent trot and halt. The precise and consistent round earned her top honors in the THIS Children's Medal class for the second week in a row.
Last to test was Katherine Strauss on Duncan, who took the inside option at the combination. She regrettably rubbed the third fence and while she did halt, it was not as precise as the halt shown by Spielberg and she took home the second place prize.
"The first round I was a bit nervous so I was pulling a little too much, and then for the test I remembered the two-stride was a bit long, so I squeezed and it worked out nicely," commented Spielberg after her win. "I think the test was much better than the first round because the first jump was really good and everything else was amazing.
Spielberg continued, "I was going to do another class today but I thought that was such a good class that we should end with it since this is our last round together. This is my last year doing the 12-14 Equitation and the lower equitation, now I am moving on to the 3'6" equitation."
This is Spielberg's second week at the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows and she is having a wonderful time. "The Kentucky Horse Shows are very pretty," she said. "It's one of my favorite shows. It's fun, it's a much bigger show so there is more competition, and I love a challenge."
Hunter competition will continue tomorrow at the Kentucky Summer Classic during their World Champion Hunter Rider qualifying event. Tomorrow the Stonelea Arena will feature the Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions as they compete for championship and reserve championship honors.
For more information about the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows please visit www.KentuckyHorseShows.com.
Class 193, THIS Children's Medal
1 486 PATRIOT DESTRY SPIELBERG MALLORY OLSEN 84.000
2 461 DUNCAN KATHERINE STRAUSS HEIDI TUMMEL 83.000
3 1298 DARE TO DREAM MARGUERITE HEBERLE CASEY MAZZOLA 79.000
4 893 CONCORD SULLIVAN WHITELY KAREN WHITELY 78.000
5 585 ADENA ALLISON KARLOVEC ALLISON KARLOVEC 77.000
6 840 ICARUS SPENCER SMITH SELBY MERRITT 76.000
7 1270 FLASHPOINT KAITLYN BEHLING KAITLYN BEHLING 75.000
8 762 MACITER BELLA CRAMER BELLA CRAMER 74.000
Photo Credit: Destry Spielberg and Patriot won the THIS Children's Medal for the second week in a row at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Kristen Snyder/PMG.