Lexington, Kentucky - A constant drizzle overtook the Kentucky Horse Park, host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, during the last day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Rounding out the last class in the Stonelea Arena was the $1,000 Children's Hunter Classic, which is a member event of the 2010 North American League and Washington International Championships.
Winning the Children's Hunter Classic was Piper Donnelly and her top mount Notorious. Earlier in the day Mattie Worsham and Secret Crown earned the Children's 14 and Under Hunter division tricolor, while Mactier and Bella Cramer took home the Children's 15-17 Hunter championship award.
The $1,000 Children's Hunter Classic consisted of 10 numbered obstacles featuring multiple single diagonals, a four-stride off of a short right turn, and an in-and-out coming home. The top 12 horse and riders with scores above 60 were invited back to the ring in reverse order. Scores were added together from the Classic round and their individual division round for a final overall score. Riders stayed consistent overall with their scores from the first round to the second round. Dana Dettmer and Tempo set the pace with a first round score of 76 and a second round score of 79 resulting in a total of 155. This lead was held until Donnelly and Notorious entered the ring scoring an 83.5 in the first round and an 80 in the second round resulting in a combined score of 163.5, which moved them into first place. Last in the line up with a high score of 84 in the first round was Bella Cramer and Mactier, champion of the younger Children's Hunters. Cramer had a good round but scored a 74 which put her with a total of 158, placing the duo in second place, followed by Dettmer and Tempo.
Donnelly and Notorious were a great pair over the long course. After a full day of hunter rounds both horse and rider finished strong. Donnelly commented, "The course rode really well. Since it was the end of the day, it was raining, the course was long, and it was after the under saddle, it was hard to keep my concentration and Notorious' concentration, but I just had to focus really hard. I thought the four-stride was off of a short turn and it was a little bit longer so you had to find a nice jump in and keep continuing forward."
The duo not only had a consistent score but their rounds throughout the day maintained a constant performance. "He is really nice to ride. He is nice and soft and requires little leg. He is so perfect, I just love him."
The 12-year-old horse owned by Andrie Nuckols reached for a treat as he left the ring. "Notorious has a lot of personality," laughed Donnelly. "He always looks for treats and he deserves it!"
Donnelly and Notorious have been showing together since January. The pair showed in Jacksonville and Gulfport. Donnelly has been honored to ride Notorious over the last few months since her horse is back home recovering from an injury. Donnelly noted, "It has been a really huge privileged for me to ride him. Biggy is such an amazing horse and I cannot express my appreciation enough to Andrie Nuckols."
After Kentucky, Donnelly will finish riding throughout the summer and then she is off to college at Auburn University. "I want to thank not only Andrie but my trainers Patty and Richard Rogers and Sarah Mechlin. They are amazing and great trainers."
Prior to the Classic, Mattie Worsham and Secret Crown earned the championship accolade in the Children's 14 and Under Hunter division. The pair received two first place ribbons in yesterday's over fences classes and a third and fourth place in today's over fences classes.
"I have a great horse and we try as hard as we can," said Worsham. "We have our little mistakes but I think it went pretty well today. I did not feel as though I had any major challenges."
Worsham and the 13-year-old thoroughbred have been paired together since Christmas of last year. "He tried his hand at racing and it did not go so well, explained Worsham. "He has just been the best horse. I love him so much and I get along with him so well. He also has an interesting personality because he likes to have his personal space, especially in his stall."
The duo will continue showing in the Children's Hunter division through next week's Kentucky Spring Classic. Worsham also has a Junior Hunter that she will be showing during the summer season.
Winning the reserve championship ribbon in the Children's 14 and Under Hunter division was Stephanie Ingram's horse Oceanfront with Kelly Arani holding the reins. The duo scored the same amount of points as Worsham so a tiebreaker was called and the leading over fences score determined the winner. Arani and Oceanfront earned a first place and second place in the over fences and a first place in the under saddle class. The pair also earned two fifth place ribbons in the over fences classes yesterday, which was enough to garner the reserve championship prize.
The Children's 15-17 Hunter championship was awarded to Bella Cramer and her top mount Mactier. "All of my classes went well today," said Cramer. "I had not ridden since Florida since I live three hours from the barn. I was a little rusty but after I rode more during the week I got better."
Cramer felt the ring was a little spooky today but there were not many challenges that she could see. The duo has been working together since summer of last year. After this week they will travel to Michigan to continue their show season.
Adding another ribbon to their weekend wins was Piper Donnelly and Notorious. The accomplished pair earned the reserve championship tricolor in the Children's 15-17 Hunter division to wrap up a successful 2010 Kentucky Spring Horse Show.
Next week is the first week of the Kentucky Spring Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park beginning May 19, 2010 and finishing May 23, 2010. Championship prizes in the professional divisions will be presented on Thursday May 20, 2010.
Results of the NAL/WIHS Children's Hunter Classic:
ORDER ENTRY HORSE NAME RIDER NAME OWNER SCORE
1 1018 NOTORIOUS PIPER DONNELLY ANDRIE NUCKOLS 163.500
2 717 MACTIER BELLA CRAMER BELLA CRAMER 158.000
3 159 TEMPO DANA DETTMER DANA DETTMER 155.000
4 1095 IN STYLE MARYANN OSBORNE MARYANN OSBORNE 154.000
5 801 OCEANFRONT KELLY ARANI STEPHANIE INGRAM 148.000
6 255 COR DE LA LUNE HANNAH KIESLER HANNAH KIESLER 136.500
7 760 EMERALD ISLE CHELSEA JACKSON CHELSEA JACKSON AND ALL JACKSON HOLDINGS 136.000
8 715 LONE STAR CHRISTIE PETRELLI CHRISTIE PETRELLI 130.000
9 714 ESCARA PAIGE WEISBERG PAIGE WEISBERG 105.000
Photo Credit: Piper Donnelly and Notorious, owned by Andrie Nuckols winner of the $1000 Chidren's Hunter Classic at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo By: Lindsay McCall/PMG.