Lexington, KY - Spring rain showers did not deter Amateur-Owner Hunter horses and riders from across the country from competing at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show today. The precipitation certainly did not interfere with Glen Senk's and Dawn Fogel's mounts, as both riders laid down seamless trips to earn blue ribbons in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter division.
Senk, a New York, NY, was the victor over the first course, designed by Skip Bailey, aboard his mount Declaration. The seasoned veteran earned scores of 84 and 85 over the inviting and appealing fences set in the Stonelea ring, to earn the blue and red ribbons respectively. "The courses are beautiful, and the footing's amazing. This is a show that when it rains you don't need to worry about it. They keep the footing absolutely perfect. There were no issues whatsoever," Senk praised.
Senk works full-time as CEO of David Yurman, so spare riding time is a rare and valuable commodity. With his often-hectic schedule, Senk is extremely grateful to have a horse like Declaration.
"He is amazing. This is his sixth year showing, and he doesn't really need a rider. In my opinion, he's the most perfect horse in the world. I can just get on him and point him at the jump. He knows everything. He'll go rain, snow, sleet - he just doesn't care," expressed Senk. Senk continued, "I haven't jumped since Week Ten of WEF. It's such an amazing feeling to just jump three jumps in the schooling ring, and he goes in and jumps so well. He's just an absolutely amazing horse."
Fogel too is tremendously appreciative of her winning mount, Royal Oak, whom she's owned for over four years. The duo finished second behind Declaration over the first course, before coming back to win both the second class, with a score of 86, and the under saddle.
"I was really, really happy with the way he was in the rain. He made me feel like he didn't even know it was raining, which I really appreciate," Fogel shared. "He's very nice to ride. He has a big stride. I like to ride horses that are very light in your hand, and he goes with his head and neck naturally down and out so you just ride him with a really soft feel. He's got a great canter to go see the jumps on, and then you can have a really light feel because that's the way his mouth works."
As a Louisville, KY, resident, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show presents Fogel with the perfect opportunity to get Royal Oak back in the ring following Florida and before heading north to the Devon Horse Show in Devon, PA. In addition to being relatively close to home, Fogel appreciates the high-quality competition and venue that the horse show provides.
"The courses rode really nice, and the jumps here invite the horses to jump well and to go well," Fogel commented. "In particular, there was a six-stride straw bale that was really pretty and made them jump well and pay attention which is great."
Fogel and Senk will be among the Amateur-Owners returning to the Stonelea ring tomorrow morning as they vie for the division championships. The first week of hunter competition at the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows comes to a pinnacle Saturday night under the lights of the Rolex Stadium as the $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby gets underway at 5 p.m., immediately followed by the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. The $5,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby is the first of seven in the $50,000 Hallway Feeds USHJA National Hunter Derby Series that culminates with the $15,000 Leading Hunter Rider Awards.
For more information about the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, please visit www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.