Harrisburg, PA – Darragh Kenny piloted Oakland Ventures LLC’s Top Gun IV to a win in the $10,000 Gamblers Choice on Wednesday, highlighting the evening session at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
In the Gamblers Choice, riders construct their own course, jumping any obstacle in any direction, up to two times, and earning a given point value for each fence so long as the rails remain up.
At the end of their timed round, they are given the opportunity to jump the ‘All or Nothing’ fence, which doubles their points if they successfully jump it, or leaves them with zero if the rail falls, or the ‘Joker’ fence, which is slightly smaller, has less risk, and less reward.
Meagan Nusz and Elias, owned by Amalaya Investments, started the class off with a conservative 680 points and things sped up from there.
Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Amadora posted an impressive 1700 points as the second pair in, but the total would eventually only be good enough for third.
McLain Ward sped around his self-constructed course on his own appropriately named Wings, posting an impressive 1960 points after clearing the 5 foot 4 inch All or Nothing fence. It was beginning to appear that this total would hold the lead until the very end.
Kenny and Top Gun IV entered late in the class, riding turns and lines that no other pair thought to attempt. After clearing the All or Nothing fence, Kenny and Top Gun IV held a total of 2020 points, just nudging Ward and Wings into second place.
Out of the 12 pairs who entered the ring, everyone attempted either the All or Nothing fence or the 5 foot 3 inch Joker fence, though not all made it over without error.