Lexington, KY - The second day of competition for the professional hunter divisions concluded today at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show located at the world-class Kentucky Horse Park. In the Stonelea Arena, the hunters competed for their division championships right before a short but strong rain shower rolled through.
Hunt Tosh was the name to beat today. He had numerous championship wins including the Green Conformation Hunters, aboard Trade Winds; the Regular Working Hunters, aboard Lonestar; and the Regular Conformation Hunters, on Tasty. Lastly, Tosh added a reserve championship in the First Year Green Hunters aboard Good Humor.
Today's competition began with the First Year Green Working Hunters followed by the Green Conformation Hunters, the Second Year Green Hunters, the Regular Conformation Hunters, and then finally the Regular Working Hunters.
In the First Year Green Working Hunters, Kelley Farmer and Taken triumphed for the championship award after winning the handy hunter class, earning the second place ribbon in the hunter over fences class, and a fourth place ribbon in yesterday's hunter over fences class. Taken is owned by Nancy Amling from Palm Beach, Florida. Hunt Tosh and Good Humor, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Wheeler of Keswick, VA., won the reserve championship ribbon.
Hunt Tosh and Trade Winds controlled the Green Conformation Hunter division. The duo won five blue ribbons including the model, two over fences, the handy hunter, and the under saddle class. The repetitive wins earned them the championship distinction. Tosh said, "Trade Winds was champion this week which was fun to have accomplished."
Today's handy course featured vertical jumps on each end of the ring that the riders had to roll back to. The handy course also had a jump going away from the in-gate. He explained, "The course was a little bit different. They had the first line going away from the gate, which was only five canter strides, and the first year horses handled it well but it was a lot to ask of them. It seems like they all stepped up and were good today. I think the course designers are still trying to figure out what works and what does not so it was a little different to have the verticals on the end but it worked out nicely. I do not think anyone had real big problems with the courses, they were nice."
"Kentucky is such a horse friendly environment," continued Tosh. "The show grounds have had so many improvements including the great footing in our ring. The footing was noticed today when we had a downpour and five minutes later we were good to go. It is also fun to be here because there is always a great group of people."
Not to be overlooked was Morgan Thomas aboard Savant, owned by First Partners, LP. The duo claimed the reserve championship accolade after earning yesterday's blue ribbon in the over fences class of the Green Conformation Hunters, three red ribbons, and a third place finish in the under saddle class.
Victorious in the Second Year Green Hunter division was the horse and rider combination of Louise Serio and Do Tell, owned by Bridget Hallman. The twosome won the championship prize with two first place ribbons in the hunter over fences class and the handy hunter class. They also added a third place ribbon in yesterday's over fences class and a fourth place in the under saddle class. Following in the Second Year Green Hunter division for the reserve championship tricolor was Tammy Provost and Northern Crown, owned by Northernside LLC.
Serio commented, "Not only did Do Tell go well today but he went really well yesterday too. Today he was really on, especially in the handy. This is his first time back and he has not shown since Florida so it was nice to see that he was really ready to go. The verticals on the end surprised the horses a little but Do Tell is very brave. Being surprised is a good thing because he pays a little extra attention and is not bothered by it.
The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows are one of Serio's favorite competitions. She noted, "I love the footing and the ambience of the whole place. You can ride out in the field and the footing is getting better and better in each ring. The improvements they are making for the Word Equestrian Games are just awesome and it will be a benefit in the future."
The championship rosette in the Regular Conformation Hunters was pinned on the bridle of Hunt Tosh and Tasty, owned by Showcase LTD. The winning pair won four first place ribbons including the model, the over fences, the handy hunter, and the under saddle class. In addition to the blue ribbons Tasty and Tosh won the second place ribbon in yesterday's over fences class. Tosh commented, "I have not had Tasty very long since I just got him recently, and he did a really good job."
Tosh really enjoyed today's competition. He commented, "All of my horses were great this week. Overall my horses did well and we had a good week. This is our last show before we go to Devon so it is nice to know that we are hopefully in good shape and everyone is ready to go."
The reserve championship honors of the Regular Conformation Hunters went to Sugar Boy with Tammy Provost in the irons. Sugar boy, owned by Wendy Hofmeister and Provost, was consistent in the division earning second place ribbons in all of the classes except yesterday's over fences class where they won the blue ribbon.
The Regular Working Hunters had numerous competitive entries. Achieving the championship honors was once again Hunt Tosh with his mount Lonestar. The pair earned two first place finished in yesterday's over fences classes, two second place ribbons in the over fences and handy hunter class, and a fourth place in the under saddle class. Tosh exclaimed, "Lonestar was wonderful. We got a 95 yesterday! Lonestar is so good about sighting that distance and going right to it we had no problem with the verticals today." Following in succession for the reserve championship in the Regular Working Hunters was Rock Star and Louise Serio. Rock Star, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC, earned two second place ribbons in yesterday's over fences classes, a first in today's over fences class, and a third in the handy hunter class.
The first week of hunter competition at the Kentucky Horse Park continues through May 16, 2010. The first week is scheduled as a World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) recognized hunter week. The Kentucky Spring Horse Show continues tomorrow with the USEF Medal. On Saturday, May 15, 2010, the $15,000 Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Presented by Dietrich Insurance will be held at 6 p.m. in the Main Stadium. Sunday, May 16, ends the first week of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show with championships in the Junior Hunter Divisions.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.
Photo Credit: Hunt Tosh wins multiple championships during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show at Kentucky Horse Park. Hunt Tosh and Tasty Champions of the Regular Conformation Hunters Photo © 2010 Lindsay McCall for PMG.