Hagyard Challenge Series Offers $45,000 Leading Rider Award

Lexington KY - May 13, 2011 - The Kentucky Spring Horse Shows began on Wednesday, and one of the highlight events was the kick off of the 2011 Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. The Hagyard Challenge Series consists of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2011 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $45,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series.

The Kentucky Spring Horse Show, held May 11-15, 2011, featured the lead off event on Thursday night with the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, CSI 2*. The top riders from across the nation gathered to compete over a challenging course and vie for the winning title and valuable points towards the $45,000 Leading Rider Award. At the end of the night it was Hector Florentino and Ultimo in the winner circle, and the talented rider from the Dominican Republic now leads the in the standings. The Kentucky Spring Classic, May 18-22, 2011, will host the second the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic, CSI 2* on Thursday, May 19.  

Later in the year, four more Hagyard Lexington Classic grand prix events will be held during the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, and the KHJA Horse Show. The Series concludes with the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier held on September 23, 2011, during the Kentucky National Horse Show. Following that exciting competition, the winner for the $50,000 Leading Rider will be announced and presented with the prize by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest equine veterinary practices in the world. Founded in 1876, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, and Hagyard veterinarians have dedicated themselves to the health and well-being of the horse for more than 130 years.

The facility at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute offers 13 Digital Radiology systems, 1.5 Tesla Siemens Open MRI, Nuclear Scintigraphy, a high speed treadmill, an on-site laboratory, an on-site pharmacy, full surgical services, 24-hour ambulance and emergency services, and Hyperbaric Medicine. The institute has practiced veterinary medicine for more than 133 years and is currently composed of over 60 experienced veterinarians, with 12 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care, and Theriogenology.

Several generous sponsors have helped make this exciting series event happen. These gracious supporters include: presenting sponsor Pfizer Animal Health, Audi of Lexington, Dean Dorton Allen Ford, Hagyard Flex-tra 200, Wyatt Equine Law Group, Johnson Horse Transportation, Chase, and J.P. Morgan.

Pfizer Animal Health is the presenting sponsor of this year's Series, and is a business of Pfizer, Inc., a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal prescription medicines and vaccines, investing an estimated $300 million annually in animal health product research and development. Pfizer Animal Health's industry - leading U.S. equine product portfolio - broadened by the acquisition of Fort Dodge - now includes a wide range of biologics, parasiticides and sedatives/analgesics.

Audi of Lexington offers many automotive products and services to its Lexington area customers. From quality new Audis to used cars, they know anyone looking for a new or used car, in or around Lexington, will likely find what they want at their dealership. They carry a comprehensive line of Audi vehicles, including the A3, A4, A5,S5, A6, A8, Q5, Q7, and TT models, making them a good choice as your Lexington Audi car dealer. Services include trusted car repairs, original Audi parts, and auto financing help for Kentucky customers.

Dean Dorton Allen Ford is a full-service accounting and business advisory firm providing services to clients of all sizes in a variety of industries. With Central Kentucky being known for its world-class horse businesses and culture, Dean Dorton Allen Ford has provided extensive accounting, tax, business consulting, and technology services to the equine industry since the firm's inception. Equine industry clients from Kentucky and beyond gain comfort by having Dean Dorton Allen Ford's industry specialists work for them.

Hagyard Pharmacy has created Flex-Tra 200, an oral "all-in-one" joint health supplement developed by the surgeons at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute. Flex-tra 200 contains hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM as well as trace elements and minerals necessary to support equine joint health.  Flex-Tra 200 is a convenient, affordable way to promote healthy joints and healthy horses.

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, founded in Kentucky almost 200 years ago, has equine law as part of its DNA. As counsel to Churchill Downs, the NTRA, gaming companies, numerous owners and breeders, as well as entities that support the industry, Wyatt understands the legal issues that are unique to the horse business. Wyatt has over 200 lawyers, several of which are horse owners and breeders, including one who is currently part-owner in a top Derby contender. Wyatt's support of the horse industry extends beyond a purely professional perspective.

Johnson Horse Transportation, Inc., have over 20 years experience. They provide, top notch, state of the art equipment, and experienced horsemen who take great pride in giving horses the same love and care that they get at home. Their knowledgeable drivers and friendly staff help to set Johnson Horse Transportation, Inc. apart to be simply one of the best carriers in the business.  Johnson Horse Transportation, Inc. has built a valued, lasting reputation with the horse community as well as being a respected member of the National Horse Carriers Association.

For more information about Kentucky Horse Shows, LLC, in 2011, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

2011 Hagyard Challenge Standings
2    180   IAN MILLAR
3    170   QUENTIN JUDGE
4    120   RAGAN ROBERTS
6      60   BLYTHE MARANO
8      40   KEN BERKLEY
10    20   DAVID BEISEL
11    10   AMY MILLAR

Photo Credit: Hector Florentino and Ultimo Lead the 2011 Hagyard Challenge Series Leading Rider Standings. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.