Lexington, KY - May 11, 2013 - Capturing a ribbon was no easy task during today's $20,000 Bluegrass Classic at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Forty-two entries gathered at the Rolex Stadium to compete in the 1.45m Open Jumper event, but when 23 qualified for the tiebreaker the results came down to a foot race. Besting the clock and the course was Kent Farrington aboard Zidane, breaking the beam at 38.879 to take home the winning prize. Ramiro Quintana, riding Largo to second place, followed him, and Emanuel Andrade placed third with Walter 61.
Richard Jefferys set a very inviting course for today's event at the Kentucky Horse Park. The first round included an open water option, an oxer-vertical double combination, and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination. Twenty-three were able to master the track and advance to the jump-off, where speed and accuracy were the keys to winning. "That was probably more than Richard expected, but he's not building it to be the grand prix," stated Farrington after his win. "I think he just maybe under built for the class today, but that just meant the jump-off turned into a speed class."
The short course began with two oxers to a vertical-oxer line before winding back to just the oxer at the open water option. Then riders galloped to the double combination because finishing over a single oxer. Competitors could opt to jump-off directly after their first round or return at the end of the class. Schuyler Riley was one of the riders opting to stay in the ring with Andretti, owned by Southbeach Stables of Wellington, FL. She set the clear pace to beat at 41.468 seconds, but that would only be good enough for eighth place when 17 riders produced double clears.
On the return list, young rider Victoria Colvin and Waminka, owned by Rivers Edge of Wellington, FL, were able to best Riley's time by breaking the beam in a clear 40.877. Their early lead was short lived though, when Kent Farrington entered the arena with Zidane, owned by Windward Farm of Milford, NJ. They spun through the turns and with a huge open gallop managed to leave out strides and zip through the timers in 38.879 seconds, proving to be the best and claim the victory.
Ramiro Quintana was right on Farrington's heels with Largo, owned by Maverick ventures LLC of Fox Point, WI, as the next in the ring. The pair stayed right on track and just missed the winning target, clocking in at 38.882 seconds, just 1/100th second short of Farrington for second place. Emanuel Andrade is well known for his quick mounts, including Walker 61 owned by Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC. He was next to challenge and came very close in 39.019 seconds for third.
Young rider Wilton Porter had a great showing with Patriot, owned by Sleepy P Ranch of Bartonville, TX, pressing the gas to finish in 40.296 seconds. The only other rider to complete a clear round in less than 40 seconds was Ireland's Andrew Bourns riding Gatsby. They were very quick and stopped the clock at 39.043 seconds for fourth place. The last rider to show was Andrew Welles, who rounded out the top six with XM, owned by Peter Welles of Boulder, CO. Their clear time of 40.737 seconds sealed Farrington's victory.
"Zidane is a pretty fast horse," explained Farrington. "This is only the second time I've shown him. Peter Wylde showed him in Florida with a lot of success in speed classes. He's pretty experienced at that. He's a big striding horse and covers a lot of ground. He's brave, and I took a real shot at the second fence, leaving really far away, but he stretched and tried hard. The rest was just him; he's a quick horse and he's very careful so you can run him at the jumps."
Although Zidane is a new mount for Farrington, he knew that he could take a risk in the jump-off to win with the experienced mount. "I felt confident that the horse is perfectly capable of winning the class, but I don't really know him so I am still figuring him out as I go," he noted. "Obviously it's a very nice horse and good horses always make the job easier."
When Wylde changed his plans for the year, he recommended Farrington take over the ride, and now the new pair is aiming for the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic next week during the Kentucky Spring Classic. "Usually when the horses are going and winning like that you don't have them too long, so I am just going make the most of it while I have the ride," he expressed.
Tomorrow, Farrington will return to the Rolex Stadium to try and pick up another win during the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix aboard his top mounts Zafira and Venus. The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows are always a stop for the top rider, who is happy to be back at the Kentucky Horse Park.
"It's a great venue and I think they really make the most of that during these shows," noted Farrington. "There are a lot of different classes in the Rolex Stadium. I bring a lot of young horses here and students here, it's a great place for horses and riders to move up. There are some classes that feel like a mini grand prix like this, and there is a good water jump in the ring. It's impressive, and it's good for the horses to get that experience. The footing is great, so even if it rains you always know the ground is going to hold well."
Later tonight, the hunter riders will take over the Rolex Stadium during the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby, which gets underway at 5 p.m., immediately followed by the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The weekend concludes tomorrow with the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix at 4p.m. in the Rolex Stadium, but the riders will return to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Spring Classic, scheduled for May 15-19, 2013.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please visit http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com/.
RESULTS: $20,000 Bluegrass Classic
1 1059 ZIDANE KENT FARRINGTON 0 0 0 81.272 0 0 0 38.879
2 843 LARGO RAMIRO QUINTANA 0 0 0 80.453 0 0 0 38.882
3 635 WALTER 61 EMANUEL ANDRADE 0 0 0 80.712 0 0 0 9.019
4 974 GATSBY ANDREW BOURNS 0 0 0 80.246 0 0 0 39.043
5 528 PATRIOT WILTON PORTER 0 0 0 83.988 0 0 0 40.296
6 1047 X M ANDREW WELLES 0 0 0 81.758 0 0 0 40.737
7 213 WAMINKA VICTORIA COLVIN 0 0 0 81.316 0 0 0 40.877
8 443 ANDRETTI SCHUYLER RILEY 0 0 0 81.579 0 0 0 41.468
9 283 AMBOSELL PABLO BARRIOS 0 0 0 3.249 0 0 0 41.578
10 348 ELOUISE DE MUZE RICHIE MOLONEY 0 0 0 82.546 0 0 0 41.633
11 147 SORAYA DE L'OBSTINATION REED KESSLER 0 0 0 83.037 0 0 0 41.979
12 960 QUICK BLUE Z SHARN WORDLEY 0 0 0 83.859 0 0 0 42.839